Authentic Happiness Coaching newsletter begins a whirlwind tour of 24 character strengths—strengths such as wisdom, honesty, spirituality, kindness, gratitude, curiosity, and creativity. Each issue presents a digest version of Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman’s handbook, Character Strengths and Virtues: A handbook and classification (2004).

According to Seligman, we can become lastingly happier by using our signature strengths more often and in new ways. Early support for this theory comes from a random-assignment study in which research participants were asked to use their signature strengths more often and in different ways. These participants were happier six months later; individuals who received a “control” exercise stayed the same.

When you or your clients want to exercise your creativity, try doing something first that you know will put you in a happy, relaxed mood. Avoid criticism (and this includes self-criticism!) and time-pressured situations when possible. Finally, recognize that creativity often requires work, work, and more work.

Read more about the creativity strength.

Find out your character strengths. Take the VIA Signature Strengths Questionaire.