I know its a rat race. Everyone knows that its a rat race but sad truth is that there is no escaping this rat race. Everyone has to run just to survive. This is where that thing about survival of the fittest come in. You have to make sure you dont fall behind lest you get killed by the next racer or are eliminated automatically.
Second why this rat race in the first place? I think the answer is in economics. Resources are limited and number of people who want to claim them are innumerable. This mismatch between the demand and supply causes people to act rationally and think about their benefit. Their survival. Their evolution. And hence the rat race to outsmart other mortals and get access to limited resources.