Oct 24th 2016

A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment (Coursera)

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Do you ever wonder why you aren’t as happy and fulfilled as you should be, given everything you have? Or maybe you are already as happy as happy can be, but are just curious about the latest findings from the science of happiness. Whatever your situation, this course is for you. By taking it, not only will you learn about “7 deadly happiness sins,” you will also learn how to overcome them through the “7 habits of the highly happy.” .

What are the determinants of a happy and fulfilling life?

This is surely one of life’s biggest questions, and a question that has interested many of our ancestors. Buddha famously gave up his kingdom in search of happiness. Several Greek philosophers (from Aristotle to Epicurus and Plato to Socrates) had their own views on what it takes to be happy. And of course, we all have our own theories about happiness too.

How valid are our theories?

Till recently, if you wished for an answer to this question, you would've been forced to base it on discussions with spiritual leaders. Or, if you were lucky, you could've based it on late-night (and perhaps intoxicant-fueled) conversations with friends and family. Happily, all that has changed now. Over the past decade-and-a-half, scientists have gotten into the act big time. We now have a pretty good idea of what it takes to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

This course, based on the award-winning class offered both at the Indian School of Business and at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, developed by Prof. Raj Raghunathan (aka "Dr. Happy-smarts") draws content from a variety of fields, including psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral decision theory to offer a tested and practical recipe for leading a life of happiness and fulfillment.

The course will feature guest appearances by several well-known thought leaders, including:

- Dan Ariely (author of Predictably Irrational and, soon to be released, Irrationally Yours),

- Ed Diener (“Dr. Happiness”),

- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (author of Flow),

- Barbara Fredrickson (author of Positivity and Love 2.0),

- Marshall Goldsmith (author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Triggers),

- Art Markman (author of Smart Thinking and Smart Change), and

- Srikumar Rao (author of Are you ready to succeed? and Happiness at Work)

By taking this course, you will discover the answers to questions such as:

- Why aren’t the smart-and-the-successful as happy as they could—or should—be

- What are the “7 Deadly Happiness Sins” that even the smart and the successful commit?, and

- What are the “7 Habits of the Highly Happy” and how can you implement them in your life?

By the end of the course, I expect students who have been diligent with the lectures and exercises to not just gain a deeper understanding of the science of happiness, but to also be significantly happier.