We hear it all the time in spirituality: Make the effort. Do the work. Don’t worry about the outcome.
But there’s another part to this counsel that we don’t hear as often and that is this: when we do fall into a place of despair, there is one sure way to get out of ourselves, and that is to turn around and find someone who needs help. Consider when we are doing our daily work (whatever that might be) and things don’t happen the way we want them to happen, and we find ourselves saying, “Oh, poor me, I can’t make it any more. I don’t have any more strength.” If in that moment, we can stop ourselves and reach out our hand to someone else, then we have a chance of pulling ourselves into a better space. By helping others, we are truly helping ourselves.