I was brought up in a very poor working class family and there was a nobility in poverty, and I’ve never lost that really. And money’s never excited me, I’ve never done anything for a million pounds that I wouldn’t have done for free. Likewise, joking aside, the awards, they’re a thrill. But deep down I know it’s only the opinions of a few people; it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. What matters is the work, the work you did. You tried your hardest, and you’re proud of it. And you brought something into the world. That’s the important thing. Pride in your work.
I don’t know Gervais personally, and his comedy (which I know him most for) doesn’t resonate with me. But I admire how he appears to have achieved an optimal balance of purpose, humility and pride. That’s a great place to be in your work and life.
This quote was from a recent Harvard Business Review interview with Ricky Gervais, and you can listen to it here. There were a ton of great perspectives in this eight minute interview. If you’re a subscriber to HBR magazine, you should still listen to the raw recording because it’s is far better than the edited (watered-down) version in the April printÂ issue.