Thank you for your kind comments about my web site. I am glad it has been of service to you.
You are right! We have become a society that expects instantaneous gratification. People want the glory, but they either do not want to do want it takes to earn it, or they do not have the patience to wait for it. One recent reader was lamenting that, after 9 months in Taekwondo, he still cannot do full spits or trick kicks as some masters are able to do.
Ranks are steps that indicate progression along a stairway toward the top; they are not destinations in themselves. Basically, rank only indicates how long you have been on the journey; they just indicate how many steps you have taken on your climb toward the stop. After a certain amount of time climbing, you are expected to have reached a certain step in the climb, but reaching that step is nothing special other than it indicates you are still climbing.
Similar to ranks, birthdays are steps in one’s lifetime. I turned 61 recently. Suddenly I was a year older, even though I was only a day older than the day before. Reaching another birthday is not an accomplishment in itself; what is important is what you have done with your life while reaching that step. If life is a journey, then the end of that journey is—death. So the end of the journey is not something you want to reach, it is just something that you are forced to near as you climb. If you quit climbing, your journey will end, and, just as if you were on an escalator, the stairs themselves will carry you very quickly toward the final destination but the arrival will not be pleasant one. However, if you keep climbing, as you reach the end, you will have the joy having completed a meaningful climb.