first_imgYou know your character strengths make you feel good about who you are and what you do. But did you know scientific studies have shown that using and developing your character strengths can make you happier and healthier? According to a recent infographic from Happify, a website dedicated to providing science-based interactive activities and online games to improve happiness, knowing our strengths isn’t enough. We need to tap into our character strengths to improve our personal and work lives.By using your signature strengths, those strengths that are key to who you are, you can increase happiness and decrease depression for six months. Using a strength today can improve your mood tomorrow. Showing gratitude has been linked to more time spent exercising and improved optimism. I was intrigued by the top five men and women character strengths. While both genders listed honesty as the top character strength and gratitude fourth, there were interesting differences in the remaining three character strengths.My Character StrengthsIt took me less than 10 minutes to complete the free online assessment and find out my top character strengths. Unfortunately, the assessment is now (as of December 2019) only available with a Happify account. Learn more about the 24 kinds of character strengths and get tips on how you can improve your character strengths in the infographic. Or, if you prefer, check out the text version.Character StrengthsCharacter strengths—our capacity for thinking, feeling, willing, and behaving—reflect what’s best in us. They’re part of how we positively identify ourselves.How It WorksOver 10 years ago, some of the world’s leading psychologists like Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson came together to compile character strengths that people of all ages, cultures and nations exhibit. The VIA Institute on Character created scientifically valid assessments to help people determine their unique strengths profile. Three+ million people have taken it, reaching every country on the planet!There are 24 VIA character strengths that fall under 6 broad categories:Wisdom & KnowledgeCreativityCuriosityJudgmentLove of LearningPerspectiveJusticeTeamworkFairnessLeadershipCourageBraveryHonestyPerseveranceHonestyZestTemperanceForgivenessPrudenceHumilitySelf-RegulationHumanityLoveKindnessSocial IntelligenceTranscendenceAppreciation of BeautyGratitudeHopeHumorSpirtualityEach one of us possesses all 24 strengths, but in different amounts. Your “signature strengths” are your top strengths—the ones that are most essential to who you are.The most prevalent character strengths in human beings are:KindnessFairnessJudgmentHonestyGratitudeThe least common?PrudenceModestySelf-regulationNot only do our character strengths make us feel good about ourselves, but science shows that using and developing them also makes us happier and healthier.The Key? Actually Using Your Strengths!One study found that those who use their character strengths experience greater physical and mental well-being than those who don’t.That’s because tapping into our strengths helps us make progress on our goals, boosting our feelings of independence and competence. To Use One of Your Strengths Today …Pique your curiosity by eating at a restaurant you’ve never tried before.Stoke your creativity by rearranging a room in your home.Encourage your love of learning by memorizing five new vocabulary words.Practice perseverance by chipping away at a tough project at work. Renew your zest by trying a new, physically challenging activity.Using Your Strengths Boosts Your HealthIf you’re sick, tapping into your strengths—especially bravery, kindness, and humor—can help:Research shows that physical disorders take less of a toll on life satisfaction if someone is high on these character strengths. There’s a good reason to have an attitude of gratitude:Counting your blessings is linked to fewer physical symptoms, optimism, more time spent exercising and improved well-being.Do you use your heart or your head?Turns out strengths of the “heart” (like love and gratitude) are more strongly associated with well-being than are strengths of the “head”(like creativity and judgement). Using Your Strengths at the OfficeIn one study, 81 percent of people who’ve had strengths-based career counseling are employed vs. 60 percent of people who’ve had conventional career counseling.Looking to Lean In? Research shows that women who use their signature strengths in the workplace create a “virtuous circle” in which they’re able to overcome obstacles that had impeded them from using their strengths in the past.4 is the magic numberUse 4 or more of your signature strengths at the office and you’ll have a more positive work experience. Feeling Swamped?Strengths that were determined to be a “high match” with work demands are honesty, judgment, perspective, fairness, and zest.Men vs. WomenIn a study of gender differences and character strengths:Women scored highest on:HonestyKindnessLoveGratitudeFairnessMen scored highest on:HonestyHopeHumorGratitudeCuriosityDid You Know?Women tend to be higher on gratitude than men, even though this trait ranks fourth for both sexes.Tap Into Your Strengths, Boost Your MoodThe 5 strengths that are most connected with happiness are:CuriosityZestHopeGratitudeLoveIf you’re high on zest, you’re more likely to view your work as a “calling” rather than as a means for money or career advancement.Using your signature strengths—those strengths