It seems that the most profound celebration after a knockout in the UFC would be to first pick your opponent off the canvas before registering personal emotion.
So much of the work in making internal progress is resisting external progress in life, or putting it in its place. Internal progress, or the extent that you develop your character, is all that matters in the final analysis.
An inverse, and specific, way of putting this: so much of your external progress in martial arts is actually from confronting inadequacies in yourself, and learning to get out of your own way.
Unfortunately, perfection of character is always out of reach, and upset is certain; however, Nietzsche responds:
“The goal of mankind is not to be seen in the realization of some terminal state of perfection…
That the ‘Great Man’ should be able to appear and dwell among you again, again, and again, that is the sense of all your efforts here on earth.
That there should ever and again be men among you able to elevate you to your heights: that is the prize for which you strive. For it is only through the occasional coming to light of such human beings that your own existence can be justified…
And if you yourself are not a great exception, well then be a small one at least! And so you will foster on earth that holy fire from which genius may arise.”
To me, the ability to learn is one of the great blessings in life. And creative mastery, one of the great justifications for life.