Wisdom and Knowledge (strengths that involve the acquisition and use of knowledge)

  • Creativity (originality, ingenuity): Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things.

Ian McKellen

Bobby McFerrin

  • Curiosity (interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience): Taking an interest in ongoing experiences for its own sake; exploring and discovering

Stephen Fry

Carsten Niebuhr

  • Open-mindedness (judgment, critical thinking): Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; weighing all evidence fairly.

Daniel Lieberman

Ken Bob Saxton

Jonathan Haidt

Nick Brown

Richard Dawkins

  • Love of learning: Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally.

Jared Diamond

Richard Feynman

Desmond Morris

David Attenborough

Umberto Eco

  • Perspective (wisdom): Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people

Noam Chomsky

Daniel Dennett

James Randi

Arne Næss

Bertrand Russell

Courage (strengths that allow one to accomplish goals in the face of opposition)

  • Bravery (valor): Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; acting on convictions even if unpopular.
  • Persistence (perseverance, industriousness): Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles.

Torben Ulrich

  • Integrity (authenticity, honesty): Presenting oneself in a genuine way; taking responsibility for one’s feeling and actions
  • Vitality (zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy): Approaching life with excitement and energy; feeling alive and activated

Johann Sebastian Bach

Georg Blair

Fauja Singh

Paul Randall

Humanity (strengths of tending and befriending others)

  • Love: Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated.
  • Kindness (generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”): Doing favors and good deeds for others.

Dobri Dobrev (“Saint of Baylovo”)

  • Social intelligence (emotional intelligence, personal intelligence): Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself.

Justice (strengths that build healthy community)

  • Citizenship (social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork): Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group.
  • Fairness: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others.
  • Leadership: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same maintain time good relations within the group.

Temperance (strengths that protect against excess)

  • Forgiveness and mercy: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful
  • Humility / Modesty: Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.
  • Prudence: Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.
  • Self-regulation (self-control): Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions.

Transcendence (strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning)

  • Appreciation of beauty and excellence (awe, wonder, elevation): Appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life.
  • Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful of the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.
  • Hope (optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation): Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it.
  • Humor (playfulness): Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side.
  • Spirituality (religiousness, faith, purpose): Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose, the meaning of life, and the meaning of the universe.

5 thoughts on “Heroes

  1. Pingback: Day 0: Starting tomorrow, I’ll be wise | On Old Age

  2. Pingback: Day 28: Why? When? How? | On Old Age

  3. Pingback: Day 33: Feng Shui and bovine waste | On Old Age

  4. Pingback: Day 41: Audition for community theatre or choir (in the streets) | On Old Age

  5. Pingback: Day 42: New improvisations | On Old Age

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