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Use Your Strengths

The flow state has been explored in detail by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Flow is often linked with peak experiences and achievement, but at its simplest is about being absorbed in the task at hand. This involves having not too high a level of difficulty, in which you might struggle, become stressed or discouraged and not too easy a level, in which case you might become bored. It is also about having interest in the task.

24 Character Strengths

Positive psychologists Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman suggest that people are more likely to enter these flow states if they are working with their ‘signature strengths'.

These 24 character strengths which they claim to be valued in all countries and cultures are grouped into clusters:

  • Wisdom and Knowledge
    • Creativity (Originality, Ingenuity)
    • Curiosity (Interest, Novelty-Seeking, Openness to Experience)
    • Open-Mindedness (Judgement, Critical Thinking)
    • Love of Learning
    • Wisdom (Perspective)
  • Courage

    (Not just bravery but more generally character strengths involved in accomplishing tasks in the face of adversity, difficulties or challenges)

    • Bravery (Valour)
    • Persistence (Perseverance, Industriousness)
  • Authenticity (Integrity, Honesty)
    • Vitality (Zest, Enthusiasm, Vigour, Energy)
  • Humanity
    • Love (the capacity to love and be loved)
    • Kindness (Generosity, Care, Compassion)
    • Social Intelligence (Emotional Intelligence, Personal Intelligence)
  • Justice
    • Citizenship (Social Responsibility, Loyalty, Teamwork)
    • Fairness
    • Leadership
  • Temperance (strengths that protect against excess)
    • Forgiveness and Mercy
    • Humility/Modesty
    • Prudence (Being careful)
    • Self-Control
  • Transcendence
    • Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence (Awe, Wonder, Feeling elevated)
    • Gratitude
    • Hope (Optimism, Future-thinking
    • Humour (Playfulness)
    • Spirituality (Faith, Higher Purpose)



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