I got a WhatsApp chain letter which reproduced the text in this Linked In blog article:
Did you know that at Harvard, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, the most popular and successful course teaches you how to learn to be happier? The Positive Psychology class taught by Ben Shahar attracts 1400 students per semester and 20% of Harvard graduates take this elective course.
According to Ben Shahar, the class - which focuses on happiness, self-esteem and motivation - gives students the tools to succeed and face life with more joy._This 35-year-old teacher, considered by some to be "the happiness guru", highlights in his class 14 key tips for improving the quality of our personal status and contributing to a positive life:
🚩Tip 1. * Thank God for everything you have: * Write down 10 things you have in your life that give you happiness. Focus on the good things!
Most of the tips are common sense. However, saying "Thank God for ..." seems too religious for "psychology". Ben Shahar may be religious but he may not be that religious when teaching course.
Tip 14 sounds a lot like typical christian "spins" rather than serious college lectures.
Tip 14. * Fervently believe in God *: With him nothing is impossible! Happiness is like a remote control, we lose it every time, we go crazy looking for it and many times without knowing it, we are sitting on top of it ...
[13 more tips]
Is there a Harvard teacher, Ben Shahar, that teaches these tips?
Some of the comments in the blog doubt that Ben Shahar taught that.
Let me quote
Mich Zúñiga Bravo Músico Guitarrista Compositor.
The tip number 14 don´t belong to Ben Sahar's teachings 1mo Dr Shohail Choudhury, MBAM, MCMI, FHEA Visiting Lecturer at Coventry University London
This are not BenSahar's teachings.
Advice from Tal Ben-Shahar on Happiness are as follows:
Lesson 1 Give yourself permission to be human. When we accept emotions—such as fear, sadness, or anxiety—as natural, we are more likely to overcome them. Rejecting our emotions, positive or negative, leads to frustration and unhappiness. We are a culture obsessed with pleasure and believe that the mark of a worthy life is the absence of discomfort; and when we experience pain, we take it to indicate that something must be wrong with us. In fact, there is something wrong with us if we don't experience sadness or anxiety at times--which are human emotions. The paradox is that when we accept our feelings—when we give ourselves the permission to be human and experience painful emotions—we are more likely to open ourselves up to positive emotions.... .... Lesson 7 Prioritize relationships. The number one predictor of happiness is the time we spend with people we care about and who care about us. The most important source of happiness may be the person sitting next to you. Appreciate them, savor the time you spend together.