The most articulated value in ancient Greek culture was areté. Translated as “excellence” or "virtue," the word actually means something closer to "being the best you can be," or "reaching your highest human potential." This notion of excellence was ultimately bound up with the fulfillment of purpose or function: the act of living up to one's full potential.
Areté in ancient Greek culture was courage and strength in the face of adversity and it was to what all people aspired. In Homer’s poems, areté is frequently associated with bravery, but more often with effectiveness. The man or woman of areté is a person of the highest effectiveness; they use all their faculties: strength, bravery and wit to achieve real results.