What Makes Us Morally Good: 80 Examples of Virtues

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Tatiana Azman
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Summary: What makes us morally good? Explore these examples of virtues to better understand how you can enhance your potential for a more meaningful life.

Honesty, kindness, compassion… Chances are, you’ve heard of these qualities before. They’re also examples of virtues.

How does that appear in real life? Well, imagine this: 

You’re at the grocery store, and the cashier mistakenly hands you an extra $20 bill with your change. In that brief moment, you have two choices: pocket the extra cash and enjoy a free lunch, or point out the error and return the money. 

It’s a classic dilemma where virtues like honesty and integrity come into play. And these internal guideposts help us navigate the maze of life, ensuring we come out on the other side as better individuals.

What Does “Virtue” Mean?

The “virtue” definition is simply a person’s qualities and character traits—those that are considered admirable by society and that nudge them towards being good and doing good. Known best to be from Aristotle’s profound teachings, the concept has long been a part of different religious, philosophical, and social discussions. And they continue to do so up to today. 

Virtue means doing the right thing in relation to the right person, at the right time, to the right extent, in the right manner, and for the right purpose. — Aristotle Click To Tweet

The beauty of virtues lies in their universality—they aren’t confined to any particular culture or belief system. And because of that, they act as the building blocks of a well-rounded character, helping make the journey of life not just endurable but admirable.

What Are Examples of Virtues?

One example from Aristotle’s teaching is courage. This virtue involves overcoming fear for a noble cause and doing what’s right even in the face of danger or adversity. 

Another example is temperance. This is your ability to find balance and avoid excess in areas such as food, drink, and other pleasures. 

From acceptance to wonder, the list of virtues is expansive. But the thing is, looking at and understanding the importance of the different human qualities helps you to:

  • Understand yourself and others better,
  • Live compassionately,
  • Better connect with others,
  • Handle challenging situations, and
  • Make decisions that bring pride.

In fact, a 2015 study looked at practical wisdom, a main virtue, and found it’s linked to better self-esteem and hope. By studying specific good qualities like humility and compassion, the research showed that having virtues can help people feel better about themselves and be more hopeful.

Woman walking through a mall

Human virtues

Human virtues are qualities and behaviors that support our overall well-being and flourishing. They’re typically developed through personal effort, education, and life experiences.

Here’s a list of virtues that fall under this category:

1. Wisdom

Wisdom involves not only having knowledge but also the ability to make good judgments based on that knowledge. It helps in understanding what is true, right, and lasting, ensuring that knowledge is applied in a beneficial and meaningful way.

Example in pop culture: In the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore offers Harry and others a path to understand deeper truths and make the right decisions in their battle against dark forces.

2. Fortitude

This virtue is about having the strength and endurance to face challenges or difficulties with courage. It’s the gritty resolve that keeps you going, even when the road gets tough.

Example in pop culture: Frodo’s fortitude in The Lord of the Rings as he faces each obstacle on his quest, never losing sight of his goal even when facing the darkest of threats.

3. Adaptability

Being able to adjust to new conditions with ease shows your adaptability. 

It’s about facing the unknown and navigating through changes without losing your composure. Consequently, this makes it a valuable trait in both personal and professional spheres.

Example in pop culture: With limited resources, the character of Matt Damon in The Martian comes up with creative solutions to help him survive on Mars.

4. Resilience

Sometimes in life, you have to destroy what is merely good, to allow what is truly great to come in,” explains Vishen, the founder of Mindvalley. And that’s exactly what resilience is all about—not letting go of your resolve, no matter how big or small your adversities are.

You have the grit to keep marching forward and to get back up each time life throws a curveball your way. And that makes your journey a testament to an enduring spirit.

Example in pop culture: Rocky Balboa’s resilience is one of the great examples of virtues. Despite the odds stacked against him, he trains hard, perseveres, and bravely fights, demonstrating his ability to bounce back from setbacks and continue striving forward.

