We so enjoyed our recent conversation with award-winning architect and University of Texas School of Architecture Assistant Professor Matt Fajkus. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to check out the thoughts on recognition and inspiration he shared with us last week.
One thought that Matt shared especially intrigued us, and we wanted to explore it in a little more depth this week.
“For me, what’s rewarding about awards is that they serve as valuable feedback, validation, and they ultimately boost my confidence to go even further next time,” Matt told us.
It’s an important idea he raises. We understand that it’s possible to get jaded about awards and to downplay the importance of them. But that is the reason why it is so good to have a reminder like this of why they are meaningful and serve important functions.
We all need some validation or a vote of confidence from time to time, but especially as we develop our voices in our careers. A meaningful award can encourage us to keep growing and experimenting. It can save us from second-guessing and wondering about whether we are being understood and our work is making the difference we want it to make. In short, an award can serve as a license to trust ourselves more and to follow our instincts. That in turn, frees up valuable emotional and brain power to innovate, explore, and deliver exceptional work. We think that this alone is such a brilliant reason to cherish awards and recognition and to make them as meaningful as possible.
We know that we live in a culture where there can be too much recognition (so that it renders the meaning invalid) or too little (where we operate in a vacuum of not knowing how we are doing). We advocate for meaningful, tasteful, and sincere recognition that rewards and encourages the recipients. We believe that we need more people who have the confidence and validation to follow their instincts and to be thought leaders and innovators.
That’s why we’re drawn to the world of recognition, and why we want to create awards and honors that will inspire and be treasured. Meaningful recognition leads to meaningful work.