Arete—the most powerful word to the Stoics. It means excellence, and it was the ultimate expression of human greatness—moral, physical, spiritual. It’s what the Stoics were chasing. It’s what we’re all chasing.
Reaching it requires a certain philosophical approach. Because brilliance and inspiration and skill are not enough. Summing up Aristotle’s thoughts on excellence, Will Durant wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.”
In other words: Excellence isn’t this thing you do one time. It’s a way of living. It’s foundational. It’s like an operating system and the code this system operates on is habit…….