How to Succeed In Life (The Mindset of High Achievers)

We are biologically programmed for survival and evolution.

While each human being is unique, we all share the same nervous systems that functions in the same way.

Manfred Max’s fundamental human needs and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs provide insights as to why and what we do, and what we have in common.

Everyone wants to be healthy, to enjoy freedom from fear, pain, and danger, to be superior, to have comfortable living conditions and to be able to care for and protect their loved ones.

We also want to be informed, enjoy good food, sexual companionship, social approval, and cleanliness of our body and surroundings.

All that demands constantly striving for improvement.

You have to become a resilient and determined person, one who is willing to learn and improve on a daily basis.

Overnight Success Doesn’t Exist

The word “success” has different meanings to different people.

However, it is something that is teachable, predictable, reproducible and can be measured.

When you can repeat one process again and again, until you master it, you have the formula for success.

Today, you can find almost any information you’re looking for on the Internet.

For example, many people want to learn how to start a thriving and profitable side business, that will help them create sustainable and independent source of income.

But, despite all of the information that is out there, many are still not making it.

Why?

Because everything comes at a price.

There is a set of personal characteristics and qualities that successful people have in common.

There are no secrets to a successful life.

You can read about it, watch it, list excuses for why somebody else got it, yet so many people are still looking for answers that are super basic, but they just don’t want to hear the truth.

Dedication to doing the work is the only difference between those who are ordinary and those who are super achievers.

If you don’t put in the work, it’s either because you don’t really want it, you’re not passionate about it, you don’t really see it, you’ve lost your way, or something else is bothering you.

As simple as it sounds, if you want something for yourself, you have to claim it and be willing to spend your time, money and your energy until you make it.

It can be tough. People usually do not tell you that.

If you are willing to deal with these consequences, you are going to build the lifestyle of your dreams.

To master anything takes time.

You have to remain focused and consistent.

Freedom is the best thing in the world.

But freedom isn’t free.

If you want freedom, you need to do things you might not always feel like doing.

Successful people make decisions and stick to them, and unsuccessful people don’t.

That’s the “secret.”

Successful people persist.

To them, failure is an experience from which they learn.

Instead of succumbing to difficult situations, you can decide to take charge of your life.

David J. Schwartz discussed that in his book titled, The Magic of Thinking Big.

If your biggest excuse is that you don’t have enough time, it means that you don’t have priorities.

It’s an excuse, and nothing else.

We all have enough time.

The only difference is what is important to you, what you focus on.

99% of people do what’s comfortable early, but all that becomes uncomfortable later.

For them, it’s easy not to admit simple errors in judgment made over time, and that results in failure that lasts a lifetime.

For example, let’s assume that you want to be among the 1% of the most financially successful individuals.

If that’s the case, you will have to be prepared to do things that will make you better.

It’s a progressive realization of what you want to achieve.

They practice simple disciplines – consistent habits made over time.

That’s relatively easy to do, but many don’t. Why? Because it takes responsibility.

It takes discipline to achieve your higher goals.

It’s nice to have dreams, but it is better to have goals.

If you only dream, you don’t really want it.

When your vision transforms into a mission – a goal that you want to achieve – then you’re ready to actually do something about it.

If you want abundance in your life, you need to overcome your fears and learn how to create an independent source of passive income.

You can choose a story that disempowers you and robs you of your dreams, or you can choose a story that allows you to experience the life you want to pursue.

There is a myth that great entrepreneurs and visionaries were able to see something that no one else could.

In reality, they never had that grandiose idea.

They only provided more input than anybody else.

They spent long working hours seeing no results, except frustration, and feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

But they weren’t attached to the problem they were trying to solve; they were flexible enough to find the solutions to solve it.

Some of the most successful companies are copycats of an idea that already existed before.

Google (where did Netscape go?) and Facebook (anyone remember MySpace?) are great examples of this.

Ideas are only 1% of the process. 99% of anyone’s success in life is pure execution.

People will only be impressed by your performance.

What you can do best that others can’t, or what you can offer that others simply can’t match.

Don’t try to impress anyone with your image, or putting on a show, thinking that this will drive you to success.

You have to use what you have learned in a way that people will actually want and find valuable.

