There are Free Lunches Statement of Intentions

There are Free Lunches: Behavioral Clues to Live Happy in the Economic World is a blog that intends to present updated and relevant information about the "hidden" and only recently uncovered dimensions of the economic science: the behavioral factors. With this blog we intend to promote in Europe and in the rest of the World, the top research articles and perspectives on behavioral economics, decision making, consumer behavior, and general behavioral science. We aim to be followed by journalists, academics, managers, civil servants, and everyone who wishes to improve their daily interaction with the economic world and consequently, their lives' happiness.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

CO2 #2 Defeat will make kids cheerier, says Tal Ben-Shahar (via GeelongAdvertiser)

TAL Ben-Shahar, a Harvard lecturer on positive psychology and the author of books on happiness, wants kids to fail.

Mr Ben-Shahar believes cocooning from real life trial and triumph is part of the reason young people around the world are growing with rising levels of depression, anxiety and unhappiness.

"Children don't have enough opportunities to fail or to struggle," he said at Geelong Grammar School yesterday.

"One of the things I told my Harvard students was that I wished that they failed more and I truly wish that on them because they will learn a great deal from it.

"They will grow, they will develop, they will be happier."

He also believes many young people are vulnerable through lack of sense of purpose, yearning for fame, celebrity or wealth.

"It's fine being all those things or wanting to be all those things but it doesn't provide any person with any sense of purpose, of meaning, a reason to wake up in the morning," Mr Ben-Shahar said.

Depressed celebrities might provide evidence of the end game.

"They've been told their entire life if you want to be happy you've got to make it," he said. "When they get there they realise there is no 'there' there."

He said the first step towards a better life was as simple as being real.

Mr Ben-Shahar's international best-sellers Happier and Being Happy have been translated into 25 languages.

He taught Harvard's largest course in positive psychology, lectures across the globe and is spending a week at Geelong Grammar to learn and share in its pioneering work fusing positive psychology and education across all areas of school life.

"Geelong is leading the pack so there is very much hope that more schools around the world will take up this model, will learn from the story of this school and use the ideas," Mr Ben-Shahar said.

He hopes to share a bigger picture with a bigger audience during a free public lecture on "the science of happiness" in Deakin University's waterfront campus Percy Baxter theatre Thursday night.

"It's about giving practical tools and ideas that can be applied to personal and professional lives," Mr Ben-Shahar said.

"We talk a little bit about relationships, about child-rearing, a little bit about professional realms and inter-personal realms."

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