WHY Character Strengths? 性格强项有啥重要?

Why Character Strengths?  Why are they important? Character Strengths are important because it is a critical underpin of your WELL BEING.  Well being, according to Oxford online dictionary, means “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.”  A state where you are functioning at your best — a state all of us eagerly pursue in life.

According to Prof Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, to arrive at the state of well-being, there are has five measurable elements known as PERMA:

  • Positive Emotion – the pleasant life. i.e. your happiness, pleasure, gratification and fulfilment.
  • Engagement – When you are in a state of “Flow”, i.e. when you are completely absorbed by an activity and you lose sense of time.
  • Relationships – When you have a positive relationships with “other people”.  According to Dr Christopher Peterson, a pioneer in Positive Psychology, “doing a kindness (to other people) produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.”
  • Meaning – When you have larger-than-self purposes in life.
  • Accomplishment – When you are successful in pursuing achievement, winning and mastery for their own sakes.

AND — underpinning all these is the important fact that — USING and APPLYING your CHARACTER STRENGTHS lead to more positive emotion, better engagement, more meaning in life, better relationships and more accomplishment!

Do you know your own character strengths? You can find out and get a FREE full character strength report from HERE.

Martin E.P. Seligman (2010). Flourish Free Press


性格强项 (Character Strengths)有啥重要? 性格强项非常的重要!因为性格强项是你的幸福感(well-being)的必要支撑。根据牛津线上字典,幸福感是“处在一个舒适,健康,快乐的状态。”  一个我们都热切追求的最佳状态。


正面的情绪:愉快的生活 – 关於你的幸福,快乐,遂意和满足感。
投入感: 当你处在“心流”(Flow)的状态 — 即当你完完全全地投入,全神贯注於一样活动而失去了时间感。
人际关系: 当你与“他人”有着正面而积极的关系。根据克里斯托弗·彼得森博士,一位正面心理学的先驱,“在所有的实验里,为他人做一件善事最能确切地在瞬间里为你增加幸福感。”

而你必须知道的一个重要的事实是:支撑着所有这一切一切的五个衡量要素的是 — 你的性格强项 — 使用你的性格强项会带来更正面的情绪,更好的投入感,更良好的人际关系,更多生命的意义和更大的成就!


马丁塞利格曼(2010), FlourishFree Press出版


Good One! 好东西!

Found THIS while preparing for my first training on strength-based application:

Dr Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology said – PSYCHOLOGY should be:

  • Just as concerned with STRENGTHS as with weaknesses;
  • As interested in BUILDING THE BEST IN LIFE as in repairing the worst; and
  • As concerned in MAKING THE LIFE OF NORMAL PEOPLE FULFILLING and with NURTURING HIGH TALENT as with healing pathology.

Hence,the birth of POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY.  Thank you, Dr Seligman!

我在为一个培训课程作准备时,找到了 这个 。和大家分享:

正面心理学的创始人马丁·塞利格曼博士说 – 心理学应该是:

  • 同样地关注於研究人的优点长处,正如它关注於研究人的弱点;
  • 同样地关注於如何建设最优质的生活素质,正如它关注於如何修复最坏的;
  • 同样地关注於如何让正常的人履行满足的生活和培育人才,正如它关注於愈合病理。

於是乎,正面心理学诞生了! 谢谢您,塞利格曼博士。

One GooD THinG Money Cannot Buy 金钱无法买到的一件好事

“I really want to say thank you! The sessions with you have made me understand myself and my strengths so much better. I now know what I really want for my career.”

In our coaching practice, we are taught to always ask for feedback on whether the coaching sessions actually help.  This was one feedback  I received last week from someone I had been coaching for a while.  It was a rather difficult case and it makes the “thank you” all the more meaningful to me.  You may not be able to imagine, but I have to say the satisfaction and fulfilment I receive from this simple one-liner is something that monetary reward can never measure up.

Sincerely, THANK YOU for your “thank you”.  =)

What about you? Do you have one Good THinG that even money cannot buy or provide?  You are most welcome to share your experience here.



在我们的辅导教练实践里,我们总是被教导要常常征询反馈意见,以便了解自己所提供的辅导是否有真正的帮助到他们。而,以上的反馈意见,是我上个星期刚刚收到的。 由于那是一个相当困难的个案,这句“谢谢”对我来说有更为重大的意义。你也许不能意会,但我必须说这一句“谢谢“ 给我带来的工作满足和成就感绝对是金钱报酬所不能衡量的。


你呢?你可有类似以上的经历 — 即使有钱也买不到或提供的?欢迎你在这里分享你的经验。

Two Bad Bricks and Positive Psycholgy 兩塊出錯的砖和正面心理学

I recently listened on youtube  to a talk by the venerable Ajahn Brahm, a buddhist monk resides in Perth Australia, speaking on the topic of happiness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHXkwj_0MIU&feature=related).  In this exceptionally simple yet profound talk, he shared a story of his personal encounter called “Two Bad Bricks”.

