We toil away day after day, but our increments of improvement can be so small as to seem imperceptible. But they are there.
The only way to properly reveal our progress, is by placing ourselves under extraordinary pressure and seeing how we respond. Our ordinary day-to-day life hardly calls on us to dig deep within, only steep challenges do that and so activate fully the improvements we have made, making them apparent.
In this sense then, the work we do on our craft, on ourselves, on our way of thinking and responding to the world, on our understanding during ordinary times, is basically just training to enable us to scale ever greater heights.