Reality is what it is
From Peter G. Casazza’s occasionally pessimistic A Mathematician’s Survival Guide (last emphasis mine):
Wonderful Advances. When I first joined the mathematics community I was excited to join a group dedicated to advancing mathematics. I had a rude awakening when it became clear that we were really working to advance ourselves. This is an unfortunate consequence of the reality around us. We must all compete for very scarce research grants, positions, promotion, tenure, awards, raises etc. But we need to be careful that this reality does not diminish our enjoyment of the subject.
One of the things I wish I had read a few years ago. Little niggles can also matter.