Top 10 Strengths

Jerald Forster’s Top 10 Self-Articulated Strengths  (as of 7/8/15) 

 

1. Self-Acceptance: I accept myself as I am. I regret very little about what I have done in the past that did not work out as I expected. I recognize a number of weaknesses or inadequacies that I have, and I am comfortable with these shortcomings.  I know I have done the best I could do when I was motivated to do certain things that seemed important to me at the time.  For example, I recognize my weaknesses in verbal fluency, especially when I am trying to express complex ideas extemporarily.  I admire the fluency and articulation of many other people, and I have always wished that I could speak like those who were especially fluent and articulate. But I suspect that my brain is not wired for verbal fluency, and I know that I have always done the best I could do. I am grateful that I am often much more clear and articulate when I am writing on a computer or word processor. When writing, I can slow down and rewrite sentences that were disjointed and poorly structured when I wrote my first draft.

 

2. I feel that I have the wisdom that is described in The Serenity Prayer, which is the wisdom to differentiate between (a) situations when I can make a change that I feel should be made, and (b) situations when I do not have the abilities nor the resources to make a change that I would like to make. I know when to accept “what is,” even though I would prefer that “things would be different than what is.” I acknowledge that I sometimes wish things were different, but I realize my limitations with regard to changing what I don’t like.

 

3. I have A Positive Perspective, which is a natural propensity to attend to positive aspects of external and internal stimuli that exist in my spectrum of awareness at any given moment.

         (Example: If considering the future, I am more likely focused on the positive possibilities that could happen; If focused on the present, I am looking for those aspects that I want to savor; If remembering the past, I am focused on those experiences that gave me a feeling of well-being.)

 

4. I have a constructivist-approach to reality.  This means that I realize that I am constantly constructing my own reality. This turns out to be a big deal in terms of flexibility and open-mindedness. Since I am aware that I am interpreting, rather than recognizing what is going on, I am more aware that these interpretations are based on my beliefs. I hypothesize that because I am aware that my beliefs influence my interpretations, I am more aware than most people that I do not have a corner on the market of truth, which probably results in more relativistic thinking, and less likelihood of being judgmental. I also hypothesize that this way of thinking results in more tolerance for diversity and differing belief systems. 

 

5. I am comfortable and accepting of the impermanence that characterizes human life. I realize that there is constant change in my life and in the dynamic world. I accept that I will never experience again many feelings and sensations that can only be experienced in earlier stages of life. I accept that I cannot return to many earlier situations, such as the farm where I spent my childhood.  I have a comfortable acceptance that I am going to die someday, which will enable me to face the last months of my life with peace and a feeling of thankfulness for my good fortune during earlier periods of my life.

         (Example: This sense of acceptance was what happened to me during a 2-week period in 2007, between an initial (incorrect) diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and subsequent surgery removing the bile-duct cancer. I am quite sure these feelings of acceptance and gratefulness will continue as long as I live.)

 

6. I have a well-developed awareness of how people are feeling in a small-group discussion, and I have good ability to facilitate the group’s focus on topics or questions that increase the total group’s level of involvement and satisfaction.

         (Example of #6): I have noticed the increased interest and satisfaction in the Appreciating Elderhood group, which I facilitate two times a month.)

 

7. I experience myself as being kind to others. By this I mean that I have very little desire to hurt, punish, or get revenge on another person or even a group of people. Fortunately, I do not recall experiences where another person has seriously threatened my safety or my wellbeing. I believe that people are not born evil, and I generally feel that their bad behavior has been caused or influenced by factors beyond their control.  Basically, I believe that everyone deserves my respect and my compassion. I have no desire to hurt anyone and I nearly always try to think of ways I could help the person live a life where s/he could thrive.

 

8. I am grateful and appreciative of my good fortune to have had the opportunity for a career in the Counseling Psychology field of study and practice. My good fortune of entering this field at the University of Minnesota at the time I entered, enabled me to graduate at an optimal time for getting an academic position at a top-level university. This opportunity at the University of Washington enabled me to study and use psychological theories and practices which were cutting edge, and I was being paid for doing what I loved doing. Fortunately, I had the emotional and social intelligence to compensate for my somewhat limited abilities of oral articulation and complex statistical/research methods. I did have the abilities and mental health to be an effective mentor and clinical teacher, and I helped the development of a very effective program of Clinical Training and Supervision. I have been a good mentor to a large number of advisees.

