For my class of Financial decision making, I needed to take the character strengths test. If I understood the test correctly, a person was supposed to put more emphasis on the strengths. I guess in some sort of attempt to use the Matthew effect.
So I did the test, and while I know why it is important to ask similar things in a questionnaire, I was still a bit annoyed at the 240 questions. Maybe I was more annoyed what, they kept informing me, that I needed to answer all 240 questions.
But I did, and here are my strengths in order:
- Curiosity and interest in the world
- Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness
- Love of learning
- Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
- Fairness, equity, and justice
- Bravery and valour
- Caution, prudence, and discretion
- Self-control and self-regulation
- Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness
- Modesty and humility
- Perspective wisdom
- Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
- Industry, diligence, and perseverance
- Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness
- Forgiveness and mercy
- Kindness and generosity
- Humour and playfulness
- Capacity to love and be loved
- Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty
- Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
- Social intelligence
- Appreciation of beauty and excellence
But let us be clear. Only the first couple of them are actually my strengths. The lower part of the list is clearly consisting of my weaknesses. Which, among other things include a capacity to love and be loved, appreciation of beauty, forgiveness, kindness and sense of purpose. So basically a bored psychopath. Thankfully, one of my weaknesses is also social intelligence, so I can't be a very effective psychopath.
On the other hand, my strengths are mostly in the group called wisdom and knowledge. Which I am alright with. Especially if I had to pick one, and the rest of them are courage, humanity and love, justice, temperance and transcendence. Through the courage looks very tempting, in the end, I would not pick one of the other anyway, so I am pretty satisfied with the result.
Thinking about it, this is a very INTPish group of strengths. It includes the curiosity, critical thinking, judgment, open-mindedness, love of learning, and perspective. So basically being very logically thinking (Ti) and be good with ambiguity (Ne-Ti) and not only open to new ideas but constantly seeking them (Ne and Se). Maybe calling them a more ENTPish group of strengths might be more accurate, not that I think about it.
But let my try to stay on the topic. We can talk about it all day, whenever to improve our strengths or work on our weaknesses. But I believe that whichever way we lean, we end up working on our strengths anyway. That is why people use analytical thinking to help them navigate the social situations. This is why some people use their social intelligence to help them navigate the technical and logical problems.
For the record, I had only seen the later, and I have only experienced the former.
On the end, I don't have an answer to whenever to work on our strengths or on our weaknesses. Both have their pros and through at least the opportunity costs, their cons. For now, I will leave this decision is the hands of every person itself.