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Three minutes too late

To lead is to inspire
To help create new leaders
To truly lead is to truly love 💕 unselfishly
I had a family gym that was predominantly male (70%) for about 7 years. I encouraged the men to speak freely and communicate all their feelings and we shared stories and helped one another through tough emotionally difficult phases of life. What a wonderful group of ‘post-feminite new age males’. The key to making and keeping any relationship is effective communication. This is easier said than done. It requires work … a lot of work.

That awkward moment after you say ‘hello’

Its all about connections.

Life is.

So is the operations of your brain, in what is called the connectome.

In my years as owner and manager of my family gym for seven years, many things contributed to having a ‘family’ culture within it. A big factor came down to not just the connections but the quality of connections. Between the members and most importantly me and the members and the various sub-groups within the membership.

It was akin to being the Prime Minister and leader of a party, with many factions within that party and also the existence of an powerful opposition leader and his party. An interesting, fulfilling and wonderful learning experience.

Whenever a new person walks in to the gym, I train my staff to greet them politely and to simply say “how can I help you?” What I find is the important moments following that initial interaction is that awkward moment after you say ‘hello’.

Communication in life is like a neuron connectome.
A neuron example and its network of dentrites
One of the 100 billions neurons in your brain that make you …
who you are.
Your are your connectome

Three minutes too late

We’ve all been there.

With the potential friend or the new boss. Your brother’s new girlfriend or just an attractive stranger at a party. I guess from my perspective there are two scenarios with social situations –

  • Make a good first impression
  • Just want to be liked

Three minutes too late or so following that awkward interaction that we reflect on and feel and think of what we should have said, instead of what we had said.

Would you take a magic pill if it would get your through that awkward phase after saying hello? Would you take it?

Find your light.
Conversations can take many turns. Key is to stay focused on a few lines of thought at a time.
Multi-tasking is a myth.

Drifting off

Have you drifted off after meeting someone for the first time?

What do you do? I think we all have found ourselves in situations, supposedly in deep conversation but we’re no longer listening to the other person and generally start talking to ourselves.

We basically, start drifting off.

 

Thinking thoughts like –

“What on earth was he thinking combing his hair into that hairstyle?”

“Am I making a positive first impression?”

“what am I going to take for lunch tomorrow?”

“geez, what’s that song’s name you hear on the radio this morning?”

“who the person you came with is talking to”

 

Staying focused on the person(s) you’re having a conversation with is key to connecting. Best.
And stay tuned alert to changes in topics but keep your destination clear in your mind.

The power of Focus

In my experience with owning and managing a gym for seven years and managing the relationships I had with the members in that time, there were many variables but I believe the key was focus.

The power of focus, in particular.

I interacted with members and listened to and talked to members from 5:30am when the gym opened all day until the gym closed at 9:00pm. When I was there, I was there. I was present. In every interaction I had with each and every member, I gave them my full attention (even when I was talking to multiple people).

The most important key to building rapport and trust in any relationship with someone … with anyone is focus.

That is the Power of focus.

This really helps in “connecting” with people – giving them the respect they wish for and giving them our full attention, however difficult that may be.

 

Focus on one thing at a time if you want to maximise results and chances of getting the result you want.
Connecting with people also depends on your ability to focus.
Giving them trust and respect.

The power of focus allows you to achieve results that you strongly desire. My power of focus allowed me to reach and place in the Top 5 of the World in Natural Bodybuilding in two consecutive years. Here’s a little formula for you: –

** Focus (mind-set/attitude) + Effort (hard yaka/work) + heart (feel) + visualisation (imagination) + sumulation (deliberate practice) =====> put in to a quality plan + quality implementation ====>> Results/Success **

Here are 4.5 key things I use when I want to focus on the person I am with –

1). Don’t judge

I just don’t have a habit of judging people. Period. I leave that to God, that is not one of my roles. However, I don’t mind a good debate and agreeing to disagree after hearing what the other person has to say first.

Putting aside any preconceptions and biases in thinking and having an “open mind-set/growth mind-set”, I allow the person I’m with to experience total focus.

