EXPLORING WHAT MATTERS
An inspiring 8-week course to explore what matters for a happy and meaningful life - together with a group of friendly, like-minded people.
The course will run on Fridays from 1pm to 3pm on the following dates: 18 Nov, 25 Nov, 2 Dec, 9 Dec, 16 Dec, (2 Week Break) 6 Jan, 13 Jan and 20 Jan.
About the course
Exploring What Matters is aimed at people of all backgrounds and has been shown to help people become happier and more caring.
Each session has a theme, based on a 'big question', such as What really matters in life? What actually makes us happy? or How should we treat others? The course runs over 8 weekly sessions of 2 hours. Each follows a similar format with an inspiring mix of learning and discussion.
Week 1: What really matters in life?
Lots of things are important in life, but how should we decide what really matters to us. This session explores whether a greater focus on happiness and wellbeing might be better for all of us.
Week 2: What actually makes us happy?
We’re told that happiness comes from having more and earning more, but is this really true? Does happiness come from our circumstances or our inner attitudes? And can we learn how to be happier?
Week 3: Can we find peace of mind?
Life can be highly stressful. In this session we’ll explore how to deal effectively with life’s ups and downs and cope with adversity. And we'll look at some skills which can help us be more resilient.
Week 4: How should we treat others?
Our society appears increasingly individualistic and competitive. Is this just human nature or are we naturally altruistic too? How should we behave towards others - and can we learn to be more compassionate?
Week 5: What makes for great relationships?
We're a social species and most of us know that our connections with others are vitally important. But what really affects our relationships and are there practical things we can do to enhance them?
Week 6: Can we be happier at work?
Work is a huge part of our lives, but many of us find our work to be stressful and frustrating. Do happier organisations get better results? What makes us happy at work? And what can we do about it?
Week 7: Can we build happier communities?
What does it mean to live well together - and why are some communities or societies much happier than others? In this session we'll explore how to create communities that are more caring, connected and happy.
Week 8: How can we create a happier world?
This session brings together everything we've covered during the course. It aims to inspire each of us to live in a way that contributes to a happier world, not just for ourselves but for others too.
The course is run by volunteers and valued at £90 (£10 per session and £10 for the course book). Every participant is asked to make a donation to sign up for the course, which helps to cover the venue hire and provision of materials.
The recommended donation is £90 but if people are unable to afford this they can make a donation of their choice instead. Some people choose to donate more than the recommended amount, to help to cover the costs for those who cannot afford to give so much.
Who is behind the course?
The course has been developed by Action for Happiness, whose co-founders are Prof Richard Layard, Sir Anthony Seldon and Geoff Mulgan. Key members of the team include Vanessa King and Dr Mark Williamson. It is backed by the Dalai Lama, who is the patron of Action for Happiness.
Who is the course for?
The course is secular, science-based and welcomes adults of all ages and all beliefs. Although the course can be helpful for people facing major challenges in their lives, it is not designed as a therapeutic intervention or to directly support people dealing with severe mental health issues. We recommend that people experiencing such challenges seek out professional support, e.g. via their GP, local wellbeing/IAPT service or some other form of specialised counselling or therapy.
Get in touch
For questions about this particular course please contact the volunteers who are running it:
For general questions about Action for Happiness and the course please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you enjoy the course. Thanks for helping to create a happier world.
The Action for Happiness team
Please note: although the content and materials for this course have been developed and tested by Action for Happiness, this specific course is being run independently by volunteers who support the aims of Action for Happiness, rather than being put on directly by the organisation itself.
Action for Happiness is part of the Young Foundation, Registered Charity (274345).