I remember working for someone many, many years ago and reaching a point when I received a sort of promotion in the form of more money towards my salary. Even though I appreciated receiving more for the work I was putting in, because I did deserve it, as I am extremely reliable, serious and hard working, that did not make me happier or feeling more accomplished or believing of myself to be successful. And that’s because success to me translates to something totally different than what might signify to you or to other people.
I find success to be something personal and the word itself means something different to another person. Even to you, reading this out, success might come in the form of a huge following online, getting lots of clients or customers, achieving a specific level up, going up in the walk of life or simply more money, more power to buy certain things or services.
I realized that this definition we all have for success comes from our core values and our character strengths. Every single one of us is different and we all have different values and character traits and strengths. A couple of years ago, when discovering the positive psychology field, I read the basics of it and where it all started and that was through Martin Seligmans books. One of them explored the idea of the science of our characters and a survey he created along with late Dr. Christopher Peterson, changed my world.
I discovered that what would make me happy in work so that I can tell the world the well known affirmation I am successful, accomplished and happy with my life is made up of 6 character strengths put into 4 core values categories. Understanding these concepts, makes it easier for me and for you as well, if you would like to take the survey (VIA classification survey) to cope with your personal story of the meaning of success and to be happy in life.
These character strengths I owe are as follows: ranking first place – appreciation of beauty and excellence, second place, creativity, third place honesty, forth place, love, fifth place judgement and sixth place love of learning. These concepts which in their own significance explain so much more about what success and happiness in life is, make me who I am and how I am. Appreciation of beauty and excellence is something I work with through my blog, through all the small (or large) businesses I follow and enjoy shopping from as beauty is not just being beautiful, beauty is something from within too, beauty is being eco friendly, beauty is shopping ethically, beauty is being kind, compassionate, beauty is spirituality and appreciation of art, nature, music, writing, dance, everything that is beautiful in my own realm of beauty. And if you have this character strength, then whatever you are attracted to, that is your way of displaying appreciation of beauty and excellence. I find excellency comes from that beauty, as beauty is something close to perfection and perfection is very hard to attain, it is connected to doing your best in everything you do to obtain that excellent job. And that is beauty too. I am sharing my appreciation of beauty and excellence in this post here. Find out what I appreciate, follow and to whom I would like to collaborate, who inspires me and what composes my human nature and being.
Creativity is my second character strength and something I need to use to be happy with the work I put. Growing up, I always attempted to learn how to be creative and to actually display creativity and to make sure I would become a formidable human being, much like an artist that changes the world, failing to recognize that I am already creative and you are too. We are all creative already. Doing exercises to improve or enhance or boost our creative natures is helpful and advisable especially for the brain, that always seeks new food, however, exercising it needs to go more on the side of practicing rather than just reading about it. I like to be creative. I like to do things in a different way, I find this is something that makes me stand out. That forces me to be put into the light. But I want to be creative not for the sake of it, rather to bring something useful, meaningful and enjoyable to humanity too. Maybe this is why I am writing on this blog, maybe this is why I studied psychology and have always wanted to work in a field of psychology that is new, different, more creative and have always found that positive psychology is something I am passionate about, ecopsychology is a new field I am interested in, graphotherapy, which I find extremely useful and easy to put into practice or color therapy that is so wonderful to work with, art therapies and everything in this modern world that is innovative, such as video therapy or the blooming of Virtual world and devices, that will probably come up with a way to do virtual therapy too. I am all into that. Love is and would be something I would look forward to contribute with. And to do that, I have the other character strengths to help with, one of which would be the love of learning and judgement. These last 2 concepts are valuable to me just as much as all the others are, because I am a life long learner and I enjoy finding new things out, I discover that this trait makes me very open minded. Being open minded is very important for the present time and it will be for the future as well, because lots of innovations will come to us and we need to be open to learning and to judge its need into our own inner worlds. Judgement is a character strength I currently work with actually, because I am working in the Fraud Department in a call center, and this along with the other core strength which ranks third, that is honesty, is making me resist in the job I do, even though it is a call center. Honesty is also connected to appreciation of beauty and excellence. Excellence can only be attained through honesty, through love. Love of people and of truth. And then we end up this self centered speech (although sometimes, we need to be self centered to make sure we do know ourselves and we are able to find out right place in this world) with my most important character strength that I do not believe finds much place in the workplace, rather in my personal life, which is love. Family life is the one that matters mostly for me and love is needed for me to maintain my balance, my purpose, my vision. And love is included into appreciation of beauty and excellence as well, because it can speak of humanity, of spirituality, of wisdom, of life. What would life be without love?
The core virtues are composed by all your character strength and they mention a notion that encompasses it all under one name. My core virtues are transcendence, wisdom, courage and humanity. What does this mean? It means that under these names falls everything that will make me happy, will make me feel successful, will make me feel and be accomplished. I am working on all these aspects, and based on Martin Seligman’s approach, if you work with only 4 of your character strengths (at your current job), you will feel happy in work and ultimately that brings happiness into your life, as you feel successful since you are working with your character strengths. With your strengths, which I believe show your passions, show where your talents are and portray your vision of life, and maybe your mission, if you dig deeper.
What are your character strengths and do you use them in your work life?