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5 - Positive evolutionEvery event, be it of the past, the current or the imagined future, influences our thinking, attitude, behavior and responses. Those events from the past that have scarred us, those that we do not like in the present and those that we fear in the future keep impacting us negatively. These tend to largely overshadow the blessings of the past, the wonders of the present and the opportunities of the future. It is therefore essential that we learn to reorient our thinking, start seeing the past present and future through a filter of positivity if we are to make our life more fun, more meaningful and more productive.

Be grateful for the past – If one were to dispassionately evaluate the past, for most of us it would become obvious that barring a few stray awkward, embarrassing, challenging and painful incidents life had been fun filled, happy and enjoyable. Yet we tend to largely focus on what has not gone right overlooking the more significant, satisfactory and fulfilling parts of our journey thus far. Of course the failures, the hurt and the pain of the past cannot be brushed aside but focus on the lessons learned from it. Focus on the transformation that took place because of it and made you a better person. If you still carry the baggage of the hurt of the past, it is a good time to offload it today. Relook the past with an eye to refresh, recollect and reflect on the blessings of the past; the wonderful childhood you have had, the loving care of the family around, the friends and relationships you have built up over the years, the success your were cheered for, the memories that you can forever cherish. If one uses that as the fulcrum of the past life, the present would also be seen in the same perspective provided one makes that effort.

Be engaged in the present – One common aberration in our daily living is the habit of lapsing into the ‘Good old days’ syndrome. The opposite extreme is to find fault with everything that does not happen the way we want it or the way we expect it to be. The present is where we are living and if we can see it as a wonderful place and time to be in, one can experience the joys that abound everywhere and all around us. Mechanization for instance has made our life a lot easier but do we value it? Communication technology has ensured we can be in touch instantaneously and with numerous people; yet do you feel lonely? Transportation revolution has made movement faster, cheaper and more pleasurable but do we keep cribbing about the costs, the lines at the airports, the railways stations and the bus stops? Disposables have become the order of the day saving time and effort yet we see the mountain of trash to which we also contribute conveniently overlooking our own part in it. The present has to be embraced with pragmatism. You may not be able to change what is happening around but one can surely appreciate the good, influence the ills by being sensitive and caring ( use less disposables / be more orderly in queues / cut down on indiscriminate usage of mobiles and internet etc.) but most importantly be involved in the moment. Don’t let the present fly past without it having improved you as an individual.

Be enchanted by the future – The future is a haze and that is precisely why we are wary of it. Strictly speaking if we can appreciate the wonders of our past, see the positive side of the present we must able to look forward to exciting times in the future. However, the future holds an undeniable reality; death. This unfortunately is a scary thought for the overwhelming majority and while we may never consciously reflect on it, subconsciously we are always hoping to prolong life be it our own or those of our loved ones. What adds confusion and apprehension when thinking of the future is the fear that the future may not be as serene as the past and the present. We worry about paying bills, hospitalization, relationships, old age, loss of income, loneliness and ofcourse death. These are all realities but a fair bit of timely planning and mental preparation to cope with these realities would ease our concerns and surely help one prepare to embrace the future. The first step to such preparation is not mentally running away from our fears. How many of those reading this post have prepared a will? How many of us have got our retirement plans chalked out? How many have saved for a rainy day? These can be done only if one is prepared to be realistic and give the future a more concrete shape rather than blindly walking into a hazy sunset. The sunset is surely the beginning of the night but when on an outing don’t we eagerly wait to see the glorious sunset and ensure we are the right place at the right time to enjoy it. See the future as a wonderful sunset and do what needs to be done to enjoy it!

