It is not enough to start. It is not enough to set off on a journey, If you want to get somewhere you need to eagerly march forward. If you stop after a few steps looking around, lagging, it would be better not to start of the place.
Regular practice is not enough. You need full attention and effort and concentration. It means you have to find a way to keep the same fresh feelings you had during setting off. It is like in a great marriage: after ten years, your spouse should still stir you.
But as we all know, it’s hard. First we get accustomed, then wearied and cold. We feel bored. We yearn for novelty. We cut the corners and jerk around.
It is normal. But you have to fight it, because without eagerness and enthusiasm, you don’t make any progress.
It reminds me of the book I’ve read some time ago. I mean “Aquarium” written by former Soviet spy Viktor Suvorov. One chapter was especially fascinating. Suvorov tells in it about espionage agent training (they have to master fluently foreign languages, among other things). He finishes the chapter:
Man is capable of performing miracles. A man can swim the English Channel three times, drink a hundred mugs of beer, walk barefoot on burning coals; he can learn thirty languages, become an Olympic champion at boxing, invent the television or the bicycle, become a general or make himself a millionaire. It’s depends only on training. But if you simply train your memory, your muscles or your mind regularly, then nothing will come of your efforts. Regular training is important, but training alone decides nothing.
There was the case of the odd character who trained regularly. Every single day he lifted a smoothing iron and continued this for ten years. But his muscles got no bigger.
Success comes only when the training, of whatever kind (memory, muscles, mind, willpower, stamina), takes a man to the limit of his capacity. When the end of the training becomes torture. When a man cries out from pain and exhaustion. Training is effective only when it takes a man to the very limit of his capacity. Each new training session is effective only when it becomes a battle to exceed your own achievement on the previous day.