It‘s lonely at the top, but it‘s sure nice. What you need is a new motivation. What motivates me is not what once did. I once strove for excellence because I wanted to be the best for myself. Now, it is more spite, or necessity. You see, I can think. I can think, but so many cannot — no, will not.
Aristotle defined the good of something being that function which it performs that nothing else performs, or that nothing else performs as well. For example, the good of a knife is to cut.
The excellence of a thing, then, is the ability to perform its good most effectively. The good of a knife is to cut; and the excellence of a knife is then sharpness.
Man is alive, but then, so are plants and animals. Each form of life has its particular good. Vegetables grow, or vegetate; so do we, and so do animals. This cannot be our good. Animals survive, and even think, at a certain level; so do we, but this is not our good.
Man and man alone can reason; and so reason is the good of man. Therefore to reason well is the goal, and clarity of reason is the excellence of man. I can only respect an excellent man.
There are many about me I do not respect, though they may be capable and talented in many ways. But they will not think; they will not reason. How can I respect one who refuses to think?
Therein lies my motivation. Once who is too lazy to try, who will not be excellent, who will not think, is the lowest animal there is. I will not allow myself to be bested by such scum. I will prevail because I can think. I have one up on them, no matter what their advantages; and they will not prevail.