Becoming a virtuoso

Okay, I’m tad geeky and nerdy, I admit it, but I was reading and really enjoying Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.’s  book, “Authentic Happiness”, and guess what I found out.

There are six universal (as in world-wide and throughout time) – virtues.

Want to know what they are?


(Sorry, middle-child syndrome, anything for attention.)

Okay, before I tell you what they are, here is the really cool part.  Since these virtues are traits not talents, you can grow them.  You can become a “virtuoso”.

You, your family and friends, your neighbors, the folks across town and halfway around the world can develop:

  • wisdom
  • courage
  • humanity
  • justice
  • temperance
  • transcendence (fancy way of saying spirituality)

At this time, research shows that developing these virtues is the key to authentic happiness.  Science and Mom agree, doing good makes you feel better and it can help you live positive, rewarding life.

Seligman refers to these virtues as “psychological capital” (sort-of like money-in-bank in the pursuit of happiness) they are the building blocks of fulfillment; the seeds of contentment.

And, unlike pleasure, which feels good but is fleeting in nature (even the most delicious and expensive bottle of wine empties and every chocolate melts (hopefully on your tongue) and every sweet kiss and great vacation ends) virtues are the gift that keep on giving. Their benefits are long-lasting.

Exercising this six-pack is good for your heart and your soul, and it’s free.

But here is the thing I really love about all this. Every culture values the same things. Not that we all act like we do all the time, but somewhere deep inside our collective psyches we agree that having and developing wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence is valuable. That it is worthwhile. We all agree, on something.

I think that is a good thing. And, that becoming a virtuoso is well-worth the effort.

Have a great day.

One comment

  1. Ah…Thanks for sharing. I experienced something yesterday at the hands of another human being that was not so nice. But after reading your blog entry today, I feel happy in the way I responded; with wisdom, humanity, temperance and justice.

    This blog entry was a true motivator!


Let us know what you are thinking . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.