Short answer: No.
Here is how I got there and why I think it isn’t bad.
First, I want to start off with 2 of my major goals in life, then an analogy. Afterwards I will tie it all together with regards to the Microsoft MVP award.
Learn everything and help as many people as I can learn what I know. Think about it you know you can’t learn everything, but you set your goal to learn everything imagine how much you can learn if you fall just short. You will probably learn quite a bit.
If a person is going to run 5 miles no matter what. Is it wrong for him to set a side goal of getting 1000 dollars if it is available. To me no there isn’t anything wrong since he is going to run no matter what. (just imagine for a moment strictly running for money is bad)
Now I’m sure some of you are going huh about now. Here is how I look at having a goal of earning the MVP award. I’m going to help the community no matter what. I have been doing so for 4 years and will continue to do so for as long as I am able. Some of the things I have done and do are:
- Attend user group meetings
- Speak at user group meetings and conferences
- Work on staff at Conference
- Help Organize Dev Conference
- Post on forums
Those are some of what I do to help, have done for a while, and will continue to do them because I enjoy it.
So, if I am going to do the above in order to obtain my original 2 goals above then I don’t see a problem in having a side goal of earning MVP award if it is available. For me the first two goals are most important over all others (within the non-political, non-religious, and non-family context).
Now some have said that the MVP isn’t in my control so it isn’t a very good goal to have. I have to disagree to an extent. Earning MVP may not totally be in your control, but there are things you can do so that it doesn’t go the way of a dream. To me a dream is something that would be nice, but isn’t what you are going to pour your heart and soul into doing or getting. Like going to space is a dream for me. It would be nice, but I am not going to spend the time to do it (I’ll wait until it is affordable). Compared to that there is an amount of control in earning MVP, by helping the community. Earning the MVP isn’t all up to you, but you don’t have to keep it in the same realm as going to space.
In the end to me if earning MVP isn’t your primary goal then having it as a goal, namely side goal, isn’t bad at all. If it is a primary goal then I suggest re-assessing what you are doing and why because that is a lot of work for the chance of it not happening. If the primary goal is helping others in the community and teaching; then by all means a side goal of MVP is not a bad thing.
Please let me know what you think especially if you don’t agree with me. Please, let me know how I am wrong if I am.
EDIT: Just wanted to note that I am NOT an MVP, but want to become one.