Posts Tagged ‘Tal Ben-shahar’

They Teach Happiness at Harvard

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

An entire industry has been built up around the pursuit of happiness. A stroll past any bookstore window demonstrates the explosive popularity of the feel-good, self-help movements of recent years. And whether these products are genuine paths to ultimate happiness or just pleasure-peddling scams, the trend seems likely to hold.

Now, even the Ivy League is getting in on the act, layering serious academic research onto the pop-psychology phenomenon to develop a “science of happiness.” Known as “positive psychology,” the field was pioneered at the University of Pennsylvania and came to Harvard a decade ago when an elective course on the topic was first taught.

Click here for the full article.

Woo hoo!  Tal Ben-Shahar made it into BusinessWeek!  You do know that Butter Bee Happy’s “write 5 happy thoughts a day” idea came from Ben-Shahar’s book Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, right?  Well, if you didn’t, you do now.  We BBHers LOVE Ben-Shahar!

I think it’s very interesting that Ben-Shahar’s class became so popular at Harvard.  I wonder if it would have had as much or more success at another university that was less academically stressful?   I don’t know anyone currently enrolled at Harvard, but I have had friends who attended Yale, Princeton, and MIT, and they often mentioned how much stress their classes caused them.  I know they were learning a lot and being very productive, but they didn’t seem as happy as some of my other friends who attended more relaxed, less competitive universities.  Maybe students at Harvard needed a class on happiness more than students at other universities needed one.  What do you think?


How to Be Happier – 7 Steps to Contentment

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Written by Tal Ben-Shahar and Geri Weis-Corbley

If happiness is the currency of life — the true measure of success, how hefty is your happiness account? How abundant is your contentment? How much happiness can you afford to give? Do you hoard or hide your true desires? Do you resent others for their happiness and curse their rose-colored glasses? Here are seven ways to boost your levels of happiness, and therefore, your success.

Click here for the full article.

Are You Happy?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Chances are if someone were to ask you, right now, if you were happy, you’d say you were.[1] Claiming that you’re happy—that is, to an interviewer who is asking you to rate your “life satisfaction” on a scale from zero to ten—appears to be nearly universal, as long as you’re not living in a war zone, on the street, or in extreme emotional or physical pain. The Maasai of Kenya, soccer moms of Scarsdale, the Amish, the Inughuit of Greenland, European businessmen—all report that they are happy. When happiness researcher Ed Diener, the past president of the International Society of Quality of Life Studies, synthesized 916 surveys of over a million people in forty-five countries, he found that, on average, people placed themselves at seven on the zero-to-ten scale.[2]

No doubt the conditions in which these 916 surveys were taken, and their methodologies and measures, were inconsistent. In some cases, respondents were approached face-to-face, at home. In others, they were interviewed by phone. Some conversations were mediated by translators, others by village elders. In some surveys, people were asked, “Generally speaking would you say you are very happy, fairly happy, not too happy?” In others they were asked how they’d rank, on a one-to-seven scale, the conditions of their life. In yet another they were asked to locate themselves on a ladder of self-satisfaction, where the bottom rung, zero, was “the worst possible life” and the top rung, ten, was “the best possible life.”

Click here for the full article and a list of books about happiness, including the book by Tal Ben-Shahar that inspired

The Harvard Crimson covers BBH

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Great observations on the site from Tal Ben-shahar and more.

” Quick, think of five things that make you happy.

Is one of them butter? What about bees? These were the thoughts that came to mind for John B. Pounders, a senior at the University of Alabama, and one of his happiness-seeking friends. Pounders’ joyful thought experiment, easily recognizable by graduates of Psychology 1504: “Positive Psychology,” led to his latest Internet project: a positive psychology-based, online public forum allowing users to post five happy thoughts a day. “

Read the rest of “Positive Psychology Goes Fuzzy, Buzzy, and .com” by Samantha L. Connolly