How to Live a Good Life

What makes a good life good?

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz

Best-selling author and professor

  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you


For people who feel overwhelmed by the challenges and opportunities of life, bestselling author and life-long teacher Barry Schwartz has the answers. By exploring the tensions between selfishness and a social responsibility, and outlining the nature and history of our social and economic problems, this course will offer deep insights that will give you a better perspective on your life, and help you make better choices. 

What You'll Learn

  • What makes it so hard to be happy and productive

  • How to overcome being overwhelmed

  • Ways to make your work more meaningful


13 Episodes



1. What Is a Good Life?


Beyond basic comfort and health, we need rich human connection, meaningful work, and a set of moral skills.

2. Challenges to the Good Life


How to stop worrying about things that aren’t important, and spend less time chasing prizes that don’t have value.

3. Individualism vs. Collectivism


In order to be happy, we need to navigate the tension between taking care of ourselves, and taking care of others.

4. Bad Ideas that Make Us Unhappy


Too many choices, too many responsibilities, too many sources of information. Plus, the perils of endless comparisons on social media.

5. Practical Wisdom, and Why We Need It


We need bureaucracy, but unless we learn how to use good judgement, bureaucracies will destroy our lives.

6. “Freedom” & the Paradox of Choice


Total freedom is not actually ideal, because it leads to total paralysis. This lesson will explain how that works.

7. Maximizers Vs. Satisficers


There are two ways of approaching too many options. (And the better way might not be the one you think.)

8. The Problems of Industrialization


How we got to the point where so many people hate their jobs. Does the whole world really have to be a giant pin factory?

9. How to Make Work More Meaningful


With the right kind of effort, The things that make work meaningful can be applied to any job But it takes more than most people are willing to give.

10. Practical Wisdom


Practical wisdom is the ability to use good judgement in the absence of strict rules. It’s a lot like being a jazz musician.

11. How to Build Moral Skills


What are moral skills? Why are they so important? How can they be developed?

12. The Secret to Happiness


Barry Schwartz summarizes his ideas by sharing the truth about what it really takes to be happy.

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