Try this:

  1. Jot down 3 to 5 most wonderful memories from the past. Visualize the situation and the persons involved and revel in the blessings they were for you.
  2. What are the 3 significant contributions that you can make to ensure that the world around you is a better place? So have you started on it ?
  3. Make a list of the following
  • How much money do you think will suffice to ensure you have a comfortable retired life assuming you live till 90
  • What are the 3 things you will do to ensure that you are productively and happily engaged after retirement?
  • What are the 5 most important things you will want to incorporate in your will?
  • Make a list of surprise gifts that you will send this year to at least 3 of the above listed friends.
  • List 10 friends who you can count on to give you support and courage should you be in any trouble in the future.
  • Write down an epitaph for yourself that would best describe you / your life.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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13-12-it is not the load

When interacting with people, some people give you an immediate connect and you can actually feel their vibrancy, positivity and joy touching you in many ways and elating you. Unfortunately there are also many others who you would keep at arms distance, if not completely avoid given half a chance, simply because they are constantly grumbling, telling their woes, keep blaming others and exude bad vibes, spread demoralizing thoughts and drain us of our enthusiasm. If you were to spent a little time and understand the background, the daily routine and psychology of both sets of people you might make a startling discovery that in almost all cases the people are just like us, share the same sets of troubles, pleasures, hope, fears perhaps in varying degrees but it is their response to the situation that is the key difference that makes them likeable or disagreeable.

Now turn the mirror to yourself and ask honestly how others perceive you. Do I have many friends? Are my neighbors and colleagues happy to see me? Do I feel welcome when joining a group? Closer home, other than your pet dog are the rest of the family members thrilled to have me around? Do people freely interact with me, trust me, share their thoughts, concerns, hopes etc and seek my counsel or views? If you can honestly say yes to all the above, then you are one of the fortunate few who has mastered the art of embracing life with a song on your lips and hope in your heart. On the other hand if you are one who cannot spontaneously say yes to the above questions, there is no need to feel despondent for by and large you share your misery with a large number of people. Though it is said misery loves company, as an individual each of us would love to live life happily minus that miserable company.

The best way to cope with life is as under:

First accept the reality that there is a yin and yang that together forms life. While everyone wishes to embrace the good things life has to offer, when there is difficulty, pain, fear, frustration and the like, the inevitable reaction is to wonder why me. The quicker we learn to appreciate the quirks of life the easier it would be to welcome each new day with a happy heart.

The next is to cope with the yin with equanimity and the yang with alacrity. Having accepted the reality of the yin and yang of life, the challenge is how does one deal with them. In fact, in managing our response to the extremes that life throws up we would realize the inevitable truth that neither happiness nor sorrows last forever (although the latter might seem to be never ending). Therefore when things are going one’s way, when life is kind to us and when we are euphoric we must soak in those moments but never let them overexcite us. At the same time when faced with challenges, problems and troubles we must not be overwhelmed by them but be hopeful that this too shall pass.

Third is to attempt a balance between the two. This is a tricky step for while we cannot actually change the reality we can telescope our joys and miniaturize our troubles by some deft psychological ploys. Learn to savor every triumph, relish every joy and spread joy and sub consciously lengthen the ecstasy, deepen the thrill and enrichen our life. Similarly when fate deals us a poor hand, when the shadows seem to be lengthening and joy looks elusive look out for the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The change in fortunes seems just a step away, the gloom will seem to be disappearing and the hard knocks of life will be less bruising and painful. The balance you have maintained is in keeping a pragmatic proportion between the long periods of ecstasy and the brief unavoidable reality of despair.

Finally embrace each moment as the best moment for it shall never come again. The first three rules are to be practiced diligently and allowed to gently be ingrained subconsciously. That is the point of inflection when you will actually begin to embrace life warts and all. From then on you will look eagerly for the break of dawn, appreciate the joys of everyday life, value the joys of relationships, find surprises in the chirping of the birds and the blooming of the flowers and there will be a spring in every step you take. Hurdles that would invariably appear most unexpectedly would not frighten you nor would they then seem insurmountable and you would find the will, the means and the way to side step every hurdle. You will then kiss each moment for it will never give you another chance again.

The secret to coping with the surprises, shocks, joys and jolts of life is in accepting reality of constant change, maintaining harmony no matter what the challenge or surprise and making best use of the gift of life by living it and not merely surviving it.

