discernment,  philosophy

Leading a Life of Excellence

Becoming the Best Version of Yourself

by Zen Benefiel

Human beings have long sought wisdom and guidance on how to lead a life of excellence. Various philosophies offer insights and principles that can help us become the best versions of ourselves. Let’s delve into a few philosophies that inspire and guide us on the path to personal excellence. In our quest for personal growth and self-actualization, we turn to the wisdom of philosophers across the ages who have contemplated the pursuit of excellence. From ancient times to the modern era, various philosophies offer profound insights into the path of self-improvement and becoming the best version of ourselves. In this article, we will delve into notable philosophies of excellence, including the intriguing teachings of Gnostic philosophy, to inspire us on our transformative journey.

  1. Aristotelian Virtue Ethics: Aristotle’s virtue ethics emphasizes the cultivation of moral virtues to achieve excellence. It suggests that by practicing virtues such as courage, wisdom, justice, and compassion, we can shape our character and lead a virtuous life. Striving for these virtues allows us to develop a strong moral compass and make choices that align with our highest ideals.
  2. Stoicism: Stoicism teaches us to focus on what is within our control and accept what is not. By practicing principles such as emotional resilience, self-discipline, and living in accordance with nature, Stoicism helps us cultivate inner tranquility and maintain a sense of equanimity even in the face of adversity. Through self-mastery and the practice of virtue, we can become excellent individuals who navigate life’s challenges with grace.
  3. Confucianism: Confucianism emphasizes the cultivation of moral character and the pursuit of harmony in relationships. It places great importance on virtues like benevolence, respect, loyalty, and righteousness. By striving to be a morally upright individual who embodies these virtues, one contributes to the betterment of society and fosters harmonious interactions with others.
  4. Eastern Taoism and Wu Wei: Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy, emphasizes Wu Wei, the concept of “effortless action.” By aligning with the natural flow of the universe and adapting to circumstances without resistance, individuals can cultivate ease, grace, and excellence in their lives.
  5.  Gnostic  – Seeking Knowledge and Self-Realization: Gnostic philosophy, a mystical and introspective tradition, centers around the pursuit of knowledge and self-realization. Gnostics believed in transcending the limitations of the material world through direct spiritual experience and inner transformation. By seeking knowledge and understanding the divine spark within, individuals can elevate themselves towards a state of enlightenment and excellence.
  6. Humanism: Humanism places value on the potential of human beings and the importance of reason, empathy, and compassion. It emphasizes the pursuit of knowledge, personal growth, and the well-being of all individuals. Humanists strive to lead ethical lives driven by reason, free inquiry, and a commitment to human dignity and social justice.
  7. Existentialism: Existentialism encourages personal responsibility and the pursuit of authentic existence. It prompts individuals to confront the meaning of life and make choices that align with their values and desires. By embracing freedom, embracing uncertainty, and taking ownership of our existence, we can strive to create a life of purpose and excellence.

Incorporating elements from these philosophies, we can forge our own path towards personal excellence. By cultivating virtues, practicing self-reflection, and nurturing meaningful connections with others, we can continually evolve and become the best versions of ourselves. Remember, the journey towards excellence is not about perfection, but rather a lifelong commitment to growth, self-improvement, and the realization of our fullest potential.


In our exploration of philosophies of excellence, we have discovered a wealth of insights and guidance from ancient Greek teachings to Eastern philosophies, and the mystical path of Gnosticism. These philosophies remind us that personal growth is a lifelong journey requiring the cultivation of virtues, harmonizing with the natural flow of life, seeking knowledge and self-realization, and embracing authenticity. By integrating these teachings into our lives, we can become the best version of ourselves, unlocking our true potential and creating a positive impact in the world. Let us embark on this transformative journey, embracing the wisdom of these philosophies, and striving for excellence in all aspects of our lives.