I hope you are not looking to get an award.
OMG! So you are looking to get some nice award. (This is awkward)
Before we find out what needs to be done to get an award, let me first guess what kind of award you might be interested in.
Nobel Prize (any category), Pulitzer Prize (journalism & writing), Oscar Award (films & documentaries), Grammy Award (music), Man Booker Prize (books), Filmfare Award (Indian films), Bharat Ratna (Top Indian civilian award), Padma awards (among top Indian civilian awards – in any category), or any other famous award?
Then you have the Best teacher, Best employee, Best student, Best company, Best brand, Best ‘this’ or Best ‘that’ award. These awards may not be as well-known as the above-mentioned ones, but still you would be happy receiving any of these awards. Right?
So, if I am not too wrong and since we have established that you are interested in laying your hands on some award or the other, let’s understand what needs to be done.
May I come straight to the point?
Stop looking to get an award. Yes, you read that right. Stop putting emotional pressure on yourself that you really want ‘that’ award. Stop pressuring your mind to think and tell you how you can get ‘that’ award that you really want.
Why? Well, let me point out two facts that you already know. First, you get an award when you do something worthwhile and a third party accepts it and endorses it. You are then invited to accept ‘that’ award, which you may or may not accept.
Second, you get an award when you do your best to get an award. You do all the necessary things according to criteria set for the award and even go beyond. A third party endorses your effort. You are then invited to accept ‘that’ award, which you happily accept.
You may know of some other people too. People like Khushwant Singh (writer & columnist), Romila Thapar (historian), Sitara Devi (kathak dancer), Sonu Nigam (singer), Rabindranath Tagore (poet & artist), Lata Mangeshkar (singer), Le Duc Tho (Vietnamese politician), Marlon Brando (Hollywood actor) and Jean-Paul Sartre (author & philosopher) who refused to take well-known awards.
So, there is a bit of contradiction going on here. Some people want ‘that’ award so much, while some people simply refuse to take ‘that’ award (for any reason) and ignore the honour.
One award, two choices. It’s either a big ‘Yes’ or a big ‘No’ from you.
You get an award of any kind or category, when you put in honest effort into the work that you are doing.
At this point, I think I can hear you whispering urgently in my ear: “Are you nuts? Just tell me, how do I get that award?”
Frankly, I don’t know. I can only guess. There was a time a few years back, when I was taking a strong interest in visualizing a Man Booker Prize for myself. I would read about the winners and go through the list of writer nominees and the books they had written. Slowly over the years, that fertile imagination and interest faded away. If you ask me about it now, I’ll just smile.
But one thing remains clear to me. You get an award of any kind or category, when you put in honest effort into the work that you are doing.
When the work that you do becomes more important to you than any award that you could aspire for, then you get the award that you deserve.
When the award is not your focus, but what you do, then you get an award that everybody focuses on.