Can I add something no doubt controversial?
It took me a few decades to get this, but I think the path of least resistance is the best path, with the caveat that one acts to keep one's values. I don't think that must include drudgery, and if some aspect of keeping one's value seems to necessitate drudgery, but that person, in a deliberate evasion of drudgery, figures out a way to accomplish goals according to the value held without drudgery, then I think that is even more of a demonstration of perseverance, creativity and admirable ingenuity than if s/he had slogged through drudgery to get there.
I think that a lot of suffering is the result of a lack of creativity. I think that it is not only okay, but noble, to search for and enact the least strained, or even better, most progressive and efficient way of effecting one's goals.
I make art. When I attended an applied arts college (loads of studio, much less theory and history, though I've studied those extensively on my own), the expectation from professors was that students would practice drawing at least six hours in addition to our 24 hours of in-class studio, and 40 hours of "homework" each week. I commuted, and this was simply not possible for me. My daily commute took anywhere from 75 minutes to three hours due to immense daily traffic on the highway. At the end of my first year, my progress in life-drawing (nudes), having only three hours/week in-class, was not impressive. My portfolio for the year was graded for progress and also final accomplishment. We attended interviews to defend our progress with the director and professor. In my interview, I explained why I had no clocked extra hours, and that I just couldn't figure out how to represent the human figure well. I was honest, and a bit shocked that I received a B when the process was complete. My prof assured me that my drawing was not as poor as I thought, but even more shocking to me was his insistence that I not draw during the four month summer break! He told me to not draw at all!!! I spoke quite a bit to him about this, because a grade of C+ put students on academic probation, and being at that level for more than one semester in more than one class was grounds for dismissal.
Anyway, that summer it turned out to be easy to not draw at all because I needed to work a lot to pay for school, and decided also to move instead of continuing to commute as I had for the previous several years.
Once classes were in session again, the dreaded life-drawing that put me near the bottom of my class in skill (I was the top in everything else), began. I cannot express how completely and utterly my ability to see and to accurately and artfully represent the live models suddenly was. I kept thinking "this isn't real" while drawing, because it was so, so easy! My drawings were first on display as examples for upcoming and current students, and continued to be displayed for the remainder of my time there.
I learned a very powerful lesson. Sometimes the life that happens when we do (seemingly) nothing is the best education. Sometimes the easiest way is also the best way. My prof agreed that struggling and obsessively drawing would bring results, too, but the easy way, in his decades of experience as an artist and instructor, turned out to bring at least equal results, but usually better ones to those who were willing to risk just absorbing life, experiencing it however we do, and then coming back to it with refreshed eyes.
I have tried this principally, many times, and I have found that the results are always very satisfactory or better when I find the easiest way. I know that I could accomplish the results with lots of drudgery, too, but there is equal or more merit to me in finding the best way, which also seems to be consistently the easiest way: the path of least resistance.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn initially because I am very ambitious and have a very strong work ethic that demands excellence to align with my values. It turns out that it was just a matter of tweaking my definition of work to easily apply my ethic to my new discovery. It is not at all that I don't work hard; I do. But the hardest work I do happens in my head, long before I put my hands to a project. This perspective regressed my work ethic to attention to the questions I asked, so that the answers were relevant: rather than checking my answers against the questions, I checked my questions against reality and the answers just followed naturally, the path of least resistance.
Yes, forcing oneself through hours and hours of daily practice will bring satisfactory results in a best case, but the individual then has so much less time and energy available to formulate the purpose and values hierarchy that legitimizes the expenditure of his/her time and energy on the pursuit related to the practice, that s/he doesn't necessarily know if s/he's asked the right question. This is so, so huge. It is very important to me that my children not be hindered in the discovery of their own rhythm, their own work ethic, by the idea that one's results are only legitimized by having poured one's life energy and time into drudgery.