Perseverance must finish its work
While talents and interests differ, we all have 24 hours every day, the only commodity every one of us is issued in equal measure. What we get out of this life depends on the work we put into those 24 hours. Those that get on in this life maximize their time and talents. Those that are left wondering might have been generally squandered their time and talents.
The Way liberates us from fretting about the usefulness of our lives. Whether we are exerting concerted effort or resting, whether we are being of service to ourselves or others, Taoists are committed to making every one of their 24 hours yield a dividend. They started their Path and they will finish it.
The difference between looking back on time well spent and looking back at time squandered is mainly hard work. Not the type of work that builds pyramids or fortunes, but the work that goes into determining the life you are going to lead and whether or not you have the patience to do that work every day.
All of us have things we must do in this life. Most ignore them or, perhaps, try them and quit at the first reverses or challenges. Taoists go and do them every day, without apology or compromise. Their minds are focused on doing their work every day.
Tao is not something that can be done in our spare time. Those that only spend part of their time on any spiritual quest generally end up disillusioned because their part-time results did not produce full-time benefits.
Any spiritual endeavor must completely consume its adherents, be they novitiates or long-time practitioners. Those new to The Way quickly learn the quest for their Path must take complete hold over them; that wisdom, courage and patience must all be equally present. The wisdom to know what we are about will do us some zero good if we don’t have the courage to go where our inner self tells us to go and courage won’t do us any good if we don’t know where we are going and patience is useless without its two partners. Only when we have completely immersed ourselves in The Way will the life we are meant to live unfold.