Time to recalibrate our “optimal use of character strengths”

This year, the COVID-19 global pandemic has pushed all of us into a different zone – online schooling of children, work-from-home, pay cuts, job losses, travel ban, and the like. It is quite a changed world from what it was a year before. However, we humans like any other thing of nature are coping in our capacities to stay afloat amidst our fair share of challenges. In this process, we have made adjustments on different levels and aspects of our lives. We have drawn inspirations from multiple resources to find our respite, viz. Family Support, Gratitude, Government Aids, Relief Packages, Optimism, Resilience, Love, Acts of Kindness, and the like.

It is noteworthy that many of us are still struggling to finding a balance and making sense of the rapid changes happening in and around us. Now, being a Positive Psychology Practitioner, when I see others or myself going through these hardships, I naturally gravitate to something integral and universal to all of us, i.e. human strengths and virtues, no matter what happens in the world.

However, for some of us, it may still be overwhelming as to how much do we make use of them, i.e. proportion and judgement, to tackle our challenges because we don’t intend to go overboard or underboard and be unyielding in our efforts.

To find solutions, I draw inspirations from the scientific works done in history, here in the context, by:

  1. Dr Neal Mayerson, who explains wonderfully that how we all are a unique combination of the Character Strengths, as classified by the researchers and scientists – VIA – Values In Action, and
  2. Viktor Frankl, who always emphasised on the power to choose and survived the holocaust

And especially in troubled times like these, we need to remind ourselves of our uniqueness and choice. So, how should we try to find a balance?

Well, for humans, the power of communication has been efficient to convey across the meaning of our thoughts – whether it be the drawing in caves to express our emotions and making memories or writing codes on machines to make them Artificially Intelligent to comprehend us well and vice-versa. And I am grateful to Dr Ryan Niemiec, whose article titled “Finding the golden mean: the overuse, underuse, and optimal use of character strengths”, published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly, provided me with the right vocabulary to help me put things into perspective and understand the helpful range to choose and use relevant Character Strengths.

Source: Ryan M. Niemiec (2019): Finding the golden mean: the overuse,
underuse, and optimal use of character strengths, Counselling Psychology Quarterly, DOI:

Considering, there has been a lot altered in the last ten months’ time; I understand that we also need to go through a process of recalibration to help us make the Optimal Use of our Strengths. Therefore, based on the article, I have collated a table (attached image), that captures the range and essence from the paper.

I am hoping that it helps us in putting an adequate and balanced focus on our Strengths and enhances our overall well-being.

With Gratitude


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s