Welcome to Thursday,
April 24, 2014

Paul "Ripples Guy" Wesselmann

Since 1990, Paul has worked with hundreds of organizations to create dynamic presentations that inspire and inform.

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Resources / Paul's Picks
This is my humble attempt to share resources that have provided insight, inspiration, and/or information. If you click on the title, a description will reveal itself (I have adapted descriptions from Amazon.com, IMDB.com, and several other sources). Enjoy!

READ: PostSecret Community Art Project.
People mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard, and each week 20 are posted to the largest advertisement-free website on the internet. I visit this website several times a month just to see what creative secrets people are sharing. PostSecret
READ: Ten Fun Things to Do Before You Die
by Sr, Karol Jackowski (Hyperion: NY) Originally a lecture by the Dean of Students at St. Mary’s College, this delightful and quick read has suggestions ranging from “Make Yourself Interesting,” to “Find a Place to Escape Reality” and while the list is fun, the stories are powerful. I scribbled on my copy, “This may be the most sacred book I have ever read.”
READ: Creative Visualization
(by Shakti Gawain) This little book either changed my life, or entered my life right as I was beginning a major transformation. It is a quick read, offers the basic HOWs and WHYs of developing your ability to imagine what you would like to achieve, acquire, or accomplish, and provides simple exercises to demonstrate that there are no SECRETS to the ancient and powerful technique of visualization.
SEE: Waking Life
An animated thought experiment which follows a man and his attempt to find and discern the absolute difference between waking life and the dreamworld. What is dreaming? What is waking up? Are we always awake? Or perhaps never? The animation is freaky cool, and the message is even more so!
SURF: Worth 1000 Photo Contest Website
This is a set of photo contests where you can participate by submitting photos, voting, or just looking at some of the most creative images you can find. This is a site that helps me feel creative. Worth1000.com
SURF: Craigs List Classified Ads
In 1995 a guy named Craig created a simple website with classified ads for the San Fransisco area. It has grown into "a centralized network of online urban communities, featuring free classified advertisements." (as defined on Wikipedia) CraigsList.org
SURF: MyPlan Quick Retirement Planner from Fidelity
This fun little site asks 5 questions before preparing a chart of what you may NEED for retirement and how much you may HAVE based on your current income and savings rates. The great thing about the chart is that you can alter the variables (income, savings, retirement age, investment style, etc.) to see how that might affect your financial picture. Anyone who thinks they are ever going to retire should just spend a couple of minutes answering the questions, and I think everyone from students to seniors would benefit from and actually enjoy playing around on the site! MyPlan
SEE: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
If you could erase your painful memories, would you? This movie, written by Charlie Kaufman (who also wrote two of my other favorite movies of all time: Adaptation & Being John Malkovich), looks sort of like a wacky romantic comedy with Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet starring as a pair of eccentric people who have decided to break up. It is more about the value and power of our memories.
READ: HelpOthers.org , Community of kindness-commiters
This fun site rewards sharing with "karma points" that can be used to acquire inspirational goodies. Look for me as "RipplesGuy" there!
HelpOthers.org
SURF: The Foundation for a Better Life
You most surely have seen one of their "Pass it On." billboards that feature famous faces as well as everyday heroes promoting core values like hope, caring, compassion, courage, etc. This website does a great job of informing and inspiring!
ForBetterLife.org
READ: Organizing from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Home, Your Office, and Your Life
(by Julie Morgenstern) This is THE book I recommend in my time management presentations because it is easy to read and, not ironically, a very well organized book! Her book guides you through her three-step strategy: ANALYZE your current situation, STRATEGIZE to create a plan of action, and ATTACK to get the job done. She also co-wrote a version of this book with her teenage daughter that is geared for teens. The most useful nugget is her five step action plan that she insists we do in order: sort, purge, assign a home, containerize, and equalize (I renamed the last step evaluate).
SURF: What He and His Girlfriend Argue About
This is a list of things that the site creator has argued about with his girlfriend. I don't know exactly why, but this site makes me laugh out loud. MilMillington.com
SEE: Amelie
This charming French film is the story of a shy waitress who, upon returning a long-lost childhood treasure to a former occupant of her apartment, decides to set out on a mission to make others happy. But can she find happiness for herself, too? Ah, to find out you must see this movie which happens to be my absolute favorite film of all time.
SURF: We Feel Fine , Artistic rendering of blogosphere
"An exploration of human emotion, in six movements" by Jonathan Harris and Sepandar Kamvar. This remarkable site collects blog entries and uses a stunning combination of design and technology to displays a current pulse of online emotion. The internet is NOT a cold place after all! WeFeelFine.org
SURF: Freecycle, Encouraging the "free recycling" of your stuff.
The Freecycle Network consists of individual groups across the globe; a grassroots (& nonprofit) movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own communities. Freecycle.org
SURF: Wombat Rant , A goofy animation with a serious message
"Yo, Listen Up! This is Your Home. It is the only you've got." A wombat sums it all up in 60 seconds.
Wombat Rant.
SEE: Paper Clips
