Looking for some key personality strengths to develop in order to improve your wellbeing and happiness? I admire your quest – which is very biblical:

For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding and insight:
For acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;
For giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young –
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance –
For understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
-The Book of Proverbs 1:1-7

From the dawn of time, people have been seeking wisdom to improve their lives and there are many ways to find, develop, and nourish your wisdom. One way is to start is by knowing your unique signature strengths.

The team at Values in Action led by Neal Mayerson and Ryan Niemiec have created a marvelous tool to help you discover your signature strengths. They’ve done mega-research on “character” and have found that “Every individual possesses all 24 character strengths in different degrees, giving each person a unique character profile. You can discover your personal character strengths profile by taking the scientifically validated VIA Survey (Values In Action).

“Created under the direction of Dr. Martin Seligman, the “father of Positive Psychology” and author of Authentic Happiness and Flourish, and Dr. Christopher Peterson, distinguished scientist at the University of Michigan and author of A Primer in Positive Psychology, and validated by Robert McGrath, Ph.D., the VIA Survey is regarded as a central tool of positive psychology and has been used in hundreds of research studies and taken by over 5 million people in over 190 countries resulting in better workplaces… schools… teams…LIVES the world over (viacharachter.org).”

Below are the 24 character strengths alongside their Jewish counterpart that I have created. In my next six blogs, I’m going spend time exploring each of these spheres, one at a time, from a Jewish perspective. But first, take the VIA Signature Strengths survey to learn more about yourself.

Here’s to your journey to Positivity,
Rabbi Darren Levine


6 Spheres of PJ


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