We work so hard for so little time in the limelight.
A musician practices for 19 hours for every 1 hour on stage.
A scientist spends 19 hours reading for every 1 hour of writing his latest thesis.
A marketer spends 19 hours preparing and coordinating a 1 hour meeting with industry leaders.
If you count the time invested in getting from beginner to expert, that ratio skews itself even more.
That same musician has 10,000+ hours behind the 19 hours spent preparing for this particular show.
That same scientist has gone through years of education, years of experimentation, and then thousands of researcher papers to be able to produce one of his own.
That same marketer has unsuccessfully pitched hundreds of clients in the past.
That final goal had better be sweet enough to inspire such irrationality.
However, the key in all the above examples is that the individual is driven by future reward, by anticipation. The story being told to themselves is, "It's going to get better".
The great thing about this, is that it isn't like climbing the literal Mount Everest. Getting up Mount Everest is optional, but getting down is compulsory. In other words, you need to have a strategy for descent.
That analogy applies to some fields like professional football, but not so for our musician or scientist. For them, there can always be a higher mountain to climb. Their task is simplified, but it still has to be constantly questioned: is the 5% going to be worth it?
This of course, can be dangerous: there is always room to push, and always legitimate reasons to justify that push. We need to question that.
So ask: It is going to be worth the effort? It is going to be worth the time lost from loved ones? It is going to compromise my health? It is a terminal goal, or is it going to lead on to another? Do I die with a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine?