The only real life is one lived close to God. This does not happen by itself; you must make an effort to make this happen, and this effort will bring you joy.
A habit is never good, even a habit of doing good deeds. Good deeds, after they become habits, are no longer acts of virtue. Real good is only achieved with effort.
— Immanuel Kant
When you carry your burden, you should know that it is good for you to have it. Make the best of this burden and take from it everything which is necessary for your intellectual life, as your stomach takes from food everything necessary for your flesh, or as fire burns brighter after you put some wood on it.
— Marcus Aurelius
Be attentive to what you do; never consider anything unworthy of your attention.
Spiritual effort and the joy that comes from understanding life go hand in hand like physical exertion and rest. Without physical exertion, there is no joy in rest; without spiritual effort, there can be no joyful understanding of life.