 

9. I have a strong ability to be in control of my feelings and actions when faced with temptations that have some likelihood of being harmful to my long-term health and sense of well being.  I eat and drink in ways that are healthy and nutritious. I try to get all of the sleep I can get and I stay away from places where people get out-of-control. I am fairly good at controlling my mind and my emotions. I tend to think ahead to potential situations that might be dangerous and uncertain.  This personality quality has been called will power and it often means high self-regulation.

 

10. I have ability and the desire to facilitate and/or encourage others to become more aware of their positive qualities, which enable them to feel good about themselves. I do this during interactions with individuals, and I also try to do this when talking to others in small groups. I feel good when I help others feel good about themselves.

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Jerald Forster’s Top 10 Self-Articulated Strengths  (as of 6/9/15)

 

1. Self-Acceptance: I accept myself as I am. I regret very little about what I have done in the past that did not work out as I expected to work out. I recognize a number of weaknesses or inadequacies that I have, and I am comfortable with these shortcomings.  I know I have done the best I could do when I was motivated to do certain things that seemed important to me at the time.  For example, I recognize my weaknesses in verbal fluency and the articulation of complex ideas. I admire the fluency and articulation of many other people, and I have always wished that I could speak like those who were especially fluent and articulate. But I suspect that my brain is not wired for verbal fluency, & I know that I have always done the best I could do. I am grateful that I am often much more clear and articulate when I am writing on a computer or word processor. When writing, I can slow down and rewrite sentences that were disjointed and poorly structured when I wrote my first draft.

 

2. I feel that I have the wisdom that is described in The Serenity Prayer, which is the wisdom to differentiate between (a) situations when I can make a change that I feel should be made, and (b) situations when I do not have the abilities nor the resources to make a change that should be made. I know when to acceptwhat is,” even though I would prefer that “things would be different than what is.” I acknowledge that I sometimes wish things were different, but I realize my limitations with regard to changing what I don’t like.

 

3. I have A Positive Perspective, which is a natural propensity to attend to positive aspects of external and internal stimuli that exist in my spectrum of awareness at any given moment.

         (Example: If considering the future, I am more likely focused on the positive possibilities that could happen; If focused on the present, I am looking for those aspects that I want to savor; If remembering the past, I am focused on those experiences that gave me a feeling of well-being.)

 

4. I have a constructivist-approach to reality.  This means that I realize that I am constantly constructing my own reality. This turns out to be a big deal in terms of flexibility and open-mindedness. Since I am aware that I am interpreting, rather than recognizing what is going on, I am more aware that these interpretations are based on my beliefs. I hypothesize that because I am aware that my beliefs influence my interpretations, I am more aware than most people that I do not have a corner on the market of truth, which probably results in more relativistic thinking, and less likelihood of being judgmental. I also hypothesize that this way of thinking results in more tolerance for diversity and differing belief systems.

 

5. I am comfortable and accepting of the impermanence that characterizes human life. I realize that there is constant change in my life and in the dynamic world. I accept that I will never experience again many feelings and sensations that can only be experienced in earlier stages of life. I accept that I cannot return to many earlier situations, such as the farm where I spent my childhood.  I have a comfortable acceptance that I am going to die someday, which will enable me to face the last months of my life with peace and a feeling of thankfulness for my good fortune during earlier periods of my life.

         (Example: This sense of acceptance was what happened to me during a 2-week period in 2007, between an initial (incorrect) diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and subsequent surgery removing the bile-duct cancer. I am quite sure these feelings of acceptance and gratefulness will continue as long as I live.)

 

6. I have a well-developed awareness of how people are feeling in a small-group discussion, and I have good ability to facilitate the group’s focus on topics or questions that increase the total group’s level of involvement and satisfaction.

         (Example of #6): I have noticed the increased interest and satisfaction in the Appreciating Elderhood group, which I facilitate two times a month.)

 

7. I experience myself as being kind to others. By this I mean that I have very little desire to hurt, punish, or get revenge on another person or even a group of people. Fortunately, I do not recall experiences where another person has seriously threatened my safety or my wellbeing. I believe that people are not born evil, and that their bad behavior has been caused or influenced by factors beyond their control.  Basically, I believe that everyone deserves my respect and my compassion. I have no desire to hurt anyone and I nearly always try to think of ways I could help them live a life where they could thrive.

