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Transcendence – strengths related to creating meaning



Expecting and taking action towards a positive future.

Why does hope matter?

Hope is about seeing the world as ‘glass half full’ and having positive expectations for the future. When you are hopeful, you have goals for the future, you believe they will be achieved, and you behave in such a way that promotes the realisation of your beliefs. Optimistic people have broad perspectives, take action to attain their goals and believe they can make positive things happen in their lives.

What does hope look like?

Students with hope might:

  • think positively about their learning and assessment and take action to achieve pleasing results;
  • see possibilities in the future and have plans for what they would like to achieve;
  • support others in an optimistic way; hope is contagious.

Teachers with hope might:

  • see potential in students and create plans to make things happen;
  • support colleagues with optimistic perspectives;
  • have a vision for how a subject could improve in the future.



Being aware and thankful for the good things that happen in life.

Why does gratitude matter?

When you are grateful you look for the good in the world and appreciate things that happen to you, or are given to you, which positively influence your life.

Gratitude is a strength that works as an antidote to our negative emotions. By noticing and appreciating the good things in life, we focus on and appreciate the present moment. Looking at the world with gratitude makes us participate in life; to live in the now. 

Gratitude is always a choice. It’s about appreciation, not expectation

This blog post explores the importance of gratitude in our lives.

What does gratitude look like?

Students with gratitude might:

  • form strong relationships with others through expressing their gratitude;
  • focus on what is going well in their lives;
  • express gratitude to their teachers, parents and coaches and know that their success depends on the support of others.

Teachers with gratitude might:

  • celebrate what is going well;
  • see the strengths in students and praise them for their efforts
  • feel grateful for the opportunities that teaching provides to connect with students in a meaningful way.

“Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much. For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbours build their philosophy of life”.

Appreciation of Beauty

Appreciation of Beauty

Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and skilled performance in various domains of life.

Why does appreciation of beauty and excellence matter?

Appreciation of beauty and excellence relates to the human tendency to feel powerful transcendent emotions when noticing beauty in the world. This may be experienced as feelings of awe, wonder or elevation. People with this strength love the arts- music, literature or art. They are easily moved by nature, spiritual experiences or even a beautiful mathematics equation. This strength is outward looking; when people experience awe they can have a broader sense of perspective in their personal lives, a deeper sense of connection to humanity and a renewed sense of purpose. 

What does appreciation of beauty and excellence look like?

Students with appreciation of beauty and excellence might:

  • enjoy creating art, music, writing or films;
  • be inspired by seeing exemplars of fine work or art;
  • enjoy time in nature;
  • praise their peers and appreciate strengths in other people.

Teachers with appreciation of beauty and excellence might:

  • use excellent examples to inspire their students;
  • provide positive feedback to students who excel;
  • create a beautiful environment for students to learn in;
  • teach their subject within a broad perspective of the world.



The ability to generate and appreciate the 'lighter side' of the moment.

Why does humour matter?

Humour relates to the ability to experience and ignite laughter in others. People strong in the humour strength are able to see the lighter side in a situation. Humour is a ubiquitous, highly ingrained, and largely meaningful aspect of the human experience and therefor is a highly valued trait. People with humour as a strength make strong connections with others and can build positive relationships. Humour also contributes to both our physical and psychological well-being and boosts positivity and optimism. There is research that indicates that humour is often the springboard for creativity in the workplace.

What does humour look like?

Students with humour might:

  • enjoy offering laughter to others in class discussions;
  • enjoy playing and being creative;
  • build positivity with their peer group, even in stressful times.

Teachers with humour might:

  • provide memorable learning experiences for students;
  • create a learning environment that is positive, fun and playful;
  • be a valued team member and colleague.



Having beliefs about the meaning and purpose of the world we live in.

Why does spirituality matter?

Spirituality relates to the ability to hold coherent beliefs about the 'big picture' meaning and purpose of the world we live in. People who have spirituality as a strength have a clear idea of how they fit within the larger scheme. These beliefs shape their values and provide faith. Research indicates that spirituality is a strength that is strongly correlated with higher life satisfaction. A more expansive view of the world is associated with increased gratitude, compassion, a greater sense of connection and understanding of meaning and purpose. 

What does spirituality look like?

Students with spirituality might:

  • be able to put challenging situations into perspective;
  • understand how they are connected to others and act in compassionate ways;
  • enjoy having time to connect with the sacred.

Teachers with spirituality might:

  • provide wise counsel to students;
  • find meaning and purpose in their vocation and live true to their values;
  • enjoy making a contribution to others.