Multi-tasking is stressful.
THe brain CANNOT multitask, it can only TASK-SWITCH.
Be kind on yourself and FOCUS on one thing at a time and …
do it once and do it well.

2)Find the excitement in someone even when they appear to be ‘boring’

Yes, this can be very difficult. Very difficult indeed. Especially, when you find yourself thinking about what you’re going to be having for your next meal or the episodes you still have left to watch on Netflix Game of Thrones.

All you can do is – try. Just try.

Give them your full attention and listen, really ‘listen’. What I mean is listen not only with your ears but your body (facing the person), your hand gestures not crossed, your head and eyes looking in to the person. And your heart, your heart should be listening too.

Then, find out something about the person that you find exciting and ask them, and hope that they would love to talk about that thing too.

Try. For God’s sake, just try.

Feel and practice feeling good positive, winning thoughts
Find something interesting in the person you’re talking with

3) Be part of the action and conversation

Especially in a group situation – ask questions about what happened and who was involved and what fears were felt and so forth.

Don’t stay silent, even if you have to nod your head, say a few ‘ahums’ and basically put forward a body-language that is agreeable.

It pays off in the long run.

Don’t stress out in social functions.
They are just human beings and make mistakes just like you
You should only be stressed if you had to connect with lions in a cage or gorrillas.
Relax. Your performance and ability to communicate effectively depends on this.

4.5)Mirror, mirror

Try to mirror or match the other person you’re talking with.

What is it, well, in effect, matching or mirroring is doing the same as the other person. This could be the same body language – she raises her glass and so does everyone else or same nod of the head.

Mirroring doesn’t only include body language, we also make similar sounds – sort speak in harmony with the other person, like “aha … aha, yeah” when we hear them say it.

So, in this world that has multiple communication platforms and social media that allows for increased connections, … is increasingly built on connections, it is not the number of connections that matter or continuously creating more connections in your network. No, I believe it is the quality of connections that matter most.

It is about getting back to the basics and doing the basics properly. Reminds me of building and keeping quality lean muscle mass and training with the basics in the gym. Nothing fancy and not trying to include every new ‘fad’ exercise in your repertoire’.

Whether consciously or not, and it is usually “not”, when we are connecting with someone or keen to get on with them, we adopt similar postures and movements. And when this happens the other person is more likely to assume that our thoughts and emotions are similar so they tend to feel warmer towards us, almost regardless of what we are actually saying.

I experienced this every single day in the gym for the seven years that I owned and managed my own. It didn’t matter who it was, how old the person was, level of education or what level of society they came from, matching and mirroring body language helped me ‘connect’ with them better.

Don’t force it, just ‘go with the flow’ so-to-speak. And relax, don’t over do things.

You’ll be just fine.

Practise thinking winning thoughts.

Practice does not make perfect

No, Perfect practice makes perfect, was what one of my early coaches would tell me.

In other words, there is always an optimal way or right way of doing something very well. Understand what it is, learn it and then deliberately practice it – that way – ALL the time.

Not some of the time.

So, practice some of these key communication points in the mirror. Do it every day. Simulate some of the conversations you may have with people in social situations. Imagination is key … if you can ‘see’/imagine yourself doing something and acting in a certain way and you have practiced the right form/technique/way, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will make a great first impression and make a lot of connections.

Simply because people will be drawn to you and your mannerism.

First impressions, matter. Remember: You never get another chance to make a first impression.

All the very best,

 

Cheers & Ahoy!

The Old Captain Viking Pirate … & why first impression is important in making you connect better.

Me my extended family members; a group of members of my family gym.
They all loved training and being part of the extended family that was my gym
Relationship take time to develop .. just like an Oak Tree needs time to grow

Connections with humans of all ages is important for one’s own personal development.
Try it.

The old Captain Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️ ⚔️Enjoying a beer 🍺 in a hot 🥵 spring day here in Sydney Australia 🇦🇺

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Exercise builds your brain power

The Brain 🧠.
The mind.
I AM.
Use this most complex tool ever created to become a better medium of communication to …. the universe, to infinite intelligence … to consciousness.
Listen to and change your body to listen to and change your brain towards balance & symmetry. A key to happiness.