5. Respect

By acknowledging the worth of others and their contributions, you practice respect by interacting with courtesy and consideration. This simple yet impactful virtue creates a foundation for meaningful and harmonious relationships, enabling a culture of mutual appreciation and understanding.

Your value doesn’t come from your success; it comes from how you treat your fellow humans. — @Vishen Click To Tweet

Example in pop culture: Despite their differing beliefs in X-Men, Professor X and Magneto maintain a level of respect for each other.

6. Kindness

In embracing acts of kindness, you choose to extend a friendly hand, to be considerate of others’ feelings, and to share what you can. Your generous actions not only uplift those around you, but they paint your world with a hue of love and understanding, making it a warmer place for everyone.

Example in pop culture: Elle Woods’ actions in Legally Blonde prove that being kind can make a big difference in how people treat each other and solve problems together.

7. Open-mindedness

When you harness the power of open-mindedness, you unlock a world where new ideas and perspectives thrive. 

It’s like holding a key to a door of endless possibilities. You allow yourself to step outside the comfort of your own beliefs and entertain thoughts that are different, fresh, or even challenging.

Example in pop culture: Initially, their differences cause clashes. However, as the students in The Breakfast Club open up to each other and share their personal struggles, they learn to understand and accept each other’s differences. 

8. Tolerance

With examples of virtues like tolerance, you show a willingness to understand others, even when their views differ from yours. 

This acceptance not only fosters peaceful interactions but also provides you with a chance to see examples of virtue in the behaviors and attitudes of others.

Example in pop culture: In Zootopia, Officer Judy Hopps learns to overcome her biases and exhibits tolerance by working alongside Nick Wilde, a fox, to solve a city-wide mystery, despite her initial prejudices against predator species.

9. Dependability

When people know they can count on you, it speaks volumes about your character. Being dependable means fulfilling what’s expected of you, showing up when needed, and living up to your promises. 

This virtuous quality builds trust in relationships and ensures that others can rely on you, knowing that you will not let them down.

Example in pop culture: Samwise Gamgee’s dependable nature throughout The Lord of the Rings, never leaving Frodo’s side during their perilous journey to Mount Doom.

10. Creativity

Cultivating this virtue enables you to think outside the box, find unique solutions, and embrace a world of possibilities, ultimately fostering personal and professional growth. It’s often essential for problem-solving and innovation. 

Example in pop culture: In Inception, the characters’ inventive strategies and imaginative tactics highlight how creativity can lead to remarkable feats, even in the realm of the subconscious.

11. Optimism

Embracing optimism means maintaining a hopeful and confident outlook on what lies ahead. It empowers you to face challenges with a positive spirit and unwavering determination.

As Neale Donald Walsch, the author of the best-selling Conversations With God and trainer of Mindvalley’s Awaken the Species Quest, says, “Glorify who you are today; do not condemn who you were yesterday; and dream of who you can be tomorrow.”

Example in pop culture: Forrest Gump is forever looking at the bright side of life. And in Forrest Gump, you can see how it inspires those around him to see the world through a more positive lens, even in challenging times.

12. Hope

Hope is the optimistic anticipation and desire for a specific outcome, often associated with a brighter future or better circumstances. This positive outlook can inspire and motivate individuals to persevere in challenging situations.

Example in pop culture: In Titanic, there’s the hope of the passengers for a prosperous future, as well as hope as they face the impending disaster of a sinking ship.

13. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is all about the excitement and joy you bring to the things you love. It’s like a contagious energy that spreads to others and makes everything more enjoyable.

Example in pop culture: Robin Williams’ character in The Dead Poets Society is bursting with enthusiasm for literature and learning. It’s this passion that inspires his students to embrace the beauty of poetry and seize the opportunities life offers.

14. Humor

Humor is like a universal language, and it adds a sprinkle of joy and laughter to life. It’s the ability to see the funny side of things, share a good joke, and create a positive atmosphere around you.

Example in pop culture: In Friends, Chandler Bing’s humor is his trademark. His witty one-liners, sarcastic comments, and clever quips keep the group entertained and lighten the mood.

