The Science of Happiness: Hacks & Skills to Flourish



Positive psychology is a new science dedicated to understanding what makes life worth living from an empirical, evidence based perspective. It’s only in the last 20 years or so that science has formally started to grapple with the same questions that philosophers, mystics, poets, and teachers have tried to answer for thousands of years. Here's your chance to learn cutting edge research based strategies to living your most alive life.

Now you might find yourself saying, positive psychology, as opposed to negative psychology? Well, kind of. Traditional psychology, as we know it, has been a deficit model focusing mostly on mental illness and what’s wrong with people; it's done a great job of figuring out how to fix problems and get individuals from a -10 to 0, or “normal.” Positive psychology, meanwhile, asks different questions and focuses on what’s right with people, and how to go from 0 to +10!

Too many people today are struggling. Look at these facts about Americans:

  • Nearly 1 out of 10 is depressed and medicating
  • 1 out of 5 reports feeling lonely and isolated
  • 4 out 10 are struggling to figure out their life purpose
  • 8 out of 10 visits to the doctor are due to stress at work

Your life is way to precious. There’s nothing more valuable than figuring out how to flourish. It’s the biggest contribution you can make to the world. Some anonymous person said it best: “Because once you find your piece in the puzzle, you enable 10,000 others to find theirs.” Your living fully is not only good for you - but it’s uplifting, inspiring, and contagious to those around you. If you want to change your world, start with yourself right now! If there are things you wish were different about your situation or the people surrounding you...take Ganhdi's advice: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

So whatchya waiting for? Take this class if you want to really understand the key to flourishing through Applied Positive Psychology.

  • Figure out what levers you need to press in order to thrive.
  • Understand your emotions and how to shift shitty days around.
  • Never be bored again once you understand the mechanics of engagement.
  • Connect, really connect, with those around you.
  • Experience more meaning and purpose where before there may have been struggle and suffering.
  • And understand the psychology of motivation, grit, and achievement to amplify your productivity, performance and live your dreams.
  • Stop complaining and start doing something about it.

PS Did I mention that I'll be holding regular conference calls with students? I'm here with you every step of the way.

See you on the other side :)


Who is the target audience?
  • You believe that you can change your life. You believe in developing yourself, your relationships, and career. You are curious. You have a feeling that there is more to life than your current experience and want to explore the science of how to achieve deeper meaning and happiness.

  • Nope! Let's dive in.

What Will I Learn?
  • Control your negative emotions
  • Obliterate boredom and feel more alive
  • Transform struggle and suffering into meaning and purpose
  • Deepen your relationships and feel authentically connected
  • Increase your productivity and catapult your dreams

Curriculum For This Course Expand All Collapse All 36 Lectures 14:30:46 + – Introduction 1 Lecture 07:04

Welcome! Here's where you get a sense of the course structure and receive advice on how to take the class. The content is organized in five sections based on the pillars of The Theory of Well-being developed by Martin Seligman, the leading founder of Positive Psychology. Why well-being? Because living a full and dynamic life involves more than just happiness (positive emotions), each class section dives deep into a pillar of well-being so your bases are covered:

  1. Positive Emotions
  2. Engagement and Flow
  3. Relationships
  4. Meaning
  5. Accomplishment

I recommend you do a section a week. This will give you a chance to integrate and practice what you learn. You'll spend an average of 1.5 hours on each section.

About This Course Preview 07:04 + – POSITIVE EMOTION 4 Lectures 44:35

About This Lecture

What is Positive Psychology? How are positive emotions different and why haven't they been studied until recently? How do positive emotions and negative emotions function and what's their impact on our livelihood?

Happiness Hack: Threat Code Clear

When you feel a heightened sense of alert, look around. If your safety is safe, it’s a code clear. Relax all systems. Take 3 deep breaths. Repeat: “All is well and working out for my highest good.”

What Do Emotions Do, Anyway? 15:12

About This Course

Most people deal with negative emotions by going numb: they shop, eat, drink, drug, and distract. Unfortunately, negative emotions are like children; if they don't get the attention they deserve, they nag. That nagging has tremendous impact on your productivity, clarity, and experience of life. Learn how simple it is to deal with negativity - and how to embrace and appreciate negative emotions for the information they give you.

Happiness Hack: Shhh

Close your eyes.

Notice your breath.

Scan your body, notice if there is any tension.

Breathe into that area with an intention for it to relax.

Tell yourself, “I am relaxed.”

