" There are several poor ways of practice that you should understand. Usually when you practice..., you become very idealistic, and you set up an ideal or goal which you strive to attain and fulfill. But as I have often said, this is absurd. When you are idealistic, you have some gaining idea within yourself; by the time you attain your ideal or goal, your gaining idea will create another ideal. So as long as your practice is based on a gaining idea, and you practice... in an idealistic way, you will have no time actually to attain your ideal. Moreover, you will be sacrificing the meat of your practice. Because your attainment is always ahead, you will always be sacrificing yourself now for some ideal in the future. You end up with nothing. But even worse tha this idealistic attitude is to practice... in competition with someone else. This is a poor, shabby kind of practice."
pg. 77-78 of "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki
published by Shambhala Publications Inc.
ISBN 13: 978-1-59030-267-5