Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Self Help : IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY – KEEP YOUR PLEASURES MILD.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…


This afternoon I relaxed on my bed while hearing melodious old songs on Vividh Bharati Radio.

I felt happy.

And – I remembered an article I had written 15 years ago based on this philosophical quote by Taoist Philosopher Mingliaotse:

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

So – let me delve deep into my “SELF HELP” Archives and dig out this article for you to read:

Self Help Musings 

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.

Yes – many “Gurus” prescribe living a staid ascetic life which entails eschewing of all enjoyment and pleasure as a prerequisite for attaining happiness and enlightenment.

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 health, happiness and well-being.

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

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 – and 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.

But – in actual fact – these over-indulgences may render you stressed-out and 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 in solitude and leisurely reading a good book or enjoying melodious music – or taking a walk observing nature – or 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 comprehensive HAPPINESS LIST – select those “mild pleasures” that you can enjoy every day – or very frequently – or very often – and which are feasible and viable for you to enjoy

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 first 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  be 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 daily 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 limited waking 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?


The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild  

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This is based on my personal experience. It may or may not work for you. So please do due diligence before trying out this technique.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

I wrote this 15 years ago, in the year 2000, and have posted it online in my blogs a number of times including in 2005 at url:…  and…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at

7/10/2015 08:53:00 PM

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