I have a job that enables me to keep learning. The new information can give me instant, if not pretty quick feedback, if what I just learned has merit, is worthwhile or isn't. As a therapist, even when you learn something new and it doesn't work, there is a feeling that it may work for someone.
Every time I read something or attend a seminar, I feel like I'm getting better. That is a good feeling. I'm very luck in this regard that I have this type of outlet.
I think we are born with the need to feel like we are improving. When we don't have the outlet for improvement, we aren't quite feeling like we are who we are supposed to be.
I think this is why when someone runs a 5k, their immediate thought is, let's do a 10k. I benched 225, I want to bench 275. To get better, to be better.
If we don't have the luxury of a job that allows improvement or the need to get better, we are often bored. We aren't' challenged and we are stagnate. The human body and mind does not want stagnation.
When a patient comes in for a follow up visit, their first question is, does it seem better to you? Athletes want to know if they are making progress.
The "best" or most popular workouts are built on being able to compare and contrast workouts. Crossfit has named workouts. Everyone has a Fran time. Strava has become an insanely competitive app even when it's just yourself. I want to climb this hill faster next time. I did better in my age group this run.
I believe we are born with some desire to always have something to improve on. Make progress in some area. We are happiest when we are in the pursuit of improvement and we acknowledge this.
Of course, this is just my random thoughts.