In Luke 9:23 Jesus required that true disciples take up their cross daily and follow him. In his book KingdomTriangle, J. P. Moreland gives this excellent description of what this means.
“Taking up one’s cross daily” means to form through repeated practice the daily habit of living each day with a specific attitude and outlook. More specifically, one is to form a passion for the daily practice of giving up on the failed project of making one’s self the center of focus and, alternatively, to live hour by hour for God’s Kingdom. It is to be preoccupied with learning skillfully to find one’s place in his unfolding plan and play one’s role well, to give one’s life away to others for Christ’s sake. A life of self denial for Jesus’ sake takes the stress away from life derived from the pressure to be “happy” all the time. It also removes the terrible burden of having to be defensive, to be constantly monitoring one’s emotions, and to stay in control of every situation. In all honesty, who needs such pressure?
This freedom from the demands of our happiness is the “easy yoke” which Jesus offers.