most essential to who you are—in a new way each day has been shown to increase happiness and decrease depression for 6 months.Need Some Inspiration? Try…Showing kindness by visiting an elderly relative or neighbor in a nursing home.Showing loyalty by cooking a favorite meal for a friend this weekend.Expressing honesty by owning up to one little white lie you told this month—even if it’s just to yourself!Remembering optimism by naming one positive outcome of a recent negative event.Being grateful by writing a note to someone who influenced you as a kid.Exploring leadership by organizing a team-building activity with your co-workers.Feeling love by requesting a special date with your partner one night this week.Tapping into your humor by learning—and telling—one new joke today.Want to give your happiness the biggest boost?Send a nice, quick email to a loved one. One study showed that this amplified the mood-boosting effects of using your strengths.Use a strength today, reap the rewards tomorrowOne study found a relationship between using signature strengths the previous day and positive mood the following day.If you’re feeling a little down, it’s even more important to use one of your strengths today:Research shows a connection between decreased mood and not using a strength the next day, creating a negative cycle.So, what are your top strengths?Get to know yourself better by taking the VIA assessment on Happify! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedHappiness in the Workplace [Infographic]Your mood can impact your work life, how you get your work done, your interactions with others, and the quality of the work you do. Sleep, exercise, staying healthy, and keeping positive can all improve our happiness levels at work. According to this infographic from Career Savvy, by identifying the…In “Web design & development links”13 Tips to Improve Your Next WebinarYou’ve picked your presentation topic, chosen your webinar platform, picked a date and time, and marketed your webinar to your mailing list and social media. And you now have over 150 people who’ve registered to attend. Congrats! Whether you’re planning a webinar for lead generation or to educate users, webinars…In “Internet”Letters of Peace: One Handwritten Letter at a TimeLast week, on my flight to Philadelphia for the 2016 WordCamp US conference, I put away my smartphone and laptop, pulled out the airline monthly magazine from the pouch on the seatback, and settled in to read. Within the first few pages of the magazine, I found a full-page reproduction…In “Inspiration”last_img read more

first_imgSouth African Finance Minister TrevorManuel (Image: World Bank)Tamara O’ReillyDespite the current turmoil in global economies, South Africa’s long-term economic outlook remains favourable, thanks to the country’s sound monetary policies.That’s the view of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel during his announcement of the country’s 2008/2009 budget allocations at a sitting of Parliament on Wednesday 20 February.“It is precisely because of the macroeconomic policies in place since 1996 and the fiscal stance in operation that we can be confident that we will weather this storm,” he said. “Key policy anchors are in place to provide a solid mooring while enabling the economy to adapt to the cross-currents.”The South African economy has expanded continuously since September 1999 slowing slightly in 2001 and 2002. Gross domestic product has increased by around 5% since 2003 – the longest uninterrupted period of growth on record for the country.Job creationA pressing issue for Manuel was the country’s high level of unemployment. He acknowledged that despite the implementation of several job-creation programmes the economy was still feeling the knock of joblessness. He said the government’s response to this challenge needs to be better coordinated, as it is central to winning the war on poverty.To this end, tax support for small businesses as well as options for a wage subsidy where public funds will be used to reimburse employers was being examined.Other spending priorities for the year were health, education and social spending.EducationOver the next three years, South Africa’s nine provinces have over R18 billion to spend on school infrastructure and equipment.“In 2007/08, education spending in total exceeded R105 billion, rightly signifying that investing in the capabilities on which dignity, self-reliance and social progress are built, is at the centre of our development strategy,” Manuel said.“And so we have an obligation to ensure that our democracy is invigorated by schools that are equipped and furnished, curricula that are right for our times.”The expansion of the early childhood education programme, a further 600 000 children will be accommodated in the education system. Also, fewer children will go hungry at school this year as spending on the School Nutrition Programme has increased by over 30% to reach about 7-million children.Tertiary institutions also got a bite out of the pie, with additional to higher education and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.Social securityTurning to social security, Manuel announced that an inflation-linked increase in grants currently paid to 12.4-million South Africans will also be put in place. Disability and old age grants will increase by around 8%, while child support grants will see two increases this year – in April and October. These increases alone amount to R12-billion