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In-Depth Review: Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

Detailed review by Class Central user Franklin Robert Carnes on this life changing course to illumination.

This review is by Franklin Robert Carnes. A normal dude from Madison, Wisconsin. He loves life, and feels that life loves him (and us all).

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… if moral instruction imparts only explicit knowledge (facts that the rider can state), it will have no effect on the elephant, and therefor little effect on behavior. Moral education must impart tacit knowledge – skills of social perception and social emotions so finely tuned that one automatically feels the right thing in each situation, knows the right thing to do, & then wants to do it.” – Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis.

We often find ourselves asking, “where can I find happiness?” The answer is within 

As quoted above, tacit knowledge is that which can be understood or implied without being stated; at one point happiness seems to have been a granted part of life, yet as we get older we often find ourselves asking, “where can I find happiness?” The answer is within, and Dr. Raghunathan brings that to light very nicely in this course by imparting not only explicit knowledge, but tacit as well.

You have probably heard of programs designed to change your life for the better, “In n weeks you can turn your life around!! And for only three installations of $19.95/month!”, which sound like gimmicks, and maybe they are. I haven’t tried any of them; I have, however, taken part in this course lead by Dr. Raghunathan (also known as “Dr. Happy-Smarts”) called A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment. It can be difficult to find or sustain happiness and at the end of these few weeks you will understand why, and what you can do in order to keep yourself smiling (as well as others!).


Touching on topics such as prioritizing happiness, expressing gratitude, and finding a flow in your life, this course helped me to, well, get back on course with myself 

Touching on topics such as prioritizing happiness, expressing gratitude, and finding a flow in your life, this course helped me to, well, get back on course with myself. I had decided to enroll in a Life of Happiness and Fulfillment because I had just dropped out of college and needed to find something deeper, something to keep me grounded. Lucky for me I stumbled upon this course, I cannot recall how, and within the first week the way I valued happiness had changed. By the end of week six I was able to detect in my life the areas where I normally find it difficult to be happy and to overcome the difficulties with skills from this course, such as simply listening to my own thoughts without judgement.


You will share a few laughs with Dr. Raghunathan as he demonstrates how to make the little things add up. 

To tackle the monumental challenge of imparting tacit knowledge regarding happiness and fulfillment, Dr. Raghunathan has designed a course which includes many parts that coalesce and form a basic template for living a satisfying life. It is sometimes hard to believe that the little things matter in life, but over the course of six weeks, you the student, will share a few laughs with Dr. Raghunathan as he demonstrates how to make the little things add up. He and his guests discuss stories from their lives and knowledge from atavistic scholars that help form a wholesome and healthy idea of what it means to be happy and to be fulfilled. There are also lots of funny jokes, but you’ll have to sign up for the course if you want to hear them. Some things you really need to experience for yourself; lucky for you, A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment brings the experiences directly into your life via the simplistic Coursera platform.


Graded on weekly activities, you are also required to take a few quizzes, complete a few small (though powerful) projects, and are expected to help grade other students projects. Neither are very daunting and as long as you are paying attention during the lectures and practicing what is taught through the activities in your daily life, you will pass the class with flying colors. Life is like a spiral, and from time to time you’ll return to an idea you thought you understood before and will gain a deeper insight; so, even if you already do practice a lot of the things taught in this class, I am sure you will still be able to leave with some new outlook on life.


A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

The videos are extremely engaging and the furthest from monotonous.  

The videos are extremely engaging and the furthest from monotonous. They start out light hearted and maintain such an energy/momentum throughout every single video, none are too serious. Everything being said can be taken lightly, practiced easily, and will impact your life deeply. At roughly 10 minutes a piece, you can easily finish all the course material and activities within a week and still have time to relax. Not an overbearing class whatsoever, though this does not mean that it lacks content.


I would, however, highly recommend you take sometime to read a few of Dr. Raghunathan’s recommended books, in particular The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt.

A background in positive psychology, in religion, in etc. is not a requisite for this course, though you can get caught up fairly fast by reading the aforementioned book. I would say that being a member of the human condition is the only actual requirement; as long as you can relate to the issues of happiness and fulfillment gone over in this course, then you will be able to keep up with the content, and I’m willing to bet everyone of us struggles with this or knows someone who does. Nothing is going to go over your head unless you really are not paying attention, and it is all knowledge that is applicable to humans as a whole.


The session of A Lifetime of Happiness and Fulfillment has been over for a few weeks now, yet to this day I still put activities from this course into practice everyday. I have even been able to help my friends out with more emotional support than I could before, and my own mind has been opened for further happiness and fulfillment.

I can personally say that the team is extremely responsive, respectful, and fully competent to answer any and all of your questions. 

There are also great forums in which there are a handful of T.A.s and mentors offering their voices, adding to the voices of the students who frequently use the forums for discussions. Thus, if you’re ever lost and need some help, I can personally say that the team is extremely responsive, respectful, and fully competent to answer any and all of your questions. I deeply appreciate this course and hope to see more from Dr. Raghunathan in the future. Even if you do not take this course, at least check out Dr. Raghunathan’s book, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?. For better or for worse, you might as well check it out. If anything, you’ll come out like me: sustaining happiness and helping others find their way onto the path as well. I see this as just one of many upcoming movements in our world to bring positive psychology and secular faith into the people, giving us the ability to empower ourselves and others in respectable and sustainable ways.


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