26 Apr Lifebook’s Master List of Virtues
Character determines our destiny, and virtues are the core essence of our character.
The more we recognize the impact that consciously practicing virtues has on our lives, the more we open up to new possibilities, growth and greater joy and fulfillment.
So pull out your Lifebooks and flip to your Character chapter… it’s time to hand-select the virtues you are most committed to mastering this month!
Explore our Master List of Virtues below, and discover powerful new definitions for each of them.
In honor of the virtue of “order,” they’ve been organized into six main categories: Wisdom and Knowledge, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance and Transcendence (adapted from Values in Action classification of strengths, Peterson and Seligman, 2004).
Once you’ve read through the list, comment at the bottom to share which virtues resonate most deeply with you at this point in your life. And if you have a virtue to add that isn’t listed below, be sure to share it with us!
Wisdom and Knowledge
Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge.
Consciousness: The state or quality of awareness; having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind; the perception of what passes in one’s own mind; Originally derived from Latin writings of the phrase conscius sibi, which translates literally as “knowing with oneself”, or in other words “sharing knowledge with oneself about something.”
Creativity [originality, ingenuity]: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it.
Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]: Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering.
Judgment & Open-Mindedness [critical thinking]: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly and objectively.
Love of Learning: Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge; relates to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows.
Perspective [wisdom]: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people; Seeing and expressing more than one side of an issue.
Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external or internal. (Side note: the word courage’s Latin root translates to “of the heart.”)
Assertiveness: A confident affirmation or declaration of a statement without need of proof; Affirming your right to a point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore or deny your point of view.
Authenticity: The degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures.
Bravery [valor]: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, discomfort or pain; speaking up for what is right even if there is opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular.
Perseverance [persistence, industriousness]: Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles; “getting it out the door”; taking pleasure in completing tasks
Honesty [truthfulness, integrity]: Speaking the truth and presenting oneself in a genuine, sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for and honoring one’s true feelings and actions.
Interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others.
Acceptance: Assenting to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or resist. The Latin root of the word can be translated to “to find rest in.”
Compassion: Translates to “with one who suffers” in Latin; an empathetic reaction to the pains and challenges of others; a desire to go out of one’s way to help.
Capacity to Love and Be Loved: Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people; dissolving protective barriers and defense mechanisms in order to become more open-hearted and create a greater capacity to love.
Kindness [generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”]: A pleasant disposition and genuine care for others; Doing favors and good deeds for others; effecting others in a positive way; helping them; taking care of them.
Social Intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick; being aware of the effect you have on others and seeking benevolence.
Sincerity: Speaking and acting truly about one’s own feelings, beliefs, thoughts, and desires. Using no hurtful deceit; thinking innocently and justly; Speaking truth.
Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life.
Teamwork [citizenship, social responsibility, loyalty]: Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one’s share; feeling a sense of unity and dedication to a greater whole.
Fairness: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting petty feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.
Leadership: Encouraging a group to get things done and at the same time, maintaining good relations and mutual respect within the group; organizing group activities and seeing that they happen; inspiring others to greatness, and ensuring their actions lead to positive, shared results.
Strengths that protect against excess and encourage moderation and balance.
Forgiveness & Mercy: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful; releasing and cleansing oneself and others of past wrongdoings.
Modesty: Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.
Patience: The level of endurance one has before negativity. Perseverance in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance/anger.
Prudence: Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.
Self-Regulation [self-control]: Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions. Resolving to do what one should, and performing without fail.
Silence: Speaking only when it may benefit oneself or others; avoiding trifling conversation; observing and learning; cultivating the power of listening and receiving.
Order: Letting all things have a right place and time.
Frugality: Avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance; using no more of something than is necessary.
Cleanliness: Tolerating no uncleanliness in body, possessions, thoughts or environment.
Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe / the divine, and provide spiritual meaning.
Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]: The ability to find, recognize, and take pleasure in the existence of goodness in the world; recognizing that which speaks to the best in us; being raised up by awe or wonder.
Enthusiasm: Harboring an intense enjoyment, interest, or approval for life. Greek root that translates to “possessed by God’s essence.”
Tranquility: A pleasing level of sensory input that involves no cognitive effort other than removing oneself from an overcrowded mental space; not being disturbed by trifles; a restorative mental state and respite from “directed attention.”
Gratitude: A feeling or attitude of deep acknowledgement of the blessings and benefits one has received; an act of worshipping or praising one’s life in every circumstance.
Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can and should be brought about.
Humility: Recognition of self in relation to a god, acceptance of and submission to divine grace. Latin root humus means “Earth,” humilis “grounded” or “from the Earth.”
Humor [playfulness]: Provoking laughter, amusement and fun; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; being playful and fun-loving; not taking things too seriously.
Religiousness & Spirituality [faith, purpose]: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that provide comfort and purpose; seeing oneself as divinely created and limitless in potential.
Zest [vitality, vigor, energy]: Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated as a human being.