Yale's popular 'science of happiness' class is now available for free online
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There is a passage in Benjamin Hoff's 1982 classic, "The Tao of Pooh" where he perfectly outlines the major source of unhappiness in the western world, the search for the ever-elusive "Great Reward."

"Religions, sciences, and business ethics have tried their hardest to convince us that there is a Great Reward waiting for us somewhere and that what we have to do is spend our lives working like lunatics to catch up with it," he writes.

"A way of life that keeps saying, 'Around the next corner, above the next step,' works against the natural order of things and makes it so difficult to be happy," Hoff continues.


It's true, most of us are conditioned to believe that a state of eternal bliss is waiting for us once we get the right job, the right spouse, the right house, reach our ideal weight or finally get around to painting a masterpiece.

Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos says that true happiness comes from an entirely different place.

"Our minds lie to us all the time. We miswant things. We think we need to change our life circumstances to become happier," Dr. Santos said according to CNN.

Dr. Santos' research reveals is that happiness comes from "simple practices, simple acts like making a social connection, or taking time for gratitude, or taking time to be in the present moment," she told CNN.

Dr. Santos teaches the most popular course in Yale's 300-year history, The Science of Well Being, which teaches students how to be happy. The great thing is that you don't have to go to Yale to take it, it's being offered for free online by Coursera.

Throughout the course, you will be repeatedly asked by Coursera to purchase a $49 certificate of completion, but you can avoid it by hitting the back button on your browser.

Here's the description from the online syllabus:

In this course, you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

It's a ten-week course that is a series of videos, quizzes, and readings. The homework centers around learning more about yourself and creating habits that will enhance your overall happiness.

One of the first lessons is a character strengths assessment where you learn about your best qualities and how to implement them into your life.

Dr. Santos created the class after spending time with students and being "shocked at the kind of mental health issues" they had. She believes it's a "national trend that's getting worse."

The COVID-19 quarantine has given a lot of people extra time to pause and reevaluate their lives. This course is a great way for people to focus on creating a better, happier life when things return to normal.

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

via Terry "TB" Brown / Twitter and The Bad Katie / Twitter

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