“Effort” is a fundamental principle for all of Judaism and for all areas of personal gain in this World. For it is impossible to earn anything without exertion. The greater the effort, the greater the gain. However, when one considers what there is to gain, it reduces the pain of the exertion; on the contrary, it becomes pleasurable and enjoyable. Therefore, a person who values the gain of a mitzvah and of pleasing the Holy One will certainly have a much easier time with all types of effort and hardship. He will act with alacrity and will gain. If he is weak, he will say, “I am strong,” and whatever is in his power to do—he will. About this it is written in Mishlei: If you seek it as [if it were] silver, if you search for it as [if it were] hidden treasures—then you will understand the fear of Hashem, and discover the knowledge of God (Mishlei 2:4-5).
But just as it is necessary to make light of the “burden” of performing a mitzvah or of working towards some goal, so it is necessary take seriously being a burden on others—even if it will entail only the smallest effort on their part. This can be seen from the fact that the Torah says, In the presence of an old person shall you rise and you shall honor the presence of a sage (Vayikra 19:32); yet our Sages say (Kiddushin 33a) that a sage who takes a roundabout route so that he will not trouble people to stand up for him, merits living a long life. On the other hand, Our Sages said that it is proper for a sage to purposely walk before the people so that they rise in his honor and thereby receive reward of a mitzvah. The resolution of this apparent contradiction seems to be that it depends on the type of people they are. If they are the type who desire mitzvos and they will not consider it a burden, then the sage should walk in front of them and thereby give them the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah. But if he is concerned that they are not desirous of the mitzvah, and it would only be a bother and burden for them, then he should walk around them to spare them the burden and he will receive the reward of long-life for doing so.