The thing about life is that we sometimes lose focus between process and results.
For example, you cannot focus on being happy. Because happiness is a by-product of service and love. Focusing on happiness will cause it to further elude you.
Another thing is profits. Profits are a side-effect of 3 factors, good management, fantastic customer service and a wonderful product. If you focus on these 3 things, the profits will come in.
However, it can go the other way.
For example, I say that prayer can do nothing. Neither can perseverence accomplish anything.
Prayer can do nothing if you're just focusing on the activity and not the subject of the prayer. There are many people who pray long prayers thinking God will hear them. But they focus on the activity not who they are praying to and the reason they are praying about. Prayer is a necessary "side-process" of seeking God.
Perseverence is also useless if it is not directed to the right activities. I've heard parents admonish their children to always "read books diligently". The activity of reading is useless if you don't achieve understanding at the end of 2 hours. Reading is also a necessary side effect of seeking understanding. "Oh look how many hours I've spent studying." It's not the hours, its what did you gain after that that is important...