Tell them the impact they had on you, and the difference it made.
One of the most powerful things we can experience is connecting who we are to the difference that makes in the world. In a nutshell, why we matter.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain
There are two ways this tends to happen.
- We see it directly – admiring a room after we applied a fresh coat of paint
- Or hear it from another – someone telling us who we are for them that changed their lives, and perhaps the lives of others
If this is so important for all of us to know, why do we hesitate to share the impact others have had on us? Is it because we assume they must know? They hear it all the time? Or is it because we don’t want to come of as obnoxious or a kiss ass…
Whatever the reason, the feedback from the leaders I work with as well as my own experience, says that this is a rare occurrence. Rare as it is, the pwower of expressing gratitude is undeniable. It provides us both the encouragement to keep going and direction on where to put our energy, two things anyone trying to create a better world desperately needs to understand.
“I find myself standing in front of him, pissing my pants with excitement, and paralyzed with what to do about it.”
At BIF Summit 2017, I met the person who showed me that there were others like me out in the world. The person who gave me the courage to follow my own path in finding a way for art and science to coexist. This person was David Macaulay, award-winning author of the international bestseller, The Way Things Work.
He knew none of this of course, and I was was frozen. Do I go up to him? What do I say? This person is a legend, a myth, more than human. But there he is, standing right in front of me. It would have been so easy to simply say hello, introduce myself and leave it at that. But then I thought of the fact that we need to hear why we matter, and I went to him and gushed. I told him everything.
What difference did this make? I will never know. But based on what I, and others need to keep going, to keep trying, keep fighting for a better world, I believe it will mean everything.
Gush, tell them. Don‘t wait, do it now.
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