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A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

All-Time Top 50

Indian School of Business via Coursera

students interested
  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Philosophy
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 2-3 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 6 weeks long

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Overview

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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?

Until 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.

Although not mandatory, reading Prof. Raj's forthcoming book, titled If you're so smart, why aren't you happy? can help you review and assimilate the material covered in this book at your leisure.

For Coursera learners alone, the hardcover version of the book is available for a deep discount of 50%, plus shipping and handling. You can order the hardcover for 50% off by writing to Aaron at: Aaron@800ceoread.com. Please mention that you are a student of the "coursera happiness course" in your email.

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),

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.

Taught by

Rajagopal Raghunathan

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Reviews for Coursera's A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment
4.8 Based on 424 reviews

  • 5 stars 88%
  • 4 stars 10%
  • 3 stars 2%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 stars 0%

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  • 1
Roshni K
5.0 3 years ago
by Roshni is taking this course right now, spending 14 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I started the course all over again last week. Not because the first time around was difficult, but because there is so much information packed into the course that a second round seems imperative.

Even after completing the course, I put off writing a review because my vocabulary seemed extremely inadequate. The struggle was similar to the first exercise wherein I had to define happiness. I knew but could not articulate. To simply say “The course is very useful” is an understatement. So is “The teacher is excellent”.

Given that my vocabulary is not increasing dramat…
45 people found
this review helpful
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Catherine X
5.0 3 years ago
by Catherine completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Writing a review for Prof. Raj Raghunathan (aka Dr. Happy Smarts’) “Happiness course” is very exciting to me. I consider myself very fortunate to be working as Prof. Raj’s teaching assistant for the Happiness course at the Indian school of Business for the last two years.

Assisting Prof. Raj with the happiness course has been a truly transforming, eye-opening, and an exciting time of my life. Dr. Happy smarts has a personality and a style that seamlessly blends with the objectives of the happiness course—trust me, he walks the talk. A professor with a sunny and bright disposi…
23 people found
this review helpful
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Valerie V
5.0 3 years ago
by Valerie completed this course.
I'm happy and sad today because I never wanted this course to end, and I cried like a baby during the "good bye" video that was the last in the course.

I will never be able to fully express what this course and the Professor who brought it to life has meant to me and more importantly what it will continue to mean to me. This has been an amazing enjoyable and life changing experience for me. I don't know if another Professor could have made this kind of impact Professor Raj with his wonderful sense of humor his ability to be accessible and make this course so much fun that I loo…
9 people found
this review helpful
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Kate S
5.0 3 years ago
Kate partially completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This excellent course is a very thorough introduction in learning about the ways that you can approach life that will make you happy or unhappy. I found it to be far more helpful than reading self help books.

Through the readings and listening to the lectures, I have come to more deeply understand the concepts that I have been trying to understand for years. For example, the concept of gratitude is something that we hear a lot about, but this course explains what it actually is, how to do it, and what the opposite of that is.

Raj and his guests make the material a…
25 people found
this review helpful
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Uma M
5.0 3 years ago
by Uma completed this course and found the course difficulty to be medium.
As Prof. Raj would start the class by saying "If you are smart why arent you happy" the course questions each of our beliefs that we build through years of living in this world. At times it would question our belief system, our thinking process but once you are through the phase of introspection everything will fall in place!

I recommend this course to anyone and everyone who wants to attain fulfillment. Most probably everyone in this world looks towards money, fame and material things to happiness and fulfillment. I couldnt find a better example of such a person than me. Unfortun…
14 people found
this review helpful
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Barbara N
5.0 3 years ago
by Barbara completed this course.
I just completely finished the course and I can confirm what I already knew to be true in the very beginning... the course is EXCELLENT! I was introduced to Coursera through this course and originally wasn't going to take it because I had already signed up for other courses and thought I knew enough about happiness through my psychology and spiritual backgrounds. Well, I was wrong!

This course introduced me to new concepts, all which were backed up with an abundant amount of studies and sources, as well as exercises which really allowed for personal reflection and growth towards …
11 people found
this review helpful
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Smita S
5.0 3 years ago
by Smita completed this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
We get so busy at chasing our short term goals that many times we forget the larger picture of our life: the things we love, our passions, family and relationship. We get so engrossed in getting each perfect A, the best job, the highest appraisal that we lose sight of the things that we are losing. This course is important if you want to balance the world view of success with a feeling of fulfilment - striking the sweet spot, not losing one for the other. Prof. Raj Raghunathan is an incredibly smart researcher, a teacher with a great presence, sense of humor and knowledge and network of people…
5 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The Happiness Course is possibly one of the best things that happened to my life - and I kid you not! I was enthusiastic about life in general, buy after this course, I immediately started to feel so much difference in how I live every single day of my life.

Raj, whom I over time developed immense respect and affection for, is a very solid guy. He does not preach, but talks about logic, about facts, about research, this bringing every single person into the fold of this beautiful realm.

The manner in which the course is structured, with multiple activities that leave you completely touched, and I'm the process creating happiness for even those you love, is amazing.

Very strongly recommend anyone and everyone to take this course, and complete it till the end come what may.

