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The Power of One Word

When I am helping clients organize, redesign or decorate a room, they often become overwhelmed about selecting new furniture, window treatments, rugs, paint colors, and get stuck thinking about how to put it all together. Online sites such as Pinterest and Houzz are full of wonderful ideas, but they can also lead us down a rabbit hole filled with too many choices.

So, how can you get unstuck?

There is a very a simple method you can use to help you hone in on what you really want for your space. All you need to do is think of one word; one word that embodies what you want to feel when you are in that room or space. That word may come to you instantly or you may need to ponder it over a day, a week or more. Once you have your word, let that word be your guide as you make selections for what will go into that space. The power of that one word will help you determine colors, styles, patterns and even accessories that will give that particular room its unique character and personality. You can carry that one word throughout your entire house or you may want to choose different words such as “calm” for a bedroom, “spa” for a bedroom or “energizing” for a personal office.

Exploring Your Gifts

The concept of thinking of one word can be applied in a number of different situations. Another favorite application is in the context of discovering or rediscovering your personal talents or gifts.

Several years ago, I worked as a consultant for ©Refreshment Zone, a motivational company specializing in personal and organizational development. One of our most successful programs is a Gift Discovery Retreat™. The premise is that each of us are born with certain innate gifts, but the true revelation is that others can easily see the unique gifts in you that you may not see.

We created an activity to allow participants to find out more about themselves by asking them to write down one or two words to best describe each person at their table. The results were astonishing. It didn’t matter whether people had just met or if they knew each other for years; there were clear, consistent words that emerged.

Try this exercise your with family, friends or colleagues at school or work. Whether you are changing careers, contemplating a college degree or starting a new business, this quick gift discovery exercise can help you confirm your gifts as you see them and open your eyes to the innate talents others see in you.

It is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on ways that we can positively impact the lives of others; from the unique gifts that we enjoy sharing with others to the unspoken gifts that other people bring to our lives.

In these busy days ahead, find a moment for yourself to think about: 

  • What is the one word you want to feel when you step into your home?

  • What one or two words do you think best describes you and your unique gifts?

  • What words would you use to help others see their special gifts?

Give the Gift of Words 

  • Start a new tradition at home and share “one thing” you like about each person.

  • Create a “Word Cloud.” Ask friends or family members to give you one word to describe a person, then arrange them in a word cloud, frame it and give it as a gift.

  • Write a card or letter and tell others what you see in them.

  • Send a thank you note to someone and tell them why you appreciate them.

Uncover the transformative power of one word in organizing your space, discovering your gifts, and uplifting others. Embrace the impact of a single word!



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