Through improving who you are, you will gravitate to where you want to be.

It is about educating yourself every day.

You Have to Start

You can’t make a breakthrough by only thinking, listening, watching or reading about things.

Mark Twain said it best: ”The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

There is no perfect moment. You will never be 100% ready, but that’s the point.

The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

The reality is that you can be effective in this world only by getting out there and taking the right action.

Change things with small actions.

Let those add up to the bigger changes that happens over time.

It doesn’t matter how small, or if you fail; you just have to do something.

If you want to start something, you need to figure out where the people who would be interested in what you have created are and share that with them.

Then you need to communicate it to them in a compelling enough way that they become interested in what you want them to do.

Whatever you want to create in life, you first need somebody’s attention, and then you need to tell them about it through written word, audio, or video.

This is how the world works and always has.

Before, it was known as newspaper, television and radio.

Now it’s called a blog, a vlog, or a podcast.

It’s the same thing; nothing has changed, except one thing.

People’s attention is moving to a new place and leaving the old one.

If you enjoy doing what you do, then that will be reflected in the form of personal satisfaction and financial gains from what you’ve produced.

It’s time for you to start a legitimate side business.

By doing that, you will develop ability and the understanding of how things work, so when the right business idea comes along, you already know what to do and how to do it.

People want a six-pack at the beach, but they just want to do a few sit ups before they go to the beach.

Things don’t work that way.

You have to take full responsibility for where you are in life.

That is the only way that you have complete and total control of what is going to happen in your future.

99% of people do what’s comfortable early, but all that becomes uncomfortable later.

Then there are those in the 1%.

They do what’s uncomfortable early, and it becomes comfortable later.

It’s a progressive realization of what they want to achieve.

Most people do not even cross the starting line.

The theory gets them all excited, but when they get to implementation, they experience a whole lot of uncertainty related to that theory.

They don’t know how to apply it.

As a result of that, perfectionism sets in, and then they procrastinate.

You don’t actually know something until you’re doing it.

You can know what to do and not do what you know.

The only way to really know something is if you’re living it every single day.

Without implementation, you simply don’t understand how to do something.

For example, you can read all the books on how to hypnotize someone.

But if you have never done it yourself, you simply don’t know how to do it.

You don’t have that emotional experience.

You might understand it, have that intellectual theory or concept of how it works, but that’s theoretical knowledge.

The only way to true knowledge is to apply and implement what you’ve read.

The reality is that people know what to do, but very few people make a decision to change.

Change Limiting Beliefs (Replace Bad Habits with Better Ones)

Everything starts in your mind, because your life is a reflection of your thinking and your thoughts.

It’s not the knowledge that holds people back in life – it’s their beliefs.

Your mind is the most important part of what makes you who you are.

You cannot control what goes on around you, but you have complete control over your thoughts, your emotions, and your beliefs.

So, it doesn’t matter what others are doing. It matters what you are doing.

When you change your thinking, you will change your life.

Before you go out and change the world around you, you must be willing to change the world within you.

Every successful person believes that they can change things.

The future can be better than the present, and you have the power to make it so.

If you think that you don’t have control and that there is nothing you can do, or that you have to rely on other people to change to get what you want, you will be stuck in your current life situation for the rest of your life.

That’s a poisoning mindset.

Guard your mind from such thoughts.

The mind is a magnificent system, but you need to learn how to operate with.

You can’t get the results you want by doing the same things that got you into the situation you’re in.

You have all the power within yourself to change your life circumstances and live a better life, as long as you are willing to change, but that decision has to come from you.

If you were taught that you can’t change your life, you were taught a lie.

A lie that you were not good enough, that your intelligence is fixed like your shoe size, that you cannot change your behavior patterns, that you should settle for less than what you’re capable of.

Your brain is the most powerful super-computer device in the universe.

It’s not fixed at your shoe size; it can grow. You can improve if you choose to.

Look at your life right now.

If you don’t like what you have produced, you have to rewrite the script.

You’ve got to be willing to change your ways.

Nobody else can do that for you.

If you want to keep on getting what you are getting, keep on doing what you are doing.

It’s not the events of your life that shape you, but what those events mean to you that shapes you.

The thing that you need to do if you’re serious about changing your life is to change your perception of the world.

