Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak, Allah sanctify his secret, explains the way to truly seek knowledge.
He said, “The upper levels of Islamic scholarship cannot be achieved except by means of four things.
1) You need to have the free time to study [al-Faragh],
2) You need to have sufficient wealth [al-Mal] in order to avoid an all-out preoccupation with seeking a living,
3) Preservation and memorization [al-Hifz] of the texts you study,
4) The need of having a sense of cautiousness with Allah, as well as having piety in one’s life [al-Wara].”
(Related on the authority of Imam al-Bayhaqi in his book – Shu’ab al-Iman – The Branches of Faith)