Use Your Strengths

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 30 mins
(9 member ratings)

Time Required

Every day for a week. Time required each day will vary depending on how you choose to exercise your strengths.

How to Do It

  1. Take a moment to think about one of your personal strengths—for instance, creativity, perseverance, kindness, modesty, or curiosity. Consider how you could use this strength today in a new and different way. For example, if you choose the personal strength of perseverance, you might make a list of tasks that you have found challenging recently, then try to tackle each one of them. Or if you choose curiosity, you might attempt an activity that you’ve never tried before.
  2. Describe in writing the personal strength you plan to use today and how you are going to use it. Then, go ahead and do it—act on your strength as frequently as possible throughout the day.
  3. Repeat the steps above every day for a week. You may use the same personal strength across multiple days, or try using a new personal strength each day.  
  4. At the end of the week, write about the personal strengths that you focused on during the week and how you used them. Write in detail about what you did, how you felt, and what you learned from the experience.
Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 30 mins
(9 member ratings)

Why You Should Try It

Sometimes we give our weaknesses and limitations more attention than our strengths. Yet research suggests that thinking about personal strengths can increase our happiness and reduce depression.

This exercise asks you to identify one of your personal strengths—a positive trait that contributes to your character, such as kindness or perseverance—and consider how you could use it in a new and different way. Recognizing and exercising these strengths can make them stronger and better equip you to meet life’s challenges.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 30 mins
(9 member ratings)

Evidence That It Works

Seligman, M. E., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410-421.

People tried using a personal strength each day for one week. Compared with those who didn’t try to use a strength—instead they wrote about early memories every day for a week—those who identified and used their strengths reported an increase in happiness and a decrease in symptoms of depression immediately after the one-week experiment, and those changes persisted six months later.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 30 mins
(9 member ratings)

Why It Works

While working to improve shortcomings is important for well-being, it is also important to nurture our strengths and put them to use. Reflecting on these strengths can help remind people that they do have important positive qualities, and this reminder can build confidence and self-esteem—and, in turn, increase happiness. Putting strengths to use can help enhance them, and using strengths in new and different ways can reveal how useful these strengths can be in a range of contexts.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 30 mins
(9 member ratings)

Sources

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
Kristin Layous, Ph.D., Stanford University

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 30 mins
(9 member ratings)

For More

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 30 mins
(9 member ratings)

Completion Status

Comments & Reviews

  1. Sharon Frank
    Sharon Frank
    October 1, 2017

    This week, I will be focusing on using my kindness in interactions with co-workers I dislike, and with my vulnerable and frustrated patients, to help them better understand and accept their physical and emotional conditions.

  2. Monica KhANNA
    Monica KhANNA
    September 19, 2017

    Today my strength is planning my schedule and practice it. I am creating a new organized timeline to complete my tasks before 9 am every morning. I am looking forward to continuing to improve my time management skills.

  3. Monica KhANNA
    Monica KhANNA
    September 7, 2017

    My strength is my intention to be disciplined to continue my daily schedule. This practice has improved my quality of relationship around me with friends and family especially with myself smile

  4. Annick Janson
    Annick Janson
    April 3, 2017

  5. Rodrigo Baena
    Rodrigo Baena
    January 9, 2017

    Love it! One variation is to think about the past: "How could you have used your strengths yesterday, or do it at the end of the day". It pushes us to use what I called "fast memory action", helping us to act faster each time.

  6. Susanna Turner Darr
    Susanna Turner Darr
    October 31, 2016

  7. Susanna Turner Darr
    Susanna Turner Darr
    October 31, 2016

  8. Pierre Isabelle
    Pierre Isabelle
    September 19, 2016

    I didn't see much effect to the practice itself.

  9. Fide De Viáncha
    Fide De Viáncha
    January 9, 2016

    Me hace recordar que tengo mas cosas positivas que negativas

  10. Hilda Hernandez
    Hilda Hernandez
    October 3, 2015

    Ihad forgotten my strengths and my perseverance to make things happen and after read this article I stratr to work with them again

  11. Stephanie Glazar
    Stephanie Glazar
    September 13, 2015

    I had forgotten about my creativity and after reading this article about using your strength, I will think outside the box when it comes to completing my ever increasing to-do list!

  12. Bob Mila Nelson
    Bob Mila Nelson
    September 12, 2015

    Most of my personal strengths are not of much use now.

  13. Donald Orenbuch
    Donald Orenbuch
    September 10, 2015

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