Universal Virtues

While a societies' values are specific for each individual culture, we as human beings share a common set of virtues that are universal and apply to everyone. There isn't a question so much as whether they exist, but rather exactly what those virtues are.

A great definition of those virtues was formulated by the VIA Institute of Character. This nonprofit organization was formed to classify character traits and values that are universal to humanity and find a method for testing them scientifically. What is really great about these values is that they were formulated by "positive psychologists." Positive psychologists aren't just professionals that try to treat mental illness, but instead try to help others find everyday life more fulfilling—exactly the type of expert you would want to take advice from!

The VIA Institute of Character has formulated five main tiers of positive virtues that could improve anyone's life, and under each tier, there is a subset of character traits that you can develop so you can improve every facet of your life. If you improve upon your virtues in each of these areas, you will lead a more happy, productive, and meaningful life.

If you have any doubts about the importance of these virtues, I want you to think about an important opportunity that you missed—one that has been haunting you for a long time. Whether it be letting a relationship end that shouldn't have, failing to bring a friendship to the next level, or being overlooked for a job promotion, all of these opportunities and many more could have been taken with better mastery of the Universal Virtues. If you think of it, courage, kindness, forgiveness, and persistence might have solved those problems above!

When you join our program, you will not only learn how to grow in each of these areas, but you will get the help you need as you struggle against your personal weaknesses. Everybody has their own faults, and some will be worse than others—but it's by recognizing those faults and defeating them that the most change occurs! If you take yourself and your virtues seriously, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

In our program you will:

  • Design a program that will work best for you
  • Find your weaknesses, and develop the tools to overcome them
  • Keep a record of your progress and you make your goals

Welcome to your future!

Virtues

This is a basic list of the universal values. Each value is elaborated upon throughout this site.

  • Wisdom and Knowledge — The curiosity and desire to learn about the world around you.
  • Courage — The strength to go on, even when the way is difficult or challenging.
  • Humanity — The ability to interact positively with fellow humans, and make relationships.
  • Justice — The ability to act as a productive member in your community.
  • Temperance — The ability to have self-control and avoid excess.
  • Transcendence — The ability to find a purpose in life beyond day-to-day activities.

Opinion

How can the positive character strengths of individuals be nurtured and leveraged to improve performance, well-being, and the fabric of society?

  • Self Understanding
  • Achievement
  • Fulfillment
From the VIA Institute's Website

(note: this website, Virtue.net, is in no way affiliated with the VIA Institute of Character)

Resources

Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification — by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman

This manual, which is widely considered to be a major landmark in virtues theory, offers a classification of six virtues and twenty four strengths of character, which were universally evaluated across different countries and cultures.

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment — by Martin Seligman

Positive psychologist Martin Seligman offers his happiness formula, which is Happiness = Pleasure + Engagement + Meaning.

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life — by Martin Seligman

Your chance to find out how to attain maximum personal achievements and boost your mood and your immune system with new, positive and healthy thoughts.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.



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Fewer possess virtue, than those who wish us to believe that they possess it. Cicero
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