catalyst challenge, day 4: character strengths

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Relaxing Music for the month: Awakening: Liquid Mind (12:11) –

Note: Please enjoy the relaxing music while completing the assessment!

Introduction: What are strengths?

A strength is the ability to consistently produce a positive outcome through near-perfect performance in a specific task or given activity. The difference between a character and engagement strengths is noted below:

  • Character strengths (such as VIA Character Strengths) focuses on your ethics, morals, behaviors, and values; answers the question, “What’s best about who you are?”
  • Engagement strengths (such as Clifton’s Strengthfinder) consists of your skills, knowledge, and talents; answers the question, “What’s best about how you work?”

Both are important to understand how you interact with the world on a daily basis.  Also be aware that strengths can be both positive (service, love) and negative (cheat, liar).  We will focus our lessons on the positive.

Strengths focus on the things you do right, not on the things that you do wrong. Research has found that people and organizations grow more when they focus on what they do best rather than trying to fix their weaknesses. Identifying your strengths will also provide you an additional tool to seek opportunities that allow you to use your strengths on a regular basis.

Knowing and focusing on your strengths:

  • Can assist in the process of identifying and living your purpose and fulfilling you mission.
  • Are usually attached to excellence – the more you use your strengths, the better you become in using your strengths.
  • Can be used to help you decide your classes, your major, your extracurricular activities, even your internship and job possibilities.
  • Will provide you direction as to how you should use your time and where you should put your energy.
  • Will build your confidence and self-esteem; you will feel better about yourself when you have greater success in the strengths you use well.
  • Will have you more likely engaged in your job/education and more likely to having an excellent quality of life!
  • Would give you the best opportunity to be great!
The goal is to use your strengths as much as possible.  Using your strengths on a regular basis:
  • Provides you motivation.
  • Gives you energy.
  • Creates positive emotions.
  • Increases personal and work satisfaction.
  • Increases levels of productivity and performance.
  • Increases levels of engagement.
And college students who know their strengths have been found to:
  • Be more satisfied with college experience.
  • Be more satisfied with advising experience.
  • Have greater satisfaction in courses.
  • Feel better about help from faculty/staff with life plans.
  • Have higher cumulative GPA’s.
  • Be more likely to stay in school.
With all of the positives around knowing your strengths, isn’t it about time for you to identify your top strengths?  The lessons in this chapter will help!

Character Strengths Assessment

Character strengths focuses on your ethics, morals, behaviors, and values; answers the question, “What is best about who you are?”

To understand the importance of character strengths, watch the following video:

Lucky for us, the VIA Institute on Character has provided a FREE!!! Assessment that will provide you a ranking of your 24 Character Strengths, from most important to least important.  Here’s why knowing your character strengths are important (from their web site): “When you discover your greatest strengths, you learn to use them to handle stress and life challenges, become happier, and develop relationships with those who matter most to you.”  Is there a better time than now to know your character strengths?

Set aside 10-15 minutes to take the FREE online assessment, which you will find here:

Click on the button, “Take the Free Survey”; once you do, you’ll be asked to register your name and email address; once you complete this basic information, you’ll be able to start the assessment.

Once you complete the assessment, you will be given a list of your 24 Character Strengths, from the most prominent to least prominent strengths.  For this activity, let focus most on your top five Character Strengths.

List of 24 Character Strengths: Appreciation Of Beauty & Excellence, Bravery, Creativity, Curiosity, Fairness, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Honesty, Hope, Humility, Humor, Judgment, Kindness, Leadership, Love, Love Of Learning, Perseverance, Perspective, Prudence, Self-Regulation, Social Intelligence, Spirituality, Teamwork, Zest

To get a more detailed description of your top five character strengths, as well as all 24 Character Strengths, check out these two links:

Once you’ve selected your TOP FIVE (5) Character Strengths, write down a short phrase/sentence that describes what’s best about each particular strength FOR YOU.

Have fun!

Bill’s Character Strengths Results

  1. Zest: Take on projects with excitement and energy.  Typically go all-in on anything meaningful. Driven by action.
  2. Love Of Learning: Read at least 1-2 books a week, at least 2-3 articles a day, watch 2-3 videos/webinars a week. Constantly learning in order to grow Life Design Catalyst work.
  3. Creativity: Create self-exploration tools at least every other month. In constant creation mode.
  4. Gratitude: Ever since blood clot and pulmonary embolism in August 2016, grateful to be awake and alive every day. Also grateful for everything that I have, especially family.
  5. Hope: Believe that the future can be better than the present – and that each one of us has the capability to create it.
  6. Spirituality: Understand that I’m here to serve something bigger than myself to make the lives of other better and/or make the world a better place.

Note: Note: I’ve listed six Character Strengths; I’ve reviewed many of the Character Strengths Assessments I’ve taken over the years and these are the six that have consistently shown up over the past 15+ years.

Catalyst Challenge Worksheet

Here’s the link to download:

If you have any questions/comments/thoughts, feel free to contact me at


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