We are all unique and we all have strengths which allow us to contribute to the world. In the early 2000’s, Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson developed the VIA Character Strengths. Their research determined that there are 24 common character strengths that each of us possess to one degree or another, giving us a common language to use, but still recognizing that each of us is unique.
Each of these Character Strengths fall under one of six broad categories called Virtues. These Virtues and Character Strengths have proven to be universal across cultures and nations. Over the next few weeks, we will explore each of the 24 strengths that we all share, yet make you uniquely you!
We will start with the Virtue of Wisdom, which brings together those strengths used to gather and use knowledge.
The Character Strength of Love of Learning is very closely related to Curiosity, but still brings it's own gifts. Where Curiosity can be a motivation to seek out new information, Love of Learning is grounded in studying new topics or acquiring new skills with the intention to grow the body of knowledge. This strength drives the acquisition of new knowledge, even when there may not be an obvious or immediate benefit to it.
When Love of Learning is absent, it can manifest as complacency. It's opposite can show up as unquestioning acceptance of current orthodoxy In excess it can look like a 'know it all' who has something to contribute to just about everything, Understanding these opposites, absences and excesses can help us identify Love of Learning in ourselves and in others. We all have the strength of Love of Learning and it is expressed by each of us in our own unique way.
Some of the ways you can experiment with your Love of Learning strength (and you do have it) are to think intentionally look for new things to learn, even if they may not have that immediate value. Learn a new word every day and expand the richness of your vocabulary or read a non-fiction book or watch a documentary on something that interests you. Give it a try and see where your Love of Learning leads you!
If you would like to learn more about Love of Learning and your individual strengths, you can visit the website below and complete the free VIA Character Strengths Questionnaire.