 

 

8. I am grateful and appreciative of my good fortune to have had the opportunity for a career in the Counseling Psychology field of study and practice. My good fortune of entering this field at the University of Minnesota at the time I entered enabled me to graduate at an optimal time for getting an academic position at a top-level university. This opportunity at the University of Washington enabled me to study and use psychological theories and practices which were cutting edge and not accessible to many people. Fortunately, I had the emotional and social intelligence to compensate for my somewhat limited abilities of oral articulation and complex statistical/research methods. I did have the abilities and mental health to be an effective mentor and clinical teacher, and I helped the development of a very effective program of Clinical Training and Supervision.

 

9. I have a strong ability to be in control of my feelings and actions when faced with temptations that have some likelihood of being harmful to my long-term health and sense of well-being.  I eat and drink in ways that are healthy and nutritious. I try to get all of the sleep I can get and I stay away from places where people get out-of-control. I am fairly good at controlling my mind and my emotions. I tend to think ahead to potential situations which might be dangerous and uncertain.  This personality quality has been called Will Power and it often means high self regulation.

 

10. Combining many of the strengths listed above, I feel that I have exceptional psychological health, which might also be called mental and emotional health.

One of the few personal beliefs that I strongly hold is that good psychological health is a very beneficial strength to have. Although I realize that there is no universal trait or strength that should be declared the most valuable one, I declare that I value this strength the most and I want to facilitate processes that enable others to experience optimal psychological health.

 

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Jerald Forster’s Top 10 Self-Articulated Strengths  (as of 7/7/14)


1. I feel that I have the wisdom that is described in The Serenity Prayer, which is the wisdom to differentiate between (a) situations when I can make a change that I feel should be made, and (b) situations when I do not have the abilities nor the resources to make a change that should be made. I know when to acceptwhat is,” even though I would prefer that “things would be different than what is.” I acknowledge that I sometimes wish things were different, but I realize my limitations with regard to changing what I don’t like.

 

2. Self-Acceptance: I accept myself as I am. I regret very little about what I have done in the past that did not work out as I expected to work out. I recognize a number of weaknesses or inadequacies that I have, and I am comfortable with these shortcomings.  I know I have done the best I could do when I was motivated to do certain things that seemed important to me at the time.  For example, I recognize my weaknesses in verbal fluency and the articulation of complex ideas. I admire the fluency and articulation of many other people, and I have always wished that I could speak like those who were especially fluent and articulate. But I suspect that my brain is not wired for verbal fluency, & I know that I have always done the best I could do. I am grateful that I am often much more clear and articulate when I am writing on a computer or word processor. When writing, I can slow down and rewrite sentences that were disjointed and poorly structured when I wrote my first draft.

 

3. I am comfortable and accepting of the impermanence that characterizes human life. I realize that there is constant change in my life and in the dynamic world. I accept that I will never experience again many feelings and sensations that can only be experienced in earlier stages of life. I accept that I cannot return to many earlier situations, such as the farm where I spent my childhood.  I have a comfortable acceptance that I am going to die someday, which will enable me to face the last months of my life with peace and a feeling of thankfulness for my good fortune during earlier periods of my life.

         (Example: This sense of acceptance was what happened to me during a 2-week period in 2007, between an initial (incorrect) diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and subsequent surgery removing the bile-duct cancer. I am quite sure these feelings of acceptance and gratefulness will continue as long as I live.)


4. I have A Positive Perspective, which is a natural propensity to attend to positive aspects of external and internal stimuli that exist in my spectrum of awareness at any given moment.

         (Example: If considering the future, I am more likely focused on the positive possibilities that could happen; If focused on the present, I am looking for those aspects that I want to savor; If remembering the past, I am focused on those experiences that gave me a feeling of well-being.)


5. Awareness of my Inner Processing: This complex inner processing, which might be called inner-focused-mindfulness, is demonstrated by increased awareness of my current and recent feelings, as well as some of the influences that have stimulated those feelings. For example, when I first wake up, I often experience unusual clarity and creativity with regard to problem solving & planning, and I have break-through insights. The number of these insights, and my awareness of the insights, have increased during the past 5 years,


6. I have the capacity for being aware of multiple perspectives as I am processing my sense of personal reality. In other words, I am aware that I am simply interpreting what I perceive and what I remember from past experiences. Being aware of more than one perspective at a time and also that I am interpreting, helps me recognize that many of my beliefs should probably be called tentative hypotheses, because they are not grounded by solid evidence or sufficient objectivity. Also, by recognizing multiple perspectives, I am more enabled to see the big picture, which allows me to use different levels of interpretation for making sense of what is happening at a given time in my life. Because of the capacities described above, I feel as if I am more open-minded and tolerant of different belief systems, which means I am less judgmental about other people who have beliefs different than my own.

