I've now had my prized black belt for a few years and it's still a challenge to retain the standards that got me there in the first place. But, as pointed out by Winston Churchill, 'Success consists of going from failure without loss of enthusiasm.' So I just remember that struggles remain part of any process when you're trying to improve.
I started training for my second dan a while ago and I've just graded for the first part of it, so it's something I'm particularly remembering. I passed the grading so I started officially training with my first martial arts weapon yesterday.
The name of the weapon in Korean is 'Tahn bong' and this translates as 'short stick'. And I'm particularly excited about this because, as a kid (and as an adult), one of my favourite superheroes was Daredevil, a blind superhero who used a short stick.
So if times get tough and I'm struggling to learn new techniques for my second dan, I'm going to console myself with the quote from Churchill and remember work and failure always comes before success... and the fact I could be a real-life Daredevil complete with short staff in a few years.