Crafting Realities: Work, Happiness and Meaning

4 – 5 hours per week

Course Information

Course Length     : 6 weeks
Estimated Effort  : 4 – 5  hrs per week

Course Overview

The IIMBx MOOC Crafting Realities: Work, Happiness and Meaning, taught by Prof Ramya Ranganathan, is designed for anybody whose goal is to proactively craft their work experience to be a meaningful one. Drawing upon research and knowledge from the domains of positive psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and philosophy, and weaving them into a series of lectures and experiential exercises, this course is designed to help professionals reinvent the way they approach and experience their work and career.

As it takes an inside-out approach to create change, this course centres around working on the learner/participant’s own mental models and beliefs regarding work, career, success, failure, and identity.

Participants of Crafting Realities: Work, Happiness and Meaning course will benefit at three different levels:

  1. At an intellectual level, the participants will learn how the brain functions; how emotions influence the functioning of the brain; and the manner in which the brain receives, processes and makes sense of information. They will understand how ‘sensemaking’ in the brain, directly and indirectly, translates into behaviour, thereby influencing a person’s subjective as well as objective experience at work.
  2. At an experiential level, the learners will get to participate in reflective exercises that provide a richer and deeper awareness of their own past experiences. They will be able to identify and understand the influence of their own choices, attitudes, and beliefs in the way their life has unfolded so far. They will also be able to realise the role that other people and society have played in the shaping of their beliefs and attitudes.
  3. At a practical level, the learners will be introduced to the tried and tested tools that can help them create the change they desire and craft their own future work experience with greater levels of confidence and effectiveness. These include emotional tools from the field of positive psychology, psychological tools that are used in coaching, and established behavioural tools from the field of organisational behaviour.

The Crafting Realities: Work, Happiness and Meaning course is practical, engaging, and potent in its design with a unique mix of lectures, stories, and reflective exercises. The reflective exercises used in the MOOC are derived from the instructor’s own experiences teaching this material to MBA students and corporate executives over a span of eight years, and are proven to create deep and lasting change in the minds of the participants.

Professor Ramya Ranganath

Course Instructor
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB)


Course Syllabus

Week 1: Crafting Realities
  • How we make sense of the world around us and our experience in it?
  • The role of our mental models in the way we process information from the world
  • Distinguishing between objective and subjective reality
  • Understanding how confirmation bias can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy
Week 2: Demystifying Success
  • How we define success for ourselves?
  • The role played by society in shaping our definition of success
  • Creating an awareness of our personal values to help us navigate this complexity
  • Decoupling our own dreams from the expectations of other stakeholders in our lives
Week 3: Accepting Failure
  • Understanding the label of failure and the effects it has on us
  • Exploring the attributes of perfectionism and how to overcome them
  • Understanding resilience and tools to help us become more resilient
  • Cultivating a healthy and realistic attitude to failure
Week 4: Redefining Work
  • Nature and utility of work in everyday life
  • Introduction to the flow state and its benefits
  • Crafting a more empowering inner definition of work
  • Consciously cultivating meaning and purpose in work
Week 5: Leveraging Emotions
  • The connection between happiness and productivity
  • Overcoming our innate bias towards the negative and dealing with negative emotions
  • Shifting our happiness baseline and choosing to play to our strengths
  • Cultivating emotional intelligence and using mirror neurons to our advantage
Week 6: Continuing the Journey
  • Creating and sustaining change
  • Cultivating an innovation mindset and avoiding generalized conclusions
  • Digging deeper with Integrative thinking
  • Savoring the journey and managing personal energy

By the end of this course, the learners will be able to

  • Examine the influence of one’s beliefs, thoughts, and emotions on their behaviour as well as the manner in which they experience reality
  • Identify and assess one’s own mental models and attitudes and recognise their role in shaping one’s life so far
  • Apply practical tools to leverage one’s own mental models and emotions to craft one’s future work experience

Anyone can take this course who aspires to create his work a joyful and meaningful journey.

This course is wonderful you need to do it at your own phase it’s more about us and the internal thoughts. This course will allow you to see within and work on many strengths of yours. Also gives many tools. Must for all who wants to craft your own reality of life and live happily.
(Kalpana Ramachandran)

I loved the course! I just wish people had interacted more in forum activities. The course has inspired me to make changes in my career and my life. I loved that many scenes were shot in green areas, with flowers by the table and leaves all around. It was so calming. The way the professor talked also helped me understand the concepts, and I liked the stories and examples she used. Thank you, and best regards from Brazil!
(Érica Sousa Miguel Basso)

Ramya was a pleasure to listen to, her positive energy and knowledge was inspiring! Even her personal examples were very relatable and made complex concepts seem very easy to understand The content was powerful, well structured and there was an excellent balance between tutorials and exercises I already recommended this course to 3 people and will continue to, it was of immense value! THANKS Ramya and team! I wish you happiness and success (whatever that may be for you:)
(Florencia Tarelli)

Good use of story telling to show examples was very helpful to understand concepts. Thank you learned a lot.
(Loana Battisa)

I’m happy to know that even after completing the course I can still go back to my journal and do the course again.
(Anupama Puthuparambil)

The course was excellent. The content of the videos was outstanding. The depth of the course was beyond words.
(Biren Sudhir Vora)

Perfect. Must congratulate the entire team. Sincere thank you to Professor Ranganathan for her clarity and very crisp presentation.
(Shilpa Mazumder)

One practical consideration – would have been useful to have a progress monitor on one side of the screen so you know where you were up to in the course as you were going. it was unclear how much I had left and how much time I had to allocate to each module.
(Cat Faull)

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