Character Strengths

Please note, some of these ideas and concepts may not align with your values, beliefs, morals, or ethics. They are meant to be for educational purposes only. I encourage you to read about at least one strength per day, and reflect on how you could practice or embody these in your daily life. Read more about character strengths below the table of contents.


Wisdom & Knowledge

Creativity | Curiosity | Open-Mindedness | Love of Learning | Perspective 


Honesty | Bravery | Persistence | Zest 


Kindness | Love | Social Intelligence


Fairness | Leadership | Teamwork 


Forgiveness | Modesty | Prudence | Self-Regulation 


Appreciation of Beauty | Gratitude | Hope | Humor | Religiousness

Learning about character strengths and applying them in life is crucial for mental health, resilience, and improved satisfaction with life for several reasons:

Self-Discovery and Self-Awareness:

Learning about character strengths helps individuals identify their core qualities, abilities, and values. This self-discovery process fosters self-awareness, enabling individuals to better understand their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth. This knowledge forms the basis for personal development and the cultivation of a positive self-identity.

Positive Mindset and Mental Health:

Embracing and utilizing character strengths promotes a positive mindset. By focusing on one’s strengths, individuals can shift their attention away from perceived deficiencies or negative self-perceptions. This shift positively impacts mental health by enhancing self-esteem, self-confidence, and overall well-being.

Resilience and Coping Skills:

Character strengths are closely linked to resilience. When faced with adversity, individuals who are aware of their strengths can draw upon them as internal resources to cope with challenges. Leveraging strengths provides a sense of empowerment, optimism, and motivation, which supports individuals in bouncing back and adapting to difficult circumstances.

Goal Achievement and Success:

Understanding and applying character strengths enhances goal achievement and success. When individuals align their goals and activities with their strengths, they tap into their natural abilities and motivation. This alignment increases engagement, persistence, and satisfaction, increasing the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes.

Meaning and Purpose:

Character strengths often align with activities and pursuits that are personally meaningful and fulfilling. Engaging in activities that utilize one’s strengths creates a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and fulfillment. It allows individuals to contribute their unique talents to something larger than themselves, which enhances overall life satisfaction.

Positive Relationships and Social Connection:

Recognizing and valuing character strengths in oneself and others promotes positive relationships and social connection. By appreciating and utilizing strengths, individuals can better understand and support each other, fostering empathy, trust, and mutual respect. This strengthens social connections and contributes to a sense of belonging and well-being.

Continuous Growth and Development:

Learning about character strengths encourages ongoing personal growth and development. It provides a framework for individuals to assess their strengths, set goals, and intentionally cultivate and refine their strengths over time. This commitment to growth supports lifelong learning, adaptability, and a sense of progress and purpose.

Exploring Character Strengths and Virtues: Insights from Peterson and Seligman

In their groundbreaking book, “Character Strengths and Virtues,” authors Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman delve into the fascinating world of positive psychology. Their work focuses on understanding and nurturing character strengths and virtues, offering valuable insights for personal growth and well-being. In this article, we will review and outline the key concepts presented in their book, exploring the power of character strengths and virtues to enhance our lives.

The Positive Psychology Movement:

Peterson and Seligman’s work is situated within the framework of positive psychology, a field that shifts the focus from mental illness and dysfunction to the study of well-being and human flourishing. This approach encourages individuals to build on their existing strengths and virtues rather than solely addressing weaknesses or deficits.

Character Strengths:

One of the fundamental aspects of Peterson and Seligman’s work is the identification and classification of 24 character strengths. These strengths are considered to be universal across cultures and have a positive impact on individuals and society. Some examples of these strengths include courage, wisdom, kindness, gratitude, perseverance, and creativity.

Virtues and Their Importance:

In addition to character strengths, the authors emphasize the significance of virtues, which they define as core qualities that guide moral behavior. Peterson and Seligman identify six virtues that are recognized and valued in various cultures worldwide: wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. These virtues serve as guiding principles that help individuals lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.

The Classification System:

To provide a comprehensive understanding of character strengths and virtues, Peterson and Seligman created a classification system known as the VIA Classification of Strengths. This system helps individuals identify and develop their unique strengths. By recognizing and cultivating these strengths, individuals can enhance their well-being and lead more authentic lives.

Applying Character Strengths:

Peterson and Seligman emphasize the importance of utilizing character strengths in various aspects of life. They propose that incorporating these strengths into daily activities, relationships, and professional pursuits leads to greater satisfaction and success. By leveraging their strengths, individuals can overcome challenges, build resilience, and experience a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Cultivating Virtues:

The authors stress that virtues can be developed and strengthened through intentional practice. For instance, individuals can cultivate wisdom and knowledge by seeking new experiences and learning opportunities. Practicing kindness and compassion allows individuals to enhance their humanity. Engaging in acts of justice and fairness fosters a sense of social responsibility, and self-discipline promotes temperance. Finally, experiencing awe, gratitude, and spirituality can contribute to a sense of transcendence.


Peterson and Seligman’s work on character strengths and virtues provides a valuable roadmap for personal growth and flourishing. By identifying and cultivating our unique strengths, we can unlock our full potential and lead more meaningful lives. Embracing the virtues enables us to align our actions with our values, promoting well-being not only for ourselves but also for the communities we belong to. By incorporating these insights into our daily lives, we can embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and self-improvement.

Learning about character strengths and applying them in life has profound implications for mental health, resilience, and overall satisfaction with life. It promotes self-awareness, positive mindset, and resilience, while enhancing goal achievement, meaningful engagement, positive relationships, and continuous personal growth. Embracing and utilizing character strengths contributes to a more fulfilling and flourishing life.


Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. (2004). 

Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification (Vol. 1)