By Holly T.
Someone once told me to put a penny in one of my shoes and for the whole day when I felt the penny in my shoe I should think of one thing I was grateful for. The penny in my shoe was about as irritating as a pebble—at first. But then I remembered the meaning behind it and started thinking of things I was thankful for. It happened more frequently than I thought, and I soon ran out of ideas. But that was when my thinking process changed. I really looked around and started being grateful for things I hadn’t ever noticed. Like air-conditioning in the building, or the shoes on my feet, or the food I was able to eat, and the clothes on my back. God has truly blessed my life! It changed my perspective for the next couple of weeks, and when I started forgetting what God had so graciously given me, I was reminded of the penny trick and put it back in my shoe to help me remember.
However, happiness isn’t finding joy in materialistic things. I’ve come to learn that finding true happiness is when I change my habits for the better. When I’m doing the things that God would want me to do (praying, reading my scriptures, serving others, etc.) I am happy. Dallin H. Oaks, one of the leaders of our church, has talked about the importance of happiness. He said, “There is no lasting happiness in what we possess. Happiness and joy come from what a person is, not from what he or she possesses or appears to be” (Joy and Mercy). I am thankful for what I possess and give God thanks for that, but is that what really matters while we are here on earth? I don’t think so. I think that when we realize who we are and the potential that we have, we can make a difference in someone else’s life. We can change for the better.
In this world where we see so much death, despair, hatred, and violence, it can be challenging to find happiness. We also can get caught up in worrying about having enough materialistic things (money, furnishings for our home, clothes, etc.), but if we look for the good in our lives, the things that God has given us to make us better, we can truly be happy. So be happy now! Chances are, you won’t regret it later.