I don't know about the rest of you, but there's this voice inside my head that thinks it can tell me what to do. I think it's somewhat related to "the Voice" that my wife told me all teenage girls have, the one that tells them they're fat and ugly and have no real friends, and that ultimately a belly button piercing will solve all their problems. The trouble is, my "voice" isn't dumb enough to attack me on that kind of a superficial level, I already know how drop-dead-gorgeous I am, and there's no convincing me otherwise (that means you, commenters!).
No, my voice tries, and succeeds more often than not, to convince me that it's too hard. Life's too hard, work's too hard, school's too hard, even church is too hard. "I don't have time for that" is another key phrase that I get sold on by the voice. "Daily prayer? Daily scripture study? Ha! Like I actually have time to do that." Sure, I was able to work 16 hour days, 7 days a week on my mission, but prayer and scripture study were required! Guess what, Jim...it's still required.
I don't remember posting about this before, so forgive me if this is a repeat. I went to a fireside a couple years ago, and the speaker talked about a class he took up at the U of U, where the professor made this correlation (I'd quote, but I don't remember exactly, so here's the gist of it): What is the opposite of happiness, of pleasure, of joy? If you guessed sadness, pain, and misery you're sadly wrong. Let me put it another way, what is the opposite of hot? Wrong again, it's not cold. There is actually no such thing as cold. "Cold," as we know it, is actually "the abscence of heat". So, in this way, it is the same with your emotions.
I think a lot of my recent posts have been outlashes against the voice. I know what I should be doing, or I know what I'm doing wrong (sometimes both), yet I do nothing to change it, and my happiness level goes down, among other things. I would submit to you, amid expected outlash for "pulling a Tom Cruise," that things like depression and anxiety are not caused by chemical imbalances and therefore do not need to be treated with chemicals. I believe that it's the other way around, that the imbalances are the effect, not the cause. I see it as a mathematical function, where things are done in order, and using (not abusing, mind you) drugs is trying to change the result without changing the problem. Why do I feel that way? Because I've lived it. My whole family lives it, and suffers in different ways because of it. How much, I don't know. It's irrelevant. The point here is that it can change for the better.
We have been given the recipe for success, we have the tools necessary for us to be happy. We have the richest blessings of all time from God, the fulness of the Gospel, but it doesn't matter a single whit if we don't use them. I promise you, as well as myself, that the more you do to serve God, and the less time you spend on yourself, the happier you will be. I know this is true because I've lived this too. It is an undeniable fact that I will spend the rest of my life trying to achieve the happiness I had while I was on my mission. If you didn't click the link above, I'm not saying we all need to be out converting the world. It starts with yourself. So the next time the voice pipes up in my head when it's time for me to pray and tells me I can't, I'm too tired, I'm going to do my damnedest to fight back and say, "YES I CAN!"