My top four character strengths identified during the survey were judgment, perspective, appreciation of beauty, and humor. I believe that all of these features can also be called my signature strengths because they match the criteria outlined by Peterson and Seligman. Also, I would combine judgment and perspective into one trait as they represent very similar characteristics and abilities.
When it comes to the new ways of using judgment and perspective strength, I think a good and useful activity would be getting out of my comfort zone and encountering certain events or points of view with which I strongly disagree. In particular, I could practice my strength of judgment using speaking with a person who has a view opposing to mine and focusing on gaining an understanding of this person’s ideas. Additionally, the same ability could be practiced via assuming a role of a person with whom I would normally disagree and attempting to take over their position in an argument and try to reboot my perspective standing the opponent’s ground. I could practice appreciation for beauty using reviewing things and events that are commonly perceived as ugly and attempting to see beauty in them; also, I could identify phenomena or things I cannot see as beautiful and attempt to understand why I see them this way. I could practice my humor y bringing awareness to it and trying to assess how often I draw to humor during the day and in which situations. Also, I could try to understand the boundaries of my sense of humor and see which jokes I do not see as funny and due to what reasons.
A Strength to Add
The list of 24 character strengths proposed by Peterson and Seligman is truly exhaustive and includes a substantial number of traits each of which has been added based on a set of criteria making it universally valuable and acceptable.
At the same time, my task was to think critically about the list and the features it included in an attempt to add one more strength. In my opinion, I feature that could be added to the list is self-awareness. However, when tested using the 12 criteria for the character strengths, this quality does not match a few. For instance, self-awareness lacks wide recognition as a valuable feature; also, there are no clear ways of measuring it; it is not precociously shown by children, and it is treated as a skill and not a trait.
A Strength to Remove
In my opinion, the strength referred to as “zest” could be removed from the list due to its ambiguity. I believe that zest for life is a trait that is difficult to describe and identify. Practically, when someone characterizes a person or themselves as an individual with zest – this description is highly subjective. I believe that one person could be seen as the one with zest and without it by different viewers. This strength is described as one’s excitement about life, feeling activated and alive. I do not think these are clear descriptors and that it is possible to judge one’s excitement about life based on his or her level of energy, adventurousness, and the ability to finish what was started. Also, I believe that zest is a highly unstable trait that can be present one day, and absent on the next day.