15. Assertiveness

Assertiveness is like a superpower that helps you confidently express your opinions and needs while respecting the rights of others. It’s about finding that perfect balance between being too passive and too aggressive in your interactions with people.

Example in pop culture: Remember that scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda Priestly firmly (and calmly) expresses her expectations to Andy? She’s confident without compromising her professionalism—that’s assertiveness.

16. Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is the ability to find clever solutions to life’s challenges, whether they’re mental or physical. It’s about thinking creatively and adapting to various situations.

Example in pop culture: MacGyver’s known for ingeniously fashioning makeshift explosives using everyday items like chewing gum and a paperclip to escape dangerous situations. This portrayal highlights how resourcefulness can help you navigate tricky predicaments by thinking outside the box.

17. Diligence

Diligence involves putting in consistent and careful effort into your work or pursuits. It’s like tending to a garden, nurturing your goals and ambitions with persistent dedication.

Example in pop culture: In The Patriot, there’s a memorable scene where Benjamin Martin tirelessly repairs a flag. It symbolizes his dedication to the cause and the resilience of the human spirit.

18. Innovativeness

When it comes to innovativeness, it’s all about your creative intelligence and your capacity to bring fresh ideas to the table. This quality enables you to solve problems in imaginative ways and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Example in pop culture: In the world of superheroes, Tony Stark creates Iron Man’s suit, which not only saves his life but also sets the stage for his superhero journey. It’s really a great example of how innovation can transform limitations into opportunities.

19. Self-Control

When it comes to self-control, it’s all about your ability to manage your emotions and desires. This vital virtue empowers you to navigate challenging situations with a steady hand and make wise choices even when faced with temptation.

Example in pop culture: In The Avengers, Bruce Banner, who transforms into the Hulk when provoked, manages to often maintain his composure and prevent the transformation. 

20. Beauty

Embracing beauty means appreciating the aesthetics of the world and finding joy in both outer and inner attributes. It extends beyond appearances to include qualities like kindness, grace, and harmony. 

Example in pop culture: In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana’s compassionate nature portrays the beauty of her character and illustrates how inner virtues can radiate outwardly.

A happy couple walking through the streets as away to show examples of virtues

Moral virtues

While human virtues are internally focused and about personal development, moral virtues are externally focused and concern your interactions with others and society at large. They reflect higher levels of consciousness, where your moral standing and ethical behavior influence your choices.

Here are a few examples of virtues in life:

21. Gratitude

Every virtue is delivered from the womb of gratitude,” explains Mahatria Ra, a spiritual teacher and trainer of Mindvalley’s A Journey to Infinitheism Quest. And he has a great point.

In gratitude, you recognize, appreciate, and express things to be grateful for in life. And that can help boost your well-being and improve your relationships.

Example in pop culture: In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey’s genuine gratitude for the love and support of his family and friends is a powerful testament to finding joy and meaning in life.

22. Loyalty

Loyalty represents a strong sense of allegiance or support. It’s a virtue that strengthens bonds and fosters trust in relationships.

Example in pop culture: In Casablanca, Rick Blaine’s devotion to his principles and his love for Ilsa Lund are truly a show of the strength of loyalty.

23. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. This quality enables you to connect with people on a deeper level and offer support when they need it most.

Your life is not about you. Your life is about everyone else’s life you touch. — @realNDWalsch Click To Tweet

Example in pop culture: In the TV series The Good Doctor, Dr. Shaun Murphy’s understanding of others’ emotions shows how empathy can bridge emotional gaps and lead to better communication and relationships.

24. Generosity

Generosity is one of the remarkable examples of virtues that embody the qualities of being open-handed and selfless. It involves offering your time, resources, or kindness to make a positive difference in someone else’s life without expecting anything in return.

Example in pop culture: When Tony Stark/Iron Man selflessly sacrifices his own life in Avengers: Endgame to save the universe.

