Periodic Table Of Character Strengths

Hi everyone… I came across the attached chart a year or so ago and it’s been rattling around my brain for a while. I wanted to share it with you. It is a “periodic table” (Nothing periodic about it, in truth… it just mimics the look of the periodic table of the elements.) that shows a list of character strengths, organized under headings of various “virtues.” It turns out that patience, according to this chart and counter to the old aphorism, is not actually a virtue. It’s probably a combination of some of these strengths. I encourage you to look at this chart and watch this very cheery inspirational video, which goes to explain that this is the result of a “glass half full” approach to looking at our psychological makeup… what can go right with us as opposed to what can go wrong with us. I like that sort of fresh perspective. It reminds me of something the late, great Sun Ra once observed: “How can you have a Department of Justice that punishes people when they do wrong, but doesn’t do anything to help them when they’re trying to do right?” Much of the website is very self-helpy sounding, not that that’s the worst thing in the world… far from it, in fact. But it does tend to sound a bit chirpy after a while. I would like to share one little gem I uncovered from this video. It’s a helpful little metric that can be applied in your personal life and in the workplace:

“Is what I’m about to do a reflection of who I am and who I want to be?”

I put it in italics to make it seem more mysterious and cool… In particular, this question (keeping the character strengths on the chart in mind) helps us think about how we relate to those around us, what we say to them and how we treat them. It is nearly impossible to keep this sort of thing front of mind, but perhaps with a little practice, we can be a bit more cognizant of it over time.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Thanks for reading!

David