Character Strengths

Character Strengths

Inspiration Hub , Personal Growth

Peterson and Seligman (2004) studied Character Strengths and virtues, and identified 24 Character Strengths that seem to be stable, morally valued by every culture and hold true across time and geographic borders. They can be manifested through thinking, feeling and action.

These 24 strengths reside within six virtues, namely, wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence which are treasured within the larger society.  

Although Character Strengths can be influenced by innate factors, acquired factors are more important. Those who used their character strengths in work, school, family, friends and community etc., would experience a greater sense of satisfaction and more meaningful life. 


Character Strengths

Wisdom and Knowledge

Creativity, Curiosity, Judgment, Love of Learning, Perspective


Bravery, Perseverance, Honesty, Zest


Love, Kindness, Social Intelligence


Teamwork, Fairness, Leadership 


Forgiveness, Humility, Prudence, Self-Regulation 


Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, Gratitude, Hope, Humor, Spirituality

In order to determine one’s predominant character strengths, Peterson and Seligman developed the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS). The VIA-IS ranks Character Strengths in the order that people tend to express them, and the ones that are most often and naturally used are Signature Strengths. The VIA-IS can be obtained from:

Exercise time 
Fill in the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) to find out your own Signature Character strengths by visiting  

  1. Choose one of your Signature Strengths – the one that represents you the most, makes you feel the easiest to use, and energizes you;

  2. Identify a new way to express this strength each day;

  3. Express the strength in a new way each day for at least 1 week.

What are your top 5 Character Strengths? Is it as expected? Or is it a new discovery? 

This exercise was found to have long-term benefits to adults who do it every day, such as increased happiness and decreased depression (e.g. such effect could be maintained for 6 months). Researches repeatedly showed that putting our character strengths and values into action is associated with better personal well-being, life satisfaction and a meaningful and pleasurable life.

Further reading:

Tips for Using Each Character Strength in a New Way: