24 Character Strengths: Zest

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 Courage, which brings together those strengths used to further our goals and face challenges.



The Character Strength of Zest is all about how you approach life. People with Zest as a top strength approach everything with vitality, excitement and energy. There is no halfway or halfhearted enthusiasm with Zest. This strength is directly related to wellness and has the strongest ties to feeling satisfied and engaged in life.

When Zest is absent, someone may appear to be ruled by restraint and a lack of excitement in their life. The opposite can appear lifeless and bland. In excess it can show up as hyperactivity where constant action is pursued regardless of the level of enthusiasm. Understanding these opposites, absences and excesses can help us identify Zest in ourselves and in others. We all have the capacity to approach our lives with Zest.

Some of the ways you can gauge your strength in Honesty is to look at how you look at your life, your work and even your happiness. Working with Zest can be deeply fulfilling and meaningful. In life is can bring a greater appreciation of living in the moment, a more positive perspective and higher levels of happiness Where in your life do you live with Zest? Where do you think it is missing? How can you find ways to exercise your Zest muscles today?



If you would like to learn more about Zest and your individual strengths, you can visit the website below and complete the free VIA Character Strengths Questionnaire.


https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/