I have been faced with this question twice today in opposite corners of my life. One was a professional situation during which effort to understanding a process yielded few results and no accomplishments as the process is unchanged. The second situation was athletic and questioned the value of training for a specific event while being 10 pounds above an acceptable weight.
Both situations revealed the progression of effort, results and accomplishments. Placing effort in any aspect of life is laudable. Achieving results can be a motivating factor for a lot of individuals, but not for all individuals. Many athletes struggle to recognize annual personal bests and fail to account for age when reviewing results. Accomplishments are the “I made a difference moments” that are few and far between. While the progression is not always met, rarely does one know at the outset what efforts will lead to accomplishments.
“To achieve self-liberation and nirvana you need to perform your duties without expecting any reward for it” – Vedanta, Hinduism
I struggle to find balance in life. Taking care of my family is a clear duty. I need to provide food, shelter and clothing. In my world, that is a job. I feel obligated to keep a clean home, provide learning opportunities, physical activities and exposure to spiritual matters. Personally, I also have the luxury of spending time on recreation such as watching television, reading books and magazine, and sports. The balance between these two is not always towards my duties.
I may not find the success I selfishly desire, however by being present and making an effort I can find peace in the absence of rewards or accomplishments.