Circle of strengths

Would you like to start your Monday morning with a surge of excitement and a bit of bliss? Would you like to feel energized and motivated, while improving your concentration and deepening your ability to relax?

No problem, begin the day by exercising your strengths.

Are you curious, creative, wise, kind? Do you love learning, have a deep appreciation for beauty, a rich capacity to love and be loved, to express gratitude and to forgive and offer mercy? Are you brave, honest, genuine and authentic? Do you persevere or have a deep sense of spirituality? Are you a leader, loyal, and fair? Do you proceed with caution and show great self-control? Are you playful and full of optimism and hope? Are you modest or do you have strong social intelligence?

all+strengthsThe combination of positive psychology’s 24 character strengths are varied and personal. Each of us has our own set of strengths, and exercising them is one of the fastest ways to feel good about ourselves and the world. All of the strengths are equally valuable, and every combination offers something special, which makes each of us special, too.

Immersing ourselves in activities that use our strengths can create a sense of flow, which allows us to focus our abilities and can relax us by transporting us beyond ourselves and the world around us. Flow can lead to fulfillment, which will leave us feeling good about ourselves and the world around us. It’s the sweet little circle of strengths.

Exercising your top strengths is a great way to start your day, a super way to create the life you want, and it’s free and doesn’t require breaking a sweat.

If you aren’t sure what your strengths are, an easy way to discover them is to take the Value In Action (VIA) Survey of Character Strengths, which you can find at www.viacharacter.org    The survey is backed by years of positive psychology research that you can read about here. It is a valid and inspiring way to move forward with creating the life you really want. I have used it with lots of folks in personal and professional settings.

If you would like to receive a copy of the Wishful Thinking Works one page Circle of Strengths, which will help you identify ways to apply your top six signature strengths, just complete the form below.

Knowing and using our signature strengths doesn’t guarantee a perfect or challenge-free life, but it can create a life filled with fun, flow and fulfillment, which may lead to accomplishments and can help us deepen our relationships with others. Oh, and did I mention it’s free, and it feels good?

Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Wishful Thinking Women

new-pageEvery Wishful Thinking Women Meetup is great, but this week’s truly was amazing. Thank you, ladies! What a fabulous start to 2017!

So much fun to spend time with such interesting, creative, brave, and wonderfully kind women! Welcome to our newbies, and thank you to those who join us month after month, year to year! Love talking with you all.

Here are a few of the comments from this week’s Meetup . . .

“Very uplifting meeting and great group of ladies! Thank you all for your input.”

“It was so good to be with such vibrant women. Thank you for sharing your dreams!!”

“Loved meeting this group of beautiful, forward thinking women.”

Find your “tribe” hold them close and visit with them often!

You can do it!

A new kind-of workout for 2016

Would you like to start your Monday morning and the New Year off with a surge of excitement and a bit of bliss? Would you like to feel energized and motivated, while improving your concentration and deepening your ability to relax?

No problem, begin the day and the year ahead by exercising your strengths.

Are you curious, creative, wise, kind? Do you love learning, have a deep appreciation for beauty, a rich capacity to love and be loved, to express gratitude and to forgive and offer mercy? Are you brave, honest, genuine and authentic? Do you persevere or have a deep sense of spirituality? Are you a leader, loyal, and fair? Do you proceed with caution and show great self-control? Are you playful and full of optimism and hope? Are you modest or do you have strong social intelligence?

all%20strengthsThe combination of positive psychology’s 24 character strengths are varied and personal. Each of us has our own set of strengths, and exercising them is one of the fastest ways to feel good about ourselves and the world. All of the strengths are equally valuable, and every combination offers something special, which makes each of us special, too.

Immersing ourselves in activities that use our strengths can create a sense of flow, which allows us to focus our abilities and can relax us by transporting us beyond ourselves and the world around us. Flow can lead to fulfillment, which will leave us feeling good about ourselves and the world around us. It’s the sweet little circle of strengths.

Exercising one of your strengths is a great way to start your day, exercising them all regularly is a super way to create the life you want, and it’s free and doesn’t require breaking a sweat.

If you aren’t sure what your strengths are, an easy way to discover them is to take the Value In Action (VIA) Survey of Character Strengths, which is free and takes only 15 minutes! Simply click here to get started.

If you would like to receive a copy of the Wishful Thinking Works one page Circle of Strengths, which will help you identify ways to apply your top six signature strengths, just complete the form below and We will email you a free copy. (If you like it, please feel free to share this post.)

