The authentic happiness website which has been created by the positive psychology programme at University of Pennsylvania has some outstanding tools and surveys that anyone can take for free. One of my favourites is the key strength survey.
Key strengths are 24 abilities or capacities that each of us exhibit to a different degree. There is a huge value to the individual in knowing what they have to offer. And in the spirit of positive psychology, to focus on identifying strengths. By using the strengths we already naturally have from day to day, we become more effective in our lives and more aware of everything we have to offer to ourselves and those around us.
I took the test myself last summer. My results are below. So while I know that hard work and self control are not my greatest qualities, when I look at the list of strengths that are ranked above those two, I have to say this really chimes in with my core values and beliefs. Curiosity, Creativity, Love of Learning and Appreciation are truly what I am about. That justice and fairness came second was a slight surprise, but a moment’s reflection reminds me, yes, I really care about equality and I’m proud if that is reflected in what I do.
That kind of reflection and self knowledge really accelerates empowerment and building self esteem. If we know what he have to offer, we can focus on offering it, valuing it and valuing ourselves.
Here are my results in full.
|Your Top Strength|
|Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.
|Your Second Strength|
|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.
|Your Third Strength|
|Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.
|Your Fourth Strength|
|Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.
|Your Fifth Strength|
|Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.
Although you may not think of yourself as wise, your friends hold this view of you. They value your perspective on matters and turn to you for advice. You have a way of looking at the world that makes sense to others and to yourself.
|Capacity to love and be loved
You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.
|Humor and playfulness
You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.
|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.
|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.
You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.
|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.
|Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty
You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, you always do your share, and you work hard for the success of your group.
You excel at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. You do a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.
|Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you.
|Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness
You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.
|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.
You are aware of the motives and feelings of other people. You know what to do to fit in to different social situations, and you know what to do to put others at ease.
|Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
Regardless of what you do, you approach it with excitement and energy. You never do anything halfway or halfheartedly. For you, life is an adventure.
|Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness
You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way. You are down to earth and without pretense; you are a “real” person.
|Modesty and humility
You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special, and others recognize and value your modesty.
|Caution, prudence, and discretion
You are a careful person, and your choices are consistently prudent ones. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.
|Self-control and self-regulation
You self-consciously regulate what you feel and what you do. You are a disciplined person. You are in control of your appetites and your emotions, not vice versa.
|Industry, diligence, and perseverance
You work hard to finish what you start. No matter the project, you “get it out the door” in timely fashion. You do not get distracted when you work, and you take satisfaction in completing tasks.