LifeStyle Newsletter - What is Character?

June 25, 2015

People think about character in many different ways. You have probably heard or may have commented on someone else’s character by saying:

• She is a woman of good character.
• What a character!
• That was really out of character.
• He has character as well as looks.
• It was an attack on his character.

Character isn’t really one thing or another. It’s the many distinct qualities and traits that make us who we are: unique and highly individual. It’s also a focus of a new field of study in Positive Psychology.1

Focus on strengths
Psychologists and researchers at the Via Institute, a non-profit organization that hopes to advance both the science and practice of character, have identified 24 strengths that comprise six broad categories (wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence) which they’ve classified as virtues.2

For instance, the virtue of temperance may be reflected in strengths like forgiveness, modesty, prudence, and self-control. The virtue wisdom includes strengths such as creativity, curiosity, judgment, love of learning, and perspective.3 All in all,2

“Character strengths are the psychological ingredients for displaying human goodness and they serve as pathways for developing a life of greater virtue. While personality is the summary of our entire psychological makeup, character strengths are the positive components – what's best in you.”

Positive psychology theory says when we understand our character strengths, we have built-in recovery tools that can help us overcome challenges and find happiness.4

Learn more
If you’re curious about your strengths and virtues, you can take a brief survey at Once you’ve finished, you’ll receive a profile describing your character strengths from strongest to weakest.

A Cold and Fruity Summer Soup
Sometimes, a summery twist can bring new life to an old favorite. If you’re a fan of cold soups, like gazpacho, you may appreciate watermelon gazpacho. You may like it even if you don’t favor gazpacho!5

Watermelon Gazpacho
8 cups finely diced seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds with the rind) 
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt

Mix watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper, basil, parsley, vinegar, shallot, oil, and salt in a large bowl. Puree 3 cups of the mixture in a blender or food processor to the desired smoothness; transfer to another large bowl. Puree another 3 cups and add to the bowl. Stir in the remaining diced mixture. Serve at room temperature or chilled. (Courtesy of

What Do You Know About Soccer?
FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, has gained some notoriety in recent weeks. However, that hasn’t changed people’s passion for it. Soccer remains the most popular sport in the world, and it’s gaining prominence in America. See what you know about world soccer teams by taking this quiz.

1. Which is the world’s highest paid sports team?6
    a. Manchester City
    b. Bayern Munich
    c. Paris Saint-Germain
    d. FC Barcelona

2. During 2015, the world’s most valuable soccer club is:7
    a. Juventus
    b. Chelsea
    c. Barcelona
    d. Real Madrid

3. Which men’s team has won the World Cup more times than any other?8
    a. Germany
    b. Brazil
    c. Italy
    d. Uruguay

4. Which women’s teams have won the World Cup the most (twice each)?9
    a. United States and Germany
    b. Norway and United States
    c. Japan and Germany
    d. Brazil and United States

The Ideas People Have!
Every year, inventors build gadgets and devices that have the potential to change the way we live. Here are a few wacky and wonderful creations that were presented at International Consumer Electronics shows during the past two years.

Mother and the Motion Cookies: Imagine a sensor that will remind you to do things when your mom isn’t around to remind you. Just put the Mother monitor in a central location and then place a cookie sensor in the right spot to:10

• Count the steps you take.
• Let you know when a child’s room gets too cold.
• Notify you when a roommate or relative gets home.
• Remind you to take your medicine.
• Tell you to do any number of other tasks.

Tactical Cameras: Imagine you’re a first responder about to enter a room. You have no idea what you’ll find inside. Instead of going in blind, you could roll a camera or sensor into the room. About the size of a baseball, this tactical camera has six wide-angle lenses to take photos and audio to capture sound. The data is transmitted wirelessly so first responders can have a look-see and know what they’re up against before they enter the room.11

A Smart Toothbrush: Sure, you love your smartphone, but will you love your smart toothbrush? That’s right. Now, your toothbrush can do what the dentist has always done: Let you know whether you’re brushing efficiently and with enough frequency. The toothbrush connects to your phone via Bluetooth and lets you know which areas of your mouth are being neglected.12

There are all kinds of technological innovations coming to market. So many that even people who are reluctant to embrace technology may find something to love.

Quiz Answers:
1. C – Paris Saint-Germain.
2. D – Real Madrid was valued at $3.26 billion.
3. B – Brazil has won the World Cup five times.
4. A – The United States and Germany have both won the Women’s World Cup twice.

This material was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.