The only two good options you have are either being the best or being the underdog. The only problem with being the underdog is that when you do become the best, people look for another underdog. Being the best means being remembered. Being the underdog means getting the most cheers in a race. The dilemma is that there are a lot of underdogs, and when the underdog becomes #1, there’s another underdog to take his place.
The problem with being the best is that people want the underdog to win. People want to see other people break records. Mariano Rivera broke the record for all time saves, but he had a shaky start. He was an underdog that became the best. Although few people expect it to happen, we would like to see someone break the all time saves record again. We need another “best” person.
In other cases, people become envious of the best person. They want the underdog to rise up and take the best guy down. Then, everyone wants to see the former underdog to fall down.
The best way to thrive is by remaining the underdog even as you become better or be the best you can be. If you decide to become the best, the only way to prolong survival is by being innovative.