Monday, February 27, 2017

How to become Happier #4 Use Your Strengths

Do you know your strengths?
Do you use your strengths as much as you could?

This happiness exercise works on the assumption that most of us could harness our strengths better.

Step 1 ) Take the VIA Strengths Test
  • Feel energised
  • Feel its the real me
  • Enjoy using it
For example, suppose your strength is love of learning. When you learn something do you usually feel energised, enjoy it, and feel that it's the real you - if so, love of learning is a signature strength. On the other hand if you are good at learning, but learning bores you, or drains you, or is something you do to please others - then it's a strength, but not a signature strength.
  • James has a lifelong life of learning. He decides to watch a Ted Talk or listen to a podcast every day.  
  • Jan’s chosen strength is being good at encouraging people. She decides to make a point of every day aiming to encourage people she interacts with.

There are several strengths inventories available, the one to start with is the VIA Strengths inventory which you can take for  free at You will be given a report on your top 24 strengths in order. 

Step 2) Identify your "Signature Strengths
When you have your report, you  should reflect on which of your top strengths is a "signature strength". 
To do this ask yourself -
"When I use this strength do I

Step 3) Use a Signature  Strength in a new way 

For the next week pick one of your signature strengths that is not being used as much as it might be. Make a point of using it in a way that you would not have otherwise done every day. 
For example, 

If you are short of ideas of how to use your strengths, here are 340!

Good luck, I hope you find that using a signature strength in a new way not only makes you happier, but also more effective. That's true of many of these happiness exercises.

You can use the comments section to describe how you get along with this activity.

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