Try this:

For a week try to live life by making the following adjustment each day. This will give you a better appreciation of how those who have to live with the limitation have adjusted to their permanent problem and yet live their life to the full.

Day 1 – Do not use your regularly used hand ( if your right handed do not use the right hand for the whole day)

Day 2 – Tie a splint around any one of your knees so that you cannot bend your knees. Now go about your daily chores with this handicap.

Day 3 – Avoid the use of any means of electrical /electronic devise – no telephone/ mobile/internet/ TV / Dish washers / credit cards/ etc.

Day 5 – Attempt not to talk to anyone / minimize your oral communication but go about your daily tasks.

Day 6 – Spend an entire day at an orphanage/ old age home/ prison /hospital or on any social service that you have never ever been to or attempted before.

Day 7 – Set your own challenging goal and try to live it out.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Before you read the next sentence, take a pen and paper and write down 10 things you want to do before you die. If you have difficulty in making that list try and list them under these 4 heads some things you are passionate about, some things that you wish you could, some things that you would love to do for society or for a social cause and some things for your personal and / or professional growth. Now you are ready to appreciate the above quote.

For most of us our teenage and adult life often passes us by in the pursuit of a rat race called life. First we hope to do well academically and then we are feverishly chasing a good job. Along the way we begin family life and then before we know it we have kids, debts and bills. Our entire focus is now on earning more, keeping pace with the lifestyle of our peers and in living life as we would others to expect us to. In short we let the expectations of the future drive our present and relegate our past to a distant dream.

Pause a moment now and look to the past. Do you recollect the childhood dreams that you have had? The images conjured by some compelling stories you read of heroes in text books be it a historical figure, a scientist, an explorer or a mythological character would have ignited visions of similar achievements. Perhaps your parents or grandparents may have sowed the seed of some long term goals in your mind. There could be encouraging remarks by teachers that have had a deep influence in your life. The question is did you earnestly pursue it or did the dictates of prudence and the weight of parental expectations make you abandon your cherished ideals?

Cut to the present and ask yourself ‘what are those dreams and passions that still gnaw at my heart?’ Now is the time to plan and execute a strategy to give your passions, dreams and aspirations a chance to flower and bloom. You may have to sacrifice much, have enormous self belief, be bold and take risks. In the long run it will be worth it. Finally you will sing that song that was seeking a voice, paint the picture that was seeking a canvas and build that edifice that till now you merely visualized.

Go back and read the first paragraph again. There is so much you can do for yourself. There is so much of excitement, happiness and contentment waiting to be experienced. So what are you waiting for? Go on break free; indulge, experiment, experience and exult. If you don’t do it now, it could be too little too late and 20 years from today you would be wondering how you could let that opportunity slip by.

Action Points:

Here are 10 options for you to choose from and attempt

  1. Learn a new dance form
  2. Make your own Acronyms (see www.poweract.blogspot.com for clues)
  3. Get a new pet
  4. Learn a new computer game/ card game
  5. Experience the notes formed by filling 6 identical cups with progressively more water in each cup and tapping on each with two thin sticks. (The first cup should have the least amount of water and the last cup must be full)
  6. Surprise someone different for a week.
  7. Make an attempt to enjoy something that you hate. Eg. Classical music or reading philosophy or solve a mathematical equation
  8. Visit a nearby ghetto / slum or hospice
  9. Make 3 completely new friends of a different ethnic race/ country/ religion.
  10. Participate in a competition

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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The therapeutic value of laughter is perhaps the most undervalued commodity in the world. This is because laughter has no price and yet it is ‘priceless’. In fact we do not value this invaluable resource for we take it for granted just like the wonders that are given free by nature; sunshine, air and water. What is unique about a good laugh is that it is very personal, positively contagious (except when one is laughing mockingly) and it is the ‘all in one’ antidote for physical, mental, personal and professional problems.