Take a deep breath and feel your belly expand.

Stay here for at least a minute.

Watch your thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky; avoid engaging in conversation with them.

How to Deal With Negative Emotions 14:39

About This Lecture

Positive emotions don't just feel good, they do good! Explore some fascinating studies that demonstrate how experiencing positivity can help you live longer, heal faster, see bigger, and succeed greater.

Happiness Hack: Gratitude

Write a gratitude letter to someone in your life. Want bonus points? Deliver it. Gratitude is a gateway emotion that opens you up to more positivity.

How Positivity Matters Preview 08:29 Positive Emotion Recap 06:15 + – ENGAGEMENT & FLOW 7 Lectures 46:19

About This Lecture

According to research, being bored at work can put you at 2.5 times more risk to die of heart problem. While we may take boredom for granted as a fact of life, or just something to expect during long road trips, waits at the DMV, or while at work - it's not to be taken lightly. At all.

The Science of Boredom Preview 05:07

About This Lecture

Let’s talk about what engagement really means and how to escape the daily tortures of boredom where we feel frustrated and empty. We review seven aspects of flow and how to achieve total immersed absorption where we can lose track of time and space.

The Elements of Flow 06:32

About This Lecture

"When adversity threatens to paralyze us, we need to reassert control by finding a new direction in which to invest psychic energy, a direction that lies outside the reach of external forces." -Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

This course explores stories and perspective on how to summon inner strength to control our experience despite an outer reality.

Control Your Reality with Psychic Energy Mind Games 07:18

About This Lecture

Sometimes it’s hard for us to know our passions - a short cut would be to look at your strengths. Take this fun assessment designed by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman on called the VIA.

Happiness Hack: Build The Muscle

Once you’ve identified your strengths with the VIA assessment or any other resource (including your self awareness): Identify one way you can use strengths in a new way! Do that this week.

Discover and Use Your Signature Strengths 03:05

About This Lecture

It has been scientifically proven that focusing on tasks rather than time increases engagement. When people focus on the task they are doing, they forget about time and there is no sense of boredom. Additionally, we explore how flow also creates conditions for improved confidence and an expanded sense of self.

Happiness Hack: Gamify Your Time

Come up with as many mind games you can play by yourself without a device next time you’re trapped at the DMV. You have 90 seconds to jot down your ideas.

The Benefits of Flow 07:40

About This Lecture

Even though work makes most Americans feel less happy, it ironically creates a better environment for flow. More people have a harder time achieving flow in their free time than at work. In this lecture we discuss how to get more flow both at work and at play.

Happiness Hack: Play Analysis

How are you spending your leisure time? If you’re satisfied, great. But if you want expand and stretch yourself even more, write down 3 ways you’d like shift your leisure time. Now figure out the first step towards any of those and schedule an action item in your calendar.

Flow at Work and Play 09:55 Engagement and Flow Recap 06:42 + – RELATIONSHIPS 7 Lectures 47:02

About This Lecture

Our relationships are the biggest predictor of happiness. People really matter and the quality of our relationships literally impact our brain and its size. In fact, relationships may be the reason why our brains doubled in size over the past 500,000 years.

Happiness Hack: Love Languages

Dr. Gary Chapman identified 5 types of love languages - 5 ways we give and receive love.

1. Words of Affection

2. Acts of Service

3. Receiving Gifts

4. Quality time

5. Touch

Figure out your style and that of your significant other and/or child. Visit to find out!

Your Brain on Relationships Preview 07:28

About This Lecture

We're experiencing a loneliness epidemic with 1 in 5 Americans feeling isolated and without close confidants. Loneliness has nothing to do with one's looks, number of friends, success, or time spent with others. Whatever you feel or believe about your social connections, is what your body believes to be true. At the end of the day, loneliness is a normal response to a fundamental need to be connected. Despite our seemingly connected lives, we're not getting what we need from our relationships.

The Loneliness Epidemic 04:03

About This Lecture

Our long term illnesses may be due to lack of social support over time. Loneliness, on any given day, predicted increased cortisol, the “fight or flight” stress hormone, the next morning. What's worse is that because loneliness influences us to make poor choices for our well-being it can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy of "I'm now worthy of being loved."

Happiness Hack: Loneliness Radar

In your journal, identify the last 1-3 times you were lonely. How did you feel? How was it impacting your day? Did you do anything about it? Why or why not? It’s important to recognize the feeling of loneliness when it comes up.

