Of course, once one has completed Steps One through Nine (and I mean completed: doing one's utmost to make every last amend), living in Steps Ten through Twelve is initially plain sailing.
I've sponsored hundreds of people, and a very small number manage to stay consistent and persistent in Steps Ten through Twelve, myself included, over recent years at any rate. Although I shall return to them (and myself) in a moment.
What about the others? Most will do well for a while but run out of power. Working Steps Ten through Twelve gets harder, drift occurs, and sometimes people konk out altogether. Why? The resurgence of ego. Like a weed, even vigorous pruning will not eliminate the roots, and spiritual surgery will occasionally be required.
What about those who do indeed work Steps Ten through Twelve consistently and persistently?
Well, very occasionally one area of one's life will rapidly veer so spectacularly out of control that spiritual surgery is required; the sticking-plaster approach simply will not work on gun-shot wounds. Such situations arise typically because (a) an entirely new area of life presents challenges one has never before encountered (b) some hidden area of dysfunction, long dormant, reawakens, for internal or external reasons. In both cases, invisible egoic structures are activated and wreak havoc.
Again, spiritual surgery is required.
Occasionally, one reapproaches Steps One through Nine from a position of power, having effectively been working Ten through Twelve consistently and persistently. What is the point then? Well, that is a question that can seriously be asked only by the skeptic who has never tried it. If people put as much time into revisiting the first nine Steps as they do into arguing against it, imagine the progress that could be made ...
My experience is invariably this: there is limitless room for growth, and a God-powered saunter through One through Nine will invariably open up new mansions within the house, always unsuspected, always shocking, and always awesome, in the original and in the modern senses.
Sometimes people say, 'that's not in the first 164'. Sadly, folks, it is. More will be revealed, the Book suggests. Guess what? It has.