A potential student went to see a Zen master and asked: “If I work really hard, how long will it take to become enlightened.”
The Zen master looked at the man, and said: “Ten years.”
“No, no,” the man said, “I mean to really work at it—”
The Zen master cut him off. “I’m sorry, I misjudged you—twenty years.”
“Wait,” the man blurted out, “I’m very serious, you don’t understand—”
“Thirty years,” said the Zen master.

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