"Striving for excellence" has really done a number on us.
Literally, it has forced us to become numbers: the records we break, the heights we attain, our SAT scores. Striving for excellence turns us into statistics.
The problem is, we can only strive for what we already know. You studied for those tests. They only measured the degree to which you were hypnotized by the knowledge of the past. They could not measure your Presence.
Who does your "excellence" excel? You can only excel the person next to you, the mark defined by another, the score you attained yesterday. Comparison kills creation.
In the Hebrew creation story, God is One and creation is incomparable. All sparkles with Tova, "goodness." God looks upon the whole luminosity of the world and sees that "ha or ki Tov: the light is Good." Tova is not relative. Goodness is absolute. It does not get better or worse.
God does not tell humanity to strive for something better, but simply to create and "bear fruit." The human mind, not God, is responsible for the suffering of discontent, polluting the world through comparison, abandoning the luscious tree of life, preferring "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."
True excellence can never be defined. It is unknown. If you want to excel, stop scoring. Stop comparing. Abandon all marks and grades. Don't move up another step, another initiation on the spiritual ladder. And for God's sake, don't become an "Ascended Master."
Sink into the Unknown. Fall into the incomparable majesty of who you are at this moment. This is all that is. This is creation's source.