For The Love Of Our Strengths

Creativity. Bravery. Persistence. Teamwork. These, amongst 20 other character strengths, and 6 virtues are what we as intricately designed human beings innately have weaved into ur DNA.

It's sometimes really quite difficult to recognise and acknowledge that as individuals, we possess such unbelievably wonderful character strengths, and ultimately, collectively come together to form a society that could make such a positive difference in the world.

If only we could consciously understand what our strengths are, and how we can put them to good use in our day to day activities. This could then become cemented in to our sub-conscious belief system forming a basis to infiltrate our habits.

Oh....but wait... We can! This is where it all gets very exciting!

I've always believed and preached that knowledge is power. When we are educated, then truly amazing things happen. We grow and flourish in many areas of our life. And we enable ourselves to expand our conscious awareness of who we are as people in this ever changing world. The character strengths and virtues that reside within us help us to shine in many unique ways. It helps us to control stress, overcome challenges, be happier and more satisfied, and build relationships that are healthier and stronger.

The VIA Institute On Character is an organisation the dives deep into the incredible research of character strengths. They have wonderfully created an opportunity for people to take a survey, where they can discover for themselves what their character strengths are. Ranking them from your strongest to your weakest strengths, there is a survey specifically designed for people aged 10-17 years, and those who are 18 years and older. ("The VIA Survey is the only free, scientific survey of character strengths in the world. Take this simple character test in 15 minutes or less and reveal your greatest strengths." - VIA Institute On Character)

Personally, I take the test once a year, and have done so for the past three years. To date, my most recent strength is Kindness. Closely followed by Love, and then Love of Learning. Completing the survey gives me the opportunity to recognise within myself what strengths drive me to be who I am. Might I add, that every time I have taken the survey, my top three strengths have changed. And this is simply due to the obvious fact, that I, as a person am changing and evolving. My reality and the world around me changes, and so my innate ability to be adaptable means that my strengths are adaptable too. Depending on the current situations of my reality, means that I sub-consciously hone in to whatever particular strength I need at that time to be the best version of myself that I can be.

It's important to realise that we all carry within us 24 character strengths. It's our individual uniqueness that makes our personal strengths shine.

So, I would like to encourage you to take on three challenges...

Firstly, take the survey for yourself. I can honestly tell you, that whilst you may approach the survey with an element of curiosity, tainted slightly with perhaps a little bit of scepticism, there is an unspeakable sense of calm that overtakes you when you receive the results.

Secondly, encourage the people you live with to take the survey too. There is great power in understanding the strengths of those who are closest to you.

Thirdly, and this is potentially the most difficult...try to focus not only on your own strengths, but also on the strengths of each other on a daily basis.

If you are a student reading this blog, I encourage you to approach your studies, your siblings, your friends, your parents, and the many other areas of your life with your top three strengths as your driving force. Try to keep in focus these strengths when times get tough, and you become frustrated. Remember, if you remain in touch and connected with your new found knowledge, you will be greater than your struggles.

And for the parents out there reading this, I urge you to start looking through the lens of positivity, and observe your child's strengths. The research of strength-based parenting from Prof. Lea Waters within the Centre for Positive Psychology at Melbourne University is extremely insightful. Her work explores the powerful results parents can achieve when they focus on their child's strengths, rather than trying to correct their weaknesses.

It's imperative we understand that who we are as individuals is quite simply, a marvellous concoction of wonderful characteristics and personality traits. So for the love of our strengths, remember to live each day to the fullest knowing that you have 24 of them to let shine.




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