At all ages we can learn much from going deeper inside, to understand more about the person we are. This can be through a personality assessment, values exercise and more.

Something I’ve been reminded of recently is Character Strengths.

There are 24 character strengths that we all possess, in varying degrees. What is interesting is to know which are the top ones for us, as these can change.

The website also says that knowing your strengths can help you

  • Boost Confidence
  • Increase Happiness
  • Strengthen Relationships
  • Manage Problems
  • Reduce Stress
  • Accomplish Goals
  • Build Meaning and Purpose
  • Improve Work Performance

 The 24 character strengths can be classified into these 6 categories

  1. Wisdom
  2. Courage
  3. Humanity
  4. Justice
  5. Temperance
  6. Transcendence

I first took the assessment in 2007 – 15 years ago and have taken it a further 3 times. Interesting to review, and share my data.

Taken yesterday, my top 5 character strengths are

  1. Love of learning – WISDOM
  2. Curiosity – WISDOM
  3. Perspective – WISDOM
  4. Zest – COURAGE
  5. Honesty – COURAGE

And back in 2007 my top 5 character strengths were

  1. Curiosity – WISDOM
  2. Love of learning – – WISDOM
  3. Creativity – WISDOM
  4. Zest – COURAGE
  5. Hope – Transcendence

Over the past 15 years Love of learning and Curiosity remain my top 2, and zest remains. Creativity has dropped out of the top 5 to be replaced by Perspective and Honesty has replaced Hope.

As we age, many aspire to being a ‘wise elder’ and so the virtue of wisdom increases in importance. Wisdom includes:

Creativity: original and adaptive, clever, a problem solver, sees and does things in different ways

Curiosity: interested, explores new things, open to new ideas

Judgement: a critical thinker, thinks things thorugh, open minded

Love of learning: masters new skills and topics, systematically adds to knowledge

Perspective: wise, provides wise counsel, takes the big picture view.


Probably all of the character strengths can be linked to growth as an elder. For me, ZEST is important as I want to remain enthusiastic for life, and HONESTY is around being authentic, trustworthy and sincere.

If this intrigues and interests you, you can take the assessment, and get a free report from the VIA Strengths website.


I’d love to know what you think of this

Published On: April 11th, 2022 / Categories: Assessments, Personal Development, Personality, Retirement /

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