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The Science of Character (a new 8 min "Cloud Film")

Lesson created by Ryan Niemiec using

Video from Tiffany Shlain & The Moxie Institute Films YouTube Channel

Let’s Begin…

Character strengths are like super powers. We all have our own unique combination and when we focus on them they can boost happiness, enhance success and deepen relationships. This lesson uses an engaging film to learn about the science behind how character can be learned, practiced and cultivated. Discover your strengths with the free VIA Survey at
Additional Resources for you to Explore
DIG DEEPER STEP 1: Learn about your unique character strengths by taking the VIA Survey and getting your in-depth VIA Pro Report. Click the link to register and take the research-validated VIA Survey of Character Strengths. After you complete the survey get your VIA Pro Report to learn how to cultivate your signature strengths for greater happiness.

Activity A: After reviewing your VIA Pro Report, choose one of your top strengths and write about how you use this strength in a variety of settings – at work, at home, with friends, etc. How do people respond to you when you use this strength? What does it look like when you overuse this strength?

Activity B: Think about a time - recently or awhile back - in which you were happy and fully engaged in your life, work, and play. Reflect for a moment on this time in your life. Now, consider these questions: How were you taking action during this time? What were you doing that contributed to this happiness and engagement? What character strengths do you think you were frequently using at this time?

DIG DEEPER STEP 2: Step up your practice- from introductory to advanced - on applying character strengths in your personal life, with clients, with students, and with employees by registering for a course taught by experts on VIA Character Strengths.(click here for a menu of courses and descriptions).
Now that you have watched the film, learn your own top character strengths at

Consider this
Circling back to the Science of Character film, reflect now on its final frames:

Activity: As you think about ways you can positively impact yourself and others, take a moment to complete this sentence that concludes the video: I want to be: ________________.
What is one thing you can do to make what you wrote a reality? Now, do it!

The VIA Institute on Character is a non-profit organization that aims to support people in their pursuit of better lives through the practice and development of character strengths.Please visit our website to discover a variety of resources specifically designed both for individuals and professionals. Check out more Resources at

Subscribe to our Blogs on Character Strengths
Read stories, learn about the latest practices, and discover what the cutting edge research is saying:
Avatar for Ryan Niemiec
Lesson Creator
The beginning of this video explains that character comes from our genes and our environment. Think what what makes up who you are. What do you think has played the biggest role in shaping who you are today? Read this blog post to help you reflect:
05/02/2014 • 
 1 Response
 / 1 Updates
Signature strengths are your top strengths of character - those that are most energizing, natural, and authentic to who you are. You can't help but to express them! But, often the expression is outside of your awareness. What might you do to become more mindful of your signature strengths? How could you widen your use of your signature strengths? Did ideas? Go to this blog post:
05/02/2014 • 
 2 Responses
 / 2 Updates
A common approach in schools and character education is to teach character as an all-or-none approach (you either have it or you don't). These programs teach every student to build up a few specific qualities that the institution deems most valuable. This video discusses one approach that identifies 7 VIA strengths linked with achievement. Do you think it's best to prioritize teaching strengths in this way? Or, is their greater value in helping students identify their own highest strengths? Why?
05/02/2014 • 
 0 Responses
 / 0 Updates

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