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Indian School of Business

A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

Indian School of Business via Coursera


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: [email protected] 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.


  • Module 1: Course intro and happiness measurement
  • Module 2: The 1st sin, habit, and exercise
  • Module 3: The 2nd sin, habit, and exercise
  • Module 4: The 3rd sin, habit and exercise
  • Module 5: The 4th sin, habit and exercise
  • Module 6: The 5th sin, habit and exercise
  • Module 7: The 6th sin, habit, and exercise
  • Module 8: The 7th sin, habit, and exercise
  • Module 9: Summary and concluding Remarks

Taught by

Rajagopal Raghunathan



4.8 rating, based on 508 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 5741 ratings

Start your review of A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

  • Roshni Kanchan 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 Life of Happiness and Fulfillment, or ALOHAF (isn't the acronym great!?), is an excellent online course. I took it in the context of a study group. So my fellow study group members and I had to chance to meet Raj, the course instructor, during weekly...
  • Catherine Xavier 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...
  • It took me a long while (around two years) to finally complete this enlightening course, as life got in the way. If I am going to summarize, in one sentence, what this offering is all about, it would be this: “This a crash course on being a good person.”...
  • Valerie

    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...
  • Kate Smith

    Kate Smith 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...
  • Carolyn E. Cooper

    Carolyn E. Cooper 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...
  • Zhe Li 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...
  • Profile image for Uma Maheshwaraa
    Uma Maheshwaraa

    Uma Maheshwaraa 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...
  • Profile image for Barbara Norl
    Barbara Norl

    Barbara Norl 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...
  • A beautiful course, it approached happiness from a scientific perspective, if you are skeptical of self help courses etc. this course will change your mind.

    Everyone has something to benefit from this course irrespective of age. Love it
  • Smita Sahay

    Smita Sahay 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...
  • Anonymous

    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...
  • Stretchingtime

    Stretchingtime completed 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....
  • Professor Raj and every single person of his team has instrumented an extraordinary course, which covers a lot of fields about what happiness and fulfillment , means . An excellent balance between thougths , feelings and logic. Based on scientific...
  • Es un curso excelente, te hace crecer como persona y trae grandes beneficios para tu vida personal a través de un magnifico instructor que te lleva por el camino de la felicidad a través de ejercicios prácticos, conversaciones espontáneas y conceptos cientifícos. Muy recomendado.
  • Anonymous

    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,...
  • Anonymous

    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,...
  • Anonymous

    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 !!!
  • Anonymous

    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...

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