Can you live happily ever after?


Prince got married to the princess and they lived happily ever after! Story ends here. If you get relegated in history at the time of your happy moments, you are supposed to have lived happily thereafter, since no one has further information about your life!!

Does that happen in reel or real life? First of all, if things are going well, there is hardly anyone who would like become irrelevant and pass on to history! And if you remain relevant or visible, can you be happy at all time?

Everyone desires happy life; but there are very few who can define what happiness means. Most people confuse pleasure for happiness and pleasure always becomes a source for pain!

Our constant struggle to get happiness

We generally have wrong perceptions, undue expectations and faulty actions to get happiness. If sun is not shining, food is not tasty, boss is not pleased or work is worrisome, we believe we cannot be happy. It is firmly rooted in the mind of most that happiness comes with a good job, fat salary, modern house, beautiful or handsome spouse.

Often 2 persons find each other very complementary; they come close and crave for happiness but invariably develop cracks in their relationship. You, therefore, find that celebrities or famous personalities like scientists, artists, sportsmen or leaders have mostly troubled life even though every mean might be at their disposal.

Notion of many is that happiness can be planned, programmed, procured or brought by creating pressure on mind! You actually can never do that.

Cause of this struggle has purely to do with our flawed perception and definition of what is happiness and how it comes!!

Clear up the confusion between pleasure and happiness

Pleasure and happiness are vastly different; but very difficult for most to differentiate. We have tendency to fall prey to pleasure; but pleasure also slips from our hands easily.
Here is how you can clearly figure out real difference:

  1. Pleasure is emotional; but happiness is inspirational!
  2. Pleasure requires means; happiness rests only on mind.
  3. Pleasure requires support; happiness is stand alone.
  4. Pleasure pushes for attachment; happiness promotes detachment.
    Remember that detachment is not relinquishing or running away; but to stay put!
  5. Pleasure triggers our senses; happiness stimulates our mind.
  6. Pleasure has preconceived notion; happiness is totally open.
  7. Pleasure shuns pain; happiness embraces both.

Secret to convert pleasure into happiness

Our life invariably comprises of positive and negative, right or wrong, good or bad. We feel pleasure if we can manage both and if we mismanage, we feel the pain! Both pleasure and pain are nothing but states of our mind.

What is very critical is to understand role that our past memories play on the state of our mind. Past memories have 2 parts – information and emotions. Past information is a source for our wisdom; but past emotions influence our woes! If our current state of mind gets complemented by past emotions, it becomes a pleasure; but if it is in conflict, it becomes a pain. As an example, a thought that “He could work it out; so I can also” from past memories brings confidence and that is complementary to what you are trying to work now. This would make your work a pleasure! But, instead if you think “He could work it out; but that does not mean I can also”, it becomes despair and what you are doing now would become a pain!!

In practical life, you cannot evoke only complementary emotions from past memories in your mind; you also pull in conflicting emotions. It is for this reason that you go into bouts of pleasure and pain; you can’t live happily ever after even with your most beloved or precious.

If you want to experience pleasure or peace most of times, the only and only way is to convert your pleasure into happiness! Here is the secret to do that:

“If you could focus or observe only your current state of mind while doing what you want or have to do now and ignore complementary as well as conflicting emotions from past, then your pleasure converts into happiness and pain would be reduced to an experience – good or bad would not matter to you!”

Remember what would be very difficult for you is to dissuade complementary emotions of past to come during pleasure, so also conflicting ones during pain. But, do not forget that in your routine life, you do convert your pleasure into happiness from time to time but in traces or pieces without being conscious of it. Now that you know the secret, you can practice it consciously! Your happiness level would increase for sure.

You need happiness for more than one reason. Happiness not only retains your pleasure but brings success and shine, wealth and wisdom, health and holistic growth! And your story continues – happy ever after!


12 responses to “Can you live happily ever after?”

  1. Sonali Mahajan Avatar
    Sonali Mahajan

    Sir, a very nice article and a ground reality.. At the end pace of mind is important… Thanks for sharing and changing our ideas…. 🙂

    1. Murli Avatar

      You are very welcome! I highly appreciate your view and feedback!!

  2. Ashwin Aher Avatar
    Ashwin Aher

    very detailed analysis of minute thoughts. We can relate it.
    we always want happiness but we try to search it in pleasures.
    Thanks for sharing, it helps us a lot.

    1. Murli Avatar

      Thanks a lot! I highly value your views and observations!! These can bring you lot of happiness.

  3. Raj Sakharkar Avatar
    Raj Sakharkar

    I read this article and my take away is as follows:
    1) Keep past in the bank.
    2) Focus on the current and give your 100%.
    3) Onle use your past in the form of experience.
    4) Enjoy your victory and learn from loss.
    5) Compliment others but don’t forget to do it for yourself. This will significantly enhance your happiness.

    Thanks for sharing this article. It made me think on how to separate pleasure and happiness. I really enjoy your articles. Thank you for taking your personal time and sharing your thoughts and wealth of knowledge.


    1. Murli Avatar

      Super! Your take away is superb!!

      I must compliment you for your very congenial thoughts. Please keep up with these. These would immensely help you in your pursuits.

      Thanks for your kind words! I do learn a lot from interactions with my colleagues like you.

