Positive psychology research studies indicate that people are happier, more creative, and more productive when utilizing what psychologists call their signature strengths.
Identifying your personal strengths and then consciously incorporating them into daily activities will bring greater happiness and life satisfaction.
In the following, you’ll find Martin Seligman’s 24 signature strengths.
1. Love of Learning
You love learning new things, whether you are in a class or on your own. You find opportunities to learn wherever you go and what ever you do.
2. Bravery (valor)
You don’t shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if you encounter opposition and act on convictions even if they are unpopular.
3. Vitality (zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy)
You approach life with zest, enthusiasm, and energy – For you, life is an adventure.
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.
5. Appreciation of beauty and excellence (awe, wonder, elevation)
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and skilled performance in all domains of life.
6. Humor (playfulness)
You like to laugh and tease. You try to see the light side of all situations.
7. Creativity (originality, ingenuity)
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.
8. Curiosity (interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience)
You take an interest in all of ongoing experience for its own sake. You find subjects and topics fascinating, and love exploring and discovering.
9. Open-mindedness (judgment, critical thinking)
You tend to think things through and examine them from all sides. You don’t jump to conclusions and are able to change your mind in light of evidence.
10. Perspective (wisdom)
You are able to provide wise counsel to others. You have ways of looking at the world that make sense to yourself and to other people.
11. Persistence (perseverance, industriousness)
You work hard to finish what you start. No matter what the project is, you get it done in time.
12. Integrity [authenticity, honesty]
You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way.
You value close relations with others. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.
14. Kindness (generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”)
You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favour.
15. Social Intelligence (emotional intelligence, personal intelligence)
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.
Treating all people fairly is one of your most important principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people.
You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. You always take the time to express your thanks.
18. Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]
You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.
19. Spirituality [religiousness, faith, purpose]
You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe.
20. Forgiveness and mercy
You forgive those who have done you wrong. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.
21. Self-regulation [self-control]
You regulate what you feel and what you do. You are a disciplined person.
22. Citizenship [social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork]
You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate.
You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special.
You are a careful person. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.
Signature Strengths and Brain Fitness
Determining your signature strengths and operating from them is a process that can be made a bit easier when we are also operating with a brain that is very fit.
Didn't know you could work out your brain?
This book, Brainfit for Life written by Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D. will explain the concept of brain fitness clearly and concisely.
There are five pillars of brain fitness to attend to, physical activity/exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress management, and novel learning experiences, which might include utilizing computerized brain fitness programs or studying for an online degree.
Alvaro Fernandez in his book with Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D, The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, had this to say about the brain that we will use with our signature strengths, "The human brain is now considered to be a highly dynamic and constantly reorganizing system capable of being shaped and reshaped across an entire lifespan. The key words in this new approach to the brain are neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. Neuroplasticity refers to the life long capacity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stimulation of learning and experience. Neurogenesis is the ability to create new neurons and connections between neurons thoughout a lifetime....This new paradigm contrasts with traditional ideas of the human brain being a fixed and essentially limited system that only degrades with age."
Until a few years ago, no one knew that our brains grew new brain cells, and no one knew about how our neurons were actively seeking connections with other neurons.
Imagine how easy that process would be if I was operating from my signature strengths?
There are a number of computerized brain fitness programs available to use to enhance the brain that houses your signature strengths.
The programs I have used and recommend are the Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Program, the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program, and the Lumosity Program.
And the stress management program recommended by Alvaro Fernandez?