Discover Your 24-Carat Self with the VIA Survey of Character Strengths

We’re heading in to the second week of the new year.

Not to get all Dr. Phil on you, but how are those resolutions working for you?

No matter what you called them – resolutions, intentions, hopes and dreams – if you’re one of the folks who declared that you’ll change something in your life in 2013, chances are about one in three that you’ll wash out before Groundhog Day. Frankly, I was a little surprised that, according to a poll by the survey-taking types at Franklin Covey, nearly 65% of resolvers make it that far.

And I don’t believe for a moment that 35% of us fail because we’re a bunch of lazy slackers.

I think a big reason that resolutions are so hard to keep is because they’re nearly always about something we lack, framed as the need to fix something we think is wrong with us, instead of maximizing what’s already great about us: our strengths.

One reason my clients and I find the VIA Survey of Character Strengths so helpfulĀ  is because it shows us the ways in which we have all of the strengths we need to create sustainable well-being while we do our thing in the world.

The 24 Carats of You

The “VIA”was developed by positive psychology researchers Christopher Peterson, Martin Seligman, and Nansook Park to help people better understand and maximize their character strengths. Through years of research, they identified 24 morally valued ways of thinking, feeling, and acting in the world that have been valued in all cultures, since the beginning of recorded history.

Here’s the really cool part: we all have all 24.

In a tweet, it goes something like this:

VIA: 24 character strengths, valued everywhere throughout history, WE ALL GOT ‘EM ALL

Know and Use All 24 Carats of You

Knowing your VIA strengths, and maximizing your top strengths, won’t just help you with your resolutions. Significant research indicates that maximizing your top strengths and using them in new ways can lead to increased positive emotion, greater resilience, and the ability to continue to grow and develop over a lifetime, what Seligman calls flourishing.

Here’s how to get started discovering and maximizing your character strengths.

Start by taking the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. (You’ll find it under the “Questionnaires” menu.)

Download your report, print it out if you like, and look it over. (It’s free, but you’ll need to register at the site. No worries about signing up for a mailing list; you won’t get email as a result of signing up, but you will get continued access to your results.)

Notice that all 24 character strengths show up on your report. Yes, you have them all.

Then check in here over the next few weeks – or better yet, sign up for my mailing list so you don’t miss any posts. All month, I’ll be sharing ways to identify your signature strengths, the ones that come most naturally to you, and helping you figure out to use them in new ways.

Your 24-Carat Shine

Know the order of your character strengths.

Maximize your signature strengths and use them in new ways.

Become more happy, resilient, flourishing. Long-term.

Now there’s a resolution to keep.


image: stealth_sly via Pixabay; used with permission

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