The Biggest Reward

In Dec 2014, I got an award that I didn’t quite deserve.

That year, the TiE Kerala chapter gave me their annual ‘Startup Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ for outstanding contribution to entrepreneurship. To be honest, I had made no such contribution – at least, not in any meaningful way.

The Award Committee chose me probably because of my unusual and eclectic background. I remain very grateful to the Committee but the fact remains that I did not deserve the award.

In retrospect, I should have politely declined the award, asking them to give it to a more deserving candidate. But I did not have the sense to do that.

And since I did not earn the award, I did not mention it in my bio – nor did I feel any pride.

Awards per se don’t mean anything – their value comes entirely from the effort that goes into earning them.

When people complete full or half marathons, they often take photos with their medals, their faces beaming with pride. Even I have done that! Even though that medal means nothing to the world, it means a lot to you, because you truly earned it.

And this is true not just for awards but for any success in life.

What makes success worthwhile is not its magnitude or the value people attach to it, but the effort that goes into earning it.

The effort is the biggest reward. Everything else is of little consequence.

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