In this world, no one can escape the operation of cause and effect, because it is a law of the universe. If we have thoughts of helping others, of rejoicing in and complying with others' meritorious and virtuous deeds, it will bring a sweet reward. However, if we give rise to thoughts of jealousy, obstructiveness, and affliction, or simply are unwilling to see others earn merit and virtue, then in the future the retribution we receive will be bitter.
Buddhism says, "The success and failure of all endeavors depends not only on our hard work but also on the coming together of causes and conditions." If we could understand this principle, then when we encounter favorable situations, we continue to strive forward, and when we meet adversity, we become even more vigorous, understand the causes and conditions, and advance. If we fail despite the effort we put in, and as a result, gave rise to thoughts of retreating, that would not be the right attitude for learning Buddhism.
In our daily life, every one of us can actually buy a happy life every day without having to spend a single penny. We should open up our minds, and try our best to ascend a level higher. In so practicing, we may not see any concrete achievement in one day, two days, or even a year or two. However, if we know that this is a good principle which can enable us to leave suffering and attain bliss, and end birth and death, then why don't we go ahead and act upon it? We should do it. We should work hard, and have a patient attitude so that we will have some accomplishment. Therefore, we must use this mind well. It is said, "Everything is made from the mind." We should apply our minds to the good aspects of things, and gradually put the principles into practice.
The Buddhadharma tells us that the path of ending birth and death is to be true and honest, and not to try to be different and fanciful, and not to have thoughts of pursuing fame and benefit. If we use our minds well and earnestly put the Buddhadharma in practice, then we will not have wasted our effort in coming to learn Buddhism today.