When you replace your limiting beliefs with positive ones, your life will change, because you will see things in a more positive way.

If you are convinced that you are not smart enough, that is because someone else told you so, and you believed them.

But is it true? Of course not.

That is what you chose to believe to be true, despite the fact that you’re a smart person.

Your philosophy of life defines your inner beliefs.

They define your attitude – how you understand yourself, how you understand others, and how you see life in general.

All that is directly related to what actions you take.

Results are the products of your actions, which are supported by your beliefs.

And your actions define your lifestyle – your body, mindset, and health, the money you have, and your relationships with others.

This means that you have to change beliefs that are holding you back in life.

You need to become aware of those limiting beliefs that are keeping you away from living your best life.

There are many, and let us mention a few of them as a reference point, so you can be aware of them:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m not skilled enough
  • I’m a slow learner
  • I cannot do anything
  • I don’t belive that change is possible
  • I’m too old to make a change
  • I don’t have the right education
  • I don’t live in the right country

In psychology, this is known as negative self-talk, and it is not doing you any good.

Your beliefs, values, and morals are the basis for your representation of the world as you see it – your perception of it.

Let’s take money as an example.

It is neither good nor bad; it is more about what you do with it.

Instead of being bound to the scarcity mindset, change your belief about money.

In its essence, money is energy.

Even more spiritual people like Pema Chödrön sell courses on online learning platforms like Udemy.

Why?

Because she is aware that when you do something good for someone, and if they pay you with money, that is an exchange of energy.

You provide them value for their time that they’ve spent to create a course or a have written a book that, in the same way, provides value to you.

If you want to help others, you need resources – you need money.

Think of money like freedom, opportunity, possibility, and abundance.

Be a realist, not a moralist.

You have the right to have as much as you want, as long as you are willing to create a massive value for others.

You simply have to rewire your brain pathways.

It’s very important to have good habits, because the results of what you do on a daily basis will reveal itself in a few months, or years, from where you’re at in this moment.

First, there are thoughts. Then, words – what we tell ourselves and others.

That is followed by actions. And actions create habits.

And our habits create our character, and our character creates our ‘destiny.’

Start by replacing one bad habit with a good one.

The process of habit creating is very simple.

You see food, you eat food, you feel good.

Food is a trigger, eating represents behavior, and feeling good is a reward.

When you repeat that cycle, it becomes your habit.

To swap any negative habit with a positive one, you first need to become self-aware of what habit would you like to change.

Let’s say that you want to check your social media accounts less often.

First, you have to notice the trigger – for example, you want to check your Gmail account, which you already checked 5 minutes ago.

Instead of doing that, get curious and observe your feelings (behavior).

Then, feel the joy of letting go – this becomes a reward, because you will feel good for not going to check your email account.

When you repeat the cycle, it becomes a habit.

That’s a very simple, yet effective, strategy for how you can change your habits.

How to Stay Motivated

The one thing over which you have total control is your mind.

It doesn’t matter where you are in life, how much money you have, or how educated you are.

You only have to believe in what you do.

Being committed and dedicated to doing what you enjoy doing is perhaps the most important trait.

You need to have a strong enough reason why you are doing what you are doing.

One way to achieve that is to become self-aware of your thoughts and your actions.

Think of your breathing for a moment.

When you “think of your breathing,” you’ve suddenly became aware of your breathing process, but you were not aware of it before, correct?

It’s the easiest, and also one of the most powerful ways, to access your subconscious.

For example, when you get emotionally stressed, you need to control your breathing.

When you’re able to do that, you’re able to have control over your emotions.

The reason why breathing is so powerful is because it is a vital function upon which most other physiological functions depend on.

Any change in your breathing pattern will also change your inner state.

Each day when you wake up, imagine how your life would have changed if you had achieved your goal.

Keep that vision in mind.

No matter what happens during the day, think of that vision of yours. Even if all the odds are against you, think of that vision no matter what.

You can improve your focus with the following exercises.

When your vision transforms into a mission – a goal that you want to achieve – then you’re ready to actually do something about it.

Don’t think how impossible or possible it is, just think of that vision.

Prioritize Your Goals

Most people follow someone else’s plan that society imposed on them.

