Since Happiness U is a one-of-a-kind place, we get a lot of questions! Here are the answers to those we have been asked most frequently. If you don’t see what you’d like to know below, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to reply to you directly!
Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is Happiness U — I don’t get it even after looking through the website.
Happiness U is an 850 square-foot cozy, clean, and carpeted space that encompasses a lounge area, library, and twenty-seat classroom. It is a comfortable place where you can take classes that are of interest to you, providing you with insight and tools that you can use on a daily basis. It is for people who are interested in personal growth, positive philosophy, and want to live life more empowered physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. It’s like Oprah’s, Super Soul Sunday classes in person, as one member said.
The majority of our classes are held on weekdays at 6:00 and 7:30 P.M., and weekends between noon and 5:00 P.M. Class fees are between $25 and $60 depending on the length, topic and teacher. The core curriculum is taught by founder Alice Inoue, and the other classes, which reflect an eclectic assortment of topics are taught by guest teachers with expertise in areas such as relationships, pets, nutrition, finances, communication, elder care, intuition, spirituality, body-mind connection, and more! We have a membership program for those who want to really commit to transformation and empower their lives. CLICK HERE for more.
How long is the program? When is enrollment? Do you get a “degree” in something for graduating? •
We are not like a “traditional” school in that we do not have specific enrollment periods, nor do we have a curriculum that you must complete in order to graduate. You can pick and choose what you want to learn, and come to classes at any time. The more you come, the more you benefit.
If you choose to become a member (see our membership information link HERE) you commit to engage with us for a year, but even so, there is no “degree” in “happiness” that you get – you do it for yourself, and come away with a greater sense of purpose and deeper understanding of your life on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. We measure your happiness level over the course of the year through a simple test, and keep in touch with members on a regular basis through special member-only weekly events.
Is Happiness U linked to or associated with any religious or non-profit organizations? •
No. We are not affiliated with any religious, non-denominational, non-profit, or spiritual organization. We do not sell products that are affiliated with any network marketing company, nor are we based on any other existing business model known. We are not a franchise of a mainland organization or even based on something that we saw somewhere else.
We are a new concept, first in the world (as far as we know). We are a for-profit start up small business, interested in helping those who walk through our doors to find greater peace and happiness in their lives.
The name “Happiness U” is federally trademarked, as we have plans to standardize the curriculum and perfect the business model over the course of the next few years. By doing so, others who may be interested in having a Happiness U in their city can do so as a franchise.
Is it only for adults? What is the age group of people that attend classes? Is it just for women? •
Right now the classes are geared for adults, and the current attendance age is anywhere from 19 to over 75. More than age, the people that come are interested in self-growth and want to live life to the fullest. The school is for both men and women. The percentage of men and women seems to be about 30-35% men to 65-70% women, for the most part. However, some classes have had more men than women. It all depends on the class, and the time.
What about businesses or corporate happiness? Do you have anything for that? •
Yes! We have a corporate wellness program that we plan to put more focus on in 2014, although we are currently ready assisting businesses with employee happiness. CLICK HERE for more information. If you would like to speak to someone about this, please email us at email@example.com.
Why do you have a membership program if you can just take classes as needed? I’m confused. •
The membership program exists for those who are serious about making changes in their lives for the better. If you liken our membership program to a health club membership, it makes more sense. If you want to lose weight and get in shape, taking one aerobics class will help, but for lasting change, there needs to be a commitment. When you sign up for a health club membership, you make a commitment to yourself to change your habits.
The same goes for happiness. While taking a class here and there can certainly provide value, the commitment you make to yourself in the form of our membership program will help you to really own your life, embrace a deeper level of peace and contentment, and positively transform how you live your life.
What can I expect if I become a member? Can you actually guarantee that I get happier? •
As a member, you engage with “Happiness U” in a deeper and more committed way, and in turn, we provide the resources to help you to achieve your personal goals. Whether it’s to be happier, learn more about yourself, get connected to your spirit in a deeper way, get over a current challenge, or learn more so you can help others, we assist as both a resource and a constant place of support. More than the financial savings you receive on classes, events and products, and the “star” treatment you get (reserved seating, your own cup space, free gatherings every week, priority on anything we plan), you can expect support from our team in multiple ways. We keep you apprised weekly of events that may be of interest to you, as well as make sure that there is at least one gathering a week where you can come to the school and get insight.
