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‘The Strengths List’ – An Extract from the Joy of Writing Things Down

By October 14, 2021No Comments
Dr Megan C Hayes

Extract pp. 54-55 | Publisher: Greenfinch (27 May 2021) | Text copyright ©2021 Megan C Hayes | Illustration copyright ©2021 Quercus Editions Ltd | Illustrations by Romy Palstra | All rights reserved

The Strengths List

One list that might serve to motivate us more than any other is a list of our individual character strengths, also known by psychologists as our ‘values in action’. These strengths are reflected in our behaviours, relationships, careers, feelings and thoughts.

Researchers in the USA have found that acknowledging and applying our individual strengths in our lives serves to support us both in overcoming times of adversity as well as thriving in times of opportunity.* They have identified 24 character strengths that appear to broadly apply across cultures, social groups and generations.

Your Signature Strength

While each of us will possess all of the strengths listed to some degree, we can all probably recognize a number of signature strengths – often regarded as our ‘top five’ (but you might choose a top six, or ten, or more). You could either choose these from the list below, or take the free survey available at viacharacter.org to identify your top strengths.

Dr Megan C Hayes

Identifying Your Strengths

Once you have identified your strengths, you might simply write this list out and place it somewhere you will see it often, such as above your work desk or on your fridge. You might take this further by listing some of the ways in which you are already applying this strength in your life, or perhaps ways you would like to apply it.

Create a Strength List

Once you have identified your strengths, you might simply write this list out and place it somewhere you will see it often, such as above your work desk or on your fridge. You might take this further by listing some of the ways in which you are already applying this strength in your life, or perhaps ways you would like to apply it.

Appreciating beauty

Bravery

Creativity

Curiosity

Fairness

Forgiveness

Gratitude

Honesty

Hope

Humility

Humour

Judgement

Kindness

Leadership

Love of learning

Loving/Being loved

Perseverance

Perspective

Prudence

Self-Regulation

Social intelligence

Spirituality

Teamwork

Zest & Vitality

You can find signed copies of Dr Megan Hayes’ book the Joy of Writing Things Down here. 

*Ryan M Niemiec, ‘Six Functions of Character Strengths for Thriving

at Times of Adversity and Opportunity: A Theoretical Perspective’, Applied Research in Quality of Life 15, no. 2 (2020): 551–572.

 

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