Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the work you have taken on, you may have to face that your work will be apparently worthless...As you get used to the idea you will start more and more to concentrate not on results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.
--Fr. Joe Maier, from his daily journal
I'm studying for a career in which I have grave doubts about my ability to succeed because I have even graver doubts about my ability to succeed in any other worthwhile career. As I pursue this questionable career, I find Father Joe Maier's words, a paraphrasing of Thomas Merton, to be invaluable. There's no assurance that all the time and effort I lavish on my studies will lead to success in my career aspirations. And if I were to focus on this uncertainty, I could readily succumb to discouragement and give up, as I have done so many times before. But when I find value in the "rightness and truth" of the effort itself, I can keep on keeping on in spite of my doubts.
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