Documentary. "It began as a lesson about prejudice...What happened next was a MIRACLE." As a part of their study of the Holocaust, the children of the Whitwell, TN Middle School try to collect 6 million paper clips representing the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis. The bravery and integrity of the students and educators in this film is truly inspiring.
READ: Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
(by Seth Godin) This guy is one of my favorite creative thinkers. This very purple book suggests that if we spend more time creating WOW in our products/services we need fewer dollars to market them because people TALK about remarkable stuff! He really makes risk taking seem safer.
READ: It’s a Meaningful Life: It Just Takes Practice
by Bo Lozoff (Penguin: NY) This book is an accessible prescription for happiness that combines reaching IN to expand your spiritual awareness and reaching OUT to build a community through compassion and service. My copy is filled with scribbles and underlines, especially on page 51: “We can do hard. Really, we can....Human beings were designed for the chips to be down sometimes. We can endure some unimaginably hard things and come out better for them.”
READ: Join Me
by Danny Wallace (Penguin, NY). This is an easy and fun read! Danny tells his tale of posting a newspaper ad that asks, quite simply, “Join Me!” Dozens, and then hundreds, and yes THOUSANDS of people eventually join him before he has decided exactly WHY he wants them to join him. I don’t think it will spoil the story to tell you that he ends up creating a “karma army;” you really need to read HOW and WHY he makes his decisions. Ripply, indeed! You can also visit the Join Me website.
SURF: iStock Photo Stock Photography
Browse 1 million images uploaded by amateur and professional photographers. For a couple of bucks you can have royalty free rights to use them on the web or in print. I have found dozens of amazing photos for my presentation slides here. iStockPhoto.com
SEE: What the Bleep Do We Know?
If you are in the right mindset, this wacky-cool-weird movie (equal parts documentary, story, and special effects diplay) is a great film to watch with friends or colleagues. The protagonist, Amanda, played by Marlee Matlin, finds herself in a fantastic Alice in Wonderland experience when her daily, uninspired life begins to unravel. If you take this as FACTUAL you will be too skeptical, and if you take it as FICTION you will be uninspired. Just keep an open mind and see where it takes you.
READ: Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends
(Tim Sanders) This fast read is a unique cross between a practical business book and a self help guide. Tim encourages to think about “biz love” which he describes as “the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing your intangibles” which include your knowledge, your network, and your compassion. He has some really practical strategies, and makes networking feel less schmarmy and more organic.
SURF: Light A Candle , meditative website
This serene website invites you light a virtual votive candle which gradually burns down in the course of a few days. You can then share a link to the candle with others. You are also able to page through to see thousands of other candles which have been lit by others. The whole site is just amazing and one of my favorites EVER.
Gratefulness.org/Candles
SURF: eLance.com , Resource for finding freelancing professionals.
I have found quality graphic and web designers through this easy to use website that allows you to post projects and have professionals place bids to compete for your business. You can look at portfolios, ask follow up questions, and then choose the service provider that will meet your needs. Includes several features to ensure that you receive quality work at a fair price. eLance.com
SURF: WiFiFreeSpot , Great list of free wireless internet
I travel a great deal, and I use this website frequently to find out which cafes, restaurants, hotels, airports and other public places have free wireless internet.
WiFiFreeSpot
SURF: Julian Beever, 3D Artist
Julian Beever is an extraordinary artist whose canvas is pavement and he creates images that appear to be 3D and even the photos of his artwork demonstrate the illusion!
Julian Beever
SURF: The Quote Pond, a meditative site with inspirational quotes.
This is something that I had been dreaming about creating for years, and woke up one morning while I was on retreat in the Colorado Rockies and said "It is time to make it happen!" so I found some people to build the pond. It takes about 90 seconds to pause, reflect, and receive an inspirational quote from the quote pond. I invite you to take a dip!
TheQuotePond.com
READ: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This classic book is not just one you should have HEARD OF, this is a book that you should READ and STUDY with others. Have people on your team choose one habit and each week spend a few minutes hearing a summary and chatting about how you are using it in work and life. (author: Stephen Covey, publisher: Simon & Schuster)
SURF: Get Human Secret Customer Service Phone List
Do you need to call customer service at a big company and yet dread punching in account numbers and an endless cycle of menus? This database of secret phone numbers and codes is the essential "cheat sheet" to navigate the maze of auto-prompts and get you quickly to a live human being. Credit card, phone, travel, government, and hundreds of businesses are included in the list. GetHuman.com
SURF: Good News Network, positive news aggregator
This is my favorite "good news" website because it is visually appealing, easy to navigate, has really great stories, and sends the right amount of emails (not too many, not too few!).
GoodNewsNetwork.org
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Paul's Pick
SURF:
MyPlan Quick Retirement Planner from Fidelity
This fun little site asks 5 questions before preparing a chart of what you may NEED for retirement and how much you may HAVE based on your current income and savings rates. The great thing about the chart is that you can alter the variables (income, savings, retirement age, investment style, etc.) to see how that might affect your financial picture. Anyone who thinks they are ever going to retire should just spend a couple of minutes answering the questions, and I think everyone from students to seniors would benefit from and actually enjoy playing around on the site! MyPlan