One day, I was sitting in the Haram in Makkah; it was a sultry day and the noon prayer was about to begin, when I noticed an old man distributing Zamzam water. He would fill a few cups, give them out to people, and then he would return and repeat the process. He continued doing so for some time until he became soaked in sweat. I was amazed at the fortitude of this old man and at his love for doing kind deeds. He would give a smile and a cup of water to as many people as he was able to serve. It made me appreciate that, if Allah guides one to doing a good deed, one will do it with a smile, even when it involves hard work.
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) put his own life at risk on the road to Madeenah in order to protect the Messenger of Allah (bpuh).
In order to feed his guests, Hatim would sleep on a hungry stomach. Abu 'Ubaydah would stand guard at night in order to give rest to the Muslim army.
'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) would walk through the streets at night while people were asleep in order to ensure their safety. And in the year of the great famine he would go hungry in order to feed the people.
Abu Talha (may Allah be pleased with him) used his body as a shield, protecting the Prophet (bpuh) from arrows during the battle of Uhud.
Ibn Mubarak would distribute food while he himself was fasting.
(And they give food, in spite of their love for it [or for the love of Him], to the Miskeen [poor], the orphan, and the captive.) (Qur'an 76: 8)