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 Perspective is most easily described as being able to see the forest AND the trees. Perspective helps you consider the big picture even when you may be mired in the details. It can be instrumental when giving advice, weighing multiple sides of a decision or even considering larger questions around social conduct or meaning in life.
When Perspective is absent, it may look like shallowness or not having a depth of insight. It's opposite often shows up as foolishness or lacking common sense. In excess it can feel like the 'ivory tower' where a viewpoint is held in a lofty seclusion, separated from any practical facts or reality. Understanding these opposites, absences and excesses can help us identify Perspective in ourselves and in others. We all have the strength of Perspective and it is expressed by each of us in our own unique way.
Some of the ways you can experiment with your Perspective strength (and you do have it) are to focus first on active listening before you share you thoughts. Learn from some of the respected teachers in history by discovering more about them, their way of living and their philosophy of life. Look for ways to gain more Perspective all around you in your life and you just might be surprised how often it shows up!
If you would like to learn more about Perspective and your individual strengths, you can visit the website below and complete the free VIA Character Strengths Questionnaire.