As far as “guaranteeing” happiness, it’s really a personal journey and there’s no way to guarantee it. Just like joining a health club, the club is there for you to use and the more you use it, and follow the nutritional guidelines, the healthier you are likely to be, but they can’t guarantee results because it really depends on what you put into it for yourself.
Though we do have the members take a happiness test before joining and have periodic testing along the way, the value lies in the time spent with us. The more you spend time learning and understanding our guiding principles (CLICK HERE TO SEE THEM) and consequently doing your best to apply them to your life, the more you will get out of membership. As one member told us, “It’s impossible NOT to change how I see my life after hanging around with you.” We simply have a way of looking at life that helps bring ease and balance to lopsided perceptions.
Is this the type of place where you have to share personal information – like self-help groups, or AA? •
Our classes are more like standard classes you may have attended in the past where there are a few really talkative participants, with the majority a bit more reserved that just sit back and listen. Of course, the smaller classes are more intimate and people feel more comfortable speaking up and engaging with the instructor, and each other, but it is not necessary. Most everyone is there to learn from the instructor, not share their personal situations with others, unless they want to, or it is on topic with the discussion.
Are most of the people that spend time at Happiness U unhappy or suffering from depression? •
We get this question a lot! Actually, the people that hang out at Happiness U are happy people! Life can be tough sometimes, and being around like-minded people who support new perspectives on challenging situations, and interacting with others who share a “bigger picture” outlook on life is inspiring and helpful. That is not to say “unhappy” people are not welcome. Everyone who resonates with what we have to offer is welcome to come and learn new ways to live a happier life.
Who goes there? What types of professions? What types of people will I find there? How old are they? •
Well, we have a range of people. As far as professions, we have had everyone from attorneys, psychologists, accountants, librarians, security guards, business owners, delivery men, chefs, service men and women, to massage therapists, nurses, procurement officers, caregivers, and more walk through our doors. In other words, we have all sorts of professions. We have welcomed those as young as 19 to seniors over 75, and the percentage of men and women seems to be about 30-35% men to 65-70% women, for the most part. However, some classes have had more men than women. It all depends on the class, and the time.
How can you “teach” happiness? What are the teachings based on? •
It may at first, seem kind of strange, since we think of happiness as being something that we are either born with or not, but research from leading institutes such as Harvard and U Penn, show, beyond a shadow of doubt, that happiness is a skill that can be learned. Because of this, we can change how happy we feel by changing our focus.
Our core curriculum of 20 “101” classes do just that. We help you to change your focus which science now says rewires our brain. Our guest teacher classes are “lighter” in nature, and basically offer insight and tools in specific areas of expertise that can be helpful in your day-to-day life.
I am a Christian, will what you teach at Happiness U conflict with my beliefs as a Christian? •
The tools we offer in our classes are designed for a greater balance of body, mind, heart, and spirit and we do offer a universal perspective on what we teach. Our teachings are not based on any religion, so as a Christian, you may or may not see that as a conflict. We see Happiness U as a place where you can take what you resonate with and use that to help you in your life. Our core classes are divided into Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual categories. If you are not in need of any spiritual classes, (Life Purpose 101, Understanding Spirituality 101, etc.) you may take just the classes that help you in other areas of your life (Clutter Clearing Plan 101 or How to Say No 101, for example). Our guest teacher classes are based on tools to use in daily life that are independent of your religious beliefs such as “Understanding Your Dog” or “Relieving Stress in Relationships”, for example.
What qualifications does Alice Inoue have that deems her qualified to open a school of this sort? •
Through various techniques and positive philosophy gathered from hundreds of teachers, workshops, and books over the past decade, Alice has developed her own personal philosophy and is sharing that at Happiness U. At her core, she is simply inspired by life and wants to help others create more of what they want, especially if it includes living a happier life and being more balanced in their body, mind, heart, and spirit.
Prior to opening Happiness U, Alice worked as a life guide and is a professional astrologer, feng shui expert, award-winning author of five books on topics such as happiness, life guidance, spirituality, and feng shui. Through thousands of private sessions and hundreds of workshops and classes she taught through her business, Alice Inoue Life Guidance, LLC, she developed the material and insight that she uses at Happiness U.
