In my recent posts, I’ve shared examples of how I’ve used my signature strengths of curiosity, and creativity and zest. Last week, I experimented with how these three strengths interact to help me accomplish my goals. In so doing, I noticed that my creativity was often inspired by my strength of curiosity, zest, or both.
Curiosity helps me explore new topics through reading, classes or new experiences, which then turn into passion for a topic (zest), and then into creativity when I consider how to apply new concepts to my life or work goals.
I also applied these three strengths to problems I was trying to solve last week. Curiosity helped me explore the issue thoroughly and my strength of zest brought me the energy I needed to stay with the problem and not get frustrated or quit before I should. Then I applied creativity to explore the possible solutions and find the right path.
At one point, I experienced a bad case of writer’s block. I became curious about why I was having a hard time creating this particular piece and recalled that the last time I had experienced writer’s block, I left my desk and went to a bustling café. Going to a café wasn’t realistic for me last week, so I considered other options (curiosity) for leveraging my strength of zest. I decided to turn on some of my favorite energetic music and it wasn’t long before I was able to write again.
Leveraging my own unique combination of character strengths helped me be more focused, productive, and effective in my work, moving me forward in pursuit of my goals.
What feeds your everyday creativity? What factors need to be present for you to be your most creative self?
· What time of day are you most creative?
· Where are you?
· Do you need silence or noise?
· Do you need to be with other people or alone?
How can you capitalize on your own unique combination of strengths to increase your effectiveness?
Resources: Character Strengths and VIA Survey
Peterson, C., & Park, N. (2009). Classifying and measuring strengths of character. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology, 2nd edition (pp. 25-33). New York: Oxford University Press. www.viacharacter.org
Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press and Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. www.viacharacter.org