25. Mercy

Embracing mercy means extending compassion and forgiveness even in challenging situations, fostering healing and reconciliation. It’s a powerful testament to your capacity for understanding and empathy.

Example in pop culture: Batman often demonstrates mercy by offering his foes chances for redemption and understanding.

26. Fairness

This virtue is a cornerstone of justice and equity in society. Practicing fairness means making impartial decisions, upholding moral principles, and ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive. 

Example in pop culture: Juror #8 in 12 Angry Men demonstrates fairness by standing up for the defendant and insisting on a fair and thorough examination of the evidence.

27. Responsibility

Taking responsibility means, first and foremost, being accountable for your actions and decisions. It involves understanding that your choices can have consequences that impact both you and those around you. 

Example in pop culture: Spider-Man’s journey highlights the vital lesson that great power brings great responsibility. It emphasizes the significance of using one’s abilities for the greater good.

28. Altruism

In everyday life, altruism means selflessly caring about the well-being of others. It’s the act of offering help and support without expecting anything in return, fostering stronger connections and a sense of community.

Example in pop culture: In Schindler’s List, when Oskar Schindler selflessly saves the lives of many Jewish people during the Holocaust. It demonstrates the profound impact of putting others’ welfare before your own.

29. Tact

This virtue is the ability to skillfully choose your words and timing—saying the right thing at the right time. This’ll allow you to navigate social situations with sensitivity and diplomacy. And it helps you maintain positive relationships and handle challenging conversations with finesse.

Example in pop culture: Olivia Pope of Scandal is an expert at tact, using it to handle crises and diffuse tense situations.

30. Selflessness

Selflessness involves prioritizing the needs and wishes of others over your own. According to research, acts of selflessness can boost your overall well-being and happiness.

And with that, it fosters deeper connections and contributes to a more compassionate world. 

Example in pop culture: Sydney Carton in the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens selflessly sacrifices his life to save another person from the guillotine during the French Revolution.

31. Discipline

The essence of discipline lies in your ability to train yourself consistently, making choices that align with what is right and beneficial. This principle empowers you to achieve your goals, live a purposeful life, and embody examples of virtues.

Example in pop culture: Mr. Miyagi’s discipline in The Karate Kid comes in the form of diligently practicing martial arts moves. He shows how commitment to training can lead to excellence.

32. Reverence

In its essence, this virtue signifies a genuine appreciation and acknowledgment for someone or something. This can be anything from religious devotion to environmental conversation to memorial services.

Example in pop culture: The Na’vi of Avatar hold the planet Pandora and its ecosystem in the highest regard.

33. Trustworthiness

Being trustworthy is the foundation of healthy relationships and integrity. It means consistently being honest and reliable, ensuring others can depend on you.

Example in pop culture: Mr. Rogers, through his sincere and consistent commitment to promoting kindness and understanding, fostered trust in generations of children.

34. Consistency

Maintaining consistency means sticking to the same set of principles, actions, or patterns over time. It helps create stability and predictability in your life and interactions with others.

Example in pop culture: Gibbs from NCIS is a stickler for following rules and procedures. But this consistency helps ensure justice is served in each episode.

35. Chastity

Chastity involves refraining from sexual intercourse that is deemed morally or religiously wrong. It emphasizes the importance of staying sexually pure and true to your values, including those related to religion and spirituality.

Example in pop culture: In Dangerous Liaisons, Cecile sticks to her decision not to have sex, even when others try to change her mind.

36. Forgiveness

Forgiveness involves the act of pardoning someone or seeking pardon for an error or offense. It’s a powerful way to mend relationships and find peace within yourself.

Example in pop culture: When Elsa and Anna reconcile in the ice palace, let go of past grievances, and forgive each other in Frozen.

37. Sincerity

Sincerity is about being genuinely honest and true in your words and actions, without any pretense or deceit. It involves being transparent and straightforward in your interactions, reflecting your authenticity and integrity.

Example in pop culture: Charles Boyle from the TV series Brooklyn Nine-Nine wears his heart on his sleeve, making his genuine intentions evident to all.

