Dr Martin EP Seligman’s Authentic Happiness Test; How to Increase Your Work and Life Satisfaction

Taking Dr Martin EP Seligman’s Authentic Happiness Tests could change your life. Today. A big claim? Perhaps, but one that’s worth the risk (plus it’s free :>)

Dr Martin EP Seligman is the Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and the founder of the new Positive Psychology movement. His rigorously tested research has determined what it takes to be happier, regardless of personal circumstances.

The first test I’d recommend is the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire. Seligman puts forward that knowing and using your strengths can make you happier at work and home.

Cynics may say “what about my weaknesses – shouldn’t I be working on those too?” And they’d be right in some cases. If you’re missing an essential skill, you should work to close that skills gap. You wouldn’t want a bus-driver who didn’t know how to drive! But the essence of achieving authentic happiness by building on your character strengths, is that the problem behaviours and frustrations melt away as you pour your energy into what you’re good at.

My top signature strength is “hope, optimism and future-mindedness”, followed by “creativity, ingenuity and originality”. I had an inkling about the first (that’s what got me the first class degree at university), but the second came as a surprise. I knew I had creative urges, but hadn’t realised how frustrated and anti-life I became when I couldn’t fulfil these needs.

So I altered my goals and personal development plan to take that into account. I recently exhibited 3 paintings in a local art exhibition and have 2 projects ongoing, and am mighty happy as a result.

My third signature strength of “industry, diligence and perseverance” has kept me going when I moved 600 miles to a new town, and left the corporate world to start my portfolio of jobs. What would you do differently if you knew your signature strengths?

Summary of Dr Martin EP Seligman’s 24 Signature Strengths


  • Curiosity in the world
  • Love of learning
  • Judgement, critical thinking and open-mindedness
  • Ingenuity, originality, practical intelligence, street smarts
  • Social intelligence, personal intelligence, emotional intelligence
  • Perspective


  • Valour and bravery
  • Perseverance, industry and diligence
  • Integrity, Genuineness, honesty

Humanity and Love

  • Kindness and Generosity
  • Loving and allowing oneself to be loved
  • Justice
  • Fairness and equity
  • Leadership


  • Self control
  • Prudence, discretion, caution
  • Humility and modesty


  • Appreciation of beauty and excellence
  • Gratitude
  • Hope, optimism and future-mindedness
  • Spirituality, sense of purpose, faith, religiousness
  • Forgiveness and mercy
  • Playfulness and humour
  • Zest, passion and enthusiasm.

Recrafting your job to deploy your signature strengths everyday makes a routine job (no matter how well paid), into one that is significantly more satisfying. Bring abundant gratification into your work and home life by taking Dr Martin EP Seligman’s Authentic Happiness Tests and discover the real you.

Download ‘Authentic Happiness Test’ in pdf format