Life Themes As Universal Virtues


While personality is only our style of expression the power driving this expression is our inner Identity. This power begins with our natural Universal Archetypal Life Themes of Love, Justice, Wisdom and Power.

A Life Purpose Theme has a similar function as four different frames encasing artists paintings. Each frame would offer a particular meaning while the artists determines which type and kind of artistic rendering best conforms to the given direction the frame suggests.

For example, a wide dark wood frame with ornate carvings would indicate a period piece. It could possibly be a country scene at the edge of a dark wooded forest in the background and meadow in the foreground placed in the 1800’s. The artist is free to design his or her type and kind of scene but it certainly would not be the painting of the latest high-tech race car.

In the same way if we are dominated by the Love Theme for example, we will be compelled toward engaging in the types and kinds of behavior that conforms to love such as always wanting to help others, assist others, guide others and do it with compassion and empathy. Our traits of compassion and empathy then would become the virtues of the Love Theme as they promote and enhance the Love for others. Again, we all share these themes and can show compassion and empathy however, a Love theme does so incessantly.

The virtues of a Wisdom Life Theme will be insatiable curiosity and the continuous desire to strengthen learning skills. The Justice Life Theme combines the virtues of Love and Wisdom into unifying harmony. While the Power Life Theme finds pragmatism and assertiveness the best virtues in order to get things done quickly and in order.

It is very easy to see this in our daily lives. We wake up each morning concerned with what we should do and ought to do and in the best way to produce the most good. We also consider our obligations and duties to ourselves and others in our daily routines to produce the right results that do the most good.

It is said that “value” is that which we seek to gain or retain in the quest of gaining potency of our internal and external Identity through our virtues. If we value honesty we will be truthful to others which they will see as a virtue. What we value motivates our actions in the necessity of both our psychological and physical survival assisted by our virtues.

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A virtue is the quality of action directed toward the value we want to gain or retain as an expression of identity. A virtue for a Love Theme would be intense friendliness but not for a Power person who may need to terminate people on the job. Promoting managerial changes for a Power person is a virtue whereas a Wisdom Theme would be far too cautious and seek only slow methodical change.

This drive to express your dominant Life Theme becomes manifest by your type and kind of virtues you display through your life choices.

The net result is your virtuous behavior through life choices is what enables you to have certain types and kinds of relationships with others. Your virtues communicate through speaking with others impacting your business, intimate, and social relationships. Knowing your Life Theme is essential in improving current relationships and developing new ones. It also is the framework that surrounds your life purpose.

About the author

CEO of Authentic Systems, Degree in Philosophy from University of California, Berkeley.
3 Responses
  1. Hana Newburg

    I think it is very interesting that you use the word “virtues” to describe the four themes and see them as gifts. I always thought virtues were more blblical but in this context it becomes more accessible to me.

  2. Melissa Wells

    I find this much more in-depth than the typical personality types assessments that so many businesses offer. How does this work for business circumstances?

    1. Your Identity is what motivates your behavior with your personality setting the style of expression. In business knowing what motivates others beneath their personality is useful in many ways: hiring, promoting, inter-office conflict, work delegation, project leadership and much more.

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