For example, what’s your employer’s plan for you? To provide value and money for their company.

What’s Netflix’s or HBO’s plan for you?

To spend your time and resources watching their TV shows and buying from their advertisers.

That is not good or bad. It is just the default “of some other person’s plan,” and if you are not consciously aware of what you want for yourself…you’re living someone else’s plan.

The natural state of most people is egocentric.

Psychologists call this “the theory of the mind.”

That means when we are young and lack life experience, we have a hard time understanding the realities of daily life.

Like, kids under five who think they are the center of the Universe.

Many grow up like this and stay egocentric instead of being observant.

If all you do is complain, what do you think the end result will be?

There are obvious Natural Laws of life.

That means, if you want to be among the 1% of the population, stop complaining and blaming others.

Go out and figure out what 1% of people do differently than you.

Then, all you have to do is follow their action steps.

People usually fail if they set unrealistic goals.

Expecting to lose 15 lbs of weight in 2 weeks, when they’ve never done that before, is that kind of thinking.

Instead, divide your main goal into smaller ones that seem doable to you.

Small steps are the key.

You must have a clearly set goal which is constantly evolving.

Your goals keep you oriented and prevent you from getting stuck.

This gives you a game plan, so you have a clear idea in mind of exactly what you want to achieve and how to plan to achieve it.

A lot of people fail to accomplish their goals because they don’t track their progress.

They have all the skill they need, but because they lose sight of what they want to achieve, they give up.

Tracking and measuring your goals will help you remain on track.

That will enable you to do important things you need to to to move forward and achieve your goals.

When you don’t know how far you’ve come, you will more likely start to shift your mind on your failures.

Even if you managed to accomplish one of your major goals, you will soon forget about it.

Goal setting will allow you to break big tasks into small steps.

That’s how you won’t get overwhelmed when you face big tasks.

By doing that, you will also know which activities give the best results.

After a while, you will start seeing a pattern that will show you what works best for you.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned.

Remain calm and keep your cool in any given situation.

Continuously look for opportunities to improve and to turn ideas into solutions.

Every situation or event can be a learning opportunity for you to develop and remain focused toward your goals.

Improve Your Social and Networking Skills

It is impossible to succeed without others, and you cannot do everything on your own.

You have to develop strong communication skills.

They will enable you to effectively share your ideas and help you develop connections that will get you to the place you want to go.

Understanding the minds of people is a skill that lasts for your entire life.

In today’s free-market economy, anyone can make as much money as can be imagined.

It doesn’t matter to whom you were born, where you were born, what colour your skin is, if you’re a man or a woman, if you’re tall or short, educated or uneducated, or how high your IQ is.

It’s all about how good you are at solving other people’s problems.

It’s about sharing information and helping others.

You grow larger and achieve more when you share.

When Benjamin Franklin was asked why he didn’t copyright or trademark the lightning rod, he said, “Some things are just meant to be shared.”

There are no self-made men and women.

We are able do what we do as the result of all the effort, all the sacrifices and contributions, of all the people who came before us.

As you enjoy your life in every single regard, like driving down the road, keep in mind someone built them, like someone built your car.

Like now, when you’re reading these words, think of all those who made this technology possible, like Tim Berners Lee.

People dedicated their life force to making it possible for us to enjoy it.

We are drinking the water from the well that many people made for us.

Practice the art of interconnectedness and take the time to appreciate all that you have.

And, anytime you’re faced with privilege and raise questions like, “Should I feel bad about this?” it’s pointless.

Many of us have privileges that many other people don’t.

Be grateful for this and, in return, give something back.

When you see an opportunity to live out your dream, you also have a responsibility to share that with the world.

The world doesn’t need your guilt or depression; it needs your action.

Use Your Time More Effectively

It isn’t money or your own intellectual capital that is the most important asset you have.

It’s your time.

You have to be well-organized to be successful.

It’s an ability to get things done within a set amount of time and, at the same time, produce or accomplish something that will get you closer to your main goal.

You are your own manager, so you should establish a regular work schedule that includes lunch breaks, time to stretch and everything in between.

People waste so much of their free time aimlessly searching on Google and YouTube, watching TV shows and movies on Netflix and HBO, updating their Facebook status, or getting lost in Instagram feeds or on Snapchat and Twitter.

