How to Control Your Happiness

Once there was a tiny field mouse. He was scurrying around, hurrying up to catch up with all the other field mice. He lived kind of far from the main mouse activity center, so he always felt like he was running late. He would always show up on time, and even as he put his socks and shoes on, while his wife was telling he had plenty of time, he still felt like he was late.

One day he had a day off. It was a Tuesday, so he didn’t really get a three day weekend, but it almost seemed like it. Because Sunday night, instead of getting depressed like he usually did when he started to go to bed, he actually felt pretty good. Because even though the next day was Monday, it was really like a Friday. So he was in a pretty good mood. And he played a little extra with his kids, and they all had a fun Sunday night. Because the little mouse kids were in the same boat. For this particular week, Monday was the new Friday.

As he was laying in bed, he started having a conversation with his wife. Because like every other Sunday, he knew that he had to go to bed at the same time, and the kids knew they had to get up at the same time, but they all seemed a lot happier than a normal Sunday.  The little mouse couldn’t really understand it, because even the same programs were on TV that night. Everything was the same, but it felt different.

Of course his wife, being the wise mouse that she was told him that it was because of his state of mind. She was saying that when you have a state of mind based on positive expectations about the future, you can feel better and happier, and enjoy life more. It doesn’t really matter what the future brings, because the future actually never comes. It’s always now. Mr. Mouse seemed a bit puzzled by this, but Mrs. Mouse explained it thusly:

The future is only a guess of what is to come, and the past is only an incorrect memory. Most mice think that the past is solid and it happened just as you remembered it, but if you dig into your memories, you’ll realize that not only are they not entirely accurate, but sometimes they are completely made up. Which is why it’s good to always try something a little bit before withholding judgment.

But Mr. Mouse still wasn’t convinced. He said he was happy, of course, because he knew there was an unusual holiday coming up. That was why everybody was in a good mood, because they all had a holiday coming up on Tuesday, when they didn’t have to go to work or school.

Of course, Mrs. Mouse, not to be outdone, countered by asking Mr. Mouse why he allowed other people to tell him when he was permitted to feel happy or not. Why do you let a bunch of mice you never met before to decide on a holiday for you to be happy inside your own mind? Did they plant a robot chip inside your brain when you weren’t looking, so they could control your thoughts from a secret building outside of the Mice Territory? Of course not. Your thoughts belong to you, and you can think them any way you want. You can even choose not to think them, if you think that will help.

Mr. Mouse seemed a bit confused, but he knew better than to blame his wife. She usually knew what she was talking about.