Week 1 --- Welcome and How to Get Started

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the study group for A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment (ALOHAF for short), the online course taught by Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan (Raj for short) and offered on Coursera.

I’m Manoel, the study group coordinator. And I’m also going to be taking the course. Nice to e-meet you all. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Over the next six weeks, we’re going to take ALOHAF together, following a common study schedule, supporting each other through this discussion forum, and holding weekly live session with Raj.

The official kick-off was on June 16. But you can still get started. Here’s how.

First, join the forum.

This forum is the heart of the study group. It’s where we’ll discuss what we’re learning, ask questions, support each other, post announcements. etc.

You probably already signed up for the forum. But if not, here’s how:

  1. Click on Sign Up at the top of this page and fill your information.
  2. Go to this page and click on Join Study Group at the top.
  3. Go introduce yourself in this thread.

Second, enroll in the course.

ALOHAF is offered on Coursera, not on Class Central itself. So you’ll need to enroll there. In brief, this involves going to this link, clicking Go to Class, and clicking on Enroll for Free.

In some regions, Coursera is currently offering a free certificate for ALOHAF. We’ve written an article that explains how to enroll in the course and redeem the free certificate.

:warning: The free certificate might not be available everywhere. In that case, you can audit the course for free. You can purchase a certificate if you want, but you don’t need to do so to participate in the study group.

Third, start the course.

The official kick-off was on June 16, but there’s still plenty of time to get started.

In Week 1, our goal is to complete the following modules by Tuesday, June 22:

  • Module 1: Course intro and happiness measurement
  • Module 2: The 1st sin, habit, and exercise

You can find the full study schedule here.

Fourth, join the weekly Zoom sessions.

Every week, we’ll have a live session with Raj to learn about happiness for Dr. Happysmarts himself. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Our first Zoom session will be this Friday, June 18, at 9:00 AM (Central Time). In your local time, this should correspond to 2021-06-18T14:00:00Z.

I’ll email you an invite with the Zoom link. If you haven’t used Zoom before, here are setup instructions.

Fifth, post on the forum.

This forum is truly the heart of the study group. Everyone can create topics and reply to existing ones. So don’t hesitate to put the forum to good use: ask questions, support each other, share your favorite course bits…

And if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to go introduce yourself here.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, let me know below.

Happy learning everyone! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


@manoel please add time zone for the zoom session.

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Oh, I tried to use the forum’s feature so it would show in your local time. But I’m going explicitly add the time zone if it’s less confusing. :wink:

The first live session will be on Friday, June 18, at 9:00 AM (Central Time).

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Great, I wasn’t aware that the platform feature is showing my time zone, just checked, it is. Of course, those who are newbies like me in this group may need time zone information to be less confused🤔

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No worries. I’ve been using the platform for a while now, but only recently discovered the feature. I’ll include both in future posts to avoid any confusion.

@manoel will there be a recording of the zoom call for those who can’t join live?

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I will check with @Raj.

What we did in our previous study group is to record the meetings, but keep the videos unlisted on YouTube, and only send the link to the study group members in the weekly email. Hopefully, we can do that again.

Update: Checked with Raj. No problem. We’ll be recording the sessions for those who can’t make it. :wink:


Hello. I’m Cheryl from Ohio, USA. I audited the course through Coursera. It was very helpful. Looking forward to this group.

That’s a great idea Manoel! I hope we can have that option of recording and giving the link only to group members.

Cheryl Garrett


Hi, Cheryl.

Yes, that’s the idea: we’ll keep the video unlisted and I’ll email the link only to the study group members.

Ok you speak english?
i speak very little

Yes I do. Better English than Portuguese. But you can use either.

In short, the post above goes over what to do this week.

Hope it makes sense. If not, let me know. :wink:

Can you tell us what time the class is in one of the American time zones? Thank you. Blue

The Zoom session is on Friday, June 18, at:

  • 7:00 AM (Pacific Time)
  • 9:00 AM (Central Time)
  • 10:00 AM (Eastern Time)

In your local time, this should correspond to 2021-06-18T14:00:00Z.


This is the first time I knew the time that the study group started. Unfortunately I have a 10 to 12 zoom commitment so I will have to leave at 10:00. I’m not sure how long the class goes on? I think I heard you would tape it so hopefully I can pick up what I missed through a recorded version. Thank you. Blue

The session will be one-hour long. Don’t worry, we’ll be recording it for those that can’t attend. I’ll include the link to the unlisted recording in next week’s email.

PS: To be clear, the Zoom sessions aren’t actual classes. The course, ALOHAF, is offered on Coursera. That’s where you’ll “take the class”. This forum is where you come discuss the course. And the Zoom sessions are an opportunity to learn from Raj and chat with other learners. The post at the top explains the details. :wink:

Your English is good. Keep practicing your English and it will get better.

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As I understood, we are supposed to have watched module 1 and 2 before the first Zoom class, right?

Hi Anna,

If you can manage, go ahead. But that’s a lot of work for just two days. The goal is really to have completed Module 1 and 2 by Tuesday, June 22 (I’ll add this to the post, thank you!).

Raj’s session will fall about halfway through each study week, so if you haven’t entirely completed the week’s modules by then, it’s completely fine.

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Oh, you have actually written it in the post…I noticed it only when read second time. Sorry for being not attentive enough.

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