Maybe you’re that person.

Nothing against it, but you simply have to choose what you want out of life.

Unless that is your job, or you’re paid for doing that, stop it.

You just need to have priorities set in advance, because in our hyper-connected world, there are more people wanting to get more from you than ever before.

Your possibilities to create a better life for yourself will decrease if you’re watching video after video on YouTube, going through Facebook and Instagram feeds, or checking Twitter numerous times throughout the day.

That’s a good enough reason why you won’t find any links to social media and why commenting isn’t an option on this site.

All that is just a distraction, and distraction is the enemy of successful life.

If you consume too much content, watching your favourite TV series, or aimlessly browsing around Internet that takes away minutes of your precious time.

Respect your time and use it wisely.

It’s the biggest asset you have.

You can lose all the money in the world and get it back, but you can never get your time back.

Create a to-do list at the end of each day, set tasks that you need to do, and so on.

What is the most important thing that, if done today, this week, this month, will make the biggest difference in your life?

Then, write down how much time you are spending doing this. In most of our cases, it is very little.

We all have a long list of what we have to do.

We want to get rid of things we think we need to do. Instead, focus on doing what you have to do.

Identify things that you’re spending too much time on.

You have to create a new habit of doing things, whether you feel like it or not.

Condition yourself to do things when you don’t feel like it.

That way, you will gain at least two hours a day that you can use to create a better future for yourself.

Even when you don’t want to, go to the gym, work on your business.

Maybe you just want to relax and watch TV, hang on Netflix or watch entertaining YouTube videos.

You’ve got to push yourself to act in spite of discomfort and inconvenience.

You’ve got to develop that muscle.

That way, you will have more discipline and better results in your life.

You have to spend every spare minute you have on improving your health, your finances, and your relationships with yourself and with others, if you want to live a better life.

Be Ready to Fail Fast and More Often

Talk to successful entrepreneurs and most will tell you that success didn’t come to them on their first try.

As Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, said, “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”

Persistence, patience, discipline, determination, focus and effective time management are keys to getting what you want.

Anyone can do it, but many give up too early.

When we don’t see results, we expect we might lose belief in what we are doing and give up.

You just need to find ways to be optimistic and remain with your feet on the ground.

There is one thing that determines whether you’re going to be successful, and that is how long are you willing to persist. 1% of people never quit; they don’t give up.

They are the ones who succeed and achieve their goals, while others give up:

  • 44% give up after the 1st attempt
  • 22% give up after the 2nd attempt
  • 14% more give up after the 3rd unsuccessful attempt
  • 12% more give up after the 4th “no”
  •  7% more give up after the 5th “no”

If you want to be among those in the 1%, you have to be willing to push yourself past failure and rejection over and over again.

Richard St. John’s 7th Rule of Success says that you have to “Persist through C.R.A.P. – criticism, rejection, assholes, and pressure.”

You actually have to develop the desire to fail often and learn from those experiences.

Failing bigger and faster is better, because you will learn more from it than most people learn in their lifetime.

Many people give up because they want instant gratification.

Impatience is their downfall.

Learn from failures and keep going. Have realistic expectations.

Small steps will lead you toward your goal.

Everything takes time.

Patience is a skill you have to accept in your life.

Look at nature.

An oak tree doesn’t just reach its highest peak in one year. And when it does, it still keeps growing – evolving.

Keep doing it until you succeed.

Successful people don’t accept any excuse whatsoever, and neither should you.

Anything comes with a price. As  Jocko Willink would say, “Discipline equals freedom.”

Be Smart with Your Money

In order to achieve financial freedom, you have to be willing to delay important buying decisions for at least a week or a month.

Develop a habit of not being an impulsive buyer – that’s a person who sees something that they like and buy it with very little thought.

Never spend more than you earn. Save 5 – 10% of your monthly earnings.

This is your fund for long-term financial accumulation.

You don’t use it for anything else.

By doing this, you will be able to stand up to the pressures, ride the waves of uncertainty, and remain calm and positive during hard times.

Invest in Yourself

Running a business is 20% technical and 80% mental.

You need to get in the right place mentally and then do the work that is required.

To actually achieve something, it takes a lot of work.

It literally does.

