In my mind Richard Feynman stands for something I have always aspired to achieve. The joy of pure learning, without thinking whether it will help me in my career or life. There have been some moments in my life when I have felt that joy. But of late, I have been missing that feeling since a long time.
Some scientists (myself probably included) are driven by the ambition to build grand intellectual edifices. I think Feynman — at least in the years I knew him — was much more driven by the pure pleasure of actually doing the science. He seemed to like best to spend his time figuring things out, and calculating. And he was a great calculator. All around perhaps the best human calculator there’s ever been.