Love of Learning and Perspective

Clare Barry of Urban Curiosity Workshops shares her strengths

To launch our new set of 24 Character Strength pencils, #drawonyourstrengths is a campaign to help you find and cultivate your best qualities. We've invited some of our favourite thinkers, writers, artists and entrepreneurs to share their strengths with us.

Clare Barry is a writer, and the creator of Urban Curiosity Walkshops. She writes about creativity and human connection in a digital world - and London in the real one. Her articles and workshops help busy people reclaim time and headspace for creativity.

We sat down with Clare to talk about the strengths that make her tick.

What were your top three strengths?

Love of learning, Perspective and Social Intelligence.

Were any of those particularly surprising?

Not at all. I enjoy learning more about what I already know as well as making new discoveries. I love human connection because our stories contain the greatest lessons and wisdom. And eye contact is a beautiful thing.

When do you draw on this strength most often - and with whom? (Don’t be shy!)

I learn news things every day: I am a voracious reader, I love podcasts, exploring new places and most of all, I enjoy speaking to people with great ideas. I stroll around my city every day and I look up, not down (into my smartphone) because I believe curiosity is the antidote to life in our digital world. I am interested in people and many subjects - this makes me interesting because I share what I learn with others through my writing and creative adventures. I help individuals and teams reclaim time and headspace for what really matters: creativity.

And what were your least-used three strengths?

Humility, Forgiveness and Self-regulation.

Do you agree?

To an extent: I am a fairly modest person who is very loyal. The latter means I struggle to forgive being let down or poorly treated and have been know to bear a grudge - admittedly this is not my finest character trait! As for self-regulation, well, I am a food-lover and that says all you need to know about my discipline in the kitchen. But in general I haven't ever thought of self-regulation as being a challenging area for me, until now.

Strengths are like muscles. The more you use them, the stronger they become. Is there a way you could use your top strength to help you build up your least-used strength?

I could apply my passion for learning and discovering new things - to help inform my decisions around habits. Habits that impact health and wellbeing positively.

Simply naming a strength in someone can amplify it. Who could you reach out to right now and compliment on one of their strengths?

My friend Rachel Hazell is a book artist whose appreciation for beauty and excellence is contagious - while her humour makes her workshops a joy.

To discover your own strengths, you can take the VIA Survey here. And we'd love to hear what you find - once you've completed the survey, share your top 5 strengths and tag us @storeforthemind. You'll be entered into our competition to win your very own set of Character Strengths Pencils, with a detailed guide to help you build on your strengths and use them daily.