38. Objectivity

Objectivity, as seen in many examples of virtues in life, means approaching situations and decisions without showing favoritism or bias toward any particular side. It’s about making judgments and choices based on facts and fairness rather than personal preferences, ensuring a fair and balanced perspective.

Example in pop culture: In Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes uses his keen observational skills and deductive reasoning to solve complex cases without letting personal feelings or biases cloud his judgment.

39. Prudence

Prudence means exercising thoughtfulness and good judgment to avoid unnecessary risks and ensure long-term well-being. You make decisions and take actions with careful consideration for the future.

Example in pop culture: In Game of Thrones, Ned Stark has a cautious approach to politics and an unwavering commitment to honor and justice, especially when he’s navigating the treacherous political landscape of Westeros.

40. Accountability

Accountability is about staying true to your commitments and taking responsibility for your actions, whether they are successes or failures. It’s a key element in personal growth and trust-building.

Example in pop culture: Consider Phil Connors in Groundhog Day. He’s self-centered and makes many mistakes, but he eventually takes accountability for his actions and strives to become a better person.

A man reading a book as an example of philosophical virtues

Philosophical virtues

There are human virtues, and there are moral virtues. And then there are philosophical ones—guiding principles cultivated through introspection, philosophical exploration, and a commitment to personal growth on your spiritual journey.

What are some examples of virtues within this realm? Here’s a list that can help you navigate life’s complexities with grace and integrity. (Fun fact: The first 12 are from Aristotle’s list of virtues.)

41. Courage

Courage is the remarkable ability to confront fear, danger, or adversity with resilience and determination. This principle empowers you to overcome challenges and forge ahead with strength and valor.

Replacing fear with courage is one of the key components of being unfuckwithable. — @Vishen Click To Tweet

Example in pop culture: In The Lion King, Simba shows this virtue as he confronts his fears and returns to claim his rightful kingdom.

42. Temperance

Temperance is the practice of exercising self-control and moderation, particularly in dealing with desires and pleasures. This principle allows you to make balanced and thoughtful choices in your life.

Example in pop culture: Kat Stratford, in 10 Things I Hate About You, stands up to traditional teen expectations, especially when faced with peer pressure and societal norms.

43. Liberality

Liberality is about living freely and not restricting oneself. It encourages an open and generous approach to life, embracing opportunities and experiences without unnecessary constraints.

Example in pop culture: Walter Mitty breaks free from his monotonous routine and goes on an adventure in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

44. Magnificence

Magnificence is the virtue of exuding charisma and moving through life with a captivating style. It encourages you to embrace grandeur in your actions and interactions, leaving a memorable and impressive mark wherever you go.

Example in pop culture: What iconic character effortlessly captivates others with his style, making him a memorable and charismatic figure? Bond. James Bond.

45. Magnanimity

Magnanimity means having a big heart and being generous. It’s about going the extra mile to help others and doing what’s right, even if it’s not easy.

Example in pop culture: Aragorn of The Lord of the Rings shows this particular virtue when he decides not to become king at first, putting the needs of his people above his own desires.

46. Ambition

Goal setting, hard work, and feeling a sense of accomplishment—these are all characteristics of ambition. And with it, you take pride in your work and strive for success.

Example in pop culture: It’s no secret that Po from Kung Fu Panda wants to be a Kung Fu master. And this ambition is what drives him to overcome obstacles and achieve what he dreams of.

47. Patience

Life has its ups and downs. And based on a study by professors Sarah A. Schnitker and Robert Emmons, being patient can help you experience less depression and negative emotions. They suggested this might be due to better coping mechanisms in stressful situations.

So your ability to exhibit patience? It calms the storm inside.

Example in pop culture: Andy Dufresne waiting for a chance to prove his innocence over two long decades in The Shawshank Redemption.

48. Friendliness

Friendliness means being open to social interactions and forming connections with others. It’s about being approachable, welcoming, and fostering positive relationships.