Despite these obvious merits, the world at large seems to be more inclined to ignore the myriad effects of a good laugh. They prefer to wallow in a self deceptive cauldron of negative stew made up of negative emotions like anger, hurt, frustration, revenge and the like. This is because it is easier to lapse into a negative mind set and feel like a martyr by saying ‘poor me’ than to scan the horizon and find a reason to laugh when troubles seem to engulf us. Notice that the former behaviour is succumbing to the situation where as the latter involves grappling with an uncomfortable situation.

How and where does find a positive mindset and the ability to laugh no matter what the circumstance?

Look within – change your attitude. Inculcate a positive mindset. Be an optimist.

Scan around – seek out the hidden gems within a problem; be sure there are alternatives just waiting for be discovered.  Share a problem. Ask for help.

Focus away – take a break from the problem. Do something you enjoy; be it a TV serial, a movie, read a book, paint, sing or dance. Ensure that the activity is pleasurable.

Break free – from your self-imposed inhibitions. Stop being superstitious. Don’t be a conformist. Tread a new path. Believe in yourself.

Now you have created an environment and mindset that nurtures happiness. A good laugh is what blooms and the fragrance is enjoyed by not just the person who laughs but by all who laugh along.

Try this:

  1. Read the post on SMILE  – See My Instant Life Energizer by clicking on the link. http://www.poweract.blogspot.in/2010/01/smile.html
  2. Create a scrap book containing some of your favorite jokes, limericks, cartoons, list of humorous books, movies, serials etc. Also jot down some silly things that you did, the bloopers that embarrassed you, incidents that trigger a lusty laugh when you recount them.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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I take a lot of pride in being myself. I’m comfortable with who I am. James McAvoy

At various points in time, it is quite possible that an individual would have wished to be someone else, ideally his/ her role model or latest super actor or sports personality. Typically our daydreams of being some else begins in childhood with us taking a great liking to some hero / heroine of our favorite comics/ books. At adolescence one graduates to dreaming of being a hero/ heroine of movies and before long one is besotted by images of being the current celebrity. Typically, it is the fame, the adulation; the celebrity status and power that we imagine others to be having that makes us pine to don their avatar.

Yet when we cut back to reality, we find that we do appreciate our personal self, albeit with hope that we can make some key changes that will make us special. It is this pride that we take in our being what we are that spurs us on live life with hope, faith and determination. No one is perfect but that may not be a consolation for someone keen to overcome a perceived personal limitation. Someone short may pine to be taller; people who are lean would love to have a better physique; those who are intelligent may crave to be more outgoing and those who are extroverts may be hoping that their deeper insecurities are never revealed. While our perceived limitations could be a reality using it as an excuse not to fulfill our potential would be hari-kari.

To accept one’s self in totality one must learn to appreciate the blessings we are fortunate to have, make sincere efforts to overcome our inadequacies and limitations while simultaneously taking pride in the individual that we are. Here are 4 tips to help you take pride in the individual that you are:

Be positive – Try and see the silver lining. No matter what the situation change is a constant and it is in change that fresh hopes, new beginnings and greater opportunities abound. Your individuality will always have a chance to be showcased, appreciated and recognized. Making affirmative suggestions is another way to be positive. This can be done by positive self talk, positive visualization and keeping in the company of those who encourage, motivate and inspire you. E.g. You are to make your first major presentation and you are nervous. You can tell yourself that you have prepared well and visualize the confident manner you will make the presentation and even imagine the applause you will get. You can be sure that you will soon be oozing with confidence.

Leverage strengths – Give up the tendency to brood over what you hate, dislike or cannot change. Instead focus on your strengths and utilize it to the best of your abilities. One way to identify your strengths is to listen to the positive feedback and appreciation that you receive.  E.g. If diligence is your strength be diligent in whatever you do and don’t bother if you are not too creative or flamboyant.

Work on personal change –Many a time there could be limitations that can be rectified with a little help from others or by making some concentrated effort. Identify these areas of concern that needs a makeover and proactively go about making those personal improvements. E.g. you are shy and afraid of public speaking. If you are in a job that requires you to be more bold and visible it is obvious that you have to attend some public speaking classes at the earliest.

