Research has shown that children who have inner strengths and talents as a child and adolescents will be more successful in school, work, and life later on. Because success is not limited to external achievements, it’s driven by our core capabilities to build positive relationships, collaborate, lead, and contribute to our communities.

What are your inner strengths?

Many people agree that inner strength helps us overcome fear, failure and other obstacles in our lives. They do much more.

Dr. Martin Seligman is the founder of positive psychology. He believes inner strengths can encourage optimism and boost well-being. They also help us to navigate our lives.

In his book Genuine Happiness, Seligman stated that psychology had been dominated by one topic–mental illness. He encouraged psychologists to look at the positive sides of human development, such as creativity, kindness, citizenship and gratitude.

My research in positive psychology shows that eight inner strengths are essential for young people to become caring parents, innovators, leaders and engaged citizens.

The Compass Advantage framework defines these inner strengths like curiosity, sociability and resilience. They also include integrity, resourcefulness and creativity. These inner strengths are not only a catalyst for social-emotional learning (SEL) but also help with cognitive and somatic (body-centered learning) learning.

According to my research, we need to see these inner strengths and nurture them at school, at home, and in after-school programs. Each of these strengths is not sufficient. Both work together to ensure that youth and adults are successful.

Talking about Inner Strengths with Youth

Unfortunately, young people are rarely taught and encouraged to discuss the inner strengths of The Compass advantage framework or other positive youth development models. We mistakenly believe that they will come without our support and encouragement.

It is important to remember that grades and high school graduation rates are important. However, children’s inner strengths make them successful in school and life. These abilities are what help young people find purpose and meaning in life.

Children’s brains are especially eager and ready to learn about themselves between 10 and 17. They want to discover their own self-identities. Engaging in discussions with peers, adults, and by identifying their compass attributes through books and interactions with role model, children can gain a better understanding of themselves.

These conversation starters are intended to be used in conjunction with the Compass youth survey. After completing the survey, young people will receive an email with their results. These results will introduce them to their eight inner strengths. The results of the survey are confidential and private. It is important that young people respect their privacy.

The survey can help young people discover their inner strengths, whether they take a survey on our website for free or if they complete a Group Youth Survey offered by a school.

How to spark conversations about inner strengths?

In classrooms and after-school youth programs

These conversation starters will encourage deeper discussions about your personal characteristics and how they positively impact success and well-being.

  • Are you adamant that inner strengths are more important than grades? Why or why not?
  • What are the effects of internal strengths on academic success?
  • What compass attributes can you use in daily life to the greatest extent? Why?
  • What inner abilities are necessary to build positive relationships? How?
  • How can you grow your inner strength?
  • What inner strengths can make us more effective citizens? To work together for positive social change and environmental improvement.
  • How can we help each other to grow and develop when we work as peers?
  • What does bullying do to the inner strength of the bully? Bullied person
  • Who are your role models or mentors? Describe the person’s inner strengths.
  • Who has nurtured your inner talents? How?
  • Which compass characteristics are most important for leaders? Why?
  • What can you do to improve your mental health?
  • Consider a character in a movie, book, or TV series who had to overcome obstacles to succeed. What were his/her greatest inner strengths?
  • When we begin this project, let us know one of your compass attributes that you believe will help us all. What can you do to help others use that attribute?

At Home

Positive parenting is based on the principles of family values and the practice of building inner strength. If your child is interested in discussing the Compass Surveys, you can host a family meeting.

We recommend that both adults and children aged 10-17 complete surveys to make sure they are as effective as possible. There are many ways to do this. The Family Survey for Youth can be taken by parents with their child. The Youth Survey can be taken by the child. This gives parents and children the opportunity to talk about their perceptions of each other, which can be very different. You can also complete an Adult Survey to identify your inner strengths.

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