Living your best life boils down to harnessing your unique strengths, recognising your values, the things that matter to you, and using your special abilities to your best advantage in a way that makes your life meaningful.

Major breakthroughs in exploration, science and the arts are not made by the serious follower of rules, those developments are made by people who think outside the box.

However, there is certainly a place for order and discipline, or society would be totally anarchistic. You might have a zany sense of humour and are able to enjoy special in-the-moment experiences. It’s really about balance and appropriateness.

See? You know quite a bit about yourself. What about adding to your self-knowledge by taking a popular assessment lots of people have found useful and fun! If you combine the things you know about yourself  with the results of a formal assessment of your strengths, and then take full advantage of all the findings you can have a highly productive and enjoyable life.

Try the VIA (Values in Action) Survey of Character Strengths because it’s free, and it’s a valid and reliable assessment of strengths. Go to www.viacharacter.org to identify yours. Your top five, or signature strengths will be highlighted in rank order, followed by the other 24 strengths.

For a relatively low fee you can obtain a more comprehensive report that outlines how you can take full advantage of strengths, and how you can strengthen lower ones that might be important to you. For example, the strength of gratitude is malleable, which means if you consciously practice being grateful for the positive events in your life you can raise its rank order as well as make yourself happier.

One such exercise to try is at the end of the day think of three positive things that you noticed during the day, the weather, someone’s kindness, something you did that went well, for example. Take a few moments to relive the experience and enjoy it all over again. You will go to sleep a lot happier than if you mull over everything that went wrong.

 

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