This Watch Is Special (on the Power of Storytelling)

This Watch Is Special

If you have a look, I think you’re not too impressed. Tissot is a brand, alright, but it’s not particularly expensive. The bracelet is titanium and not stainless steel, which makes them significantly lighter, but that is not the point.

For me though, it IS special. I got it from my mum for my 25th birthday.

The Story

My mum had hard time buying birthday gifts for me since I was 8 years old. For my 8th birthday I got a 2500 piece jigsaw puzzle and a pair of roller skates. At the age of 8, I found jigsaw puzzles pointless (picture printed on cardboard cut to small pieces only to be assembled back together – really?) and I found roller-skating scary (which insane person would voluntarily give up their stability for a negligible speed gain?). When I unwrapped those two gifts, I started crying. Seeing my disappointment, my mum’s eyes filled with tears too.

Ever since, when it came to gifts, my mum asked me what I wanted. Preventing disappointments – but not allowing for any surprises.

Until my 25th birthday. In my mum’s eyes – 25th birthday were a big anniversary. It was important for her to give me something special. Something I would love. Something that would surprise me. Something I would remember.

I said earlier this watch was not particularly expensive – but it was certainly expensive enough to be something I could not affort to buy myself at that time. It was a brand I liked. And it was so light that it was a pleasure to replace my old watch with it. I loved it. And I’ve been wearing it every day since then.

It’s more than just a watch. It is a symbol of my mum caring about me.

A Story Can Transform Anything

Let me tell you a secret. As you made it here – it’s more than just a watch even for you. Whether you want it or not, the next time we meet, you will look for it on my wrist. Once you see it, you will remember my mum and maybe even the fact that I was not a fan of jigsaw puzzles.

Maybe you remember another watch with a story. Butch from Pulp Fiction risked being killed by a hitman to get back his watch.

Of course, stories don’t transform just watch. Stories can transform anything. Explaining a product you are selling to your customer; a project for which you want to get support by your company’s management; or who you are in a job interview – or on a date. A story can transform anything.

If you’re looking for one skill to get this year: Learn to tell stories.

If you’d like another example, here is a post about a Cup with a Story. If you’re thinking about where to start working at your storytelling skills, look at my favorite book that describes the use of storytelling in presentations (available free online): Resonate.

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