Knowing and using our signature strengths doesn’t guarantee a perfect or challenge-free life, but it can create a life filled with fun, flow and fulfillment, which may lead to accomplishments and can help us deepen our relationships with others. Oh, and did I mention it’s free, and it feels good?

 

Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

If you enjoyed this or any other post, please “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on FB and share the post with your friends!

Find out what makes you uniquely you!


gymnast-patrice-koerper-life-coach-wishful-thinking-works

Did you know that you are a very cool and unique combination of virtues and character strengths?

Yes, you! You are uniquely designed to be good at certain stuff. How cool is that? Positive psychology studies show that one of the best ways to feel happy and fulfilled in your life is to identify and use your personal strengths to accomplish the “stuff” that best suits you.

Having and exercising your Character Strengths is nothing new, yet sometimes we have to be in just the right mood to move forward on something, so I am mentioning it today incase the spirit of the Olympics inspired you this weekend, and you are wondering what you can do to pursue your personal best.

Why not get started by taking the VIA Charcter Strength Survey to find out more about yourself and what makes you uniquely you. It only takes 15 -20 minutes, and it’s free. Not a bad investment for such a positive return; it could be the beginning of a whole new you or maybe just a more “fit” you, because once you discover your strengths and begin exercising them, you can increase your happiness and your sense of fulfillment. 

Don’t miss out on exercising your strengths, it’s a workout that can keep you fit for the rest of your life! Think of it as the Olympics for your mind! It only take a few clicks and less than 30 minutes to discover and begin exercising what makes you, uniquely you!

After you have completed the survey, click here to receive your free Wishful Thinking Works Circle of Strengths, which can help you exercise your strengths and work your way up to your personal gold medal of happiness! 

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking gold medal June 2013

 

If you are ready to go for the gold in your personal life, having a coach can help you focus and move forward faster.

Contact Patrice Koerper for Wishful Thinking Works coaching, today.

Uniquely you

 

Did you know that you are really very cool and are a unique combination of a series of virtues and character strengths?

Yes, you.

You are uniquely designed to be good at certain stuff. The specific “stuff ” you choose to do is up to you, but  one of the best ways to feel happy and fulfilled in your life is to identify and use your personal strengths to choose the stuff best suits you.

I’ve mentioned all this before (click here to read more about your Signature Strengths). Having and using Signature Strengths is nothing new, but sometimes we have to be in just the right mood to move forward on something, so I am mentioning it again. 

I was thinking that this weekend might be the perfect time to take the VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) Survey and find out more about yourself and what makes you uniquely you. It’s free!

It could be the beginning of a whole new you or maybe just a more fit you, because once you know what your strengths are you can begin exercising them on a regular basis. Consider it a workout for your soul.

I love exercising my strengths, my top six are capacity to love and be loved; creativity, ingenuity, and originality; gratitude;  zest, enthusiasm, and energy; curiosity and interest in the world and judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness. They provide a great foundation for creating the life I really want – your strengths are waiting to support you!

Here are the general categories and traits to get you in the mood to explore the real you. 

  1. Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective, innovation
  2. Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality
  3. Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence
  4. Justice: citizenship, fairness, leadership
  5. Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility, prudence, self control
  6. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology

 Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you find the time to exercise what makes you, you!

Psychological tipping point

I’ve mentioned Dr. Barbara Fredrickson a couple of times in previous posts. She’s the researcher, who developed the “Broaden and Build Theory” of positive psychology, which states that positive emotions broaden our awareness and perception thereby increasing our curiosity, creativity and choices.

The “Broaden and Build Theory” is the other side of the coin, so to speak, of the “Fight or Flight Theory”, which notes that we are designed to focus and narrow our vision and responses in short-term, quick-decision, dangerous situations. Both emotional responses have value – there are times when we need to react quickly, with precision and almost instinctual intent and when we need to allow ourselves the freedom to fully enjoy and explore life and its options.

The good news is, our brains are hard-wired for both. The bad news is, many of us have allowed the occasional need for fight and flight responses to spill over into many or all of life’s everyday activities. We are constantly on the lookout for emotional and physical threats, or have come to believe that bad news (i.e., psychological danger) is lurking around every corner. Our preoccupation with all things negative, stresses our bodies and may be leaving us feeling frustrated, angry or depressed.

Not to worry, after identifying and qualifying the value of positive emotions, Fredrickson took her research one step further and in her 2009 book Positivity, she quantified their value. Fredrickson and her team of researchers formulated the 3:1 positivity ratio of positive to negative emotions. The ratio is a simple but valid mathematical equation for revealing happiness levels. I like to think of it as the psychological tipping point between getting by and soaring high. 