7. I have an increasing awareness of how people are feeling in a small-group discussion, and I have a growing ability to facilitate the group’s focus on topics or questions that increase the total group’s level of involvement and satisfaction.

         (Example of #6): I have noticed the increased interest and satisfaction in the Appreciating Elderhood group, which I facilitate two times a month.)


8.  I am very grateful. I have had opportunities that are almost unbelievable. Even though my family was poor and uneducated, I realize that I was born at a time and in a place that enabled me to achieve substantial accomplishments and to live in wonderful environments, with very high-functioning, enlightened people. Besides being very accepting of my inadequacies, I feel very grateful for the amazing opportunities I have had in my life.

9. I experience myself as being kind to others. By this I mean that I have very little desire to hurt, punish, or get revenge on another person or even a group of people. Fortunately, I do not recall experiences where another person has seriously threatened my safety or my wellbeing. I believe that people are not born evil, and that their bad behavior has been caused or influenced by factors beyond their control.  Basically, I believe that everyone deserves my respect and my compassion. I have no desire to hurt anyone and I nearly always try to think of ways I could help them live a life where they could thrive.

10. Combining many of the strengths listed above, I feel that I have exceptional psychological health, which might also be called mental and emotional health.

One of the few personal beliefs that I strongly hold is that good psychological health is a very beneficial strength to have. Although I realize that there is no universal trait or strength that should be declared the most valuable one, I declare that I value this strength the most and I want to facilitate processes that enable others to experience optimal psychological health.


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Jerald Forster’s Top 10 Self-Articulated Strengths  (as of 4/19/14)

 

1. A Positive Perspective: I have a natural propensity to attend to positive aspects of external and internal stimuli that exist in my spectrum of awareness at any given moment.

         (Example: If considering the future, I am more likely focused on the positive possibilities that could happen; If focused on the present, I am looking for those aspects that I want to savor; If remembering the past, I am focused on those experiences that gave me a feeling of well-being.)

 

2. I actively promote positive feelings in others & myself. I have a desire to feel as good as I can at any given moment, and also to facilitate this type of positive feeling in others whenever I have the opportunity.

          (Example: When I am relating to another person, I like to focus on their memories/stories which elicit positive feelings and the articulation of their self-identified-strengths. When in a group I like to increase this feeling in others;)

 

3. Awareness of my Inner Processing: This complex inner processing, which might be called inner-focused-mindfulness, is demonstrated by my awareness of what was going though my mind during the immediate period just prior to this present awareness. I can extend this awareness of my thinking processes to include an awareness of other possible perspectives I might have employed to make sense of whatever I was attending to at that time. By this, I mean that I am aware of alternative interpretations I could have just made. I am more able to differentiate these interpretations from what I had previously considered to be knowledge, facts, and “the way it really is.” Lately, I have become more aware of my “beliefs” and to recognize that they should probably be called tentative hypotheses, because they are seldom based on well-developed definitions, careful theorizing, nor validated evidence. I am aware of when I am using abstract concepts/constructs and when I am reifying them by reducing them to more simple metaphors that make them seem-to-be entities that are material and concrete, although they are really constructed abstractions.

 

4. A solid and balanced self-identity, which is not easily threatened.

         (Example: I am not very vulnerable to people or circumstances that might be destructive to my own identity, nor the self-identity of others who are involved;

 

5. An increasingly developed awareness of my immediate feelings, with an expanding ability to articulate what I have become aware of.

         (Example: I am now more aware of, & can articulate, feelings of unhappiness and also special moments of satisfaction, than earlier in my life.)

 

6. An increasing awareness of how people are feeling in a small-group discussion, and a growing ability to facilitate the group’s focus on topics or questions that increase the total group’s level of involvement and satisfaction.

         (Example of #6): I have noticed the increased interest and satisfaction in the Appreciating Elderhood group, which I facilitate two times a month.)

 

7. I have a comfortable acceptance that I am going to die someday, which will enable me to face the last months of my life with peace and a feeling of thankfulness for my good fortune during earlier periods of my life.

         (Example: This sense of acceptance was what happened to me during a 2-week period in 2006, between an initial diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and subsequent surgery that removed the cancer. I am quite sure these feelings of acceptance and thankfulness will continue as long as I live.)

