The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living, But It’s Better than Being Dead

Out of a burning desire to know myself in ways that don’t involve hiding in the bathroom for 30 minutes (or perhaps it was sheer boredom and the need of something to post so Google would love me blog long time), I went and took a quiz referenced in a book I was reading about the human brain.

It’s called the VIA Signature Strengths questionnaire. The quiz, not the book. The book was something like Wow, Andy’s Brain is Cool, or could have been, even though it wasn’t.

I have no idea what VIA stands for, but the program is sponsored by the U of Penn, so it must be important (and most likely part of some left-wing academic conspiracy to turn us all into socialist flower children who compare the victims of 9/11 to Nazis getting their comeuppance, and I fell for it!).

Anyway, lots of questions later, here’s what the test tells me about me through the magic of my top five strengths.

  1. Love of learning

    You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

  2. Capacity to love and be loved

    You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.

  3. Creativity, ingenuity, and originality

    Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

  4. Fairness, equity, and justice

    Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

  5. Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness

    Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

I think those are pretty spot on, even if some of you are snickering (nay, guffawing, even). There is a method to the madness you witness here, you know.

Granted, this assessment is based on my own responses to a series of statements and how much I felt they applied to me. If I took a physical appearance quiz that way, you’d be shocked to find out I am 6 foot 2 with fabulous hair and have been on the cover of over 27 glossy magazines in 4 countries.

Out of curiosity, I scrolled down to check out my lowest-ranked strengths. Without further ado:

  1. Appreciation of beauty and excellence

  2. Caution, prudence, and discretion

  3. Forgiveness and mercy

  4. Modesty and humility

  5. Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith

There’s some truth to each of those too in relation to where they fall on the list. I bet those last two are absolute shockers to those of you who know me, huh?

You too can take the test over here.

Be warned, it’s big (the test, but – yes – that too).

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