Back in the day (pre-internet times), a friend gave me a book of quotes. Though I no longer have the book, the above quote has stuck with me. Very few can say they've never looked on a particular quality in a person and were imbued with a sense of inspiration or longing to possess that "excellence" for ourselves.
Quite recently, I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time with someone I admire greatly. Whether it's his wit, his intelligence, his thighs (oh dear God help me), or his sense of self.... I couldn't help but come away with the feeling that I want to be more like THAT. Very "Voltaire" in more ways than one. I want to be that educated, funny, and self assured. The thighs... well I'll leave those to him, but I may say screw the grinding knees and do more lunges and squats.
At the same time I found some things about myself that I embraced even more. I am open, caring, and resilient. Those are things that although at times I wish I were more reserved about, I won't ever change. I smile easily and genuinely and I long to give affection even more than I long for it. And while it will never be businesslike, you can tell how I feel by the look on my face. The people I love never have to wonder how I feel about them.
Each day should be about finding the beauty in others, in your surroundings, and in yourself. Therein lies a true balance.