You don't get to change your life in such a beautiful way every single day. Buy this advice. This thing is really amazing and this guy is an absolute Rockstar!!
6 people found
this review helpful
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Carolyn C
5.0 2 years ago
by Carolyn completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
A couple of years ago a friend talk me into taking what became a genuine life-changing course on Coursera (Prof. Dan Ariely's "Beginners Guide to Irrational Behavior"). This course is now my second life-changing Coursera course. The research presented and the techniques for overcoming an inherent tendency towards the negative has helped me maintain an equilibrium during a difficult period. (Even friends and family have commented on the change.) And I can honestly say that I am doing better emotionally, psychologically and even physically (my doctor has commented on the change). I wish I had fo…
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
4.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I had joined this course out of curiosity and never intended to complete it but the content was so much interesting that it got me hooked. I could not get away till I completed viewing all videos.

I have taken various courses from well known British, American, German and Spanish institutes through various online forums but the amazingly great amount of research that was shared in this course was simply awesome. The recommended readings will keep me occupied for a long time.

Going through the course was a self awareness exercise for me and now I can share lots of sci…
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
4.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The happiness course by Prof Raj Raghunathan ranks amongst the best things i enrolled for during my MBA at ISB. Rather than being a text heavy and preachy course, it encourages each one of us to look deep inside and search for the reasons of discontentment and irritation. With a clear as conscience mind, Prof Raj makes an all out effort to deliver the ultimate target of this course- a sense of fulfillment and happiness. Encourage you all to join the course and be on the road to self discovery. Cheers !!!
9 people found
this review helpful
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Zhe L
3.0 a year ago
by Zhe partially completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I watched the first three weeks of lecture videos and decided to drop it and not to waste any more time on it. Many statements given in the course are not convincing, or at least not presented in a convincing way, and therefore the conclusions do not appeal to me at all and I do not think I will become any more happier after I finish this course.

I will just give two examples.

An experiment mentioned in the video is about a baby monkey separated from its mother deciding which fake "mother" it would like to stay with. One is a metal structure with food while the other …
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
OVERVIEW

Each module and the entirety of the course is structured very comprehensively. The lectures incorporate various professors who are experts in their field via video conference, telephone, and quotes. Lecture videos (though sometimes long) have lots of embedded quizzes and relevant external videos. Just like taking a course at university, supplemental (yet an optional) reading list is provided for those who wish to explore further.

LECTURE VIDEOS

Prof Raj definitely knows what he is talking about and the videos are easy to follow. There are only a …
1 person found
this review helpful
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Andreas M
5.0 3 years ago
by Andreas completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course is something special. I have completed it, one week ago, but he is full in me. Right at the beginning of this review I report: I would never have managed this wonderful course in six weeks. It's substance is so precious to me, that I couldn't watch this big range of videos (more than 80 !) one by one. I needed some time for assimilation.

Prof. Raj had created sooooo many enjoyable videos. They made me feel better, but all of them hat the clear statement, that it is in our hands to create a life of Happiness and Fulfillment.

We have to set up goals, which …
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course is the best Coursera course I have taken, and one of the best courses I've had anywhere (including courses for the PhD I obtained in clinical psychology). As someone schooled in psychology, I must say that the wide-ranging scope of the research behind happiness included in this course is simply staggering. Prof Raj has managed somehow to interview 20 experts in the field of happiness and related areas. But the really interesting thing about the course is it's not just a review of the scientific literature on happiness. There is a wonderful balance between the scientific findings an…
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
3.0 2 years ago
Anonymous partially completed this course.
Gotta say, this was not a good use of my time and I dropped out partway through. The instructor is infectiously enthusiastic, and the course creates engagement with the learner that is unfortunately missing in so many online courses. All that is good. But the uncritical acceptance of weak science, lack of acknowledgement of individual and cultural variability, and general low sophistication of the concepts discussed made this not rewarding for me. Plus, I really am not interested in keeping journals, rating other students' work, and developing my own definitions of happiness and related constr…
4 people found
this review helpful
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Stretchingtime S
5.0 3 years ago
by Stretchingtime audited this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
What an extraordinarily well taught course! I deeply appreciated all the time the professor spent in crafting this course. I delighted in how he used video interviews, recommended books to read, and gave me concrete ways to increase my happiness levels. He was an amazing teacher. He had fabulous energy while teaching and spoke with unbelievable clarity in presenting difficult ideas. Undoubtedly, he deeply cared about being a wonderful teacher. His students at the University of Texas and at Coursera are incredibly lucky to have had him as their teacher.



I a…
5 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
I'm 60 years old and searching since I was 12. At this point, I've read many many books, taken many many courses and have even taught some...

This Happiness course is just wonderful! It's a great mix of science, practical exercises, essential daily reminders and joy. We can feel how much passion and care Dr. Raj and his team put on the materials and presentations.

But the best part for me was right near the end. A concept that helped me solve a paradox that has haunted me for so many years: do I dare to desire something specific or should I humbly accept what life bri…
4 people found
this review helpful
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Preeti J
5.0 2 years ago
by Preeti completed this course.
It's a wonderful course and I'm glad that I signed up for it. The course content and the way it's delivered by Prof Raj and the guest lectures and the quiz and the assignments in-between , all these make it so engaging and interesting. Initially for the first four weeks , I took all the notes which made it even more interesting, but later due to lack of time , I missed taking the notes and I wish there could have been an option to download and save the videos- especially the course summary at the end of every week, which could be referred time and again.The course content , though very intere…
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
2.0 7 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course has some very serious technical mistakes that make it unbelievably frustrating to work with at times. I understand that it would be costly to re-shoot videos, or to re-work the website, but ... darn people !!! ... this is a university class, and these mistakes date from before Raj's book was published - years ago!! How do students find out that there are mistakes or non-existent links? When they complain to one of the mentors who then tells you that the link does not work.

For the entire 6 weeks I took this course, I did not know who "my" mentor was - they changed
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  • 1

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