Thursday, February 21, 2013

HAPPINESS MADE SIMPLE - It is Easy to be Happy - The Happiness List

The Happiness ListA Philosophical Approach


HAPPINESS - a Philosophical Approach

The primary aim of philosophy and spirituality is to help ordinary people live a life of happiness, fulfillment, inner peace 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:

“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.

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 eschewing enjoyment and pleasure as the sine qua non of happiness.

But the fact of the matter is that to the ordinary person happiness and pleasure are inextricably intertwined. Yes, pleasures make you happy and you know it.

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

Pleasure is certainly not 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 and well-being.

In your search for happiness you tend to indulge in extravagant parties, unrestrained extravagance, conspicuous consumption, compulsive shopping, thoughtless profligacy, limitless spending, expensive entertainments.

You try to enjoy everything at once.

You want instant gratification by over-indulgence in drinking, eating, revelry and sensual pleasures, stretching yourself to the maximum limits possible.

At first you enjoy yourself and feel happy.

Then you come to the point of satiety you begin to feel a sense of repulsion.

And if you overdo yourself, next morning you wake up sick and feeling miserable with a sense of sadness and depression rather than happiness.

You may think that grandiose, ostentatious, lavish, unrestrained and intemperate indulgences will ostensibly make you happy.

In actual fact, these over-indulgences may render you stressed-out, unhappy and cause you harm and misery in the long run.

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

Just keep your pleasures mild.

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

It is simple to be happy.

The first thing you must do is to introspect and list your most pleasurable activities.

Yes, make a HAPPINESS LIST including all the things, activities, places and people that give you true joy, happiness and satisfaction.

Your happiness list must cover all aspects of your life. 

Make your “happiness list” as exhaustive as possible.

From this HAPPINESS LIST select those “mild pleasures” that you can enjoy every day or very frequently or very often. 

Then incorporate these pleasures in your routine and fit them into your daily life.

See what happens.

Some “pleasures” that you thought would make you happy actually do the opposite, don’t they?

Delete those 
“pleasures” that you thought would give you happiness but actually made you feel stressed-out or depressed.

Yes, remove those things that you thought would be satisfying but actually turned out to be unrewarding.

Experiment, make changes, be watchful, dynamic. 

Do not hesitate to add new items to your list.

You can always remove them if they fail to produce the desired results.

Fine tune your HAPPINESS LIST and religiously put into practice your happiness list and experience happiness every day.

This prescription of keeping your pleasures mild will enable you to structure your life in 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.

With only so many hours during the day, these enjoyable events will begin to crowd out the unpleasant activities in your daily life.

This will make you feel fulfilled and happy.

Dear reader, start today, keep your pleasures mild so that you can enjoy these simple pleasures every day and discover the true art of happiness, the art of living.

Discover your mild pleasures that make you truly happy and joyful. 

And do let me know your experience – did this simple philosophy of keeping your pleasures mild make you happier?

It is easy to be happy, isn't it?

So Dear Reader: Take the first step towards becoming Happy and start making your HAPPINESS LIST right now

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) 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 an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and 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  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve 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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dikshal.sangoi said...

Nicely written sir! even reading your blogs make me happy or at least make me feel pleasant! so that wil be 1 point in my happiness list i.e. reading your blogs!!! :)

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Dikshal,
Thank you so much for your nice words.
I am so happy that my blogs make you happy.
Wish you all the Happiness

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Dikshal,
Thank you so much for your nice words.
I am so happy that my blogs make you happy.
Wish you all the Happiness