An enthusiastic young Zen student sought out his teacher and asked, “Master, if I work hard, how soon can I find Zen?”
His teacher replied, “Ten years.”
“But sir, if I work even harder and apply myself wholeheartedly..?”
“Twenty years”, came the reply.
The student persisted, “But master, what if I throw myself into practice, immerse myself in it? How long would it take then?”
“Oh, thirty years!”
The student was crestfallen. “Master, I don’t understand! Each time I say I will increase my efforts; you say I will take longer. Why?”
Said the teacher, “When one eye is fixed on the goal, you have only one eye on your path.”
Focus on the effort, not the reward at the end of it.