Welcome to the Portrait of the Good Character Development Exercise
This 10 question exercise consists of two steps. Step 1 asks you to contemplate your essential interests (3 questions). Then step 2 asks you to discern your most important virtues (7 multiple choice questions). After you answer each question click on the “Next” button on the upper right to go to the next question.
Question 1. Your Self-Interest: What Do You Ultimately Want?
From among the six potential personal goals listed below, choose the answer that best describes what you are most interested in achieving in life. Even though you may desire all of these ends, this question asks you to choose the life goal that appeals to you most.
Question 2. Your Interest in Others: Who Are the Other People and Groups You Care Most About?
This three-part question asks you to consider the significant others in your life. In short, who are “your people?” In the 3 fields below answer questions A, B, and C by filling in the names of the people and groups you care most about. See finished
examples here of how these names will appear on your Portrait of the Good chart.
A: Who are your closest loved ones? Enter between 1 and 8 names. Using first names only looks best, but you can list full names. Press the Return/Enter key after each name. B: Who are your most significant friends and colleagues? Enter between 1 and 8 names. C: What groups do you identify with? For instance, this list might include your nationality, religion, ethnicity, or interest groups you belong to. Limit your answers to only the groups that help define your personal identity. Enter up to 8 group names.
When you are satisfied with your answers click “Next”.
Question 3. Your Greater-Than-Self Interest: What Qualifies as Authentically Transcendent for You?
This question asks you to consider what and who are ultimately more important than you. In the field below list some of the ideas, things, and people on whose behalf you would readily sacrifice your own self-interest. In other words, what do you truly believe in, what are you dedicated to? Possible answers might include your family, humanity, God, the environment, a noble cause, your deepest convictions, or anything you consider authentically
Additional ideals of transcendence are shown in these
examples. There may be some overlap between what you consider transcendent and the people and groups you listed in Question 2, which is fine.
Press the Return/Enter key twice between subjects for the best look.
When you are satisfied with your answers click “Next.”
Question 4. What Do You Owe to Others?
From the list of virtue terms below, choose the term that best describes the basic standard of care or conduct that you owe to the other people and groups you identified in Question 2. In other words, what is the best way to treat the people who are in your life, and the groups you’re most concerned about? For Question 4, the fundamental root virtue is
Justice. You may choose justice for your answer, or any of the other six virtues listed below: Question 5. What Do You Owe to Yourself?
Select the virtue term that best describes the standard of goodness, or right action, that you try to hold
yourself to. For Question 5, the fundamental root virtue is Temperance. You may choose temperance for your answer, or any of the other six virtues listed below: Question 6. What Do You Owe to Your Plans and Dreams?
Select the virtue term that best describes the standard of care that you owe to your life plans and projects. In other words, what guiding principle of action should you proceed by in your endeavors? For Question 6, the fundamental root virtue is
Prudence. You may choose prudence for your answer, or any of the other six virtues listed below: Question 7. How Do You Face Your Fears and Respond to Difficulties?
Select the virtue term that describes your best possible stance when faced with challenges or threats from others. In other words, what allows you to stand your ground and live up to the best you can be? For Question 7, the fundamental root virtue is
Courage. You may choose courage for your answer, or any of the other six virtues listed below: Question 8. What Is Your Best Stance Toward the Future?
Select the virtue term that best describes how you relate to your highest expectations for this life, and potentially beyond this life. For Question 8, the fundamental root virtue is
Hope. You may choose hope for your answer, or any of the other six virtues listed below: Question 9. How Do You Relate to What Is Ultimately Real?
Choose the term that best describes your relationship to what you really believe deep down. In other words, how do you relate to your ideals of goodness, truth, and beauty, or your chosen higher purpose? For Question 9, the fundamental root virtue is
Faith. You may choose faith for your answer, or any of the other six virtues listed below: Question 10. What Is the Best You Can Be, Do, or Give in This World?
Finally, for Question 10 choose the term that describes the highest good you are capable of expressing, or the best person you are capable of being. In other words, what personal quality are you the most proud of? For Question 10, the fundamental root virtue is
Love. You may choose love for your answer, or any of the other six virtues listed below:
To complete your
Portrait of the Good exercise and receive your personalized virtues chart, please enter your email address here:
A pdf file of your personalized
Portrait of the Good will be sent to your email address shortly, which will be added to the Institute for Cultural Evolution’s nonprofit email list. You can unsubscribe from the ICE email list at any time using Mail Chimp’s “secure unsubscribe” link, which can be found at the bottom of all ICE email blasts to our list.
Your answers will be kept strictly confidential according to ICE’s
Thank you very much for participating in our character development exercise.
Institute for Cultural Evolution