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July 6, 2014

Seven character traits the lead to success

Dear Doctor,

Quite a while ago you wrote about what kind of character is important for children to have if they are to become successful students and individuals. You listed some specific traits. I would very much like to have them. I am a teacher and they struck a chord with me.

Teacher

Dear Teacher,

Yes, I did write about the traits you mention.

They are not original with me. The study of values began with the work of Seligman at U. Penn. in the early ’90s. Over the next decade, specific researchers focused on which were most important. The list was condensed into seven. This was as a result of what worked in several inner city schools and resulted in above average success. For my money the traits are the stuff of great human beings. They are:

1. Grit: This means endurance, toughness, hanging in there.

2. Self Control: Learning to manage yourself. Accepting limits and boundaries.

3. Zest: Energy and joy in daily life.

4. Social Intelligence: Understanding oneself and reading others with equal skill.

5. Gratitude: Being thankful for what one has.

6. Optimism: A positive outlook. Conquering negativity.

7. Curiosity: The desire to know and to ask questions.

These are from a book on successful students written by by Paul Tough. As I write, the book is elsewhere, but this is what I recall.

---

Dr. Larry Larsen is an Andover psychologist. Email him questions or comments at lrryllrsn@CS.com.

 

 

 

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