Saturday, May 7, 2011

DO YOU WANT TO FEEL HAPPY? Then Keep Your Pleasures Mild.

HAPPINESS MANTRA - Keep Your Pleasures Mild


The primary aim of philosophy and spirituality is to help ordinary people live a life of happiness, fulfillment and tranquility.

Every day you ask yourself:

How do I live a happy life…?
Is it simple to be happy…?
What is the art of happiness…?

Let us see what the Taoist philosopher Mingliaotse has to say on this topic:

“The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild.” 

You know that whenever pleasure is present you are happy - this is a fact that cannot be denied - for a pleasure is an enjoyable event or delightful emotion which is bound to make you happy, at least for that moment

Highfalutin philosophers and spiritual gurus may prescribe various impracticable esoteric paths of renunciation, asceticism or sectarian precepts which stipulate the eschewing of enjoyment and abstention from pleasure as the sine qua non of happiness, but the fact of the matter is that to an ordinary person happiness and pleasure are inextricably intertwined. 

Discovering simple enduring pleasures which you can easily and regularly accomplish, fulfil, practice and enjoy in your day-to-day life will produce contentment, fulfillment and happiness. 

No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but wanton pursuit of pleasures is counterproductive as it leads to over-indulgence and excesses which bring with them disturbances which are detrimental to our happiness, health and well-being. 

In your search for happiness you indulge in extravagant parties, unrestrained consumption, thoughtless shopping, limitless spending, ostentation, expensive entertainments and try to enjoy everything at once.

You want instant gratification by over-indulgence in wining, dining and dancing, stretching yourself to the maximum limits possible.

At first you enjoy yourself and feel happy but when you come to the point of satiety you begin to feel a sense of repulsion, and if you overdo yourself, next morning wake up sick and feeling miserable with a sense of melancholic dejection rather than happiness. 

Grandiose, complicated, ostentatious and intemperate overindulgences which you think will ostensibly make you happy will in actual fact render you stressed-out, mentally exhausted, physically fatigued, dejected and unhappy and will cause you more harm and misery in the long run. 

There is no need to overdo things in order to be happy.

Just keep your pleasures mild and you will be happy.

Enjoying a simple, tasty and healthy meal in good company and in an atmosphere of positive vibes with your loved ones and friends, or just sitting quietly and leisurely reading a good book, or taking a walk enjoying melodious music, or enjoying your work, leisure, hobbies are some of the mild pleasures which will make you happy and keep you healthy too. 

It is simple to be happy. 

But it is difficult to be simple.

The first thing you must do is to introspect and list your most pleasurable activities.  Yes, reflect, introspect, and think of all the simple pleasures, activities, people and things that give you true joy, happiness and satisfaction in all aspects of your life.

Make your list as exhaustive as possible and from this list select those “mild” pleasures that you can enjoy every day or often, simple pleasures that are feasible, practicable and viable to implement in your daily life and incorporate in your day to day living.
And then fit these mild pleasures into your daily routine.
See what happens.

Experiment, innovate and be open minded and creative.

Delete those “pleasures” that you thought would give you happiness but in actual practice these activities made you stressed-out; like some “pleasures” you thought would be satisfying but actually turned out to be unrewarding and unfulfilling. Maybe, you thought some "pleasurable" people make you happy, but when you reflect you realize that in actual fact these people create stress, pain or unhappiness in you. Eliminate such negative-vibe creating people from your "happiness" list and avoid their company as far as possible.

From your draft "happiness list" eliminate things that create negative vibes in you, and add things that create positive vibes in you. Does playing with your pet dog create happiness vibes in you? Then add that to your list and make sure you play with your pet do g as often as possible.

Do not hesitate to add new items to your list – you can always remove them from your “happiness” list if they fail to produce the desired results.

Fine tune and religiously practice your “happiness” list each day.

I assure you that you will experience happiness every day, day after day, till happiness becomes a habit, a part of your life. 

This prescription of keeping your pleasures mild will enable you to structure your life in such a way where your happiness will be in your control and you will find greater joy in your life.

It will be feasible and within your control to ensure that you enjoy these mild pleasures daily or at least fairly regularly.

You will see that with only the limited waking hours during the day, these enjoyable events will begin to crowd out the neutral, unpleasant, and irrelevant activities in your daily life and make you feel fulfilled and happy. Tell me, when you are doing something that makes you happy, then at that moment how can you be unhappy?

Dear Reader, start today and discover the art of happiness.

And do let me know your experience – did keeping your pleasures mild make you happier…?

Gradually you will discover which are those mild pleasures that make you truly happy and joyful…?

“The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild.”

Follow this philosophy of life and soon you will become happier and happier, every day, day by day, day after day.
It works – you can take my word for it.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this article? I am eager to know your views, do you agree with this happiness mantra?
By the way, I write fiction too and have recently published a book of short stories called COCKTAIL. 
Do have a look – please click any of the links below to know more.
About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

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