Where did this idea of Happiness U come from? Is it patterned off of an existing concept? •
Happiness U is a unique, one-of-a-kind business, and the sole inspiration of Alice Inoue. On March 25, 2013, as she was contemplating the content for her sixth book, the idea came to her that she wanted to “teach people to be more empowered in their lives”, in the form of a school, rather than another book. Extensive research at the time showed there was nothing else like this of its kind in Hawai`i, the mainland or even the world. The concept of Happiness U – from the business model to the curriculum, to the membership program, is unique to Happiness U.
Happiness U is federally trademarked, and the long term plan is to at some point, standardize everything about the school, so Happiness U can have the opportunity to be in cities across the world.
Other Popular Questions
I see you have “101” classes. Will you eventually offer “201” and “301”? What happens if I want more information on some of the topics? •
The core classes are designed as an introduction to those topics. If you want more insight, then we recommend you join as a member to go “deeper” into the areas that you want to focus on.
How do I sign up for classes? •
CLICK HERE to register.
Do you have a schedule I can print out? How far in advance do your class schedules come out? •
CLICK HERE for a PDF of this month’s class schedule – it’s under the digital calendar. The schedule for the upcoming month comes out by the end of the first week of the current month.
Do you accept walk-ins? Can I pay at the door? •
Walk-ins are welcome, and you can pay at the door, but we encourage everyone to at least register online (even if you do not pay online) so that if we need to contact you for any reason, we have a way to do so.
What if I have paid for a class, but I find out I can’t make it? Can I get a credit for a future class? •
If you let us know at least 24 hours in advance, we will send you a voucher to use for a future class. However, if you miss the class without notification, unfortunately, we do not give credit, although you are welcome to come by and pick up the course materials provided to the attendees of the class you paid for.
I do not live in Honolulu, but am very interested in your classes. Can I purchase a recording of your classes? Do you plan to have online video? •
Currently we are not recording or selling any audio of the classes. In the future, we do plan to offer our core curriculum online in video format. The date has not yet been determined
I called several times and no one answered, why don’t you answer your phone? •
Unlike a standard office, the school is open only when classes are being taught – mostly weeknights and weekend afternoons, though we hope to expand our schedule as the year goes on. We open 30 minutes prior to the first class. If you call and leave a message during the day, we will return your call within one business day. The fastest way to get a response, though, is by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m interested in buying books and gift certificates, when can I do this? •
We are open mostly nights and weekends and open our doors 30 minutes before the first class of the day. Look at our class schedule (CLICK HERE TO SEE SCHEDULE) and feel free to come by anytime you see there are classes scheduled. Our Happiness U concierge will be happy to assist you.
Can you mail products or gift certificates to me or someone on the mainland? •
We can easily mail out gift certificates and do this for a $5 shipping and handling fee per U.S. address. For books, we invite you to order online at Amazon.com. Just do a search for the book title you are interested in, or type in “Alice Inoue” in the search field to see all her books. Product information link.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, check, and credit and debit cards.
Do you have any positions open? How do I apply to work there? •
We are currently fully staffed, but we plan on expanding. Please send us your resume, what you feel you would want to do at Happiness U, your area of expertise, and desired pay. Send to Alice Inoue at email@example.com.
I would love to offer my time and volunteer at your organization regularly. Do you have a volunteer program? •
Because we are a for-profit company, the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) frowns upon this. As such, we do not have volunteers that help us on a day-to-day basis. For special events, where we need extra help, we usually turn to our members.
I have something I would like to teach that seems in line with Happiness U, where do I begin? •
Please see the application process at this link.
Where are you located? •
We are located in SALT at Our Kaka`ako (675 Auahi Street, Suite E3-205). We are on the corner of Auahi and Keawe streets, on the second floor, above Bevy. If using the Keawe Street parking garage, take the elevator to 2R, then turn left and follow the hall to unit 205.
Do you have parking? •
We do! There is a parking structure on Keawe Street with more than 200 stalls. When you attend a class/talk at Happiness U, we have parking validation tickets so you do not have to pay the full retail parking fees.