Querido Hermano Rudyard Kipling
Why strive to be "elite"? Because it infuses your life with purpose and meaning that does not depend on anyone or anything that can ever be taken away from you.
People who become "elite" at what they do aren't striving to be "elite" just to join some special club. They take great joy and satisfaction in the pursuit of mastery, and they compete against themselves, not others.
Excellence opens doors, but that tends to be a byproduct. There are easier ways to live. Mastery is not about status, control or dominance. It's about learning something so deeply that you develop an intuitive feel for it, so much so that your ability can seem supernatural to others. It's about being in flow as often as possible. When you are in flow, your sense of self dissolves. It's an addictive state of mind. Extreme athletes are willing to die for it.
The only competition that matters is with yourself. If you fixate on competing with others, it means you're constantly comparing yourself to others. So you start measuring yourself by the metrics that encourage you to be like everybody else: to approach the same things in the same ways, to seek out the same advantages and best practices. There is power in becoming the "elite" version of yourself.
There is power in becoming the "elite" version of yourself.