"While our work is to be explorers, it is important to be flexible and responsive to the larger community in which any particularly project is immersed."—Such good wording, and indeed I believe that this is the key element to make any project successful. If the project does not become viable in its surrounding community, burnout and failure become threats.
You are so correct that it is a "lifelong marathon," and I believe as well that it might be the hardest one. How does one train for that marathon? You mentioned becoming active in the community politics, but would you be able to give us more pointers on integrating a local community? Does your book give a magical-potion solution to becoming an integrated part of the local network?
Thank you for your great insight.