Excellence and Essence

The ancient Greeks had a philosophy that guided them in much of what they did – they called it Aretê. It’s a philosophy that I had started to employ in my own life and in my career as an ultrakilometrator before I discovered that they were talking about it several thousand years ago. No doubt that their philosophy and mine are not exactly the same, but there are many similarities. I have not studied Aretê; I prefer to work out my own life’s philosophies myself from my own experiences.

When people talk of excellence they think: win, win, win. I’m not talking only of always winning, when I talk of excellence, I’m referring to demanding the best that you have to give. I try to demand excellence of myself in everything I do. If you give the best you can, but you don’t achieve what you wanted, it’s much better that if you achieved something without having given your all.

Today we celebrate things, titles and possessions, not essence. Each day I see depressed people, dissatisfied with their lives, with the people around them and worse still, with themselves. I believe that one reason for this is that they focus too much on things or titles and not on the essence of their lives. One who sees the intrinsic value of their life and gives the best they have to give each day will be content.

If you go out to run a race, to beat your own record, and you run as fast as you possibly can, but do not achieve your goal, you wont be disappointed if you know that you haven’t had a good day. You may not celebrate, but you will know that it turned out as it had to. You will not have to invent excuses for yourself or for others; it will be unnecessary. Excellence and essence is important in all aspects of our lives. In our work it is what should guide us, not anything else, and in our private lives even more so.

Finally, I believe that if we want to live lives rich in what really matters, positive lives, we must demand excellence from ourselves. If, when we look at ourselves in the mirror we know we have given all that we have to give, there is no doubt that the face looking back at us will be smiling.

I don’t know what will happen between the 1st and the 12th of September, but I do know one thing – I’m ready to give the best I have to give in whichever situation I find myself. I know that everything will not go as I want it to, life isn’t like this, but starting out positive and giving the best of me, I know that I will be smiling at the end!


24 Responses to “Excellence and Essence”

  • edgarf:

    Realmente comparto todo lo que dices y me has hecho emocionar…..!!! Gracias y A KILOMETRAR….!!!!

  • Que razón tienes!
    El 12 de septiembre yo también tengo mi reto, espero quedarme sonriente al final. A kilometrar!

  • Abel:

    Una lección para todos…tenemos que reflexionar y mucho!!!
    Alex siempre te superas.
    Felicidades y a tope!! Animos

  • Alex:

    Reflexión siempre nos enseña mucho – y siempre nos ayuda en crecer.
    Un abrazo fuerte para ti y para Montse (si es este Abel!)

  • Yanna:

    Alex mou,
    You are so right about the importance of “Arete” in the ancient Greek culture being the courage and strength in the face of adversity and that was what most of the people aspired,,,,,,,
    Aristotle believed that the energy of the mind was the essence of life and
    One should first have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal and an objective.
    Second to have the necessary means to achieve one’s ends needed wisdom, methods, money, materials
    and third to adjust one’s means to that end.
    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. It becomes second nature.
    It seems to me you do apply all this to your next goal, the Ultra Pyrene
    The best of luck my girl; start with your lovely smile but most important finish with it lighting your face no matter what the outcome will be, knowing you’ve given it your best.
    M. xxx

    • Alex:

      Ooooh it’s wonderful to read this – your support as always will help hugely. I promise you i will carry my smile the whole way through regardless of whatever happens (no doubt there’ll be a tear or two in between though, but that’s part and parcel of it all). xxxxx

  • oz:

    Hola Yanna guapissssima!!!! mira a tu hija como reparte felicidad. Que bien! ya te la cuiudaremos bien.
    Un gran abrazo.
    Alex ! mi pequeña Mar dice que esta cansada , ha estado todo el dia contigo ,… que le has hecho??’ a que es cansancio bueno??

    • Alex:

      Oz eres mas que un buen amigo.
      Hmm tu Pequeña esta cansada- pero creo que esta bien cansada – de mucho emocion, mucho trabajo y mucho charrrrlar!!! Te prometo que no le he dado demasiado caña!!!!!

  • estefi:

    me encantaria estar comprando latas con Alex y la Pequeña….
    Brrrrrrrrrrrr… paciencia, sera en otra vida que me toca a mi hacer estas gestiones….
    Brrrrrrrrrrr… me encantaria.
    Envidia sana, muy sana.
    Aupa la mami de la campaona, muchos besos¡¡¡¡¡
    noches cansada, termine mercadillo… a otra cosa.
    besos a todosssssssssssssssss
    Estefi, ya de menos ¡

    • Alex:

      Estefiamaigasupermamiultrafondistaequipomagniicalleridensanuestra – faltabas tu en persona pero no dejamos de hablar de ti.
      No será en otra vida, tenedremos muchas mas oportunidades.
      Noche como ya toque dormir.
      Besosss amis favorita lleridensa y madrilena + cachorro

  • Beni:

    Debo confesar que esta actividad llevada tan al extremo de las posibilidades del cuerpo humano me produce un cierto desasosiego. Solo de pensarlo ya me canso. Je, je.

    Bueno, Muchos ánimos, Alexandra. Te seguiremos en la distancia y por internet.

    • Alex:

      Beni – si te puedes sacar un poco de mi cansancio durante el desafío sería genial!!
      Muchas gracias por tu apoyo,
      Un abrazo

  • Aquí un admirador de Alex la atleta, pero encandilado por Alex como persona. Entre todos conseguiremos que seas muy famosa para que te conviertas en el estandarte de la solidaridad, amistad, cariño, empatía, humildad, sencillez, voluntad, esfuerzo, trabajo en equipo. Se necesitan muchas personas como tú. Animo y todo mi reconocimiento a tu equipo y a tí.

    • Alex:

      Juanjo, me has dejado emocionada de verdad – eres todo corazón y alma. Tu apoyo me dará esfuerza cuando las cosas empiezan a ser duro.
      Gracias de mi y de todo el equipo extraordinaria que tengo suerte en tener lejos o cerca.

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