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Thread: Harvard University’s Most Popular Course: Positive Psychology

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    Harvard University’s Most Popular Course: Positive Psychology

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    Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar taught Harvard University’s most popular course (in the Spring of 2006): a course on Positive Psychology; that is, he taught his students how to be happy. . . .

    Here’s Dr. Ben-Shahar’s philosophy in a nutshell: “When you learn how to live for today and for tomorrow at the same time, you learn how to balance your immediate personal needs with long-term goals and enjoy life as you never have before.” . . .

    The underlying premise of positive psychology is that you can learn to be happier just as you can learn a foreign language or to be proficient at golf. This rapidly growing field is shedding light on what makes us happy, the pursuit of happiness, and how we can lead more fulfilling, satisfying lives.* Dr. Ben-Shahar is well known around the world for his work in positive psychology. (Source)
    The lectures used to be available online at Harvard, but have since been removed. Fortunately, the lectures appear to be available at a few sites.

    More on the course can be read here. It sounds pretty interesting and I hope to begin watching them within a week.

    Has anyone here seen these before? If so, do you have any comments?

    Steven
    ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Edwards View Post
    ...Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar taught Harvard University’s most popular course (in the Spring of 2006): a course on Positive Psychology; that is, he taught his students how to be happy. . . .

    Here’s Dr. Ben-Shahar’s philosophy in a nutshell: “When you learn how to live for today and for tomorrow at the same time, you learn how to balance your immediate personal needs with long-term goals and enjoy life as you never have before.” . . .
    Very interesting, and maybe that's lowering the suicide rate but it seems a bit of a contradiction to me. Well, I guess that's the point of the course, to teach one how to marry the two perspectives. I was uncomfortable with the same contradiction in my high school yearbook quote: "carpe diem, and keep sight of your dreams, because" and then quoting somebody. I’m curious to know how one does both, will watch. But isn’t that largely the human endeavor? Or maybe it's more of a challenge in the US than elsewhere.
    Last edited by Random; 06-16-2010 at 09:33 PM.

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    Senior Member Ashley's Avatar
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    i've heard of the field and its growing popularity but haven't looked into it very closely. I think it's a much needed perspective that we shouldn't necessarily focus on the "pathological" or negative symptoms more than the positive contributions from the human spirit.
    Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.
    -Dorothy Thompson

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Edwards View Post
    a course on Positive Psychology; that is, he taught his students how to be happy. . . .

    Here’s Dr. Ben-Shahar’s philosophy in a nutshell: “When you learn how to live for today and for tomorrow at the same time, you learn how to balance your immediate personal needs with long-term goals and enjoy life as you never have before.” . . .

    The underlying premise of positive psychology is that you can learn to be happier just as you can learn a foreign language or to be proficient at golf. This rapidly growing field is shedding light on what makes us happy, the pursuit of happiness, and how we can lead more fulfilling, satisfying lives.* Dr. Ben-Shahar is well known around the world for his work in positive psychology.[/source] The lectures used to be available online at Harvard, but have since been removed. Fortunately, the lectures appear to be available at a few sites.

    More on the course can be read here. It sounds pretty interesting and I hope to begin watching them within a week.

    Has anyone here seen these before? If so, do you have any comments?

    Steven
    Positive Psychology, as "field" doesn't seem like anything new. A new field comes to be, by giving it a new (albeit commonly applied) name?

    The course sounds like a therapeutic course, an applied cognitive-behavioral task oriented group therapy session or a self-help lecture/practicum.




    Could be a clever way for universities to redirect monies paid out by parents for their kids therapy.

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    Senior Member Stormycoon's Avatar
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    Happiness tips-

    Remember the mind-body connection. What we do -- or don't do -- with our bodies influences our mind. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits lead to both physical and mental health.

    Biggest hinderence dont ye think.
    I am not your rolling wheels
    I am the highway
    I am not your carpet ride
    I am the sky
    I am not your blowing wind
    I am the lightning
    I am not your autumn moon
    I am the night, the night..

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    Interesting.

  8. #8
    I downloaded all the lectures (via here) and am now merging them together, since the site gives you 10-12 videos per lecture.

    Next I'll try to gather all of the assigned readings and go from there.

    chick, watch this clip:

    ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

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    Senior Member Ashley's Avatar
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    thanks steven! i am really interested.
    Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.
    -Dorothy Thompson

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