To learn is to Grow

Given the fact that the body and the brain are intricately connected, why not take good care of both, I say.

I have seen amazing changes in a person’s mental health over the almost thirty years in and around gyms that I have helped people, help themselves, infuse themselves with Vitality – the ‘essence of life .

The positive changes that they have been made to their bodies, within a strategy tailor-designed for each individual, adopting my unique framework to body/mind re-engineering. As the muscles grow and the bodyfat disappears and the body shape changes towards more balance and symmetry, you see a definite change in mind-set.

A big part of the transformation process is increasing the awareness – internally and externally of the willing participant. He or she is being operated on, on the body which in effect, operates on the brain and mind, continuously ‘listening to the body’ and learning more and more about the body.

Know you.

To learn is to grow.

We do this by using the tools in my lab (the gym) – such as resistance training/weights; cardio machines and nutrition changes have caused positive, noticeable changes in their mind-set and mental health.

So, get educated (either on your own or find a suitably qualified and experienced exercise specialist/trainer) and go have your workouts… and build muscle. Your quality of life depends on this.

Champions practise a lot of visualisation and simulation.
To create magic, you need to fuse the worlds of sanity (where you are) with insanity (where you dream/imagine you are, before you are).
That is difficult.
That is one of the key keys.
Don’t stop. Trying. Believing.
Keep on … keeping on. You’ll get there. Everyone always does.
Especially, if you do it with your heart. and ….
with LOVE.

Multiple feedback loops

So, exercise and train with weights and manipulate your nutrition and continuously ‘listen’ and take notice of the multiple feedback loops your body is communicating back to you. Then, assess and respond with sufficient and appropriate actions in a timely basis. Most importantly, you have to adapt as your body (and mind) adapts and changes.

Become the best Change Agent you can be.

Learning to “listen to my body” and use the “instinctive approach “ to SMARTER training allowed me to get down to 4.2% body fat and retain maximum muscle mass – NATURALLY. Ok, I did use black coffee ☕️ (not a band ‘ illegal substance).

i became a master at reading my body’s multiple feedback loops. Essentially, understanding “me” better.

So, that should be one of your goals too – understand YOU better.

What science now knows is that the brain is flexible or plastic – more like play-doh than plasticine. Remember this: it is an adaptable organ that can be molded by input in much the same way as muscle can be sculpted by lifting barbells and dumbells.

Basically, the more you use it, the stronger and more flexible it becomes.

True?
Neuroscience is still at the level of where medicine was in the 1700s
A long way to fully understand who we are….
Who “I AM.

It’s all about communication

Everything you do and think and feel is governed by how your brain cells, your neurons, connect to one another.

You see, your brain is constantly being re-wired and it’s all about communication and how effective and efficient the communication channels are and the key messengers in all this communication are neurotransmitters that transport chemically and electrically, hormones that controls everything you do.

Exercise is the best drug you can give yourself – your body, mind and spirit. A good workout or a good run fuels your body like a drug like Prozac or Ritalin can boost you and your moods.

This is because exercise, like drugs, lifts these neurotransmitters.

Responsible for transmission of critical electrical, chemical & hormonal messages -internal communication

Balance is Key – a balanced brain is a healthy brain and a healthy brain is a happy brain

Exercise, in particular, weight-training, BALANCES these neurotransmitters that can easily lose balance and tilt your moods one way or the other. Balance is key – Neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norephinepherine, which if unbalanced over time under unbalanced conditions, causes all kinds of problems.

All kinds of physical problems but also contribute to different levels of anxiety, depression and is even linked to dementia and parkinsons.

Life Tip 101(c) : Keeping your brain in balance can literally change your life, because amongst other things, a balanced brain is a healthy brain and a healthy brain is a happy brain.