Happiness Hack: Confidant Confessional

Talk to a few of your closest confidants about what you’ve learned. Ask them to be your loneliness sponsor - which means when you are feeling the social hunger, you’ll reach out. You can do the same for them. Perhaps create a passcode or an easy way to signal, “I’m lonely, please show me some love.” And discuss how you best receive and give social support.

Loneliness Effects on Health 09:04

Connecting to devices, we have slowly begun to disconnect from our communities and from one another. Learn about the biochemical experience of occupying the same space. We must literally be together and sniff each other out in order to receive satisfying social nurturance. Texting, skyping, face book liking, and phone calls don't satiate our need for in-person connection.

Togetherness - Why Technology Isn't Enough 06:53

About This Lecture

Helping others and volunteering on a regular basis does a body good. You literally feel high, experience less pain, and over the long term the benefits are just as good as exercising four times a week! We're wired to benefit from helping others.

Happiness Hack: Get Addicted

Do at least 3 kind deeds a day for the next week and journal about your experience. Frequency is important so don’t skimp. Remember, holding the door, offering a compliment, sending a thank you note - all count! Start now by reflecting on what you can do today.

The Helper's High 04:42

About This Lecture

Barbara Fredrickson talks about love from the body’s perspective. She asks you to take a moment and disregard all the love myths, love stories, and love songs lodged in your head, and drop down to your heart, and see love from that perspective. New research reveals that love is about moments of 1) shared positive emotion 2)shared biochemical and behavioral responses 3) care for one another. This kind of love can happen at the grocery store with a stranger. Re-examine this super emotion and get more of it!

Happiness Hack: Active Constructively Respond!

Next time someone shares some great news with you - help that person savor and stretch out their moment of joy. Ask them to tell you all about it, enthusiastically and authentically listen, and express how happy you are for them.

New Science on Love 09:18 Relationships Recap 05:34 + – MEANING 10 Lectures 53:53

About This Lecture

Having meaning in our life is having significance and belonging to something broader than ourself. Meaning is how we connect the dots and tells the story of our life. It’s our “why”. Victor Frankl sheds light on the meaning of meaning and why it's foundational to our well-being.

Happiness Hack: Savor Your Significance

Write down at least 3 ways you have make an impact in others’ lives. Small or big. Include any feedback you remember receiving from others.

Correction Note: "The unexamined life is not worth living" is a quote by Socrates, not Aristotle.

What does Meaning Really Mean? 05:29

About This Lecture

You need to have meaning in your life because happiness alone is not enough. If you’re just focused on pleasure and feeling good - than you’re missing a deep level of richness. 1 in 10 Americans is on anti-depressants - what is the effect of our focusing on pleasure? What expectations do we set up by chasing happiness alone?

Happiness Hack: Make a Service Call

Make a list of things you can do today to be of service to others. Do a free-write dump listing everything you could possibly do. Now pick something that takes less than five minutes and do it NOW!

Example: E-mail a friend or family member to tell them that you love them, are thinking of them, and are around if they need anything.

Why Happiness Is Not Enough Preview 05:48

About This Lecture

We explore Joseph Campbell's, The Hero's Journey.

The hero’s journey is an important framework to help you connect the dots, to make meaning out of all your moments - whether you’re just having an average day or you’re up against your enemy and you feel like you’re on the verge of destruction.

Recognizing Your Inner Hero 06:26

About This Lecture

In this section we explore the beginning of the Hero's Journey, your path to meaning. It starts off with a Call To Adventure. We discuss how to hear your calling even if it comes in a package you don't expect.

Happiness Hack: Identify Your Listening Style

1. Identify a time when you followed your bliss, even if it was a small step.

2. How did the clues make themselves known to you? Consider if there was a pattern - perhaps in where you got a clue, how you got a clue, the type of clue.

3. What do you think is calling to you now?

The Call To Adventure 05:57

About This Lecture

We often decide to play it safe and refuse to change. In this lecture you'll learn why it's natural for a hero to refuse the call. We talk about courage despite fear being ever present.

Happiness Hack: Find Your V-Spot(s)

Fill in the blank to discover your loci for adventure and growth:

  1. The thing I like least about myself is _____________________________.
  2. I haven’t quite forgiven myself for __________________________.
  3. I don’t think I’ll ever be good enough for ________________________.
  4. I’m scared that someone will discover that I’m really __________________.
  5. I tend to judge people who _________________________.
Why You Refuse Greatness 07:36

About This Lecture

When reluctant to hear your calling or afraid of what it means, a mentor is there to push you over the edge into your new adventure. Learn how to identify your mentor (s) - they're all around you.

