Unless you have perseverance, you are a single wave that washed up on the shore after you die. You’ve got to make an impact, a good one, so people feel you were here. That’s not easy to do, but who wants to do only the easy things?
You learned it as a toddler. If you pestered mommy, sometimes she’d give in. And to get Valedictorian, you had to produce the marks, repeatedly. It is even apparent in Nature, where the bees have to visit flower after flower to get enough pollen for honey.
And what about an eternal reward? It’s people, many unknown to you, who contributed to building a civilization based on speaking the truth to one another, treating others as they would be treated, living up to small obligations laid down by the man whose followers spread out and gave the world the Judeo-Christian principles that have made Western Civilization what it is today. (You can believe Donald Trump.)