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Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life
Polly, Shannon, MAPP and Kathryn Britton, MAPP
Positive Psychology News / Softcover / 2015-06-01 / 0692465642
Positive Psychology - Self Help / Positive Psychology
price: $28.50
250 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

What are the elements of good character? The Values in Action (VIA) project identified 24 qualities such as creative, authentic, loving, forgiving, kind, persistent, prudent, and brave, calling them character strengths. Character strengths are elements of good character valued across time and around the world. If you are curious about your own strengths, join the 3 million people that have taken the free online survey at

Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life brings the 24 character strengths to life with stories involving children, teenagers, adults, and elders and occurring in family life and business settings, in the present and in the distant past, in locations from China to the United States to the Middle East. Research shows that using character strengths in new ways for a week makes people happier up to six months later. This book includes many ideas for using your character strengths in new ways.

Based on the unusual premise that a key way to build strength is to act 'as if' you have that strength already, this book includes short passages to read aloud to try on particular character strengths. This concept is well known to actors and elite athletes, but less well known to the rest of the world. Look inside the book to see whose words are used to embody hope, gratitude, leadership, creativity, kindness, love and all the rest.

More than 30 authors contributed stories to this book, including George Vaillant, the 35-year director of Harvard's Study of Adult Development. Many leaders in the positive psychology field endorse the book, including the 'father of positive psychology' Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman. He writes:

"My friend, Chris Peterson, would have loved this book. It brings to life with personal stories, practical recommendations, wisdom, and humor the dry scholarship that he (with an assist from me) did in Character Strengths and Virtues. Chris was very down-to-earth and I am sure he would have concurred in my enthusiastically recommending this book to everyone who works with character strengths in the real world."
~ Martin E. P. Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness and Flourish

Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania in honor of the lead researcher of character strengths, the late Christopher Peterson. This scholarship supports the education of future practitioners of positive psychology.

This is the third book in the Positive Psychology News series, joining Resilience: How to Navigate Life's Curves and Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life's Gifts.

Bottom line, this book is bound to make you learn something new, be inspired about humanity and have a chance to play with character strengths. This book will make you happier.

About the Authors:

Shannon M. Polly, MAPP, ACC, is a facilitator, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur. Her clients have included Fortune 500 companies and the US Army; and she has lectured at various universities including the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, The US Military Academy, and Georgetown University. She is dedicated to developing leaders by combining the science of positive psychology and the art of theater. She partners with clients to leverage their strengths in order to overcome challenges and present themselves powerfully. She studied theater and classical acting at Yale University and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art; and she completed the Georgetown Leadership Coaching Program. Shannon is a contributor to the books Positive Psychology at Work and The European Handbook of Positive Psychology. She is a co-founder of Positive Business DC (@positivebizdc), an organization that inspires leaders to increase well-being, productivity, and profitability in the workplace.

Kathryn Britton, MAPP, is Managing Editor for Positive Psychology News and co-editor of the three books in the Positive Psychology News series. Kathryn is an executive and writing coach. She also teaches Managing Project Teams to graduate project management students at the University of Maryland. Kathryn had 30 years' experience as a professional software engineer, technical leader, and inventor. She co-authored Smarts and Stamina: The Busy Person's Guide to Health and Performance, and a chapter in The European Handbook of Positive Psychology. She runs writers' workshops and coaches individual writers.

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