Happiness Hack: Mentor Channelling

Envision someone you look up to - it can be someone you already know or someone you’ve never met. Envision them sitting next to you. Take a good moment to see this person clearly - what are they wearing? Where are you guys sitting?

Assume that this person knows you on a deep level, so much so that they see your total greatness - more than for you than you see for yourself.

I’d like for you to have an imaginary conversation with this mentor. Ask them anything. Ask for the guidance on anything that you’re working toward.

Jot dot what you hear them say or any immediate thoughts that came up. Even if they don’t make sense right away.

Capture them. Remember to listen with your toe nails.

When You Don’t Believe In Yourself... 03:45

About This Lecture

In this lecture we learn how struggle is like sandpaper, smoothing our edges so that our superpowers can be revealed.

Letting Go - Dying to Live Greater 05:37

About This Lecture

The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death.

The reward may be a burnt broomstick like it was for Dorothy - but it’s usually a symbol for a deeper understanding of one self.

The Reward of Transformation 02:38

About This Lecture

“When you find your piece in the puzzle, you enable 10,000 others to find theirs.” - anonymous.

The Hero returns home, transformed, ready to share the reward with her/his world. Your growth and hardships are meaningful because they enable you to better serve the world.

Happiness Hack: Map Your Heroic Journey

Identify a heroic journey you were on or are on now. Map the Departure, Initiation, Reward, and Resurrection phases and any steps in between. What do you notice about the process of connecting the dots of various events in your life? Make a list of the rewards you’ve gained.

Homeward Bound 03:26 Meaning Recap 07:11 + – Achievement 7 Lectures 44:53

About This Course

Mindset is everything - it's your belief system that controls how you view your own capabilities. If you're worried you'll fail or aren't good enough - that's just a matter of rewiring. Learn about Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset Theory and how to talk back to that monkey mind of yours.

Happiness Hack: Develop Your Growth Mindset

1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.”

2. Recognize that you have a choice.

3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.

4. Take the growth mindset action.

The Growth Mind-Set Theory 10:37

About This Lecture

This course gives you a review of Self-Determination Theory outlining the continuum of Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation. You're more likely to be successful and less likely to burn out if you're intrinsically motivated (passionated and interested in what you do).

Happiness Hack: Motivational Awareness

Name one thing you’re intrinsically motivated to do and one thing you’re extrinsically motivated to do.

Write down why.

How to Motivate From Within 10:31

About This Lecture

Be strategic about how you define your goals and you'll be more likely to succeed. You won't forget this SMART approach.

Happiness Hack: Set a SMART Goal

Consider something that you'd like to achieve and use the SMART framework to set a new goal.






Setting SMART Goals 01:44

About This Lecture

Our social support can greatly affect our performance and perception of challenges. Surround yourself with Growth Mind-Set people who understand you and want the best for you.

Happiness Hack: Social Detox

Make a list of supporters...and the other guys.

Let in those that support you and limit exposure to those that don’t. Consider what kind of boundaries you can create.

This doesn't mean kicking people out of your life; it means using discretion on what you share and with whom.

Your Support Systems 03:22

About This Lecture

Intelligence isn't everything. Most successful people have one thing in common - and it's not a super high's GRIT! Live life like a marathon and not a sprint. Feeling shaky about your future? Gain insights on when to quit.

Happiness Hack: Grit & Dip

This is an honesty exercise. Ask yourself these questions from Seth Godin to know if you should quit.

-Are you secretly realizing that you’ve been settling for mediocrity all along?

-Are the things you’re measuring not improving?

-Do you have the financial resources to get through it?

-Do you have the time to get through it?

-Is it worth it?

Gritty Perseverance - Knowing When to Quit 07:00

About This Lecture

Learn about the science of visualization and how your brain doesn't know the difference between mental rehearsal and reality.

Happiness Hack: EnVision

Remember your SMART Goal? Close your eyes and get clear picture in your mind’s eye. Imagine it’s a reality right now. What are you wearing? Where are you? Who is with you? What do you see? How are you feeling? What are you doing? What can you feel with your hands, hear with your ears, and smell? What is the response you see on others’ faces?

Remember, this is YOUR vision, you CHOOSE the outcome.

My Favorite Success Tool 05:27 Achievement Recap
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