I have a few practical questions, though they also reflect (and are meant to reflect) deeper questions. Who decides what “excellence” means in a given category? Will there be a particular vision of what “moral excellence” is, for example? How much variance in belief do you see within the group?
The “deeper” part is that the concept of the search for excellence reminds me of several different things, though I’m not the best person on these forums to discuss them. (If I am the best person around here, then woe to us! :D)
I’ll start with a formally simple one, a story (or multiple similar stories?) about St. Philip Neri (1515-1595).
I came across it because of a set of prayers to the saint, one of which made a cryptic reference to the question “And then?” I then searched and found the reference. One telling of the story is at “What’s Next? A Reflection for the Memorial of St. Philip Neri” (a 2011 post by Fr. Scott Hurd on the site of the Archdiocese of Washington; the saint’s feast day is soon, May 26).
So a young man went to Philip and told him of his plans to become an attorney and have a good life, and Philip in turn kept asking him “And then?” (In some tellings, the young man ultimately says that after some years, he will die. “And then?”) The young man then realized that his plans hadn’t involved God.
A theme of this story runs through the rest of those “different things” that I mentioned: true excellence is tied not to our own limited thoughts but to the God whose foolishness is wiser than our wisdom. Although then there isn’t that much hope for my foolishness, I hope to keep writing later.