Signature Strengths Power Happiness

May 13, 2017 Carol No comments exist

Would you like to be a happier person? Do you like to make other people happy? Signature strengths power happiness! Discover yours today!

The Science of Character

This is an amazing video that should be shared with everyone!

Ed Diener, Ph.D., (“Dr. Happy”), speaking to his research on happiness that spans over three decades. He discusses the link of “reverse causality” between positive emotions and positive character. For more information visit


Ed Diener studies what causes happiness, but also in turn — what positive feelings lead people to do. That is, reversed causality — going from happiness to things like strengths of character. It’s sort of a two-way street — Strengths of character are going to increase your happiness, and the happiness of those around you, in a number of ways. So, if you have strengths of character that are related to the social realm — and you’re more forgiving and kind and good to other people — it’s going to help their happiness, probably your happiness. But, in turn, people who tend to be happy people, who have more positive emotions, are going to be more likely to be kind, and forgiving, and all that, The happy people in the long run have strengths of character.

Signature Character Strengths

signature strengths

The VIA Classification of Character Strengths is comprised of 24 character strengths that fall under six broad virtue categories: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence .

The VIA Survey of Character Strengths

The VIA Survey of Character Strengths is a simple self-assessment that takes less than 15 minutes and provides a wealth of information to help you understand your core characteristics. Most personality tests focus on negative and neutral traits, but the VIA Survey focuses on your best qualities. – Character Strengths Survey, Character Test: VIA Character

The VIA Survey was co=created by Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson.


Seligman recommends this exercise:

  • Think of something you don’t like to do at work, that you have to do pretty much once a week.
  • Take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths found at the Authentic Happiness test center.
  • Do that task next week using your highest strength.

Seligman tells the story of one of his graduate students who hated her waitressing job. She took the test, and found out that her highest strength was social intelligence. So her job was to recraft waitressing using social intelligence much more. She decided to make an encounter with her the highlight of each customer’s evening. Waitressing became more fun, and the tips became larger.


If you do this, statistically, 6 months later, you will experience less depression, less anxiety, more life satisfaction.


I took the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. See footnote below to get a sense of what the test is like.


Take the VIA Survey to discover your character strengths. Click on the image below to get started.


The Authentic Happiness website.

The Website for the VIA Institute on Character. Pay special attention to the VIA Resource Center.


The VIA Survey of Character Strengths

The test consists of 240 questions. You answer each one by selecting one of five choices:

  • Very Much Like Me
  • Like Me
  • Neutral
  • Unlike Me
  • Very Much Unlike Me

Here are the first ten questions:

  1. I find the world a very interesting place.
  2. I always go out of my way to attend educational events.
  3. I always identify the reasons for my actions.
  4. Being able to come up with new and different ideas is one of my strong points.
  5. I am very aware of my surroundings.
  6. I always have a broad outlook on what is going on.
  7. I have taken frequent stands in the face of strong opposition.
  8. I never quit a task before it is done.
  9. I always keep my promises.
  10. I am never too busy to help a friend.

My Results

Your Top Strength

Kindness and generosity –

You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favor. You enjoy doing good deeds for others, even if you do not know them well.


Your Second Strength

Forgiveness and mercy –

You forgive those who have done you wrong. You always give people a second chance. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.


Strength #3

Bravery and valor –

You are a courageous person who does not shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if there is opposition. You act on your convictions.


Strength #4

Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness –

Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.


Strength #5

Fairness, equity, and justice –

Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

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