I am convinced that one of the main drivers of success in the 21st century world is the spirit of competition. It could be the desire to do better than one's neighbour/colleague, the desire to earn to more than the competition; whatever it is it is more than just about an individual, it has to do with humans being social animals.
Without that spirit, only a very small percentage of people would do extraordinary things. It is my belief that the majority of people would be more or less satisfied with whatever mediocre result they achieve if they did not have the information that someone else once did better to drive them.
Although competition can be dangerous if it not tempered by a reasonable mind, I sincerely believe that one of the main drivers of innovation is competition. And of course it is rightly said that necessity is the mother of inventions, but that is a whole new topic.