Don’t get bogged down by criticism – Criticism often deflates us, irritates us and demotivates us. Succumbing to criticism erodes our confidence, triggers negative emotions and punctures our ego. Our pride takes a tremendous beating then. If on the other hand, one can see criticism as helpful hints to guide us to the path of success, we would learn from it, ignore it if untrue and climb up the ladder of success by overcoming each criticism directed us it. E.g. You are a passionate sports person but are told that you have the tactical acumen but not the physical ability to become an extraordinary sports person. Use the criticism to change tracks from being a sports man to becoming a coach or sports administrator and still be actively involved in your passion.

Remember: Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself. Paul Bryant

Try this:

  1. Write down your average monthly budget for expenses. Ensure your write down that figure now. Read further only if you have written down that figure. Are sure it is a realistic estimate? Recalculate that figure if you have to but write down that figure now. Now divide the figure by 2. The resultant figure should now be your monthly budget for the next 3 months. Try living on that budget for the next 3 months and then answer the following questions
  • Did you think it was acceptable challenge when you began the task?
  • Was it easy to live on that budget?
  • What was most difficult to manage on that budget?
  • What was easiest to give up in order to live on that budget?
  • Did you get frustrated attempting the challenge?
  • How did you motivate yourself to meet the challenge? 
  1. Choose one activity that you have never tried before and try to do it within a week
  • Make a couple of origami items
  • Learn 5 different types of knots that can be tied
  • Rustle up a dessert that involves baking and decorating
  • Physically handle an animal other than a cat or dog

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to? Tony Robbins

As I write this post I am aware that today is special in more than one way…today will never come again and the 29th of  Feb won’t come again for at least another 4 years. So for me writing this post today is important for I won’t write another one on a 29th of Feb till possibly 2016. This simple realization propelled me to quickly shake of my lethargy, shun the numerous excuses that swirled around in my mind and plonk in front of the computer to begin writing my blog. Choosing the quote to write on was relatively easy since the awareness that today is so special was uppermost in the mind.

It is interesting to note that one has to have a commitment to tomorrow in order to ensure that today is spent fruitfully and meaningfully. For many of us visualizing that commitment is a near impossible task partly because we are blissfully ignorant of the opportunities that abound but largely because it involves a painful realization of reality. Here are 3 springboards to jump off from in order to draw up your commitment to tomorrow. You will have to go in the same order in order to be successful in identifying your commitments.

Dream big.  All of us have grandiose ideas, dreams, hopes, aspirations and secret desires. List them all out. Don’t let anything stop you from being imaginative,  lavish, ostentatious or extravagant in your imagination taking wings. Own the most luxurious yachts or the dream villa or the idyllic island in the pacific. Soar high in your mind, feel the exhilaration of your day dreams and luxuriate in the vividness of your imagination.

Be pragmatic. Having tasted the finest albeit imaginatively, at least you have set your standards pretty high. There is no plausible reason for you not to enjoy all your dreams but one cannot sidestep reality. So get down to rolling up your sleeves and chalking out the route map to reach each of your wildly imaginative destinations. Harsh reality may trip you into believing that you are on a hopelessly lost mission in life but by chalking out every step will reinforce your belief that while the passage is rocky there is still a pathway that leads somewhere.

Write down your goals. Once the pathway is inked out, put markers in the form of goals along the way that you have just discovered. This will ensure that you go surely and certainly in the direction of your dreams. You will be setting your own pace and progress is certain. If you pause to rest, to relax and chill you will still enjoy the journey but you may not necessarily reach the destination. The journey though would never be in vain.

Now that the commitment to tomorrow is made here are 3 steps to making the most of today.

Begin Now. If I didn’t believe in this you wouldn’t be reading this. You don’t need further proof. Do you?

Continue with faith. Each day brings new challenges, new obstacles and more tricky excuses to weigh you down. While it may not be possible to immediately overcome these impediments,  the commitment to tomorrow should motivate, inspire, empower and spur you on for as they say ‘faith can move mountains’. Bet you won’t have to wait too long for the next post.