Lift weights and exercise to help you, help yourself, create more balance and symmetry in your physique and what you see in the mirror looking back at you. And you need to strive for balance and symmetry in your workouts when you’re in the gym. Your body is the physical manifestation of the extent of balance happening within –

Balancing your neurotransmitters puts you more in control of your body, mind and spirt and move you more towards happiness

… to ultimately,

balance YOU!

… and balance

Your life.

Collage of some bodybuilding poses

Remember: More balance => (leads to) more happiness.

More balance and symmetry in body-shape and physique also brings your more closer to our search for beauty, for truth. We all love to appreciate beauty but not everyone can CREATE beauty. I have found that this is a beautiful way to create your BEAUTY, through balance and symmetry – WITHIN, using weights and feedback from the mirror.

Ultimately, I believe (as I have witnessed in all I have helped in over thirty years of transforming peoples’ bodies), Balance and symmetry (beauty) INTERNALLY leads to balance and symmetry EXTERNALLY – a more balanced life.

This also allows you to discover your truth.

A more happy life, because of a more balanced and more happier brain.

All the very best in your daily choices.

Your destiny hinges on the little things your do every day (there is power in habit) and all these actions depend on the desire (heart) to do so.

Choose well,

Cheers & ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate … & training your body/heart  … to train and balance your mind.

Your body is the physical manifestation of your mind.
Your brain is the ‘google map’ of your body.
Your brain and body is intricately connected – via electrical and chemical signals called neurotransmitters, striving to create balance WITHIN.
As we don’t have the capability of operating on our brain physically at the moment, the next best way to do so is (indirectly), by operating on your body.
You do this by changing your inputs and providing training, nutrition and rest stimulus.
And strive for ‘balance & symmetry’ in physique, which creates balance & symmetry in the brain.
Balanced and symmetrical brain = happy brain = happy life.
Your beauty.

Achieving a well-balanced physique should be understood for what it is: a masterful fusion of art and science.
One should improve once’s “BODY Smart”knowledge. this takes time and deliberate practise.
Top 5 in the world, two years in a row at a sport I love ain’t too shaby for an city boy from the beautiful paradise islands of Fiji
If YOU think you can and you BELIEVE YOU CAN … YOU CAN.

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The Golden Moment

I. AM.
GOD?

Where the land meets the sea

Letʼs imagine.

Letʼs imagine that youʼre walking and you got to the end of your walk because you got to the end of your land – and youʼre at a cliff … a place where the land meets the sea. Letʼs say youʼre looking down and you think … what if?

What are you thinking at that point? Should you stay on land or should you swim? Question is – do you love being wet or dry or do you like both (like me)? The other question is one of love or hate. Do you love your life or do you hate it?

Do you know what love is? Do you love, love?

Well, if you really understand what love is then you’re way ahead of the pack. Love is too large, too deep to be truly understood or measured or limited within a framework of words.

In a very real sense, to examine love is a futile attempt to examine the unexaminable; to know the unknowable. But that is ok, we will try anyway.

The Bible gives a pretty good definition of what love isn’t and the great thinker and poet – Kahlil Gibran wrote about it. Many have attempted to but no one has, to my knowledge arrived at a truly satisfactory definition of love.

Here’s one definition of love, that I love –

“the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.”              – M Scott Peck

Is there a thing called ‘the Golden Moment?

If there isnʼt, well, there should be. We have a “Golden Ratio” popularized by a mathematician called Fibonac .. something.

But, what if there was a Golden Moment, what would your “G”-moment look like? What would you do if your G-moment was at that cliff? Choose, Land or sea?

Would you conclude that choosing sea means that you hate your life? Or, would choosing the sea indicate that you love your life? How would you define ‘life?ʼ Have you ever been at this “crossroad?” Have you ever had to decide whether you loved land or sea at the point where the land meets the sea?

My Golden Moment is where the land and sea meets the sky. Do you know where that is? That is my G-moment and it is beautiful. It is my point, my peace.

