Everyone has a unique set of characteristics or strengths. When you ‘work’ with these strengths life doesn’t feel like work at all, instead it feels effortless and fun. You feel happy and in touch with who you really are. In contrast if you aren’t utilizing your strengths you feel as though there is something missing in your life.

When you are using your strengths you feel invigorated, energized and alive – like the energizer bunny you could keep going for hours. Compare this to when you aren’t working with a strengths – you quickly feel exhausted. Another interesting thing is you don’t have to mentally psych yourself up or motivate yourself to do a task when you are using your strengths. There is a natural desire or pull towards the activity.

So what are YOUR strengths? In their book “Character Strengths and Virtues” Psychologists Peterson and Seligman identified 24 personal strengths which they grouped into 6 categories

As you read the list below see which resonate the most with you.

Personal Strengths of Wisdom and Knowledge
1. Creativity
You think of new and original ways to do things.
2. Curiosity
Always very interested in the world around you.
3. Open-Mindedness
Open to new ideas, non-judgmental, able to see both sides.
4. Love of Learning
A student of life, love constantly learning new knowledge and skills
5. Perspective
See the world with perspective and wisdom

Personal Strengths of Courage
6. Bravery
Act without fear of physical or emotional threat.
7. Persistence
Have an “I started so I will finish” attitude
8. Integrity
Act in a genuine, authentic and honest way.
9. Vitality
Have zest, enthusiasm and energy for life.

Personal Strengths of Humanity
10. Love
Place a high value on the close relationships you have with others
11. Kindness
Happy to perform good deeds for others with care and compassion
12. Social intelligence
Have your finger on the pulse of the emotions of the people around you.

Personal Strengths of Justice
13. Citizenship
Loyal team member
14. Fairness
Treat all people equally with no bias
15. Leadership
Maintain good relationships with the group while moving them forward

Personal Strengths of Temperance
16. Forgiveness
Able to forgive others and not hold a grudge
17. Humility
Displays modesty, let your accomplishments speak for themselves rather than brag
18. Prudence
Are cautious, thinks of consequences before taking action
19. Self-Regulation
Able to control own emotions and impulses

Personal Strengths of Transcendence
20. Appreciation of Beauty and excellence
Appreciate natural and man-made beauty in the world
21. Gratitude
Is thankful. Count your blessings
22. Hope
Always optimist about the future
23. Humour
Laughs readily,gives laughter to those around you.
24. Spirituality
Believes there is a higher purpose, has faith.

When you read the following list you will probably resonate with almost all of them!. However the trick is to narrow down your strengths to just 3 to 5.

Now that you know what your strengths are, start to make changes in your life so that you are using your strengths at work and at play.

When you focus on your weaknesses, through hard work and effort you can get by, but why waste all that time and energy when you can focus on your strengths excel and have fun as well?

Identify your strengths using this list
Think about how you again use your strengths in all aspects of your life.
Ask yourself ‘Are there any new activities I would like to include in my life”?
Ask yourself “Are there any activities I am currently doing that I would like to exclude from my life”?
Start to enjoy how easy and fun life is when you are working with your strengths.

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