Enjoy the progress. It is the joy in what one does that ensures a job well done. No matter what the task or whatever the circumstances, when one has a song on the lips and a prayer in the heart the progress will be enjoyable, fun and more importantly today would always be the best day before tomorrow.

Remember: The future starts today, not tomorrow.  Pope John Paul II

Try this:

  • For the next one week consciously avoid using the hand that you regularly use to write with. This means if you are a right handed person you will for the next week use only the left hand for all activities that you have to do. Now with this self imposed limitation also attempt the following
  1. Play a couple of games of caroms / table tennis / badminton with another friend
  2. Write one foolscap page everyday
  3. How tough was the initial attempt? Did you notice any progress? Was the progress made worth it? Did you learn anything new in the process?
  • Following the 3 spring boards and the 3 paths enumerated above write down your commitment to tomorrow and chalk out your path for today assuming
  1. You are the prime minister of the country
  2. You are the head of your current organization
  3. You are completely involved in your pet social service project

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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All the wonders you seek are within yourself. Sir Thomas Brown

A common problem that plagues many people is their inability to believe that they have potential far in excess of what they really use. Our inability to discover these hidden gems of personal potential and power within us arises from the fact that we are constantly seeking answers to our troubles around us and not delving within ourselves.  So our restlessness comes not from lack of resources but our failure to harness the resources we are blessed with. Today we shall attempt to identify a few of the possible gems that we posses but what we have not fully leveraged.

Self belief. An individual learns to appreciate the uniqueness and individuality of the person he or she is. This will automatically instill within one a sense of self worth, propel one to believe that he/ she can contribute to the world around in ample measure and kindle a burning desire to make best use of one’s talents, abilities and personality. Once a person begins to believe in himself/ herself, the stage is set for them to overcome their inhibitions, ignite their ambitions and impact the world and society around.

Imagination. While thinking is an integral part of the natural process of human evolution, being imaginative requires one to stretch the boundaries of rationality and logic. It involves risking ridicule, being criticized and being different from the crowd. Imagination requires freedom from convention, giving wings to soar beyond the horizons and seeing things completely different from what the world at large sees. Visit an exhibition of modern art to discover your own limitations in imagination.

 Motivation. Desire makes one hungry for achievement and plants the seeds of motivation within us. Yet motivation often tapers off if it is not nourished with the bait of some worthwhile goal, the applause from within one’s own heart and encouragement every step of the way.

 Patience. Giving up, getting frustrated and flying of the handle are symptomatic of the evils of a fast paced world. Cultivating the virtue of patience is in itself a huge task for this needs one to modify ones behaviour, alter one’s temperament and control one’s emotions.  Yet if one were to observe a child learning to walk, we would realize that we too have traversed that slow and frustrating way and persisted with patience.

Laughter. Nothing amplifies the human spirit in all its dazzling splendor as much as laughter. It is an upliftment of mind, body and spirit with no inhibition, absolute delight and pure ecstasy. Laugh and the world laughs with you; that is one time you can be sure you are never alone.

Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm begins with hope, continues with faith and sustains itself with cheerful, patient, imaginative self belief.  Unless a person is enthusiastic action will never be fully effective.  Enthusiasm nourishes the spirit, abets action and zooms in on success.

It is actually quite simple to discover these gems within you – for each of the first alphabets of the points above combine to make it SIMPLE.

Remember: Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. e. e. cummings

Action Points:

  1. Have a look at this  PPT   seven_wonders_we posses to appreciate wonders of this world as seen by a young kid.
  2. List out at least 2 points from the above which you are very confident are your natural strengths and outline another 3 more positive gems that you posses e.g. Being organized,  punctuality, quick decision maker etc.
  3. Try and write a couple of your acronyms eg. SMILE – See My Instant Life Energizer and/ or Attempt to write a  limerick (if you do not know what that is prove to yourself that you are motivated and enthusiastic to find out about it)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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