  4. Rudra Avatar

    Depends! Ever after what? 🙂

    Well, happiness… again, is – “State of Mind”, isn’t it? What makes you happy may not make others happy and vice-versa. And you’re correct, happiness can never ever be planned. Some people purposely wait/plan for weekends to enjoy and be happy. Why?? Just celebrate and enjoy whenever you feel like, be it at the middle of the night!!

    Yeah… now you’re talking about states of our mind (under “Secret to convert…”). So, I was right above!

    And yes! Now I know the secret, that is – converting my pleasure into happiness, and then I’ll live happily ever after and after… and after…!!! 🙂 😀

    Good one! Cheers!!

    1. Murli Avatar

      Many thanks for your righteous views!

      It is important for all of us to understand that “State of mind” does mean most of things that we experience. But, this is a mere statement of what it is. It is the ability to change the state of mind for better, which means a lot. Problem is that most people neglect to learn and strengthen this ability!!

  5. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    From: subhash deshpande []
    Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:48 PM
    To: Murli Lohia
    Subject: Can you live happily ever after? March 14,2014

    Can you live happily ever after?

    Posted on March 14, 2014 by Murli

    Dear Murlisir

    I really liked your thoughts on the ‘Pleasure & Happiness’ subject. What I feel about it, both are states of mind fluctuating frequently ,Changes with new references , life sometimes perfectly fulfilled at that particular state of mind and time ! Also both have law of diminishing level of satisfaction too .E.g. When I purchased my 1st car it gave me great pleasure & full of satisfaction & also happiness but after a year when I it started troubling or I had other comfortable car’s rides, I started feeling discomforts ( Loosing pleasure ) & also lowered happiness than when it was a new !
    So I feel this cyclical phase suits for almost everything :: Full pleasure or happiness in the beginning > Diminishing Levels of satisfaction after a period of time > sustained neutral feeling (like- ya its working or serving my purpose) >> then lost pleasure or happiness ( In search of new one)
    Here are some examples: Most of the people feel they would be someone else in their life apart from their top current position or level achieved!
    Most of the times people loose pleasure just because they find few things different than others in quality or specialty which is not there in their product or life ! Just like economic law—The never ending wants! Human mind gets satisfied temporarily and cannot be satisfied permantly ( E.g. Qualification ,Food, Job ,Money, Position ,Status ,life mates etc..)
    When you are Happy –you can feel pleasure even from the smallest thing or activity (e.g. If you are enjoying a village trip with your family with happiness and peace of mind( even a simple bullock cart ride)-it can give you full pleasure !
    In another situation- You are travelling in a very rich car but going for an hospital emergency for your near one —You will be unhappy and will not have pleasure of ride also !
    Everyone needs to find out what things make them happy and pleasurable after filtering and facing the unavoidable hurdles !
    And as you said about the past memories-2 parts –Experience & emotions .Bad or good experience really impact our mind as a long term prejudice ! You always cannot alter others mind or avoid unpleasant situations but self adjustment and tuning to the situation can at least increase the pleasure and happiness & reduce level of discomfort.
    Please kindly give an evaluation to this feedback or kindly suggest my misunderstandings about the subject.


    Subhash Deshpande

    1. Murli Avatar

      I am full of praise for your interest, efforts and time to put down your thoughts on this post. Many thanks to give me an opportunity to share my thoughts.

      What you have stated are perfect examples of getting pleasure and then, same pleasure becoming a source of pain! A new car, which is running smoothly, gives you pleasure but not happiness. Be able to ride at speed could give you happiness; but newness of car or model or it is running smooth do not add to happiness. These add to pleasure. That is why if same car is giving you trouble or you do not find it as good as other car, it becomes a source of pain. Law of diminishing level of satisfaction does not apply to happiness. Happiness is either there or not there!

      May I request you to please go through the post, especially the part – how to differentiate pleasure from happiness. All other examples cited by you are for means to give a particular state of mind and that is pleasure or pain. Happiness does not need anything; no means. I am sure that you do experience happiness time to time. Please try and make a differentiation from pleasure.

      I have highlighted in yellow several items in your views below, which are objects or means. It is perfectly o.k. to get pleasure from them. But these would not be medium to get happiness. If you feel happy with life mate, then you would not do it by comparison or going by her physical looks or nature. If you do it, then actually you are getting pleasure. At another time you find that someone else’s life mate is more complementary, then you would become unhappy which is not opposite of happiness in strict sense; it is actually a pain, frustration, envy or whatever you want to call it. These are all emotions – no doubt state of your mind but that has nothing to do with happy state of mind!

      Most people all over world get confused with pleasure and happiness, since they mainly experience pleasure; may be feel happiness in bits and pieces and then like to term the whole feeling put together as Happiness.

      Lastly, happiness can’t create any prejudice or ego.

      I hope I have been able to clarify; if not please feel free to revert.

      I am saving your views and my response of the website link for this post.

  6. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    From: subhash deshpande []
    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 10:12 AM

    To: Murli Lohia

    Subject: RE: Can you live happily ever after? March 14,2014

    Dear Murlisir

    Thanx for your valuable feedback & correcting misconceptions. In routine work I go on thinking about the diffrence between pleasure & happiness , I am also perceiving the difference between P & H as well as reevaluating my misconceptions !
    Thanx again & Regards

    Subhash Deshpande

    1. Murli Avatar

      I am impressed by your response!

      I am sure that your these efforts would bring you lot of happiness!!

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