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It’s the Journey

I saw this on the 37 Signals blog as “I’ve already got the prize" and found it to be both true, and a little annoying. It refers to the Nobel Peace Prize, who Richard Feynman is apparently in consideration for.

The speaker comes across a little arrogant, and a bit of an ass, but what he's saying makes sense. He’s not necessarily a fun guy to be around, but I think many brilliant people, especially teachers and researchers, aren’t.

However he’s saying that the journey, the fact that you are learning and figuring things out, is what’s important. It’s not the award, it’s not being a part of some group that recognizes your efforts that’s important.

I agree with that. It is nice to be recognized, to get kudos, maybe some reward for your effort, but if you shoot for that reward and it’s the best part of your work, then I think you are going to be constantly disappointed.

Enjoy the journey, smell the roses, take pride in your effort and what you do. If there is some recognition or reward later, that should be a small part of you enjoying what you do.

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Jason Brimhall on 19 July 2010

Awesome Steve.  Thanks for the good advice.  

Posted by Alex Brown on 19 July 2010

I am really delighted to  have joined up with the online community and I will be looking forward to meeting along with you within here in time.

Posted by mdecuir on 19 July 2010

Feynman is definitely arrogant, but also incredibly brilliant.

The message in this is a very good one.  If you extend what Feynman was talking about in this interview, the real purpose of honors should not be for the person being honored (as Feynman said, they have already received the reward for their work) but more as a means to draw attention to experiences or work that others can learn from.

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