It was last year’s international chart-topping number, ‘Happy’, that made US singer and songwriter Pharell Williams a global superstar. While his feel-good, foot-tapping track is something you can tune into to lift a bad mood, you can apparently learn to make happiness a part of everyday life and even take notes on this. Residents of Bhutan may be familiar with the idea, given how the country monitors its Gross National Happiness. Closer home, it should take you six weeks to get there, thanks to an off-beat course being offered by the Indian School of Business (ISB).
Launched in association with Coursera, the world’s largest open online education provider, this is ISB’s first foray into the world of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Ajit Rangnekar, Dean, ISB, said, “While this is the first online offering by ISB, we are aiming to extend the expertise of our world-class faculty to the rest of the world by delivering the best of content.”
Titled ‘A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment’, the course will be conducted online (www.coursera.org) from June 16 by Prof Rajagopal Raghunathan, aka ‘Dr. Happy-smarts’, who teaches marketing at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and is a visiting professor at ISB.
“An increasing number of studies suggest that no matter how successful people are, they are curious to learn how to stay happy. Through this course, one would learn why we aren’t as happy as we could be and what we can do to enhance happiness levels,” Raghunathan told The Indian Express from ISB, Hyderabad.
Interestingly, the course draws its 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. “I have put together 12 videos online, each around eight minutes long, that would be shared with the students online,” said Raghunathan. Around 24,000 people have already registered for the course. Asked about the recommended background to enrol for the free course, an open-minded curiosity about human nature should suffice, said Raghunathan. Students would be graded too as the course will include online quizzes, four assignments and a final exam, he added.