Finding and using your signature strength
Your signature strength is something you can use to improve the quality of your life, relationships, and more.
There are several ways to discover your signature strength; if you're not sure, there are several tests you can take online or at a psychologist's.
I was pleased and honestly not surprised that the capacity to love and be loved ended up being my top strength. I value my loved ones and have always considered myself to be a caring person willing to take on the responsibilities of loving others.
At first, I felt somewhat confused and uncertain as to using my signature strength in a new way. For some reason, I believed that since my ability to love is my greatest strength, it is already a great part of my life and the way I approach it. However, I soon discovered there are several different and fun ways to express my love for others, especially those who also care about me.
The first situation in which I used my supposed signature strength was when one of my best friends called while I was on the other line with my boyfriend. I had a feeling I should swap lines and speak with her, and sure enough, she was having relationship issues and said I was the only one who could help her. I felt a bit pressured as I knew my boyfriend had waited all day to call, but I hadn't talked to my friend in a while, so I told my boyfriend I'd have to call him later, which was difficult. However, my friend then told me she was having relationship problems and that I was the only one who could help her. I cared for her enough to listen to her plight and give her my opinion, which wasn't the easiest to do but I felt it was necessary for her to hear. In the end I was glad I took the time to listen to my friend and tell her what I truly thought about her dilemma.
Since my family loves mail (my mother in particular), I took the time to send both cards in both snail mail and e-mail forms. I was comfortable sending these cards, but I took it a step further and sent an e-card to my roommate, whom I currently haven't really been talking to but is my best friend. Though I was slightly anxious pressing the "send" button, I thought it would be positive to let her know I still care no matter what.
My parents love it when I come home to visit, so I made a special five-hour trip to my hometown this weekend and surprised them both. I had to make sure to finish all my homework and other weekly engagements beforehand so I could give them the attention they deserved. It was a mutually enjoyable experience spending my time with them this weekend and it reaffirmed my belief that authentic love is something to look forward to and appreciate.
It is rare for me to speak to, let alone hang out with, my little brother for a lack of time. Thus I made special plans to go out with him the last night of the weekend. We went bowling and then spent more than an hour talking about the things we'd been missing out on between each other for the past few weeks. It was a great opportunity to reconnect and caused me to see that I should keep in contact with him more often.
I ended the week by being with my boyfriend, which was even more rewarding than I expected. We had made plans to go dancing, shopping and eating out at a restaurant, but as we came together we ended up spending no money and purely enjoying each other's company. We went for a run, window-shopped and made dinner and dessert at home. We even washed the dishes together.
Finally, in a general sense, I used my signature strength to enjoy life even more than I usually do. When I boarded the city transit bus and looked at the people around me, I realized how each person has a personality, a life, the potential for good. At this moment I also noted how much I love the human race and that would be willing to dedicate my career and other random acts to kindness to.
- What are Your Signature Strengths? Goodlife Zen
- Secrets of Wellbeing Series — Part 2: Using Your Signature Strengths | Goodlife Zen
Is life is exhausting and frustrating? Or is it easy and exhilarating? Aligning your life to your signature strengths may be the key to more ease and joy.
- :: Authentic Happiness :: Using the new Positive Psychology