BTW, this is not like one of those Facebook quizzes that tells you what gemstone you are based on the answer to five questions. This is a legitimate and often used test designed by one of the founders of Positive Psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman. Positive Psychology was a movement that began in the late '90's. The basic premise of Positive Psychology compared with the previous school of thought is that rather than working toward curing people of their mental illness and restoring them to the baseline status, the goal should be giving everyone a sense of well-being... taking them beyond baseline into actual happiness and fulfillment, etc.
So this one test of character strengths is on the University of Pennsylvania's website entitled "Authentic Happiness". To take this or other tests, you do need to provide an email address, but it can be made up if you like. The test I took is under the heading "Engagement Questionnaires" and is called "VIA Survey of Character Strengths". You may also be interested in checking out some of the other tests there.
Anyway, the top five results are considered your "signature strengths" and so on until you reach the bottom of your list which may be referred to as your weaknesses.
Now, before I go any further, I would like to share an analogy my professor gave regarding the top and the bottom characteristics that show up on your test.
She said that rather than become consumed with fixing the bottom character traits, work on strengthening and using the top ones. She gave the analogy of a sailboat. If there are leaks in the hull, yes, you have to do something to keep the boat from sinking, but just do what is absolutely necessary for that. Then concentrate on our sails (your top strengths) because those are what move you forward.
This felt like a relief to me as the ones at the bottom of my list were:
- Bravery and valor
- Modesty and humility
- Industry, diligence, and perseverance
- Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
- Self-control and self-regulation
- Love of learning
- Curiosity and interest in the world
- Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
- Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
- stuffed up ears
- eczema in the ears
- eczema on my hands during stress
- overweight (50 pounds... probably more like 40, but I'd really like to see what I would be like with 50 pounds gone since I've never been there as an adult, but even with 40 gone it'd be great)
- I'm tired... all the time. I get up tired, I'm tired during the day, I go to bed exhausted. I need more energy. This is no way to live.
- hip pain that is becoming worse daily and scaring the crap out of me (no, I will not mention it to my doctor until I confirm whether or not it's weight related)
- achy joints upon rising in the morning
- occasional migraines (usually if I allow myself to become dehydrated)
- chronic sinusitis
- wrinkles (but that could be a combination of hereditary and environmental)
- gray hair (could just be age)
- thinning, frizzy hair (again, age?)
- bad breath (no one ever says it but I feel like it must be true)
- mental state (I feel less out of control with emotions when I'm eating healthy... if I have a lot of sugar or chocolate for any given amount of time I actually get depressed and/or really snappy and mean... like extreme PMS)
- super hard to physically exert myself (I huff and puff after going up like only one flight of stairs... ugh)
- neck pain and the start of a hump.... this freaks me out
- pre-diabetic according to my last set of blood work
- When you write things down, you can't gloss over things. Sometimes you actually have NO idea how much you've been eating and/or the crappiness of what you've been eating until you calculate it.
- I don't want to go too low on calories. My goal is not to put my body into starvation mode and have it try to conserve fat, nor is it to drain myself of any useful energy throughout the day. I do want to limit my calories to no more than 1500 a day, and I also want them to be useful calories. By logging my food intake at first, I will get a better sense of my balance (fat vs protein vs carbs). I'm not an extremist and I'd rather do this while staying perfectly healthy.
- I'm sort of an organic, gluten-free vegan when opportunity arises and with that much restriction of my diet I need to make sure I'm getting the right balance and all the components I need (re-reading Diet for a Small Planet). Aside from me not wanting any animal products or wheat products, I also don't have a lot of time to make elaborate dishes daily.