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. I’ve run lots of races, and while I’ve never won one (or even been close), the feeling of being able to complete the race, the marathon, etc., pales in comparison to many of the days that I’ve felt wonderful after pushing myself through a run.
Heck, some of the days that I’ve really struggled to run, those days where I haven’t set a personal best, or even run well, but I’ve made a huge effort to just get through it. Those are the runs that often stick out in my mind. They make me feel that I achieved something.
Even when no one else is around.