Meet the strengths exchange

Looking for a story to help understand Strengths in Action? Check out the Strengths Exchange Website put together by Professor Leah Walters of University of Melbourne and Lara Mossman. Their aims to bring free rousrces for parenting:

The Strengths Exchange brings together stories of character strengths to encourage families to start conversations about the strengths within them. Discover what character strengths are and how they are being applied to everyday life by parents and children of all ages. Watch our videos of children, adolescents and parents talking about strengths. Discover our strength-based parenting resources, too. 

The website brings together interviews, videos and podcasts focusing on strengths in action. Well worth checking out. 

Take the 21 day gratitude challenge–starts today

This round sponsored by KindSpring. And they have lots of idea:





Small Acts That Change the World |

The Virtues Project #3:


Continuing with the series on comparing the Virtues Manefesto from the school of life with the VIA strengths.

The Virtues Project #2: Paitence


Why it matters

The evidence for the effects of patience, though limited, seems to reflect both positive and negative outcomes.  Schnitker and Emmons (2007) found evidence for an inverse relationship between patience and negative affect and between patience and depression, but a positive relationship between patience and self-reports of certain negative health outcomes, including headaches, acne, and ulcers.  Additional research found that self-control, a strong correlate of patience, predicted better grades, less psychopathology, higher self-esteem, and less shame in students (Tangney, Baumeister, and Boone, 2004). Source

It helps up delay grattification (and not eat the marshmellow


Philip Zimbardo on Future focus

Which strengths do you need to mind to build your empthy?

Two character strengths appear to be profoundly connected to Paitence: Prudence and Self Control. Prudence is the careful deliberation of thought and action, which when directed outward, is a paitence. Holding your tounge, taking deep breaths, waiting your turn are all take self control



Capacity to love and be loved comes into play when practicing paitence as you are waiting on another soul, someone you are showing deep care for by waiting. 

 To show someone paitence is to give a gift of Kindness, with only the expectation that in the time you are giving them they will come along.

It is people smart to show paitence and hence an act of Social intelligence: 

Books worth reading

The Virtues Project #2: Empathy

Continuing with the series on comparing the Virtues Manefesto from the school of life with the VIA strengths.

The Virtues Project #2: Empathy

Why it matters

The folks at greater good point out all sorts of benefits for practicing empathy:

Which strengths do you need to mind to build your empthy?

Social intelligence: At the heart of empathy is an intuitive understand of people and what motivates them. 

Capacity to love and be loved comes into play because empathy is a sharing of the heart–their and yours. 

To show someone empthay is give a gift of Kindness, nurturing the possibility of authentic human connection. 

Bravery because listening to other’s hearts takes courage. In order to feel deeply takes an extraordinary type of courage. 

As ee cummings explains, feeling is not easy:

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feeling through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel-but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling-not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time-and whenever we do it, we’re not poets.

If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.

And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world-unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

Does this sound dismal? It isn’t.
It’s the most wonderful life on earth.
Or so I feel.

Books worth checking out: 

The Virtues Project #1: Resilience

Over at the school of life, they have released the Virtues Manefesto. Over the next ten days I am going to compare these with the VIA strengths. After all, VIA stands for Values in Action. 

The Virtues Project #1: Resilience

Why it matters

According to Dr Heather Payne & Professor Ian Butler, 


Resilience is a key factor in protecting and promoting good mental health. It is the quality of being able to deal with the ups and downs of life, and is predicated on self-esteem. This in turn is generated by secure early attachments, the confidence of being loved and valued by one’s family and friends, a clear sense of self identity (personal, cultural and spiritual), a sense of agency and self efficacy (being able to make decisions and act independently) and the confidence to set goals and attempt to achieve them.

Which strengths do you need to mind to build your reslience?

Perserverence: Your ability to stick through, especially in tough times, will make all the difference in the world. 

Social intelligence: Being able to read people, to form relationships and adept to the changing social millieu builds your resilience capacity. 

Capacity to love and be loved since attachment seems to play such an important role in resiliance. 

Hope and Optimism allow you to focus on a brighter future, which is key to seeking your goals. 

Self Control: Like perseverence, self control seems central to building capacity for reliency. 

The Penn Resiliancy Project outlines the 7 abilities to building Relisiency in Children:

  • Ability 1. Being in charge of our emotions
  • Ability 2. Controlling our impulses 
  • Ability 3. Analyzing the cause of problems
  • Ability 4. Maintaining realistic optimism
  • Ability 5. Having empathy for others
  • Ability 6. Believing in your own competence
  • Ability 7. Reaching Out 

Books worth checking out:

Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back Paperback