In the story, the venerable Ajahn Brahm was building a monasetry. When he completed one side of the wall with 1000 bricks, he was shocked to see that two bricks amongst the 1000 were not properly aligned. He was so agonized by these two bricks that spoilt the whole wall that he thought of taking down the wall, but that was not possible.  He was so upset over the two bad bricks that he could not stop thinking about it and lost sleep over it. Until one day, when what a visitor said woke him up.

The visitor said, “That’s a nice wall.”  Ajahn Brahm would not believe his ears and asked the visitor did he not see the two bad bricks that were not placed nicely.  And this was what Ajan Brahm said: “What he (the visitor) said next changed my whole view of that wall, of myself, and of many other aspects of life. He said, ‘Yes. I can see those two bad bricks. But I can see the 998 good bricks as well.’ “

Listening to “Two Bad Bricks” , I can’t help but notice how well it has encapsulated what positive psychology and strength-based coaching are about:  We must learn to see the whole picture — see the 998 good bricks and the 2 bad bricks.  Only then we can appreciate the whole beautiful wall. 

We often focus so much on seeing the negatives and finding faults that we miss the whole beautiful picture and wasted good talents.  It is a very good lesson learned.  This is indeed the essence of positive psychology and strength-based coaching: while we help individuals to work on areas that need improvement, we must also help them to identify and appreciate their strengths. And, from there, help them utilise their strengths and bring out the best in them.

You can also read the “Two Bad Bricks” story at this web-link.

我最近在 youtbue 听了阿姜布拉姆大师的一个有关于“幸福”的演說(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHXkwj_0MIU&feature=related)。阿姜布拉姆大师是一位居住在澳大利亚珀斯佛教僧侶。在他这个简单而又非常深刻的演說里,他和大家分享了一个他亲身经历的故事:“兩塊出錯的砖”。


那位游客看到那面一千塊砖的牆,赞道,“这是一面漂亮的墙。” 阿姜布拉姆大师几乎不敢相信自己的耳朵,问游客难道他没有看到那两块没有好好放置的砖?

阿姜布拉姆大师说:“他(游客)接下来所说的,彻彻底底, 完完全全改变了我对那面墙,以及对生命等诸多方面的整体观。游客说:’当然,我可以看到这两个出了錯的砖。但我可以看到九百九十八塊好的砖呀。’

我听完 阿姜布拉姆大师的故事,深觉 “兩塊出錯的砖“ 给正面心理學以及实力辅导教练作了一个很好的概括:我们应该学习看到完整画面:看到九百九十八塊沒出錯的好砖,也同时看到那兩塊出了差錯的砖。唯有这样,我们方不会錯过欣赏整面美丽的墙。

我们往往因为过於专注负面和发掘缺点,而错过了整个美丽的画面或浪费了良好的人才。这是值得我们学习的一课。 这真正是积极的心理和实力辅导教练的真髓:我们应帮助他人进行需要改善的,但也绝对必须帮助他们辨识他们的优点长处以及如何最好的去利用自己的长处。 让他们可以发挥所长。

你可在这里 读到”兩塊出錯的砖“ 的故事(繁体字)。

Listening to the Experts 听君一席话。

While our 7-week training with VIA Institute has ended; our learning continues, thanks to VIA’s generosity.

If you are keen to learn character strengths and its application, you really should not miss this great opportunity:  In November 2011, VIA Institute launched its VIA Pioneers Speaker Series where Dr. Ryan,  VIA Education Director, hosts “specialists and experts discussing the application of character strengths in a variety of practice domains….VIA will host a variety of tracks dealing with different areas of application, such as counseling, business and education.” They allow anyone who is interested to sign-up to watch LIVE and get the opportunity to pose questions to the experts. What’s more VIA does not charge — it is free.

I signed up for the first one by Dr Tayyab Rashid who spoke on “Character Strengths in Counselling/Psychotherapy”.  Dr Tayyab is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Health & Wellness Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada. He is also the Lead Consultant for Applied Research for the VIA Institute and a co-developer of Positive Psychotherapy with Dr. Martin Seligman.

What strike me the most at Dr Tayyab’s talk were his view points on “Why We Should Work on Strengths“.  Here is a summary of his views:

  1. If our purpose is to see a person grows, focussing our mind and efforts solely on remediation is just not sufficient.  Strengths, according to Dr Tayyab, are much more effective generators of change– and making changes is a prerequisite to a person’s growth.
  2. Working on strengths creates a different mindset and positive emotions. Positive emotions brings about the urge to “collaborate” and opens up one’s mind to see alternatives.
  3. Working on strengths is a better coping strategy as the mental attention is on strengths. Using strengths language allows people to view challenges differently, hence cope better.
  4. They (the strengths) are already “there”, why not work on them?

