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!
Next we will look at the Virtue of Transcendence, which brings together those strengths that help us discover meaning and connect to the larger human experience.
The Character Strength of Spirituality is one that can be easily misunderstood. In the context of a strength, Spirituality centers on the belief that there is a more to life than what we can currently perceive or understand. This strength can be secular or not and manifests in each individual in unique ways. It may show up as a sense of awe when experiencing an inspiring sunset, the peace felt in a period of meditation or belief in a deeper meaning to their life and actions. It can help us be more grounded, increase optimism and provide purpose in life - all leading to greater well-being.
When Spirituality it can lead to a lack of social or ethical standards. It's opposite can manifest as alienation or a feeling of separateness from others. In excess it can lead show up as fanaticism or intolerance toward anyone who doesn't share similar beliefs. Understanding these opposites, absences and excesses can help us identify where Spirituality fits into our life.
For those with a signature strength of Spirituality, it is a very individual but powerful force in their lives. If you would like to explore this strength for yourself, consider moments in your life where you may have felt connected to a larger purpose or felt a special meaning in an event or moment. What is one spiritual practice that you could experiment with in your life? Meditation? Prayer? Experiences in nature? Find something that resonates with you and explore what new insights it may bring you.
If you would like to learn more about Spirituality and your individual strengths, you can visit the website below and complete the free VIA Character Strengths Questionnaire.