If you want to make, let’s say 120,000 dollars a year, which will already put you in the disproportionate top 1% of income getters in the world, and on your terms…it takes a lot of smart work.

Maybe you’ve met people who are successful at 27, but maybe they’ve been hustling since they were 13 in a different way, and that gave them 14 years of experience to be a winner in that game.

You can be the most skilled person of your trade, but if you don’t know how to advertise and market your business – whether a product or service – people will not know about you, and they won’t buy from you.

We live in a time when we have access to more information than ever before in our known history.

You can go on Google, YouTube,Medium, Quora, blogs, forums, sites, etc., that are focused on the topic you’re interested and learn more about.

If you have a curious mind, simply go to Amazon, search for the right book on the topic of your interest, buy it, read it, apply it.

It’s really that simple.

The sea of information is only one click away, and we have access to it almost instantly.

However, there are many people who are gathering huge amounts of information and not doing anything.

It becomes a habit of consuming – overloading your brain with information and making it hard for you to take action and implement what you’re learning.

That’s the real reason for procrastination.

Knowledge by itself is worthless if you don’t put it into practice.

You can have all the information on how to become physically fit, but if you don’t do the work, and start with one push-up a day so you can one day do 100 push-ups or more, all that knowledge won’t help you.

You don’t go to the bank and ask for one million dollars, because that’s how much your knowledge is worth.

You cannot give your kids knowledge when they need to eat.

You cannot love someone with knowledge you have.

You have to show what you can do with what you know.

Once you begin to activate your life, you will experience a radical shift – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Applying your knowledge in real life is the difference between those who have what it takes, and those who don’t.

Start Reading

“The book you don’t read won’t help.”
– Jim Rohn

Between YouTube videos and Google searches, you can basically find any information you’re looking for.

The more you know, the more you are be able to change the world around you.

When you read books, you actually expand your wisdom and knowledge.

You can get a world-class education simply by reading.

Anyone can learn anything at any time – from their computer or from an e-reader device.

Some of the most successful people spent most of their lives learning some invaluable lessons, and the best form that anyone can ever put them in is the book.

If you read 15 non-fiction books in a year, it is the equivalent of getting a PhD in your field of interest every single year.

Another great way to learn is listening to podcasts or audiobooks, so you can make the most out of your time while you do other things.

By doing that, you can complement your own good sense with the wisdom of others.

For the most part, this is a great thing.

Equiped with the right information you can progress faster and achieve more in the shortest time possible.

New knowledge opens up new doors.

At the same time, we live in a fast-paced world and each year, an extraordinary amount of new information comes to light, and you can easily get caught in information overload.

That can be just as bad, because a lot of you probably get frustrated trying to weed out all the extra data from the information that works.

You can use Blinkist – an app that allows you to read summaries of best non-fiction books in 15-minutes or less.

However, reading is not enough.

You have to act upon the information that you receive and apply it to your life.

Final Thoughts

Society has tried to convince you that the ultimate goal in life is comfort.

The problem with this philosophy is that nothing great ever came from it.

In fact, comfort kills great work and dreams.

People who chase comfort are not willing to compromise and do what they know is right. Instead, they play it small in life.

Creating something meaningful was and never will be easy.

You cannot build a great business without doing the work that’s required.

You might be thinking, “When does this end? When can I sit back and relax and enjoy all the comforts and ease life has to offer?”

The honest answer is, when you’re dead. You’re either growing or dying.

Be willing to listen and learn from others.

Constantly look for new ideas and solutions.

Maybe you don’t want to hear the truth, but life is a continual set of challenges for which you are tasked to find the solutions.

If you want to build a great body, strenuous exercise is required.

Doing hard things first is a necessary part of growth and development.

Most people just give up too quickly.

Facing your challenges will build your character and equip you for the challenges you will face later in life.

Challenges breed strong men, and strong men shape the world.

When you want something, it is on you to place the right stepping stones ahead and to make small movements forward to make it happen.

Life despises weakness and rewards resilience.

You can either continue living like you will live forever, or you can act in spite of fear, inconvenience and in spite of comfort.

There is no security in life, only opportunity.

No matter what challenges you face, you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and keep going.

You won’t see results overnight, but if you’re persistent, you can make it.

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