The test that reveals your hidden strengths | Laurie Santos

From Big Think.

This interview is an episode from @The-Well, our publication about ideas that inspire a life well-lived, created with the @JohnTempletonFoundation.

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Drawing from the wisdom of ancient philosophers like Aristotle, history has taught us that the pursuit of a good life is found in cultivating virtues. Yale psychologist Laurie Santos brings us into the modern era of virtuous living by unpacking various schools of thought — from Martin Seligman and Chris Peterson’s 24 character strengths to the Japanese practice of ikigai.

While engaging with character strengths enhances our sense of meaning and happiness, it’s our unique “signature strengths” that have a profound impact on our lives. Contrary to the common belief that monetary rewards drive job satisfaction, engaging more of our signature strengths at work not only leads to increased job fulfillment but also improves performance and potentially increases earnings.

But the application of virtue extends beyond the workplace. Finding ways to incorporate humor, zest, or a love of learning into our leisure activities can unlock greater fulfillment and meaning during our free time. Whether through self-reflection or a systematic survey, identifying our signature strengths and committing to their regular practice empowers us to live a more virtuous and meaningful life.

0:00 The wheel of virtue: 6 domains, 24 character strengths
1:11 Your signature strengths
3:06 Job crafting
4:54 Take the signature strengths test

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About Laurie Santos:
Dr. Laurie Santos is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Yale University. Her research provides an interface between evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, and cognitive neuroscience, exploring the evolutionary origins of the human mind by comparing the cognitive abilities of human and non-human primates. Her experiments focus on non-human primates (in captivity and in the field), incorporating methodologies from cognitive development, animal learning psychology, and cognitive neuroscience.


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