The word "attain" to me, implies that there is a reward after effort. In our lives, there is grief, there is disillusionment, there is failure in life. And then there is Mother saying to us to listen to her words and to rise above, each and every time. It is not easy, it won't be easy.
If there were not a form of grace in our lives, I do not think we would be meeting here, discussing our divine Mother. This is hard to remember when we "lean to our own understanding".
The situation that you describe above, the hankering...is EXACTLY WHERE WE FIND OURSELVES.
This is how I think and how I will try to explain what I mean...Did we ask to be born(?), or do we find ourselves here? Do we want this trouble and this pain(?), or do we find ourselves here?
When we do not obtain the object of our hankering, or even if we do, that is when we ask ourselves, "But is this devotion to God?" When we are in pain and suffering we say, "But where is my devotion to God?"
When I said above that I realize that this is my work, what I mean is that I have never known what my path was to be. (Karma, Bhakti, etc) It's not really a choice, I don't think, but a knowing. After hearing it from Mother's voice, I begin to know.