It's easy to get caught up on the external rewards that you hope to gain from your actions. Remember that you always have an immediate reward in the process of creation. Taking the right actions, working on a project and completing a project of itself, can bring you satisfaction.
So the external rewards are always cool.
I remember a couple years ago at Anarchapulco, when my song "To Acapulco" was used in the promotional materials for the event. And Juan Galt said to me, it must be great, getting all this attention. It was true, though it was a little weird actually. Women were swooning and stuff, and I was like "Yeah... heh heh... I'm alright."
It's a little intense when people act like you're a big deal or something. It's a little odd.
But it's cool to have the attention. It's cool to have your work recognised by people.
Juan said to me, it must be really nice, you must be enjoying it.
I said yeah, it is nice, but the true reward is in the work. The process, the creation, making something. That's where the reward really comes from.
I think when I say this, people probably think that I'm being false modest or something like this.
I remember when I first heard an idea like this. Sting got up at some music awards ceremony and he gave a little speech and said, listen, you can perform before a crowd of thousands. You can perform for a crowd of one - an audience of one. He said it doesn't matter what size the audience is, it doesn't matter who likes it. If you play music, it will fill your heart, and delight your soul.
And I thought, that's easy for you to say Sting - you've got all these millions of dollars and things.
But, as time went on, I found out, he was right. He was sooo right. That's what really counts.
When you look back at your work. You've had a day, you've made something. Maybe you look back weeks or months later. And I'll be surprised at the things I said thinking, that was really well-phrased and precise and enlightening. And I think, I made this. It doesn't matter what happens after that. It doesn't matter if the tape gets destroyed or if the universe collapses in on itself. There's nothing that can erase that fact: "I made this." That's something special; that deserves a moment of pause.
I made this, it is so.
I made this, amen and aho.
The real reward is in the work; the real reward is in the process.