1.) Do you agree with the top five character strengths? Are these traits really strengths for you? Why or why not?
Considering my life’s genesis, I would say “yes”, the first survey is correct.
My top five character strengths that were indicated were as follows:
1.) Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence – Transcendence 2.) Gratitude – Transcendence 3.) Love of Learning – Wisdom 4.) Hope – Transcendence 5.) Prudence – Temperance
These traits are, actually, great strengths within my character. The accuracy of the Via Survey is just short of startling in its insight-producing qualities. My life’s path has been atypical. Because of my atypical character and career development, my value system is not only highly complex, but also weighted towards embracing and reflecting what the Via Survey labels “transcendence” characteristics.
Due to domestic dysfunction in my childhood and teenage years, and combined with medically unattended physical injury and organic disease processes in my developing years, my life’s path could have diverged along two totally different realities as I developed into an adult person. I had the wisdom (enough wisdom to stay out of legal trouble) and prudent temperance (reflected in actual, literal decades of abstinence from alcohol) and transcendent vision, to rise above the worst of the deficits and disorders that stalked my development as an adult. These “top five” character strengths, I would agree, are precisely the nexus points that it took for me to both survive and flourish, relatively, in the high-risk culture that typifies the American society.
2.) Choose two of your top five listed strengths, identify which two you are choosing, and describe an example of when you have put this strength into action during the past year.
I am choosing number one (Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence) and number three (Love of Learning) as the two strengths that I would like to expand upon.
Regarding the appreciation of beauty and excellence, I have actively practiced searching out and finding online quality productions of both natural beauty and binary audiovisual skillset creations of striking composition. To a degree, I periodically travel in my hometown to beach and river spots that are quietly inspiring, but my primary pursuit of beauty and excellence is online. Human beings create, through documentation of both their travels and their digital creations, incredibly interesting insights into their travels and their visions, and I have always found this to be fascinating. Human beings are beautiful and excellent, systemically embedded natural realities notwithstanding.
Ah yes, “love of learning”. Succinctly, love of learning is why, at age 67, I decided to seek to achieve the attainment of a Baccalaureate Degree. I do not know, Professor, if you are able to see my transcripts, but I have passionately pursued education and knowledge, over the years. And my transcripts show only the “formal” efforts to learn in which I have engaged. When I discuss the strength that is at “the bottom” of my strengths, then hopefully a somewhat clearer picture will emerge of why my development has been so very atypical.
3.) Of the remaining character strengths, (not listed in your top five), choose a strength near the bottom end of your results – which means it is a character aspect you can improve – and describe one strategy you will use to improve this character strength in the future.
It is not without some small level of mirth that I have noted that the very lowest of the “strengths” that the Via Survey reflects for me (in a class entitled “Leadership”) is Leadership. I do get a chuckle out of that fact. Frankly, I hope that you do, too.
Brooding, withdrawn, and deeply introspective character traits were thrust upon me during my developing teenage years, by both organ/disease processes and maladaptive responses to serious spinal and other joint injury processes. The “butterfly effect”, whereby one consequence leads to another to another to another, interrupted my maturation processes in a profoundly negative progression of consequences. Using a spiritual program, past infusions of positive character traits by my parents, and an unconquerable will to persevere and to survive, I have slowly and surely overcome what at times seemed to be insurmountable difficulties. Of course (not so obvious to some more disadvantaged populations) the short, quick trick to initiate the solution of all matters is to Stay. Out. Of. Legal. Trouble.
Solving this “lesser” strength of Leadership, then, involves consistent cooperation with the persons and communities who possess the actual answers to the very specific problems that beset me: In my case, cooperation with the medical community experts; mostly, medical doctors. Communicating with and cooperating with medical doctors: Proximally, this is how I effectively contribute to becoming more, myself, of a leader