A man starts building a house for himself. He begins the project earnestly, with vigor and enthusiasm. He's meticulous in his work, taking care to mind every angle and measurement. He spends the majority of each day hammering, cutting, and sawing. He looks over his plans many times, envisioning what his work will look like when it is done. Regardless of rain, snow, or shine he never misses a day of work.
For months he works and labors, pouring all of his energy into trying to make his vision into a reality. But eventually he becomes discouraged that things are not happening fast enough, regardless of how hard he works. Eventually, his enthusiasm wanes, and he finds ways to talk himself out of working on his house. When he does show up, his effort is only a fraction of what it used to be. He no longer minds each angle and every measurement. He is sloppy and careless. The plans he used to look over with such enthusiasm, are now worn and tattered. The vision he used to become so excited about, is now nothing more than a blurry picture in his mind.
Eventually apathy wins, and he stops showing up at all.
Over time, the parts of the house he had built succumb to the elements and start to crumble. The once shiny fruits of his labor are now only a reflection of his absence and apathy. Eventually the walls crumble, and fall. Without his attention and desire, they can find no reason to stand.
Your entire life is a reflection of your priorities, and the level of effort you have for those priorities. When your passion for those priorities wane, so will your level of effort for them. When apathy takes over, the fruits of your labor will rot. Your walls will crumble and fall.
Training, romance, friendships, work, etc all require your passion and desire if you want them to function at the highest level. When your desire wanes, so will your work. Without work, nothing grows. Without growth, it will begin to die. If you love something and it is a priority in your life, you will constantly work for it because you can't live without it.
Thanks to my partner in crime for inspiring me to write this.