I am reminded of a scene in the Count of Monte Cristo. Edmund has been in a political prison for five years when a floor stone pops up and Abbe Faria comes up. He has been in prison for 11 years. For the last five years he has been digging a tunnel to what he thought was the external wall. Abbe had narrowed down the possible directions to the external wall to two and had chosen the wrong one. This is where the clips (0:45-1:30) picks up.
"With two of us, we could dig in the opposite direction. And with both of us together, then of course we could possibly do it in um...oh...8 years. [Edmond laughs] Ohh... and does something else demand your time? Some pressing appointment, perhaps?" Edmund helps Abbe dig for years in return for lessons in reading, writing and more advanced learning.
What does it matter if I decide to take up a project that takes 20 years? As long as it is worthwhile. There is a calculus that occurs in my life whether I want it to or not. I eventually get what I want. The trick is to choose that which will bring lasting happiness instead of only immediate pleasure. 1 2
"Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;" D&C 58:27