Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eyes to the Sun

Photo Caption: "Eyes to the sun, even when it is setting."

For those of you interested in the quiz I mention in today's earlier post, it is the VIA Survey of Character Strengths, which measures an individual's character out of 24 strengths. It is very interesting and I have learned some new personal insights taking it. You can find it and a whole bunch of other similar tests at "Authentic Happiness," Dr. Martin Seligman's site. He is the Director of Positive Psychology at the Univ. of Penn.

Anyway, I went back to look up my results on the test and after my top strength, "Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence," my second is "Love of Learning." Again, this is a trait I have held since childhood and it probably explains the strong need I've had for my sons to finish out their schooling here in this top notch school district and high school. This result says that I love school, learning, reading, and visiting museums. I have always placed a huge value on formal education but I also believe that there are opportunities for self-insight and growth every day no matter where we are. We don't have to be in a classroom to learn.

Rounding out my results, I have great "Curiosity and Interest in the World," and love to explore and discover. I do have a strong level of "Gratitude" and take nothing for granted. I show my appreciation. Lastly, I live with "Honesty, Integrity and Genuiness." I live my life in a genuine and authentic manner. I am down to earth, without pretense; a "real" person.

Looking over these strengths I would say that being down to earth, living honestly and authentically is right on mark. I value that I am a very honest person and stress to my sons to always be honest and true to themselves. I am proud that I am down to earth and genuine.

I used to be a much more forgiving person. But since widowhood that quality has suffered. Also, since widowhood my self-motivation seems to have weakened. But now is not the time to focus on weaknesses.

If anyone takes this character test and wants to share their results/insights, please comment. I believe we can learn from one another.


  1. I am going to find that website and take some of the tests. Thank you.

  2. I read both your posts, and like you, I was in a bad state, difficult things piled on difficult things. It is when I picked up the phone and called my dear friend that I could release all that had been building inside of me. I spend 20 minutes crying it out and thanking her for just listening. I am thankful that we have friends that mean it when they say call if you need me.

    I also wanted to say, although it has been a most difficult road you have traveled, your decision to stay in the same town WITH your sons was the right thing to do. They had you right there with them as they finished/will finish their schooling. You have shown them courage, survival, perseverance and love that they would not have seen had you moved away and left them with friends. Proverbs 31:28a of the Bible says: "Her children rise up and call her blessed". I believe your sons have and will be doing this because of what you have sacrificed for them.

    Out of curiosity, not that I give great credence to these kinds of tests, I took the character test. So here are my results from first to fifth strengths:

    "Spirituality, sense of purpose, faith": Yes, I do have to say my faith in God and Jesus Christ is most important to me.

    "Kindness and generosity"

    "Modesty and humility": I believe modesty has been lost in our culture, inwardly which reflects outwardly --- humility, it's hard to say you are humble and still come off as being humble! :?

    "Bravery and valor":

    Fairness, equity and justice" - I think this characterizes me with justice sometimes being much too prominent.

  3. This was quite a thorough test! My top strength, like yours, is Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence. My next is Creativity, Ingenuity and Originality. These I'm aware of. My next ones surprised me. My third strength is Forgiveness and Mercy. My fourth, like yours, is Gratitude. My fifth is Zest, Enthusiasm and Energy.

    The third and fourth emerged, perhaps, from trials that have asked more of me than I could handle by myself. The last, zest, enthusiasm and energy, came from the ashes of a life I still miss terribly. I treasure them, and tend them as dearly as a new born.

    Have some of your strengths come from your trials?

  4. That was an interesting test! My top strengths were Love of Learning, Judgment, Appreciation of Beauty, Curiosity and Perspective, all of which seem on the mark to me.

  5. Judy - I think of you often and hope all is as well as it can be at this point.

    Beth - Thank you for sharing about calling your friend. My close friend is more religious than I - I think you both would hit it off. She lives her faith, as you do too. I am not surprised it is your top strength. We do a lot of praying when we are together. The rest of the characteristics describe such a wonderful person! Kind, modest, brave and fair. I am lucky to know you!

    Flo - I was surprised Appreciation of Beauty was my top strength. But I think that trait is one that is just so much a part of my life that I take it for granted. I see beauty everywhere, all the time, everyday... Is it that way with you too? I agree with you that maybe my sense of gratitude comes from my life experiences but at the same time I struggle with the bitterness that has developed as a result of widowhood.

    Vanessa - Hope your winter has gone well and I'm glad your results depict the person you are. I can relate to your love of learning, curiosity and appreciation of beauty.

  6. I can't imagine living without moments of beauty or excellence. I feel that sense of wonder and glee a child does, and often learn something new about myself or life this way.