Creativity | Character Strength | VIA Institute

Become Aware Of Your Strength

Understand what creativity is all about so you can begin recognizing it in yourself and others.
What is Creativity?

Creativity is thinking of new ways to do things. It involves producing ideas or behaviors that are original. However, originality is not enough: whatever is created, whether an idea or a product, must also be useful or adaptable. For example, you might write a blog post that is unique because it is entirely gibberish. That’s not going to be useful, so it would not be considered creative.

There are two essential components to Creativity- originality and adaptiveness. A creative individual generates ideas or behaviors that are novel or unusual and these make a positive contribution to the individual's life or the lives of others group).

Which virtue is this strength?
Creativity is a strength within the virtue category of wisdom, one of six virtues that subcategorize the 24 strengths. Wisdom describes strengths that help you gather and use knowledge. The other strengths in Wisdom are creativity , curiosity , judgment , love of learning , and perspective .
What the Science Says

Research findings on the benefits of the strength of creativity found that Creativity helps in promoting divergent thinking, thinking about many ways to solve a problem. It uses ideas and details in a way that can be implemented for a socially positive purpose. Self-confidence and greater self-knowledge are byproducts of creativity that can help you feel comfortable in a variety of situations and adapt to challenges and stressors. Creativity drives your interest in activities and can help you generate ideas that will inspire interest in others.

Explore Your Strength

Reflect on how you’ve used creativity in the past, in everyday life and during special or critical times.

Questions to Help You Understand Your Strength Better
  • What holds you back from trying to be creative?
  • How do real or anticipated reactions of other people affect your creative efforts?
  • How do you use creativity to help solve your own life problems or those of your family, friends, and colleagues?
Examples of this Strength in Action

Wondering about times that you may be using this strength? Here are a few examples of Creativity at work in the world.

  • Exploring a creative solution to a life difficulty or challenge that’s expressed by a family member or a friend.
  • At a work meeting, when a new topic comes up, you brainstorm several ideas with the group to reflect on or discuss together.
  • Writing an article, essay, short story, or poem, making a drawing or painting, and sharing it with others.

Apply Your Strength

How can you make the most of creativity in your everyday life? In the moments that matter most? Here are some ideas.
  • When facing a problem, define the issue clearly and then practice divergent thinking (ex: developing multiple solutions/outcomes rather than just one solution).
  • Set time aside each day for creative thinking or creative activities (such as: writing poems or using an everyday household object in a new way).
  • With one of your typical work tasks, think of a new and unique way to complete it. Do it at least two times this week in that new way.
Develop All 24 Strengths
Develop All 24 Strengths

The VIA Total 24 Report explores your entire character strengths profile. Purchase this report to boost self-awareness and confidence, cultivate greater happiness, and find greater well-being.