A Beginner’s Mind (VIA Stop 1-2) 初学者心态 (第一站-2)

I learned something very important and beneficial right at the start of my first class with Dr Ryan:

In order to learn better, always approach the learning with a beginner’s mind – for every lecture, make 3 new discoveries.  I made a decision to attend each lecture with this mindset and attitude.  I quickly realise this mindset does deepen my learning experience as I am so much more focused.  So true is the saying “Attitude determines Altitude” or, more appropriately in this particular case, “Attitude determines Depth (of learning)”.   I encourage you to approach learning with this attitude.  You will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

My 3 new discoveries for my First Stop are:

  1. Always learn with a Beginner’s Mind;
  2. We need to use our Character Strengths in order to use our other strengths such as talents, skills and resources.  Dr Ryan gave a good example:  in order to become a world class pianist, you need to use your Character Strengths of Self-Regulation, Zest, Hope and Love of Learning; and
  3. Values live in our thinking and feelings.  Character, on the other hand, is about our actions and behaviors.

我在上莱恩博士的第一课就学会了一个非常重要理念。莱恩博士教导我们:若要学习得更多和更深入,我们就一定要抱着初学者的心态 – 在每一个讲座,记录下三个新的发现。我当下做了一个决定,我要用这种心态和态度参加每一次的讲座。我很快就发现这种心态真的能深化我的学习,让我更加专注。“态度决定高度”,此话当真!或许,在我们的这个情况下,更为恰当的形容词应该是“态度决定(学习)深度”。



  1. 对所有的学习,都要抱着一个初学者的心态;
  2. 我们需要使用我们的性格优势,才能更加充分地运用我们的天赋才能,技能和资源等等的优势。莱恩博士给了我们一个很好的例子:如果您想成为世界级钢琴家,你需要运用自律,热情,期望和热爱学习等方面的性格优势来舖助您的天赋才能以完成这个梦想;
  3. 我们的价值观存在于我们的思想和感受里。另一方面,我们的性格却展现在我们的行动和行为上。

The Key to Happiness (VIA Stop 1-1) 幸福的钥匙(第一站-1)

The online training was conducted by Dr Ryan Niemiec, the Education Director of VIA Institute on Character and a Licensed Psychologist.  Dr Ryan informed that participants are from 15 different countries spread across several continents and time zones.  It is indeed heart-warming for me to know that so many of us are interested to explore more about character strengths.

The first lesson focuses on getting to know each other, the administrative and logistic stuff and a brief introduction to VIA Character Strength, the “why’s”, the “what’s” and the “now what”.

At this point, I think it is important to understand better the WHY – Why Character Strength? Why VIA Character Strength? Why it is important? Character Strength is important because it  underpins a person’s WELL BEING, which, according to Prof Martin Seligman the father of Positive Psychology, has five measurable elements:And USING and APPLYING your key strengths lead to more positive emotion, better engagement, more meaning in life, better relationships and more accomplishment!

莱恩博士,VIA研究中心的教育署署长和心理学家,负责进行这次的在线培训。从莱恩博士口中获悉,这次培训课程的参与者来自15个不同国家,分布在不同大洲和时间区。这实在是很鼓舞人心的 – 竟有这么多人有兴趣地探索性格优点的知识!

第一天的课程,着重于了解课程的参与者,行政与后勤方面的安排。然后,莱恩博士简要介绍了性格强项 – 如:“为什么要探讨性格优点?”,“什么是性格优点?” 等等等等。 在我们再进一步之前,我认为大家应该先更好地理解性格优点的重要性。性格优点到底是什么?它是重要的吗?为什么?性格优点非常的重要,因为它支撑一个人的幸福!根据积极心理学之父马丁塞利格曼教授,一个人的幸福有着5个可测量的元素:

着重使用您的主要性格优点 将会使您有更积极的情绪,更完全的参与投入,更多的人生意义,更好的人际关系以及更多的成就!

My VIA Journey Begins! 旅程开始咯!

I decided to deepen my learning on VIA Character Strengths by registering myself for a 7-week online training conducted by VIA Institute on Character.  It mentioned it would be an intensive training, and boy, it sure lives up to its words!  The amount of homework ranging from self-reflection, readings to group discussions.  The more engaged you are, the better and deeper you indeed learn. I find the journey interesting and meaningful so far and will share more of my journey in the coming weeks.

Useful links:



The Study of Character Strengths 性格优点的研究

I chanced upon the study of Character Strengths while reading the news on Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, dubbed the “Happiness Professor”.  Dr. Tal Ben Shahar became famous when he was teaching Positive Psychology in Harvard University where his class was the most popular class in the university.

I listened to his talks on youtube and later registered for his online course “Introduction to Positive Psychology” I found myself so intrigued by the subject and was determined to find out more. I started reading books by Tal Ben Shahar and, from him, obtained a few more recommended readings which led me to the book “Authentic Happiness”  by Prof Martin Seligman.

It was in this book I first came into contact with Character Strengths and Virtues.

Useful links for you reference:

  1. Dr Tal Ben Shahar’s personal website www.talbenshahar.com (If you are looking to understand better on the subject matter  HAPPINESS, I strong encourage you to register for his online course “Introduction to Positive Psychology“. For USD98.00 where you are given 5 lectures for a period of 45 days, it is definitely value for money.)
  2. The book “Authentic Happiness” http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Happiness-Psychology-Potential-Fulfillment/dp/0743222970


我开始阅读塔沙哈尔博士所写的书籍,并从他书本里获得一些推荐读物 –马丁塞利格曼教授的书:“真正的幸福”。而就正是在这本书里,我第一次接触到了“性格优点和美德”的知识。


  1. 沙哈尔博士的个人网站www.talbenshahar.com。(如果你正想更好地了解“幸福”的课题,我鼓励你去注册他的在线课程“积极心理学简介“。为期45天的在线课程只须USD98.00,绝对是物有所值。)
  2. 马丁塞利格曼教授的书:“真正的幸福”。http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Happiness-Psychology-Potential-Fulfillment/dp/0743222970

3 Good Things 三件好事

Write down three things that went well for you today. Try to explain why they went well,  from your own pespective, do this for one week.

Research in Positive Psychology showed that with only one week of such practice, there is an increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms for 6 months.  One week of diligent practice, 6 months of increased happiness.  Definitely worth a try!

Feel free to share with here with us your experience and thoughts!