Imagine your masterpiece,
work each day to realize your vision.
If you cease to try, beauty fades,
Dedicate yourself to cultivation,
~Inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
pic taken from http://bipblog.com/archives/3808294.html
If you dedicate yourself to carving a magnificent statue, you must use your time effectively in order to realize your vision. If you do not work quickly enough, the material could become too dry or decayed, thus ruining your effort before it can near completion. This can also happen in spiritual matters, and this unfortunate truth must be kept in mind.
Never stop trying to purify yourself. Improve your mind and your body. Strengthen your joints and your will. Cultivate that which is sacred within your heart, and discard the excess weight that only holds you back. If you do well on one particular day, great. This is the reason why we must strive, because if we do not, we will invariably slip backwards down the hill. Struggle valiantly against physical and mental limitations; each self-reliant struggle creates a single link in your chain of spiritual potential. With the added strength of this exercise, your determination will seldom waver.
Always realize this paradox, however: there is nothing to achieve. It is our mind which presses us to frenetic action. We convince ourselves we must do something. We must look within. We must find our pure core of being. So long as we continue to live in a sociopolitical world, we will be stuck with egotistical thought-processes and the associated division from Tao. Keep trying to attain the highest level of Tao, as that is the only path to true non-antagonism. Once you are there, you become an outsider, separate and distinct from the normal wanderers on the road. If you try to speak of what you have attained, your words will ring hollow in the ears of your contemporaries. Simply remain silent. Continue to try on your own, and never cease to purify your heart. If you relapse and fall from contact with Tao, chaos will return at once; then, you must struggle once more to reconcile the impurity of the world.