Example in pop culture: Finding Nemo’s Dory is known for her friendliness and cheerful demeanor. This helps her bond with the various sea creatures she meets on her journey.

49. Truthfulness

Truthfulness is a subset of honesty. It specifically emphasizes the commitment to telling the truth, even when it might be uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Example in pop culture: Donkey from Shrek, with his candid and straightforward personality, often blurts out the truth, no matter how difficult the situation may be.

50. Wit

Wit involves finding humor in the world and expressing it joyfully. It brightens moments and connects people through laughter.

Example in pop culture: Parks and Recreation’s Andy Dwyer’s spontaneous and good sense of humor is wit at its best. 

51. Modesty

Regulating your ego, practicing humility, and avoiding excessive pride—these are all part of your modesty. It often involves achieving a state of “ego death,” where you set aside your own importance to appreciate the perspectives and contributions of others.

Example in pop culture: Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory demonstrates humility and good-heartedness, especially when he’s faced with the wonders of the chocolate factory.

52. Justice

Justice means making sure that fairness, impartiality, and equality are upheld, following a code of righteous ethics. It’s about giving each person what is right and fair.

Example in pop culture: Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird defends Tom Robinson, a black man wrongfully accused of a crime.

53. Curiosity

Curiosity is the strong desire to learn or discover something new. It’s the spark that drives you to explore and seek knowledge, enriching your understanding of the world.

Example in pop culture: In Alice in Wonderland, Alice’s insatiable curiosity leads her on a fantastical journey through a whimsical world.

54. Skepticism

Maintaining a healthy doubt or questioning attitude toward the truth of something is important. It encourages critical examination and careful consideration before accepting information or beliefs.

Example in pop culture: Dana Scully is the skeptical one in The X Files. She consistently questions the evidence and seeks logical explanations for the paranormal occurrences they encounter.

55. Reflectiveness

One of the most valuable examples of virtues, reflectiveness, is the practice of engaging in thoughtful consideration and self-examination. It involves taking the time to ponder your experiences, actions, and decisions, ultimately leading to personal growth and a deeper understanding of yourself.

You are more powerful than you think, no matter what you’ve been told in the past. — @Vishen Click To Tweet

Example in pop culture: In To All the Boys I Loved Before, there’s a part where Lara Jean Covey revisits her feelings and relationships. And in that reflection, it leads her to greater clarity about her emotions and desires.

56. Autonomy

Autonomy means having the freedom and authority to govern your own life and make decisions independently. It’s about embracing self-determination and taking control of your destiny, allowing you to live authentically and pursue your unique path.

Example in pop culture: No one else knows much about freedom than Ferris Beuller from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. He orchestrates an elaborate day of skipping school to enjoy a day in his life with his friends.

57. Discernment

When you can assess situations, people, and choices accurately, you’ve got this virtue down. It’s something that enables you to make sound judgments and navigate complexities wisely.

Example in pop culture: Gregory House from House, M.D., with his sharp judgment and ability to make difficult decisions.

58. Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves objectively analyzing and evaluating issues to make informed judgments. It’s a valuable skill that helps you approach problems with reason and logic, ensuring well-rounded decisions.

Example in pop culture: Detective Jake Peralta from Brooklyn Nine-Nine is known for his skills to evaluate evidence, connect dots, and draw logical conclusions to solve his cases.

59. Epistemic humility

Recognizing the boundaries of your knowledge is an essential aspect of epistemic humility. It involves a humble acknowledgment of what you don’t know, promoting a receptive attitude to new ideas and perspectives. 

Example in pop culture: In Friends, Joey Tribbiani often openly admits his lack of knowledge about complex topics.

60. Intellectual curiosity

A profound and lasting desire to gain knowledge and comprehension characterizes intellectual curiosity. This is one of the examples of virtues that drive you to seek answers, explore new ideas, and constantly expand your understanding of the world.

Example in pop culture: Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code, who tirelessly pursues the truth about historical mysteries and art. It’s his unwavering commitment to knowledge and understanding.