What is ‘life’ anyway? Have you thought about that? Is it reality or is it a simulation, life is just all in your mind … your imagination? Maybe, our physical world is actually a virtual world – our virtual world is our realiy. If it were, do we have any way of knowing to prove beyond all doubt? Maybe, we’re just all little pcs/tablets ‘connected’ to a mainframe or gigantic computer. Maybe, when you reach that Golden point where the land meets the sea … and you wonder ‘what if?” … maybe, you’re just an actor in a huge movie production and it is all UN-REAL. Just a magnificent simulation or parallel universe.

When you step off …. And choose the sea … you leave this simulate/make-believe world and enter the REAL world. A world which is infinite and that which has no pain and suffering?

This may be an absurd idea … but logical thinking cannot exclude it.

Stopping to reflect, is a vital key to adjust your attitude if you need to.

Other peoplesʼ pain

What if you got to this point because maybe, just maybe, you have a great sense of empathy for pain, for other peoplesʼ pain, in particular.

What if you can literally ‘feelʼ othersʼ pain? You can see their pain, even pain they donʼt realize they are putting themselves  through?

Is that a definition of wisdom? To not just be able to ‘seeʼ things but … to see through things? Is it possible that you get to this ‘point … this dot”, and you look around you, around at the world, hoping to see acts of kindness, care and love but you don’t.

All you see and feel is suffering because you can literally feel immense pain and suffering people are experiencing that is all around us and happening every single moment of the day?

Is it possible that you are just very highly empathetic and caring, that you are a person who continuously feels and has very high trust, care and compassionate levels? Superhuman even.

That extraordinary ability you have of feeling other peoplesʼ pain brings you to the edge, brings you to the brink … that it is just too much … the suffering has to stop and you are powerless to stop it. So, you keep walking until you reach the point where the land meets the sea? Is that when you stop walking?

What do you do then? This is the point at which the term you ‘die for what you believe inʼ springs from, I think.

If it isnʼt, they should change that story.

Essentially, that is what separates us humans from other mammals, say, dogs for example. That we can ‘feel’ feelings and emotions. We can feel hungry or pain and put ourselves in another’s shoes and empathise but a dog may be hungry but it cannot have the feeling of hunger.

The thing is we have access to parts of the brain but we do not … have direct access to your feelings … to feeling and no matter how hard we try to empathise with others, no person has direct experience of anyone else’s feelings.

Sad, but true … but that doesn’t mean we stop trying, is it?

Your life is a continous journey of setting, failing and succeeding in goals … until you …
kick the bucket!
Keep moving forward, I say!

Your story needs to be told

You have a story – your story, so far.

Everyone we know and donʼt know has their stories too. Dead and alive. The former donʼt have any more chapters to write in their story in this dimension at least but the latter have every chance to write the best chapters of their lives yet to live.

Read that last line again.

Let me tell you something, your story needs to be told .

By you. No one else but you.

Pick up your courage and … tell it. Youʼll be surprised at the amount of people who want to listen to your story….

So far.

Summon courage like a super hero like Superman has

Bare your own cross

I loved the sermon our Head Catholic Priest of the parish that my family have been going to for the last twenty years shared today. It was about carrying or being prepared to bare or carry your own cross.

That in life, every single person is asked (not at their choosing) to carry certain burdens. Their unique burdens. He said that we should all be prepared to bare our own crosses – our own burdens, just as Jesus did prior to being nailed to the cross that he literally bared.

It is important to note that if you are able to, reach out and …. Touch someone. Reach out and provide some help to othersʼ who may be carrying a much more heavier cross than you are handling at a certain point in your lives.

One can truly understand the suffering of a person or the burdens another person carries until he has ‘walked a thousand miles in the shoes of that personʼ

The Father asked us – the congregation to pray that more care and empathy be demonstrated to those who need it most. By sharing the weight of someoneʼs cross, you give the possibility of liberating that person.

You may just be the wind needed beneathe their wings.

Just remember though, you need to know you and know your limits. You may just find yourself being overwhelmed by carrying too much of another person’s cross. Don’t let this get out of hand because then, it may just be untenable.

You both suffer.

You may then find yourself at that Golden Moment again.

