Choose a heroic ideal, more as something to emulate than as something to imitate. Examples of greatness lie about us, living texts of renown. Let each set before himself the greatest in his line, not so much as something to follow as something to spur him on. Alexander did not weep over Achilles dead, but over himself unborn, as yet, to glory. There is nothing that so thrills the ambition as the clarion of another’s fame. For that same impulse which buries jealousy lifts up the noble spirit.
~ Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)