A woman meditating as an example of spiritual virtues

Spiritual virtues

When it comes to spirituality, it’s all about the qualities and attributes that nurture your inner self. These virtues are often cultivated through reflection, meditation, and a commitment to spiritual practices.

What’s more, they stand in contrast to the seven deadly sins. And by being aware of these examples of virtues and vices, you can better understand the signs of spiritual awakening and the path to a more fulfilling existence.

61. Ren (benevolence)

Embodying the Confucian virtue of Ren means practicing altruistic love and showing kindness to humanity. This virtue encourages you to extend compassion and goodwill towards others, fostering harmonious relationships and a sense of interconnectedness.

Express your life as a demonstration of your highest beliefs rather than as a denial of them. — @realNDWalsch Click To Tweet

Example in pop culture: In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Uncle Iroh’s guidance acts as a support for those around him on their journeys.

62. Yi (honesty)

Honesty entails being truthful and straightforward in your actions and interactions with others. It involves upholding the value of sincerity and maintaining integrity in all your dealings.

Example in pop culture: In Liar Liar, Fletcher Reede is forced to uphold his Yi as he’s cursed with the inability to tell a lie for an entire day.

63. Zhi (knowledge)

Knowledge is about constantly seeking to learn and grow. It encourages you to expand your horizons through both formal learning and the lessons life presents.

Example in pop culture: Anyone who watches Gilmore Girls knows what a bookworm Rory Gilmore is. She appreciates the value of education and the rewards that come with a curious and inquisitive mind.

64. Xin (integrity)

Integrity is all about your moral and ethical principles. With it, you stay true to your values and do what’s right, even when the going gets tough.

Example in pop culture: Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, when he chooses to tell the truth about Jay Gatsby’s past despite the consequences it may bring.

65. Li (politeness and worship)

Li, which encompasses politeness and worship, involves demonstrating courteous behavior and showing reverence for what is sacred or esteemed. It’s one of the examples of virtues that emphasize respect and tradition.

Example in pop culture: In Black Panther, T’Challa upholds the virtue of Li by showing deep respect for Wakandan traditions and his ancestors.

66. Sat (truthful living)

Sat, a Sikh virtue, involves embodying truth in all actions. Furthermore, it emphasizes the importance of honesty and integrity in daily life.

Example in pop culture: In The Good Place, the characters strive to live a morally upright life based on truth and ethics so they can get a spot in the actual Good Place.

67. Nimarata (humility)

Modesty and a lack of arrogance are at the core of nimarata. This virtue encourages you to avoid boastfulness and treat others with respect and equality.

Example in pop culture: Luke Skywalker’s unassuming nature and willingness to learn from others in Star Wars, even when he possesses great power.”

68. Santokh (contentment)

Contentment is about being at peace with who you are. Simply put, you find satisfaction and self-acceptance, regardless of what’s happening around you.

​​Example in pop culture: In Friends, Phoebe Buffay often displays contentment by embracing her eccentric personality and finding joy in life’s quirks.

69. Daya (compassion)

Compassion, or “Daya,” is the virtue of showing sympathy and care for the hardships of others. It involves extending a helping hand and understanding towards those who are suffering or facing misfortune.

Higher consciousness is about growth and compassion. It's about moving from separation to unity. — @Vishen Click To Tweet

Example in pop culture: Oprah Winfrey consistently demonstrates compassion through her empathetic interactions with the guests on her show, offering support and comfort to those in need.

70. Pyaar (love of God)

The love of God involves experiencing and expressing deep devotion and affection toward the Divine. It’s a profound connection that goes beyond human relationships and centers on a spiritual bond with a higher power. 

Example in pop culture: The Passion of the Christ’s central theme is religious devotion and love for God.

71. Enlightenment

Enlightenment, according to Neale, is understanding that “there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nobody you have to be except exactly who you’re being right now.”

It represents the pinnacle of wisdom and understanding about life’s fundamental truths, making it one of the prime examples of virtues. What’s more, it signifies an extraordinary level of insight and clarity that goes beyond everyday comprehension.