Bare your cross.
Then …
Help someone else carry their’s … only if you can manage both

The connections that matter

In life, connections matter – in the family, between families, between friends and families, between communities and between nations.

Connections matter, the right connections, in particular. For many reasons, one of which is survival.

There is one other connection that is paramount in all this and that is the brain-body connection and even further, the connection between the pre-frontal cortex and the rest of the circuits/parts of the brain. It differs in every single person.

Fundamentally, you are your connectome (all the 100 billion neurons and 100trillion connections, that is uniquely – YOU).

But within these connections and circuits may lay answers to some of the questions that have been baffling science since the dawn of time, like –

How is the mind connected to the brain and how is the mind connected to the universe? We now know for a fact that it is. But how?

For those who feel more than others, who feel more hurt than others, there would obviously be an avalanche of hormones flooding through them because there may be an imbalance of or rather an impairment between the prefrontal cortex and their reward systems.

How?

A neuron example and its network of dentrites
One of the 100 billions neurons in your brain that make you …
who you are.
Your are your connectome

Well, neuroscience shows and tells us that if these connections within the brain is impaired, then the reward systems prevents the prefrontal cortex from using its decision-making powers to put the brakes on risky behavior.

Risky behaviour like making a choice at that Golden Moment.

I will explore in more detail the importance of taking care of the connections within the greatest computer that man has known to date – the brain.

 

Your body goes where your mind goes.

But what can you do right now to help you?

Simple – get your body in shape, your mind will follow. Get in to the gym and work your muscles, that is the hard and the easy part of it. Your mind is the GPS system of your body. Iʼve always told the people that your body goes where your mind goes.

Full-stop.

From my almost thirty years of helping people, help themselves achieve a stronger, healthier version of themselves and observing thousands of gym goers … and getting confirmation from the scientific community, amongst many other things that (an impossibly obvious conclusion) –

The Body and brain are connected.

True?
Neuroscience is still at the level of where medicine was in the 1700s
A long way to fully understand who we are….
Who “I AM.”

My tip to you: Given the fact that the body and brain are intricately connected, my question to you is –

Why not take care of both?

As best as you can.

It just makes sense and may just be the most important decision that youʼll ever make in your life. Your quality of life, literally depends on it. You have the power to do something about it, and make a positive change in your life – a change that empowers you.

To live the life youʼve always wanted and imagined you’d like to live, starting first, with your mind … or your brain to specific. This is not wishful/delusional thinking, this is positive thinking as wishful thinking can be dangerous if it’s not based on reality.

Remember, science is telling us now that you are more than your genes. You are your connectome. You must make the changes in the connectome required to make the behavioural changes you hope for and find a way to bring about these changes. After 30 years of helping people, help themselves … achieve  

All the best in your choices.

Remember, keep in mind what my grandfather used to tell me in my youth –

be careful of thoughts, it determines, you actions; be careful of your actions, it determines your habits; be careful of your habits, it determines your character and be careful of your character, it determines your destiny.”

Program your mind …your thoughts  & protect it or someone or something else will program it for you.

Choose well   Cheers & ahoy!

 

The Old Capʼn Viking Pirate …. & cross-roads in life

One of my quirks … walking around places with very little clothes on .. ha ha ha !!
Here I am Working out in my gym during a photo shoot

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The unexamined life.

All winning racing car drivers strategically takes regular ‘pit stops’- to refresh, refuel, replace and reflect on their performance before they begin again … all the way towards winning in the long run

Regular “pit stops” 

Many people exist to live but few, live with life. More specifically, “the essence of life’.

Many people live by choice and some live without a choice. Many living by choice, choose to live day-to-day without reflecting on their ways – their lives.

In seven years of owning and managing what was Australia’s Longest-running gym” at that time (48 years), I have gained a lot of insight in to life. I spent a lot of time listening and observing life through other peoples’ experiences (OPE), from people from all levels of society. From the very rich (I had a member that was one of the Top 100 wealthiest people in Australia) to the very poor.

Life has taught me a lot. So far. I am approaching the half century mark in calendar years but feel (and tell my children) that I have lived over a hundred years. Strange? Yes, but there are stranger things.