You can still listen to Dr Tayyab Rashid’s talk HERE.

Useful Link: VIA Institute website http://viacharacter.org/www/


如果您对性格优点及其应用感兴趣,您可不要错过这个大好机会:VIA研究中心在2011年十一月推出先锋演讲系列。它将由莱恩博士,VIA研究中心的教育总监,主持邀请专家讨论各种对性格优点在不同领域(如咨询,商业和教育)的实践和应用。VIA研究中心允许任何有兴趣的人报名观看现场直播,并有机会向专家提出问题。而且,VIA不收分文 – 它是免费的。

我参加了第一个演讲系列:Tayyab Rashid博士主讲的“性格优点和心理辅导”。Tayyab Rashid博士是加拿大多伦多大学卫生及健康中心的临床心理学家。他也是VIA研究中心的首席顾问,以及马丁塞利格曼博士一同开发正面心理治疗的合作伙伴。


  • 如果我们的目的是帮助他人的发展和成长,仅仅集中我们的思想和功夫在整治上是不足够的。优点强项绝对是更有效地去促使一个人的改变 — 而改变正是一个人成长的前提。
  • 致力於发挥所长帮助他人建立起一个不同的的心态和正面的情绪。正面的情绪促进一个人“合作”的欲望和态度。它也帮助开扩一个人的想法,让他看到多方面的可能性。
  • 致力於发挥所长是为应对挑战更有效的策略。这是因为它将一个人的精神和注意力集中在他的优点强项上。使用优点强项的语言,让人们产生不同的观点,从而更积极地面对挑战。
  • 它们(您的优点强项)根本都已经是您的一部分了,为什么不好好地开拓应用?

您仍然可以在这里 听到Tayyab Rashid博士的演讲。

相关链接:VIA研究中心网址 http://viacharacter.org/www/

Thank You for the “New Eye” (VIA Last Stop) 谢谢您的“新眼睛”(到站了)

We arrive at our last stop this week, a little sad, much englightened. Its an ending, certainly a new beginning.  It is an amazing 7-lesson journey where I made a lot of self discoveries as well as discoveries of people around me.  I understand myself better, become more mindful of the use (or otherwise) of all my 24 character strengths.  More importantly, I realise that I has begun to see people using my “new eye”.   A new habit starts to emerge — I now often heard myself quietly asking in my heart “what would be his/her character strengths?” whenever I meet people.  There was an incident two weeks back when I was arguing with a man over something and, to my delight, this question popped up.  I am indeed grateful for the “new eye” .  For that, THANK YOU VIA Institute.

At the last stop, I make 3 important discoveries:

  • Focus on possibilities – Dr Ryan’s reiterated again the importance of learning to see from different angles, different perspectives; look into and work on possibilities when dealing with people.  We must learn to focus on possibilities to make new discoveries.
  • Role Models – It is important to have someone who is personal to you and who inspires you with his/her character strengths to be your role model.  It helps you to further develop and expand your character strengths; find strength and direction when you face difficult moments or provide inspiration when you just need some.
  • A Re-Education of Attention – Positive psychology is a re-education of our attention and memory, making us more mindful about “what is working”.

我们来到VIA的最后一站,有点难过是必然的,但却是带了许多的开发和启示到站的。对我来说,它的结束也真正是一个新的开始。这是一个了不起的七个课程!我对自己和我周遭的人有了许多新的发现。我比之前了解自己, 关注到对自己二十四个性格优点的充分利用或反之。更重要的是,我突然发现我开始运用我的“新眼睛”:我多了一个新的习惯,我经常会看着对方悄悄地在臆测,“他/她的性格优点会是什么?”甚至於在两个星期前的某一天,当我与一名男子在激烈地争论时,这个问题竟不期然地弹出。我对我的“新眼睛“感到非常的珍惜。感谢VIA研究中心。


  • 把重点放在可能性上:瑞安博士再次重申了学习从不同的角度,不同的观点去探索和发掘每一个人的重要性。把重点放在可能性上,方能作出新的发现,启示和方向。
  • 模范榜样:锁定一个对您很重要或是一个能激发您的人,以他为您的榜样,可以帮助你进一步发展和扩大你的性格优点。这个好榜样也能在你面对困难的时刻,或者当你需要一些灵感和激励时; 给您力量和方向。
  • 注意力的再教育: 积极心理学是我们注意力和记忆力的再教育,使我们更铭记和关注到“什么是可行的”。