7 Virtues of Life - Keys to Success and Authentic Happiness
The 7 virtues represent some of our most outstanding qualities and connect with our best character strengths.
Personal and professional development are greatly increased when the virtues are present in our awareness, and exercised in our daily choices.
Research in positive psychology has demonstrated that the virtues are vital for genuine happiness. (See the book Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman.)
The virtues of life can be applied to business development, coaching, leadership training, health, and in our personal relationships,
The Virtues Also Connect to Character Strengths
Each of the virtues also connect to character strengths, which can also be considered to be inner strengths or personal strengths. For instance, the virtue of humanity connects to social intelligence, emotional intelligence, kindness, empathy, generosity, and love. Social skills are also a strength associated with the virtue of humanity.
Humanity is linked to our relationships with people, and is the tender virtue that is the warmth and flame of being in positive relations. Humanity is companionship, care, concern, being sensitive to the needs of others, and serving people with warm emotional regard. It is the virtue that most deeply connects us to our fellow human beings, and it is the virtue that creates the most cherished social bonds we share. Humanity is the heart of all the virtues.
When one has character strengths associated with humanity, they will be a people person with good social skills and cherished relationships. Learn more about the Virtue of Humanity.
Character Strengths of Courage
The character strengths of courage clearly display why virtues are so important to our individual success and happiness. Courage is associated with the strengths of bravery, persistence, integrity and vitality. All of these strengths are essential for achieving success, as success requires us to overcome our fears, persist in our actions, be genuine with ourself and
others, and be energetic about our goals and aspirations.
Courage is also connected to our personal inner strengths and self-confidence. In the Triad of Courage I discuss the relationship between courage, strength, and self-confidence.
When we develop our character strengths and the associated virtues, we create the foundation of the personal qualities necessary for achieving our goals and life purpose.
Diligence - The Virtue of Getting Things Done
Being diligent is essential to success as gives us the care, persistence, and determination to complete what we set out to do. It is easy to have an idea, but to follow through with it, and put in the years of hard work to accomplish our dreams, requires a great amount of diligence.
In cultivating the virtues and character strengths, diligence is required to bring each of them to fullness and maturation. The virtues and our unique character strengths take time to develop, and can be continuously improved upon throughout one’s lifetime. Courage, temperance, justice, humanity, wisdom and transcendence do not have endpoints in development. Rather, they are virtues that we can continuously develop and refine. The same can be said of the character strengths. This is why diligence is so important, it is the virtue that sustains personal development.
Temperance is the Virtue of Self-Mastery
Temperance is related to self-discipline, self-control, and restraint. It also connects to prudence, which means to exercise good judgement. In the Triad of Temperance we find that temperance, self-discipline and prudence form the basis for self-mastery.
Temperance is also connected to moderation, balance in life, and walking the middle path. Temperance does not necessarily mean we need to abstain from pleasurable things, rather it teaches us to use our care, wisdom, and good judgement to find balance. In todays world many people want to find a good work life balance, and temperance can teach us about how to find balance in life in many ways.
As many people today are over worked, we can apply the teachings of temperance to find a balanced life. Moderation needs to be applied not only to pleasurable activities, but also to work, family life, relationships, and all aspects of life.
In Positive Psychology Justice Connects to Fairness, Membership and Leadership
The character strengths associated with justice are leadership, membership, and fairness. Leadership requires certain skill sets, and those that possess leadership abilities are able to influence people and make powerful changes.
Leadership qualities include:
1. Having good character strengths that build trust and respect
2. Delivering value and service to people while showing care and concern
3. Leaders take action
4. Leaders inspire, educate and empower people
5. Leaders build relationship, networks, teams and organizations
The Virtue of Wisdom Relates to Knowledge, Experience, Intuition, and Awareness of One's Personal Strengths
Knowledge and skills are essential to success in any field. Without
knowledge of how to do something, we won't be able to accomplish
our goals. If you wish to be successful, you need the knowledge of how
to achieve that success.
Experience is also vital to both knowledge and wisdom, as experience
gives us the real life maturity to understand things. For those that went
to college and spent years acquiring knowledge, they can easily relate
to how important experience is. Many employers also require years of experience before getting specific jobs, and in some cases experience gives more credibility than the knowledge obtained from university degrees.
Wisdom also relates to awareness and mindfulness.