In my ongoing pursuit to become super human, I enrolled in a free, online class on Coursera called “The Science of Well-Being.” The course, which is set for ten weeks but self-paced, is modeled after a class, Psychology and the Good Life. It was the most popular course ever taught at Yale. It was offered my senior year and didn’t fit into my schedule, but I discovered the Coursera offering and decided to try it out. Who doesn’t want to be a little happier? I like to think I’m pretty happy, especially compared to where I was in high school, but what could I learn along the way? Let’s take a look, and maybe you’ll decide to work on being a little happier too.
The basis of the course is that there are things we believe make us happy and then there are things that actually make us happy, and according to science, it’s not really a venn diagram. Winning the lottery won’t make you happier long term, for example. Then, the course offers some “rewirements” to help you fight the biases of our minds and become happier.