Know Thyself

In my blog post Why Are You Doing This Business? 12 Questions to Uncovering Your Dreams, Vision and Mission, point number seven asked you to notice your strengths. Noticing strengths is sometimes hard for folks as they feel they come across as egotistical if they talk about their strengths. On the contrary, knowing your strengths gives you a better sense of self and in terms of being an entrepreneur, gives you a better chance of success.  First you will be able to choose the kind of business best suited to your strengths and second you know where you need to get help with the areas you are not strong in. So this knowledge is extremely important for entrepreneurial success.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss 24 personal character strengths. Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association and founder of the modern positive psychology movement and Christopher Peterson, professor at the University of Michigan since 1986 and member of the Positive Psychology Steering Committee, spent three years researching strengths.

They came up with a list of personal character strengths. Here are the 24 strengths of character at present, grouped in 6 categories:

Strengths of Wisdom and Knowledge: Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge.

1. Creativity [originality, ingenuity]: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things.

2. Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]: Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; exploring and discovering.

3. Open-mindedness [judgment, critical thinking]: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; weighing all evidence fairly.

4. Love of learning: Mastering new skills, topics and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally.

5. Perspective [wisdom]: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people.

Strengths of Courage: Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external and internal.

6. Bravery [valor]: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; acting on convictions even if unpopular.

7. Persistence [perseverance, industriousness]: Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles.

8. Integrity [authenticity, honesty]: Presenting oneself in a genuine way; taking responsibility for one’s feeling and actions.

9. Vitality [zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]: Approaching life with excitement and energy; feeling alive and activated.

Strengths of Humanity: interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others.

10. Love: Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated.

11. Kindness [generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”]: Doing favors and good deeds for others.

12. Social intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself.

Strengths of Justice: Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life.

13. Citizenship [social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork]: Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group.

14. Fairness: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others.

15. Leadership: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same maintain time good relations within the group.

Strengths of Temperance: strengths that protect against excess.

16. Forgiveness and mercy: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful.

17. Humility / Modesty: Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.

18. Prudence: Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.

19. Self-regulation [self-control]: Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions.

Strengths of Transcendence: strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning.

20. Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]: Appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life.

21. Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful of the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.

22. Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it.

23. Humor [playfulness]: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side.

24. Spirituality [religiousness, faith, purpose]: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose, the meaning of life, and the meaning of the universe.

If you would like to find out more about your strengths, check out the VIA Survey of Character Strengths at http://www.authentichappiness.com.

Here’s to your success!

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Until next time,

Charlene

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