Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, says that, if you wish to live a full life - beyond simply a pleasant, good or meaningful life -, you have to experience positive emotions about the past and future, savor positive feelings from the pleasures, derive abundant gratification from your signature strengths and use these strengths in the service of something larger to obtain meaning (in Authentic Happiness).
If you want to find out what your 'signature strengths' are (your Top 5 character strengths, M. Seligman would say), there is a free online test you can take here. While you do need to register, the survey is available in many languages and you can choose the one that fits you best. It takes several minutes but it is definitely worthwhile.
Your signature strengths are not necessarily the same throughout your whole life. Yet knowing your signature strengths will allow you to more consciously rely on them almost on a daily basis. And this is key to living a full life!
My top 3 signature strengths, for example, are Judgement, Love of Learning and Perspective, all of which fall under the virtue of Wisdom and Knowledge. No surprise then that I found coaching and training to be one of my callings! ;) [You can read a short description of each strength and virtue here]
So, this summer take some time to find your signature strengths! And invite your friends, family and community to do that too (there is also a survey version for children 10-17 years old). Reflecting on them and sharing them with others will allow better to understand yourself and others, as well as to create new ways of building on your distinct strengths to create a happier life for all. I'd love to hear all about it! What are your signature strengths?
(First published: 21 June 2019)