Happiness Skills based on Positive Psychology

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Strength Cards

Successful living and Character Strength

In 2002 positive psychologists Martin Seligman and his colleague Chris Peterson had become aware that often doctors and psychiatrists would focus only on what has gone wrong and ignore a person's strengths and abilities in spite of research evidence that demonstrates, that successful people focus mainly on their strong points and develop those.

Positive psychologists decided to investigate different cultures, altruistic societies and religious traditions to see if by chance there was a universal agreement about certain behaviours and attitudes, that we all appreciate as strengths in one another. Valuable qualities that we would wish to have and pass on to the next generation.

It turned out that everyone agrees about a number of qualities that we admire in each other but these can also cause misunderstandings as one person might have the strength of loving to learn while another would be focused on caring for others.

Sometimes we can interpret others as uncaring, crazy or stubborn when perhaps they are simply approaching life from their particular strength which is different from ours. It takes a certain amount of reflection to realise that actually we are on the same team, we both can have good intentions and yet approach life and work from very different angles.

The different character strengths are described in
Chapter Four: Character Strengths in Michaela's book with stories of people who are using these and opportunities to become more familiar with all of them. There are six strength categories with four to five strengths in each category.

One way of understanding the strengths better is by playing the Character Strength cardgame which gives you an opportunity to choose a situation like for example going shopping and then approach it from the six different type of strengths. This is explained in detail in the book.

View or print out the coloured cards here
- you can print them and cut them out.


View or print out the Character Strength cards without colour on 6 different colour paper in order to differentiate between the six types of character strengths

Various Personality Strengths
Various Personality Strengths

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