Where the idea came from
Recently one of my favourite writers, Iain Banks, revealed that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was unlikely to live beyond a year. Naturally, his fans flooded the message board on his website with good wishes.
Today Banks has released another statement thanking the fans for their good wishes and saying how surprised he was to find he was so much loved:
“Good grief! – what an outpouring of love, affection and respect. I honestly had no idea,” wrote the author. “Discovering the sheer extent and depth of the feelings people have expressed on the message board over the past two weeks has been truly astounding.
I feel treasured, I feel loved, I feel I’ve done more than just pursue the craft I adore and make a living from it, and more than just fulfil the only real ambition I’ve ever had – of becoming a professional writer. I am deeply flattered and touched, and I can’t deny I’ve been made to feel very special indeed.”
Banks speculated that every author has actually “engendered more love out there than we think we have, and it’s only the fact that I’ve been able to pre-announce my own demise that has allowed me to realise my portion of that love in full while I’m still around to appreciate it”.
He also wondered if every author has “engendered more love out there than we think we have, and it’s only the fact that I’ve been able to pre-announce my own demise that has allowed me to realise my portion of that love in full while I’m still around to appreciate it” and says he is going to start showing his appreciation to the authors who have meant a lot to him, before it’s too late.
Which got me thinking – how would you know who admires you, loves you, or values you, or whose lives you have changed… unless they tell you?
Take a tip from Iain Banks – if you admire someone or they’ve helped you change your life, don’t keep your admiration a secret. Tell them!
They aren’t psychic (probably) and people often underestimate how valued they are, so the only way people are going to know they’ve made a difference to you is if you tell them.
This is worth doing in a management context as well – I’ve mentioned before the research showing that people feel more motivated when they get to see the difference their work makes to others. So as well as sharing when you appreciate someone, what if you could make it easier for them to see the positive difference they are making to other people?
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Photo of Iain Banks by Tim Duncan from Wikipedia