Example in pop culture: Doctor Strange undergoes intensive training in the mystic arts. And this shows how such virtues can lead to profound transformation and a deeper grasp of reality.

72. Harmony

Creating a pleasing and consistent whole with the elements around you is the essence of harmony. It involves balancing different aspects to form a unified and peaceful environment, allowing things to work together smoothly and cohesively.

Example in pop culture: The Guardians of the Galaxy learn to band together and find common ground.

74. Mindfulness

Maintaining mindfulness involves staying aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surroundings in the present moment. It allows you to focus your attention on the here and now, promoting mental clarity and emotional balance.

A shift in attitude creates a shift in mindset, and a shift in mindset creates a shift in your life. — @Mahatria Click To Tweet

Example in pop culture: In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert embraces mindfulness meditation during her journey of self-discovery, helping her cultivate inner peace and find a deeper connection with herself.

75. Inner Peace

A state of mental and emotional calmness, or inner peace, allows you to find tranquility and balance within yourself. It means having a serene mind and a harmonious emotional state.

Example in pop culture: As she navigates the challenges of co-parenting and terminal illness, Jackie Harrison in Stepmom eventually finds inner peace. 

76. Acceptance

Acceptance is the act of embracing something offered or acknowledging a situation as it is, without resistance or reluctance. It involves consenting to receive or undertake what is presented to you, fostering a sense of understanding and openness.

Example in pop culture: In Good Will Hunting, Will Hunting comes to terms with his own potential and accepts help from others.

77. Non-Attachment

Freedom from material and emotional clinginess—that’s what non-attachment is made up of. This is one of the many examples of virtues that encourage you to let go of things that may lead to suffering. And as a result, it provides you with a sense of freedom and inner peace.

Example in pop culture: In the Star Wars franchise, the Jedi practice non-attachment as they detach themselves from material possessions and personal emotions.

78. Transcendence

Going beyond ordinary limits and boundaries, transcendence represents a state of elevation and growth. This virtue allows you to explore new horizons and fosters a continuous journey of self-improvement.

Example in pop culture: Neo from The Matrix transcends the limitations of the Matrix to realize his true potential as “The One.”

79. Awe

Imagine standing before a natural wonder, a towering mountain, or witnessing a breathtaking sunset. Awe is that powerful feeling of astonishment and respect you experience when confronted with something grand and extraordinary.

There are those who say that seeing is believing. I am telling you that believing is seeing. — @realNDWalsch Click To Tweet

Example in pop culture: In the documentary Fantastic Fungi, Louie Schwartzberg’s mesmerizing cinematography can leave you in awe of the intricate and interconnected aspects of nature.

80. Sacrifice

When you’re willing to give up something cherished, that’s sacrifice. It’s about prioritizing the well-being of others or a noble cause over personal desires.

Example in pop culture: In The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan offering his life to save Edmund is a show of selflessness and sacrifice.

Let Your Virtues Do the Talking

It’s without a doubt that virtues are the essence of life. Exploring and understanding these examples of virtues isn’t just a moral endeavor; it’s a journey towards a fuller, more meaningful life. 

If you’re interested in polishing up one (or more) of these principles, you can dive deeper with a free Mindvalley account. With it, you’ll be able to:

  • Access free classes from various programs, like Vishen’s Be Extraordinary Quest, Neale Donald Walsch’s Awaken the Species Quest, and Mahatria Ra’s A Journey to Infinitheism Quest.
  • Get daily meditations to bolster your mindful and spiritual practices.
  • Be a part of a global network of changemakers—individuals who come together to inspire, motivate, and support each other.

Dare to live your precious days on Earth to their fullest, true to yourself, with an open heart and thoughtful mind, and with the courage to change what doesn’t work and accept the consequences,” Vishen advises. And that can all start at Mindvalley.

Welcome in.

Images generated on Midjourney.

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Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.

Fact-Checking: Our Process

Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.