Judging Character: When We Fall Short

June 16, 2010 by ·

There have been books written about why bad things happen to good people and why good things happen to good people.  Now what we need is a book that talks about when good people do bad things, such as when an honest person lies. We readily talk about how... Read More

Emotions= Character?

May 9, 2010 by ·

In the early stages of formulating the framework for a new “positive psychology,” Martin Seligman spoke with me about how positive character was the backbone holding together the original three pillars he articulated: positive character, positive emotions and positive institutions. As I have observed the science develop, his position... Read More

Weeding for Character

April 22, 2010 by ·

This morning I awoke to a brisk sunny day with a blanket of dew on the ground. I took my dogs outside in my backyard and, as their souls awakened with the fresh smells, I began noticing weeds. As I noticed one I found another until all I could... Read More

Character of Jazz

March 22, 2010 by ·

  I love YouTube. Someone recently turned me on to a Keith Jarrett video.  For those who may not know, Jarrett is an amazingly gifted pianist who plays mostly in the jazz genre. He is a master technician and improviser. He is capable of firing off machine-gun-paced riffs as... Read More

Winter Olympics: Standing Tall Off The Medal Stand

February 15, 2010 by ·

I love the Winter Olympics! What I love is the drama. One by one, the athletes have decided to dedicate the bulk of time in their lives to their sport – becoming the best they can become. They spend hours upon hours, day after day for years practicing…practicing…practicing. Focused.... Read More

Exercising Signature Strengths Is A Key To Sustainability

February 15, 2010 by ·

Sustainability is the buzzword of today’s progressive movements in business and environmentalism. It is the challenge we face of figuring out ways to accomplish our ends without negatively impacting the environment around us. Global warming and political-economic conditions have gotten our attention like a two-by-four upside the head. We... Read More

VIA Institute on Character strengths small

Simple vs. Complex Strengths

February 9, 2010 by ·

When we set out to create a framework for studying character strengths, we were aiming to develop a taxonomy.  We had a retreat in Glasbern, Penn., at which 20 or so people with diverse professional backgrounds gathered to discuss how to approach this daunting task.  Among the professionals was... Read More

The Contagion of Character: Building a Better Society, Not Just a Better Self

February 8, 2010 by ·

I have been sympathetic to some criticisms of positive psychology as being too “self”-centered – focusing on how individuals can make themselves happier or otherwise improve their own lives. It can appear that positive psychology is a continuation of a “me-me-me” egocentric, self-indulgent culture. There may well be those... Read More