Question: What is inner strength? Or should I say, “Wassup? Someone from yahoo answered; “close ur eyes n think of nethin that come to ur mind that soothes ,that wud b the picture of inner strenght” There is wisdom in this honest, from the heart, answer. Just close your eyes, breathe deeply, and think of nothing. Let your mind bring in soothing thoughts. I picture an ocean breeze with the mist of the waves, spraying my face. You might have another scene or place that soothes you. I was enlightened by some of the words from the song, “Find Your Inner Ninja” http://rapgenius.com/1420145/ Here are some of the lyrics: “Ninja? You’re a ninja? Get out of here, you’re a ninja! Yes, I am a ninja. [Bridge: David Myles] I read the rules before I broke ’em I broke the chains before they choked me out Now I pay close attention Really learn the code I learned to read the map before I hit the road” If we would learn to listen to our most honest inner voice, we would learn to read the rules, and then, if we decide to make the choice, we have the right to break them. After we have read the code and read our inner map, we are ready to hit the road. Now, rap is not my favorite choice of music and you wouldn’t find me a card carrying rapper, however, sometimes I find honesty in places that might surprise my otherwise biased opinions. As the song says: “Really learn to read the code.” I take that to mean, “Learn to read your inner code; your inner strength.” If I had a rapper card it might read:”WASSUP?” or it might say, “Are you a Ninja? I would have to answer, yes, sometimes I am a Ninja.
When you use your inborn character strengths in a new way, you will have increased happiness and decreased depression according to a report by Gander, Proyer, Ruch & Wyss, 2012.
The most prevalent character strengths in human beings in descending order are kindness, fairness, honesty, gratitude and judgment (Park, Peterson, & Seligman, 2006).
In the previous blogs I discussed how kindness, fairness, honesty and gratitude can be used to increase happiness and decrease depression can lead to an increased quality of life and how you can implement your inborn character strengths to make the process with less effort.
The fifth quality in our increased happiness report is: Judgment.
The definition of Judgment is when one is: Inclined to make moral judgments
-- contrasted with an inclination not to judge the
moral qualities of others.
Few of us dare to live without judgment, to love for no reason or without expecting something in return. Others of us come close by daring to be bold.
Tips on Avoiding Passing Judgment on others:
· Be patient. Wait until all the facts are revealed before making a judgmental decision.
· Try picturing yourself walking in their shoes.
· Become proficient in reading faces. Their action might be giving you clues of an underlying cause for their actions.
· Ask them questions about why they are choosing to behave in a way that causes your behavior or point of view to be negative. You may learn that they are right.
· If the person is your friend, remember why they are, be forgiving. Use your Character Strength of compassion to not let this spoil as good friendship.
· If a person tells you that you are being judgmental don’t argue with them, hear them out.
· Try not to make statements that are judgmental. “She is overweight” – “His clothes always look rumpled”- “She is not an attractive woman.”
When we form opinions or make judgments. it might be your observation or it might be your perception. We may feel the there is a need to carry the opinion further by making another statement by adding “therefore.” His clothes are always rumpled therefore he must be a slob.
Only a kind person is able to judge another justly and to make allowances for his weaknesses. A kind eye, while recognizing defects, sees beyond them.
This is an example of how we can use our Character Strength of intuition. With your strength of intuition, you will be able o see beyond the defects and look for the positive before making a judgment.
To learn is to change how you think.
~ Michael Merzenich (1992)
This is the last post on the series, “Using Your “Character Strengths In a New Way.”
With these strengths activated, you will have increased happiness and decreased depression according to the report mentioned above.
I do trust that you that you have found the most prevalent character strengths in human beings are also some of your favorites.
Have you discovered more favorites of your own while reading this series?
Write them down and apply them to the next challenge that pops up in your life.