While everyone wants to be happy, we often fail to realize that it is a skill to be happy. It is easy to be miserable. Finding the wherewithal to have an underlying sense of well-being and contentment even in turbulent times is difficult.
Building off the wealth of recent research done in the emerging field of Positive Psychology, this course seeks to enable students to increasingly make decisions that lead to an enduring sense of well-being and contentment.
The course covers what it really means to be happy, is it worthy of pursuit and study, what role do various factors (genetics, circumstances and voluntary choices) play in our happiness, how does the mind create mood and pleasure, the power of fear versus love, dealing with setbacks, choices that often don’t lead to happiness and a set of skills that lead to serenity about the past, confidence in the future and joy and exuberance in the present … in other words choices that lead to happiness.
There are two required texts for the class: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and What Happy People Know by Dan Baker. Students are encouraged to read these before the start of the January course. There are also numerous articles by leaders in the field of Positive Psychology that are required reading, links are posted here during the course.
www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu (Martin Seligman's website at University of Pennsylvania, an excellent portal for all things Happiness)
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E. P. Seligman
The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubormirsky
What Happy People Know by Dan Baker
Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny,
Ron McMillan and Al Switzler
My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
Happiness Now by Robert Holden
Happiness Is by Shawn Shea
Well-Being: The foundations of Hedonic Psychology
edited by Daniel Kahneman, Ed Deiner and Norbert Schwarz
A Primer in Positive Psychology by Christopher Peterson