It's not where you've been, how many trophies you have, how many fights you've won. It's what you do and who you are that makes a difference.
It's not how good you were or all the hours you spent training all those years ago...it's what you do now...today. What is your routine now? What do you eat? What chemicals do you put in your body? How many times do you let yourself off the hook because you are: too old, too tired, too sore or just not in the mood to train because you'd rather do something to comfort yourself?
What good is your rank and/or title if you are not constantly trying to maintain it? Those things only influence others so far. It's what people see you do and say on a daily basis that leads them and teaches them...and I don't just mean martial arts students.
If your students never see you sweat, you won't have students very long...not good ones, anyway. If they never see you struggle or in pain, why should they keep coming? If they never see you mess up because you only pick people to demonstrate on that make you look good, how will they learn to overcome their own mistakes?
Respect for where you've been comes when you're like, 80. Not today. Don't give yourself an out and for goodness sake, don't pat yourself on the back. Be an example. It's the road less traveled by.
It's not where you've been...it's who you are.