To realize our mission, we at HSA take a wholistic, interdisciplinary approach to teaching happiness—first in the way we define happiness, and second in the way we teach it. We define happiness as the experience of wholeperson wellbeing, or in short, the experience of wholebeing. The five elements essential to a life of wholebeing are:
Taken together, these elements make up the acronym SPIRE, and indeed they inspire all of our programs—from our introductory lectures on happiness to the one-year Certificate in Happiness Studies.
To better understand, pursue, and attain wholebeing, it is not enough to explore each of the SPIRE elements through the lens of a single field—be it psychology or philosophy. Instead, we need to take an interdisciplinary approach, turn to psychology and philosophy, as well as to literature, history, economics, theology, biology and other disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach is aligned with our general wholistic approach—one that bridges rather than divides, unites rather than separates. We bridge and unite between:
The rich content coupled with the unique way in which the content is taught, informs about the meaning and significance of happiness, as well as transforms and creates a better world.