It is all about status. We compete with our peers. Everyone gravitates to the basketball court they can compete on. You won't be "happy" if the competition is too weak, and you won't be happy if you always lose. We are led about by our noses (kept in a chronic state of dissatisfaction) by our genetic programming to always seek higher status. Oddly enough, no one I have ever met admits to seeking status, it's always the other guy who does it.
Hehe, you are right on the latter!