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.