“80% of Americans fall short of the ideal 3-to-1 positivity ratio.”

Yikes! According to Fredrickson, 80% of us are not at our best. That’s not to say we are miserable, we’re not, but we are also not as happy or fulfilled as we could be.

Fredrickson’s research shows that we need to have 3 positive emotions for every 1 negative emotion to flourish. I like that. Her work indicates that our world’s do not need to be perfect for us to flourish – negativity can still be present (as represented by the “1” in the 3:1 ratio), but as long as the ratio is 3 to 1 we are good to go. 

Fredrickson notes that a 2:1 ratio means we are getting by. We might be happy, but not at our best. Is the difference between 3:1 and 2:1 important? Here’s what Fredrickson has to say on the subject (I’d love to hear your thoughts, too.):

” . . . experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio to negative emotions leads people to achieve what they once could only imagine. Far from frivolous, tapping into one’s own unique sources of positivity is a wise and healthy investment in the future.”                   

And, here is the truly important aspect of Fredrickson’s research, with simple changes and targeted tweaking we can move ourselves from a 2:1 to a 3:1 ratio – proving it is possible to create the life you really want! You can improve your internal environment and enhance your external landscape by:

  • becoming more aware and savoring what is good in your life;
  • focusing on your strengths and what you and others do well;
  • predicting better for you and your loved ones;
  • adding a bit of mediation to your daily mix;
  • doing more of what you love – even the simplest little things,
  • and maintaining and enriching your relationships. (See also PERMA.) 

If you are interested in assessing your positivity ratio, Fredrickson has created a free online survey to help take our emotional “temperature”. (My word not her’s). To get a true “temperature” reading, Fredrickson suggests taking the survey once a day for two weeks. The survey only take three minutes to complete. If you would like to give it a try, click away. (Taking the survey even once, provides valuable insight because it shares specific examples of positive and emotional states; I highly recommend it.) 

If you would like to learn more about the “Broaden and Build Theory” or the positivity ratio, click here to listen to an online interview with Barbara Fredrickson discussing her theories and research.

In the meantime, spending five minutes a day reviewing what you do well or is going well in your life can raise your positivity level. I think that’s a wise investment, even in the current market situation.

PS I know I am a day behind, but for the moment, I’ve decided to focus my attention on all the things I am doing well in my life . . . There, I feel better, already, which is kind-of refreshing and actually makes me feel more confident about tackling my to-do-list. Hmm, this stuff really works. :-)

Stories and strengths

 

I heard lots of great stories this weekend at my niece’s wedding. Family tales of silliness, sweetness, love, and laughter. Memories were shared and new ones were made, which got me thinking about how stories not only connect us to one another and to our pasts, but how they can connect us to our futures!

Talking about the stuff we love and the times we were at our bests – our Strength Stories – can help us shape the future we desire. I know we’ve been told from the day we could talk, not to talk about ourselves or to brag, but the truth is – talking about what we love and why we love it is a great way to figure out what our strengths are and how we can use them to create the lives we really want.

I’m not saying we should be monopolizing random conversations with just how cool we are, but it really wouldn’t hurt to make sure you have someone in your life, who you could talk to about the best times of your life and what made them special to you.

Our Strength Stories remind us of what makes our hearts sing; our minds tick; and what keeps us going when the going gets tough. If no one is on hand to listen, no problem, simply think and write about the moments in your life when you were at your best, when everything went right or when you were able to save the day when everything seemed to be going wrong. 

Personal success stories can provide insight and direction. Let your mind wander like a old-fashion TV intro to a dream sequence . . . picture the present moment fading as you ask yourself,  “Hmm, when was I at my best?” “When did I feel the most excited and energized, happy and fulfilled?” “What was I doing?” “Who was I with?” “How was I feeling?”

Let yourself slip into a few blissful moments reflecting you at your best. Quickly jot down the words that best describe the memory and the moment, just like you would if you were reliving a favorite family story, “Remember when we _________.” Use the “blank” as the title of your Strength Story: “The Time I_________.”

Then ask yourself the following questions about your Strength Story:

  1. What made this particular situation special to me?
  2. How did it make me feel?
  3. What can I take from this story to help me in the future?

If you haven’t already, this week might be a good time to take the free online survey of your signature strengths. Then complete your “Circle of Strengths” and my new “Tower of Strengths”, which you can use to note six of your favorite Strength Stories. If you combine the results of your strength survey with the results of these two sheets you will have a solid foundation for building the life you really want.

And, before you know it, your life may be just as beautiful, rich and sweet as the icing on a wedding cake.

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