Thinking something nice about someone? Tell them.2023-03-07
When you think something nice about someone, you should tell them.
People don’t hear enough compliments.
Even well-known people. We assume they must hear it too much. But famous people often say the thanks from the public is the best part of the job. They work really hard to spread their creations widely. They could just sit home and keep their thoughts to themselves, but instead they do the hard labor of turning their ideas into something digestable, then brave public critique in the media, all for the generous act of sharing their work with the world. It’s not for the money, since they could make more as a banker. It’s for the deeper happiness of making a difference in people’s lives.
So I think of it as my duty, when someone has made a difference in my life, to let them know.
- Emailed Shruti Rajagopalan to say I’m a fan of her work, and I met two of her mutual friends in India.
- Contacted Nancy Duarte after six years to say I’m still using her Resonate framework of presentation, and I’m glad we met ten years ago.
- Emailed Austin Kleon to let him know that three different people referenced him last month in India.
- Found the email address for professor Sharon Kaye after reading her book, Philosophy: a Complete Introduction, to tell her that she is the clearest writer I’ve ever read.
- Emailed Russ Roberts to say how much I love his podcast and new book.
- Texted my friend Laura Clesceri to tell her I appreciate our conversations.
- Texted Mark Manson a photo of my cinema ticket after seeing his movie.
- Told the guy at the cafe that I loved his shirt with the Atari Adventure dragon.
- ... and complimented three adorable dogs (to their owners) while out on my walk in the forest today.
These examples took a combined total of about fifteen minutes of my life. By text or email, I send just two or three sentences.
As soon as I feel the feeling of appreciation, I flip over to my email app, tap tap tap send, and get back to what I was doing.
There really is no better use of my time, or yours.
Side note: Only about half of them reply. But that’s OK, since I’m not doing it for the reply.