In a world of pseudo science the personal development, life-coaching and self-help sector has fallen for many concepts and ideas that are built on poor foundations. Promising a life of happiness, wealth and success by simple belief.


Supposed guru's expound on popular myths and ignore the proven wisdom of histories philosophers and the increasing real understanding of human behaviour (psychology) explored over the last 100 years or so.

Undoubtedly these very attractive "quick fix" concepts appeal to us in particular when our life is in chaos, under pressure and our emotions are raw.

However, philospers, academics and psychologists don't always get it right  and with ongoing scientific studies of behaviour and neuroscience we are learning faster than ever before. Ideas and practice change with one of the greatest steps forward being that of Positive Psychology,


Before I go on Postive Psycholgy is not about going around with a stupid grin on your face, ignoring the real world we are in, but to focus on our personal strengths and behaviours that enable us to flourish in our world as it is today.


No doubt future learning and knowledge will be gained to help us better understand the world around us and to increase the understanding of ourselves - but for now let's explore how Positive Psycholgy can help you and to introduce you to the VIA Institute on Character.

Established as non-profit organization in 2001, the VIA Institute on Character is a global leader in the science and practice of character. We are proud to offer the VIA Survey, the only free, online, scientifically validated survey of character strengths.

History of the VIA Institute

In 1998 Dr. Neal Mayerson, President of the Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation and a clinical psychologist, connected with Dr. Martin Seligman, renowned researcher, scholar, and author to explore the newly forming field of Positive Psychology.  As they  used social science to explore what is best about human beings, they discovered that a key construct in the science of Positive Psychology is character; specifically, the characteristics that define what's best about people.

In 2001, the VIA Institute on Character was established as a non-profit organization to advance the science and practice of character and to fill the world with greater virtue (more wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence). Through the support of the Mayerson Foundation and the leadership of Dr. Seligman and Dr. Chris Peterson the VIA Classification of Character Strengths, as well as the landmark publication Character Strengths and Virtues (VIA's handbook), was written. Upon its publication it was hailed as the "backbone of Positive Psychology".  

Once the VIA Classification was complete, a new ground breaking personal strengths test, the VIA Survey, was designed specifically to measure these 24 character strengths in individuals. Since its inception, the VIA Survey has been, and is still is offered, for free by the VIA Institute so that every individual in the world can "know their 24" and use this information to lead happier, thriving lives.

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"Play to your strengths" is a mantra we so often hear but so few actually understand what they are or how they can affect our lives.

There are 24 character traits that we possess but which are your strongest at this time. You can find out here with this FREE survey provided by The VIA Institute on Character:

"When helping people to find ways forward in their lives I always work on finding the positives to develop and then how to manage any negatives - welcome to the world of "Positive Psychology". Ian Marshall

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The reality of life is that it can be hard. Issues with relationships, work, health and money worries cause real disappointment stress and sadness. But life can also be great, fantastic relationships, rewarding work, good health, and financially secure.

The following information has been taken from the VIA Institute on Character to demonstrate the validity and competency of the survey that has worldwide recognition.