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How I used one survey to course correct living in the time of COVID 19

There’s a side of me that loves quizzes - like the good old fashioned Cosmo quizzes like Will he be good in bed?. I will never forget the time many years ago, I was lying in bed with my soon to be husband and we took the Cosmo quiz Are You Controlling? I was sincerely surprised when the results were ah, yes actually, you are. When I asked my one and only “Do you think I’m controlling?”, he grinned but punted and said “Why don’t you ask Amy?”. So, I called her right away and asked her the same question. And she...laughed! Hard! So occasionally, there is real truth in the quizzes. Given that I’m so controlling, you should not be surprised that according to Which Star Trek character are you? my alter ego is … Jean Luc Picard! Again, the wisdom of the quiz!

A while back, I discovered the Via Character Strengths Survey. This is no click bait quiz I can assure you. It’s based in positive psychology and there is really a lot of useful, positive and insightful information to be derived from having clarity about one’s character strengths. At Perfect Avocado Retreats, we’ve begun to use the Via Survey in our partnership to understand our strengths, and our not so strengths. For example, we’ve realized that we share or complement each other in many areas, but we have none of the strengths in our top ten that Via classifies as Temperance - Forgiveness, Prudence, Self Regulation and ah, Humility. In fact, of the 24 strengths, Prudence and Self Regulation are my bottom two! Because we have this information, we know we need to look outside of our partnership to stay on course in these areas. We’ve learned to lead from our character strengths. Maybe most importantly, we’ve learned to have all things Perfect Avocado reflect our top character strengths so that when you’re reading anything from us, it’s 100% authentic.

In these Pandemic Times, I’m learning to lean into my own unique top strengths - Love, Love of Learning, Humor and Curiosity, especially when I’ve spent just a teensy bit too much time with my family. Sometimes that means I indulge my Love of Learning by escaping into the internet. When we all start to run a little low on patience, I’ve been known to just start asking questions to get everybody talking and sharing stories - using my superpower of Curiosity. Sometimes that requires a lot of mirroring and repeating to get folks going. I guess what I really want to share is that you can take these strengths and apply them all day every day just by being cognizant of them.

I’m big on trying to slow things down for myself right now - and even as I write that, it sounds kinda funny. On the surface, my life could not look much slower. But so much of life is online right now - news, meetings, classes and entertainment! I feel kind of edgy and less patient with people, myself, life - dude, if somebody interrupts me, I’m about ready to take their head off! Part of my slowing down strategy is consciously using paper more and not my phone for lists, and my journal for journaling rather than my computer. And, focusing on character strengths - mine and everyone else’s. I try to pick out the character strengths of the people in my life - and appreciate those qualities in them, rather than just wishing they were more like me!

We’re offering a Virtual Retreat that’s all about finding and using your Super Powers next Saturday August 1st, and registration closes on Thursday. Those readers who subscribe to our Weekend Wisdom newsletter receive a coupon code for a substantial discount. Hope to see you there!


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