 

8. Solid mental and emotional health;

         (Example: I am even-keeled, and well-balanced in times of stress and potential trauma; this strength probably overlaps with # 1, 3, 4, 7, & 9.)

 

9. I have the type of wisdom that is described in The Serenity Prayer, which is the wisdom to differentiate between (a) situations when I can make a change that should be made, and (b) situations when I do not have the abilities nor the  resources to make a change that should be made. I know when to acceptwhat is,” even though I would prefer that “things would be different than what is.”

 

10. I am an excellent, maybe superior, automobile driver. When driving, I am very aware of future dangers, scanning far ahead, and leaving safe distances between my car and the cars in front of me.

         (Example: I am able to judge angles and distances with respect to moving objects, such as cars & I have quick reflexes. I have never had an automobile accident in my 65 years of driving.

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AN EARLIER (3/23/14) TOP 10 LIST 

Jerald Forster’s Top 10 Self-Articulated Strengths  (as of 3/23/14)

 

1. Awareness of my Inner Processing: This complex process, which might be called mindfulness, is demonstrated by an awareness of my cognitive processes at any given moment. My awareness of my thinking processes includes awareness of multiple possible perspectives, which might also be called alternative interpretations of what I am attending-to. I am more able to differentiate these interpretations from what I had previously considered to be knowledge, facts, and “the way it really is.” Lately, I have become more aware of my “beliefs” and to recognize that they should probably be called tentative hypotheses, because they are seldom based on well-developed definitions, careful theorizing, nor validated evidence. I am aware of when I am using abstract concepts/constructs and when I am reifying them by reducing them to more simple metaphors that make them seem-to-be entities that are material and concrete, although they are really constructed abstractions.

 

2. A Positive Perspective: I have a natural propensity to attend to positive aspects of external and internal stimuli that exist in my spectrum of awareness at any given moment.

         (Example: If considering the future, I am more likely focused on the positive possibilities that could happen; If focused on the present, I am looking for those aspects that I want to savor; If remembering the past, I am focused on those experiences that gave me a feeling of well-being.)

 

3. I actively promote positive feelings in others & myself. I have a desire to feel as good as I can at any given moment, and also to facilitate this type of positive feeling in others whenever I have the opportunity.

          (Example: When I am relating to another person, I like to focus on their memories/stories which elicit positive feelings and the articulation of their self-identified-strengths. When in a group I like to increase this feeling in others;)

 

4. A solid and balanced self-identity, which is not easily threatened.

         (Example: I am not very vulnerable to people or circumstances that might be destructive to my own identity, nor the self-identity of others who are involved;

 

5. An increasingly developed awareness of my immediate feelings, with an expanding ability to articulate what I have become aware of.

         (Example: I am now more aware of, & can articulate, feelings of unhappiness and also special moments of satisfaction, than earlier in my life.)

 

6. An increasing awareness of how people are feeling in a small-group discussion, and a growing ability to facilitate the group’s focus on topics or questions that increase the total group’s level of involvement and satisfaction.

         (Example of #6): I have noticed the increased interest and satisfaction in the Appreciating Elderhood group, which I facilitate two times a month.)

 

7. I have a comfortable acceptance that I am going to die someday, which will enable me to face the last months of my life with peace and a feeling of thankfulness for my good fortune during earlier periods of my life.

         (Example: This sense of acceptance was what happened to me during a 2-week period in 2006, between an initial diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and subsequent surgery that removed the cancer. I am quite sure these feelings of acceptance and thankfulness will continue as long as I live.)

 

8. Solid mental and emotional health;

         (Example: I am even-keeled, and well-balanced in times of stress and potential trauma; this strength probably overlaps with # 1, 4 & 7)

 

9. Certain aspects of my body are strong, such as my grip, my arm strength, and my ability to carry or move heavy objects.

         (Example: During most of my life, I did not notice or appreciate these physical strengths, but as I get older I appreciate my coordination and my ability to do somewhat difficult household tasks with relative ease.)

 

10. I am an excellent, maybe superior, automobile driver. When driving, I am very aware of future dangers, scanning far ahead, and leaving safe distances between my car and the cars in front of me.

         (Example: I seem to have a very good sense of judging angles and distances with respect to moving objects, such as cars. I have never had an automobile accident in my 64 years of driving. I have had several close calls, but in all the cases, I was able to avoid an actual collision, probably because of quick reflexes

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