It is only work that is done as a freewill offering to humanity and to nature that does not bring with it any binding attachment.
Duty of any kind is not to be slighted. A man who does the lower work is not, for that reason only, a lower man than he who does the higher work. A man should not be judged by the nature of his duties but by the manner in which he does them. His manner of doing them and his power to do them are indeed the test of a man. A shoemaker who can turn out a strong, nice pair of shoes in the shortest possible time is a better man, according to his profession and his work, than a professor who talks nonsense every day of his life.
Every duty is holy, and devotion to duty is the highest form of worship of God. It is certainly a source of great help in enlightening and emancipating the deluded and ignorance-encumbered souls of the baddhas—the bound ones.
By doing well the duty which is nearest to us, the duty which is in our hands now, we make ourselves stronger; and improving our strength in this manner step by step, we may even reach a state in which it shall be our privilege to do the most coveted and honored duties in life and in society. . . .
The most practical man would call life neither good nor evil.
Every successful man must have behind him somewhere tremendous integrity, tremendous sincerity, and that is the cause of his signal success in life. He may not have been perfectly unselfish; yet he was tending towards it. If he had been perfectly unselfish, his would have been as great a success as that of the Buddha or of the Christ. The degree of unselfishness marks the degree of success everywhere.
– Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 5, pp. 239-40