"I think this course would be particularly beneficial to those who have already done some work related to personal growth and wellbeing, and are looking for some additional learning opportunity beyond self-education. That said, anyone who wants to know what happy people are like should give this course a try. The instructors are the loveliest people I've worked with and the reading materials are pretty essential too."
-Yixi Zhang "Over the course of two weeks, I was treated to a wealth of valuable information and insight. The readings and the lessons were interesting and thought-provoking, as were the online forums. What a great experience to be able to interact with people from all over the world! I can honestly say that, today, I am truly a happier person.”
“In South Africa, an environment where there is so much disparity between the rich and poor, many of us think accumulation of material wealth alone is enough heal our past. This course comes as a means for both worlds to connect where common humanity, as preached by Nelson Mandela becomes an attainable possibility. Just the simplicity of sharing, caring and making time for one another brought our group an experience we have gone on to share in the local primary school and the local church.”
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Lights On! - An organisation working to empower women of all sectors of our society.
“Taking the Happiness Course was worth every bit of time to do the readings, complete the assignments and participate in the two webinars. I learned so much in the area of Positive Psychology…This course will definitely help me professionally as I pursue work in happiness communications, but more importantly it will help me personally to be a happier person knowing what I know now. I also enjoyed connecting with other participants around the world who are students too of the happiness movement. Thank you, thank you!”
Orange County, CA
"Thank you very, very much for the wonderful class. It was very inspiring and life changing."
- Julia Grinblat, RN, Pasadena, CA
A generous and elevating view on Happiness from Adam Smith, who originated the famous “invisible hand” for how individual actions can result in socially beneficial outcomes.
"How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it."
" All you have to do is act extraverted and you can get a happiness boost."
Whistle while you work, chat with a stranger, or go by an unknown route when you travel. Activities like these will make you feel happier. This is the main finding of a pioneering piece of research into the positive results of outgoing behavior in societies in Asia and South America which are more group-oriented, as well as in the more individualistic U.S. People in all these countries said that in everyday circumstances, when they behaved in an extraverted way, they experienced increased positive feelings.
“Despite all of our cultural differences, the way personality is organized seems to be pretty comparable across cultural groups”, said Prof. Timothy Church, one of the writers of the research. The findings also revealed that when people feel very free they generally act in a more buoyant manner. The number of people in Japan, the Philippines, China, Venezuela and the U.S.A. who participated in the study was in the hundreds.
A related, earlier piece of research analysed the results of acting in an extraverted manner, like being adventurous, when energy levels are high, and being talkative. It was found that after behaving in an outgoing manner for 10 minutes, people reported an increase in positive feelings. This was true for people who tended to be introverted as much as for extraverts.According to Prof. William Fleeson, leader of the 2002 study, “What’s exciting about this is that it brings attention to the role we have in our own happiness. All you have to do is act extraverted and you can get a happiness boost.”
Sunday's Special: Could our choice between academic achievement and social interaction have affected our Adult Happiness?
Our choice may well determine how happy we are when we reach our thirties and beyond. A recent long-term study, which followed people from 5 to 38 years of age, has shown that adult well-being is more likely to derive from a primary-and-secondary school period with a good level of social relations than one with academic success.
The aim of the research was to evaluate the relative significance of academic and social routes, during youth, to adult well-being, which was assessed by: a sense that life is meaningful, being engaged socially, ability to cope positively with stress, and values that support social harmony. The investigators utilized data gathered over a period of 32 years from over 800 New Zealanders.
Social relatedness in teenage years was a superior indicator of adult happiness than achieving academically. The research also showed that there was an indirect route from youthful success in academic subjects to well-being in adult life by means of social relatedness. Young people who had confidence in social situations, were not often on their own, and related socially by participating in youth groups and clubs were more likely to develop into adults with a higher level of happiness.
A 32-Year Longitudinal Study of Child and Adolescent Pathways to Well-Being in Adulthood Journal of Happiness Studies June 2013, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 1069-1083. DOI: 10.1007/s10902-012-9369-8. Print ISSN: 1389-4978. Online ISSN: 1573-7780