Objectively, being second is pretty good. It also depends on how you say it: “second place” sounds not good, but “top 2” sounds much better, doesn’t it?
Some time ago I read or saw or heard that, psychologically, being second is much worse than staying in the pack of mediocrity, outside the podium.
If Achilles had not existed, the immense Ajax Telamonian would have been the best of the Greeks in the Trojan War. (Despite the movie with Brad Pitt, Ajax was tied in the duel with the hero Hector, the best of the Trojans).
Even so, Ajax had no choice but to put up with being second best.
Of course, being the second among the Greeks was a very good position: better than the great king Agamemnon, better than his brother Menelaus (good enough to have Helen, the most beautiful of mortals, as his wife), better than the very intelligent Odysseus, better than the lesser known Diomedes (perfect balance between intelligence and warrior skill), etc.
As I say, Ajax was satisfied with being inferior to Achilles, because Achilles was too much Achilles.
The pill he could not swallow was that, once Achilles was dead, and being then, finally, yes, the best of the Achaeans, he was ignored by not getting the famous and divine weapons of Achilles.
It is the contest for Achilles’ arms, where Odysseus and Ajax dispute for them. If the trial had been a duel, Ajax would have taken, no doubt, the weapons; but, as the trial was a more intellectual thing, Odysseus took them, because no one surpassed Odysseus talking.
So being the best is quite relative.
I am not the one who knows the most Latin, nor the best teacher, nor the best Latin teacher, nor the best Internet entrepreneur, etc.
But I am (as far as I know) the only Latin teacher with a quite complete 100% online course.
P. S. In addition to Latin, you will learn more stories like this one.