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IE Centre for Health, Well-Being and Happiness Welcomed Tal Ben-Shahar

IE Centre for Health, Well-Being and Happiness Welcomed Tal Ben-Shahar

Tal Ben-Shahar, CEO of Harvard’s Happiness Studies Academy spoke to students at the first event of the IE Center for Health, Well-Being and Happiness.

World-renowned happiness expert Tal Ben-Shahar, CEO of Harvard’s Happiness Studies Academy spoke to students about learning to fail or failing to learn, resilience in business, and the importance of balance with physical exercise and mental strength at the first event hosted by IE’s newly-launched Center for Health, Well-Being and Happiness.

“Failure is a critical element for organizations and individuals. The most successful artists, scientists, and leaders are the ones who failed the most times because they learn how to solve difficulties and create better solutions as a result,” said Ben-Shahar.

Ben-Shahar who previously spoke at EnlightED held the talk with more than 80 students and faculty at IE’s Madrid campus. He explained happiness has to be pursued indirectly but consciously. Illustrating the concept with the example of looking directly at the sun.

“This is how you pursue happiness by looking at it in parts.”

“Sunlight is essential but if you look at it directly it hurts. If you look down at what it shines on you are looking at the elements and breakdowns. This is how you pursue happiness by looking at it in parts.”

The event fits into the objectives outlined by the center’s director, Amelie de Marsily. According to Marsily students need to learn to visualize the journey and not only the end goal. She said balancing physical and mental strength, learning resilience and overcoming challenges are part of a happy life.

“Having a happiness guru like Ben-Shahar talking to our students shows the importance we want to give to mental and physical health at IE University. Students need a solid ground of balance between body and mental strength,” said De Marsily.

“Resilience is the immune system of the mind and you become more resilient with physical exercise.”

“Resilience is the immune system of the mind and you become more resilient with physical exercise,” said Ben-Shahar and explained, “When you overcome difficulties at work you train to become more resilient and therefore end being psychological and physically stronger.”

De Marsily explained the annual objectives for the center and focused the conversation with Tal Ben-Shahar about Leadership & Happiness, Resilience, and Mindfulness.

“Having Tal Ben-Shahar feature in the launch of IE’s Center for Health, Well-Being & Happiness was an honor for me as the Academic Director, but more importantly, his contribution was twofold. First, it reminded us that there are more than 20 years of science behind the study of happiness, and second that the 21st century needs students to be equipped with essential life skills that will enhance their impact in the world,” said Amélie.

Ben-Shahar and De Marsily highlighted the need for universities to take an active role in the mental and physical wellbeing of students.

During the event, Ben Shahar renowned author and lecturer who taught two of the largest and popular classes at Harvard University: Positive Psychology & Psychology of Leadership – explained being happy is not binary, but rather functions on a continuum.

According to Ben-Shahar, failure helps on the path to business success and teaches new perspectives.

“There is no way around it. They’re all parts of life and you have to go through them. Your work is to learn to accept and embrace it,” said  Ben-Shahar. “Resilience in business is key to success. The most efficient teams in google were the ones who had failed most times.”