Two free online courses that changed my life

If you haven’t checked out Coursera yet, you should. Lots of online courses available, generally-speaking, free. You have the option of paying for an official completion certificate, and there’s some monthly plans I haven’t looked closely at, but getting started is a zero-cost investment.

Here’s two outstanding classes that have made a difference for me.

Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

4 weeks. Mostly video lectures with quizzes. Lots of optional additional reading.

Taught largely by Barbara Oakley, based on her likewise excellent book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra). This goes through some of the latest neuroscience findings and how to apply them to your life. Parts of it are targeted at students, but learning is something that we all need to do throughout our lives. This will help you change your thinking at a deep level. And that’s a good thing.

A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

6 weeks. Video lectures but lots of active exercises and community projects. Quizzes are challenging unless you pay close attention. 🙂

Taught mostly by Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan of the Indian School of Business. Can happiness be taught? Most assuredly yes. The course is structured around the “seven deadly sins” of happiness and specific techniques and exercises to counter them. How do you stay happy when terrible things are happening all around you? It is possible. Lots of cutting-edge research papers are referenced all through this course, but it’s the hands-on parts that will leave the greatest impression on your life.

Check these out. In the comments let me know what similar things you’ve run into.

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