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.