What makes you unique and different from other people is your character. Your character is made up of strengths that are valued by other people. Character strengths are things like creativity, bravery, kindness, fairness – there are 24 in all.
A person’s top 5 strengths are called their signature strengths. When you use your signature strengths, you are at your personal best. You probably feel energized, unstoppable, joyful and engaged. Instead of getting tired, the more you use your signature strengths the more energetic you feel. This is the “real you” when you are working your signature strengths.
Using signature strengths increases happiness, productivity and self-esteem. Everyone has a set of strengths, but many people – as many as 1 person in 3 – can’t say what their strengths are. You can’t use your signature strengths if you don’t know what they are.
Knowing and using your signature strengths is important because
- It helps define your strengths and what people value in you. For example if your signature strengths are open-mindedness, creativity, honesty, love of learning and perseverance you can start thinking about yourself as someone who is “an open-minded, creative, honest person who loves to learn and finishes what they start.” Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
- You can find ways to use your signature strengths every day to increase happiness, productivity and satisfaction.
- You can use your signature strengths to help find solutions to challenges that you, your family or your co-workers are facing.
- You can even use your signature strengths to make a boring task more interesting.
You can take a free on-line test to help you get a deeper understanding of your character strengths. The VIA Survey of Character Strengths takes about 45 minutes to complete, and you will get your results immediately. To take the test, go to www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu