I’m popping in from amongst moving boxes to draw your attention to a fun story sitting in this week’s #swipefile. A warning up front, though: the picture included, while of an ancient hill figure in the English countryside, may be NSFW (or children, if W is home right now!). As usual, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the story, and then some thoughts on how you could use it.

The story: Scientists unravel a mystery about a naked giant carved into an English hill

The picture itself would likely pique your interest, as it’s not often that you see something like that in a major U.S. newspaper like the Washington Post. …


Why don’t we do the things we imagine? The simple answer: because they’re not yet real enough for us to understand how to actually do them. While that can be what gets in the way of you making a change in your own life, it absolutely gets in the way of people acting on your ideas. The good news: it’s totally fixable — all you need to do is make the conceptual concrete. After all, as the saying goes: Imaginary mills grind no flour. So let’s talk about what to do instead.

The quick version

There’s a whole chapter in my book about…


Humans are funny creatures. Even when we’re searching for the “right” answer or idea for something, we can hear various versions of that right answer over and over again without ever really hearing it at all.

And then one day, BOOM, we read or hear the version that we can’t shake. The one that shifts our perspective permanently. How does that happen? And how can you do it yourself?

That’s what the latest “Message in a Minute” video is all about. It’s about why and how you can…

Give them something they can’t unhear

Here’s the video’s Red Thread:

  • GOAL: Have your audience truly hear —…

For your reading pleasure this week, it’s a dose of classic Red Thread Newsletter nuttiness. Yes, that’s right, we’re diving back into the Swipefile, those links to stories, studies, and other interesting stuff you can use that I share every week on various social platforms. While there are some true winners in the mix this time around — seriously, don’t miss the story on Charles PonziI want to take “nuttiness” and “mix” literally and put a spotlight of attention on the “Brazil Nut Effect.”

The story: X-ray scans explain how the “Brazil Nut Effect” works

You’ll see this is a super short article about something you’ve likely noticed yourself…


Today we’re going to talk about change. Honestly, though, that’s pretty much the only thing I talk about, when you come right down to it. But one of the most enduring lessons I’ve learned about creating change — real, lasting change — comes down to the topic of this “Message in a Minute” video:

To change what people do you have to change how they see.

Here’s the video’s Red Thread:

  • GOAL: Change someone’s (or a market’s!) thinking or behavior.
  • PROBLEM: When making the case for change, we often focus more on what people are doing than on how they’re seeing.
  • TRUTH: How we see drives what we do.
  • CHANGE: To change…

Phew! We made it!

Okay, maybe that’s just for me, since my book just (finally?!) launched on Monday. But, rather than talk about the book directly this week, I wanted to talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron instead.

Yes, you read that right.

What does Avengers: Age of Ultron have to do with my new book? Well, on the surface… not a lot, since, sadly, I’m no Avenger. But one of the deeper messages of the movie is one of the main lessons of the book:

When it comes to driving action from your ideas, how you think is just…


Have you ever heard that cooking advice about how to know pasta is done? That you throw it at the wall and see if it sticks?

Have you ever done something similar with your messaging? Have you ever loaded up your copy or your presentation with all the amazing things your idea can and will do for your audience, hoping something — anything — will stick enough for them to act?

Unfortunately, the only thing sure to happen in both cases is that you make a mess, either of your wall or, dangerously, your message.

Why? Well, when I was…


From the masks that hang from magnetic hooks on the inside of my front door to almost forgetting what it’s like to get on a plane or eat in a restaurant, the pandemic has changed so much of every part of my life this past year — maybe yours, too? Things are juuust starting to open up again here in Boston where I live, so now I’m curious about which changes will end up sticking around.

But then I read this article from Smithsonian Magazine and realized some of the things we don’t even think twice about now — water…


It’s “back in the saddle time” after a week away with my other job: Momming. This week, though, my focus is all on the beginning of your message, and more specifically, why the start of your message is arguably the most important part of it.

In this case, though, I’m not talking about how to open a piece of content. No, I’m talking about where in your message your audience starts to lean in and pay attention. …


Towards the end of any week, I start to feel, well… ambivalent about the coming weekend. Not because I’m not looking forward to it! Goodness, no, I’m not sure what I would do without weekends. Every other one I get to spend neck-deep in baking, Animal Crossing, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D fun with my two sons. On the off weeks, I’m, uh, usually working. FUN.

But that last point is where and why the ambivalence creeps in. …

Tamsen Webster

Professional “Idea Whisperer” Tamsen helps people find, build, and tell the stories of their ideas through the Red Thread® a simple way to change how people see

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