over the next three years.Male pensioners will also be collecting their grants earlier, with the qualifying pension age for men being reduced from 65 to 63 this year, to 61 in 2009 and to 60 by 2010. As of January 2009, the qualifying age for child support grants will be raised by a year to 15.HealthAs a result of increased salaries and improved training, more than 39 600 health workers have joined the health fraternity over the past four years, Manuel said. A further 25 000 posts will be filled by 2010. More than R1.5-billion will be spent on additional wages for nurses and spending on HIV/Aids programmes will run into the R4.5-billion range by 2010.In a bid to create synergy between Western and traditional methods of healing, government will look at means to set up clinics and operating rooms for traditional health practitioners.CrimeMore money will be spent on the fight against crime. An additional 8 500 police officials will be employed, reaching 200 000 by 2010. The money will also go to modernising the handling and recording of documentation at police stations and courts, and constructing 40 more new police stations.“While acknowledging that there is much to be done to improve law enforcement and courts administration, the statistics show that progress is being made and we are mindful of the debt we all owe to those whose work involves exposure to danger and heavy caseloads,” said Manuel.TaxApart from the R7.7-billion tax relief for individuals, corporate taxes have been cut by 1% to 28%, a move expected to spur on investment.Good news for small businesses with a turnover of less than R1-million was that a presumptive turnover tax will be charged as an alternative to income tax and value-added tax.As he does every year, Manuel again raised what is known in South Africa as the “sin taxes”, with consumers having to cough up more for cigarettes and alcohol. Cigarettes will go up by 66c, while alcohol will increase by up to R2, 17 for spirits.ElectricityOn the back of the electricity crisis, government has opted to help out electricity supplier Eskom with a R60-billion loan over the next five years to finance their capital investment programmes.“Eskom’s tariffs were steadily reduced in real terms during the 1980s and 1990s, so that electricity prices in South Africa are now far lower than in any other comparable country, and well below full economic cost. The tariff structure is now too low to support the required borrowing,” said Manuel.About R2 billion has been set aside over the next three years to support programmes aimed at encouraging more efficient use of electricity and generating energy from renewable sources.Related articles‘Business unusual’ for a better lifeSouth Africa tackles power crisisSouth Africa’s economyUseful linksNational TreasurySouth African Government OnlineSouth African Revenue Servicelast_img read more

first_imgProsecutors upgraded charges for the 19-year-old accused of killing a 13-year-old in east Columbia.Cameron White is now accused of second degree murder.Court documents say he admitted to shooting Dajion Harris at about midnight Sunday on Rice Road. White also apparently said he and Harris were getting high when Harris showed White some guns. White allegedly said Harris then asked White to shoot him.last_img

first_imgZimbabwe gave India a seven-wicket hiding, their largest victory over India in ODIs, and also the first time they’ve beaten them in back-to-back games in their 27-year history.India vs Zimbabwe, Scores On a slow pitch at the Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe’s four spinners led by Greg Lamb (3-45) combined beautifully to restrict India to miserable 194-9, with only Ravindra Jadeja (51) reducing the damages.It seemed the pitch would continue to assist India’s spinners but Zim openers Brendan Taylor (74) and Hamilton Masakadza (66) knocked off 128 in 26.4 overs, before sealing the win in 39.2.Sri Lanka and India had both fielded second-string sides in what was to be a low-key tournament, and the opportunist Zimbabwe have seized upon a chance to ensure this isn’t a two-horse race.India’s slow, cautious start contributed to this loss in no small way. Murali Vijay (21 off 56b) did not strike a boundary in his painstaking innings, adding 58 with Dinesh Karthik in 16.1 overs. They started with 26 runs in 10 overs — a pace largely unseen since the turn of the century — and India’s run-rate never crossed four. Karthik was beginning to blossom when he miscued a reverse sweep off Lamb to Tatenda Taibu with the gloves.A collapse ensued, and India slipped to 95-5. Lamb put Vijay out of his misery, luring him to drive through the cover and getting him stumped.Virat Kohli (18) was caught behind off Prosper Utseya, and the twin run-outs of skipper Suresh Raina and the in-form Rohit Sharma ensured India could at best reach a modest score.advertisementYusuf Pathan flopped too, but Ashok Dinda added 48 with Jadeja to prevent India from being bowled out under 150.The top-order failure allowed seamer Andy Blignaut — who hasn’t played cricket in four years — to slip in 10 overs for 22 runs with the wicket of Jadeja. Taylor and Masakadza were cautious at the start before cutting loose. They raced to 54 in 10 overs and 100 in the 20th.Taylor, having made 83 in the previous game against India, missed out on a hundred here as well when he chipped Pragyan Ojha to long-off.Jadeja dismissed Masakadza and Charles Coventry but it was too little, too late.last_img read more