I disagree with a lot of that. The harder you train the more disciplined you train and the more time you spend training the better you are going to get.
The better you get the better able you will be able to understand the concepts.
I understand the concept of stopping and smelling the roses from a life balance point of view but not from an effective training point of view.
So it comes down to this. For me anyway.
If you want belts work hard for them and get them. The harder you work the more you deserve them.
If you are part of a school that is not giving you belts because they don't like hard work then go find a martial art that does.Seriously if lower belts are manhandling the more experienced guys then and the reason for that being that there is reward for being one of the cool guys and not one of the hard working guys. Then I don't see the benefit of that system.
I agree with Drop Bear. Technical skill itself I don't see as enough for promotion, but if a student develops technical skill in the process they should develop all the other necessary attributes. It takes time to develop technical skill so if a student has developed technical skill it shows that they're patient. And belts aren't everything but a student that works hard does deserve them. And there is nothing wrong with talking to your sensei about something if you don't understand it.