A friend from childhood used to ask me over and over where her reward was. She had stayed sober and studied hard with little to show for it but an apartment and a job she hated. Where, she kept asking, was her reward? The thing she couldn’t seem to grasp was that the life she had lived was the reward. If she didn’t like it, maybe it was time to change.

There is no reward at the goal line for hard work, honesty, compassion, bravery and creativity. The reward doesn’t come after we’ve done the amazing, creative, hard thing, the reward is that we got to do that amazing thing. The reward is how we live.