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I stopped being interested in rank - once I hit shodan. (Hopefully the irony in that statement is apparent.)
Its pretty interesting that the more rank you have, the less you value it. Not only that, but valuing it and seeking it becomes a "vice." And yet, I've never met a kyu rank who didn't want to test for their next kyu, with the exception of those much more elderly than the average student (and therefor prone to wax philosophical and sit on a high horse).
So it is that people forget what it is like to be young, and inexperienced, and to need validation, and for that to serve as motivation, and instead (at worst) let their lips say what their heart doesn't feel and deny the urges that actually drive them.
They look down on that seeking rank... as though they were never that person. Even though that competitive urge was there all along. They don't remember the reasons why they felt that way, and how it resolved itself, or was hidden.
What makes that more seasoned person better than the other?
It is like business - being an unquestioning, non-seeking follower never leads forward.