To tell a story without words, create ‘a sense of place’

Our living room wall was transformed one Saturday morning. All it took was four beautiful painted plates to elevate the space. The room itself has been put together over the years. An eclectic mix of memories and good taste that has come together, because someone cares enough to make the space special. That someone is our homemaker, who cares not just to create a beautiful home, but she cares deeply for others as well. These beautiful artistic plates she found on Instagram are just an example of her passion for beautiful things that not just brighten up our lives, but also help others. (The plated project, where the plates came from has such a beautiful story of its own, where each product’s sale sponsors meals for the hungry and so far, they have sponsored 500,000+ meals around the world.).

Another wall is adorned with the most Gorgeous Sri Lankan masks. Then there is the Buddha corner which basks in calmness. Fresh flowers of all kinds dance around the rooms. Daffodils with their fresh fragrance in one vase, crisp carnations in another, and lovely lilies wave across from the dining room. The balconies have their special green hue now laced with the spirit of Christmas thanks to poinsettias that are like a sprinkle of red happiness. The places she chooses to buy her flowers from, the people she chooses to source our vegetables from are all driven by her desire to give us the best and also support people she feels for. This is the special flavour she brings alive wherever she goes.

Moving from the personal to the professional, a lesson I learnt long ago from an international auto PR pro, let’s call her Ms. Photogenic, was that a good photo opp needs to tell a story without words. Pictures must convey “a sense of place” she used to say. If I look at a picture of this car, I need to know where it is going and where it’s come from. So, the same car when launched in India needs to shout out its local flavour and when it graces the roads of another country, that story of that destination needs to come alive. “A sense of place”, such a lovely lesson remembered, as I look around the lovely home, our homemaker has created. This little story about Ms. Photogenic says so much about her and her tradecraft as well. That is a part of her story, and it lives on in me.

Who are you and what do you bring to the table? The four new plates that found their way into our home each have a story of origin. And yet together in our living room, they take on new meaning. A unique flavour that they bring into our lives. This is the power of creating a story without words.

Who are you being when you are doing your best work? Take Small steps. Conscious steps. Your signature style comes from this space of knowing where you are heading and what’s important to you. So, ask yourself “What are you catalysing?” “What are you making happen?” “What is your unique contribution?” What’s your vision for a better tomorrow?

You just need to visualise what you want and then create that space. It does not matter if you are shaping a photo opp or a home or a business plan. Don’t just go along for the ride. Mould it, craft it, shape it. Make it yours. That is the beauty of living intentionally. You create a story wherever you go. Not with words but with your actions. By being you and doing you in your inimitable and unique style. The new year is waiting like an empty wall, you get to decide what colour you want to paint it and what piece of art you are going to adorn it with. Create something special, where you shine through.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

3 Comments on "To tell a story without words, create ‘a sense of place’"

  1. Lovely Nikhil. I have often wondered if catalysing something, making something happen, bringing your unique contribution and just having a vision for a better tomorrow is a lot of responsibility not everyone is willing to take because that requires some effort which takes away the happy easy life to some extent and not everyone I know, is willimg to compromise there. Should conscientious people disapprove of that.

  2. Nikhil, a story told well about how to tell and show stories.
    Good craftmanship!

  3. knowledgeable content

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