We all face problems in our lives. Some more than others.

One such problem, as I see it is being so ‘busy’ that they don’t take ‘time out’ or what I refer to as regular ‘pit-stops’ like a good grand prix racing car driver does.

Why is this important? It is, not only for recovery and re-infusion of vitality and the life force but also, time out for reflection.

Alarmingly, this has been happening since the dawn of time. One of the biggest issues facing many is that they are living unexamined lives.

Stop. Take stock. Be like water. Adapt to the different states of life … and mind.

Life view and purpose

Most men (and women) have not carefully plotted their life view and purpose.

Many use the ‘scatter-gun approach’ and hope to get a hit, similar to the concept of the lotto and why it taps in to the very nature of people’s inner sanctity.

They have not really taken the time to ‘think’, or to UN-think.

Taking regular time out to really reflect and honestly examine their life so far and the life they would like to live in to the future. Many just go about life copying the generations that has passed before them or what they are told by the media. Yes, to think is very difficult, especially, to think about the one life that you have.

As we’ve all heard or read  – “to think is the most difficult thing to do.”

Indeed it is.

Not taking time out to reflect is akin to using a cassette tape player to listen to music in the technological age we’re in now. The cassette player is part of the heaps of ‘stuff’ we used to use once-upon-a-time in our lives. Now, though, it is not relevant. The model is not relevant.

That applies to many things that you’ve been wired to think and do, basically downloaded from previous generations into your amazing computing machine (your brain) in the first seven years of your life, even before you had a choice in the matter. Operating systems (beliefs, values, way of thinking, world-view, lifestyle etc) that was relevant for the previous generations but not now. Not for the life you live now and in the near future.

As scientists say – “you are the activity of your neurons.” 

To make changes, any worthwhile change is not easy. True. But there is reason to believe, if you believe, we can shape our connectome by the actions we take, even by the things that we think, according to Neuroscientist, Sebastian Seung in his book: Connectome.

The thing is despite our brain wiring making us who we are, we play an important role in re-wiring our brains.

By desire. Strong desire.

Knowing what to retain and what to let go takes skill and wisdom. Something you are not taught in the education system, there are no ‘manual on HOW TO use your brain’ and mind. It is left to chance for many.

A wise old friend once told me to be an expert on “managing my funnel better.’ In other words, learn the art of “cutting out more bullshit in your life”.

And many would rather take the ‘chance’ then take the time to reflect and THINK. It is the easier path to take.

Notice I said, easier, not better.

Are you your brain or are you your mind? Neuroscience has learned more in the last 10 years about the brain then it knew in the last two centuries of guess work

 

Truth and beauty

I can put it down to many things.

One Key thing is: it is people’s inability to search for truth and obedience to GOD! This model has stood the test of time and is still relevant today. It is the only way to salvation. 

Maybe, salvation is where heaven is. Maybe, heaven is just a giant computer mainframe and we are all PCs connected to this ‘heaven’ or consciousness at different levels and/capacities.

In the modern world we live in, it seems everybody is in a rush and are busy’.

It’s almost as if it is a competition. Everyone is trying to be busier than the next person. People are rushing from task to busy task and even ‘multi-tasking’ with pride, but are not taking enough time-out or pit-stops to reflect on life’s larger meaning and purpose.

“Is this the path to truth, to my search for beauty?” many ask.

Maybe.

Maybe, not.

Be kind on yourself and FOCUS on one thing at a time and …
do it once and do it well.

What should you do?

Maybe, learn how others do it. Like, say, the Fijians for example. Why? Because they have made the term “Fiji Time” very famous and are regularly viewed as the Happiest People on the planet.

Why?

Well, for many reasons, one of which is that they understand between being and respecting ‘being in the moment’ and keeping it separate from memories. They do this very well because they take regular ‘time out’ and don’t necessarily see life as a sprint, but a marathon.

Another reason is: they are very religious and spiritual as a race, a culture, a nation. It has the highest ‘believers’ per capita in the world. They have very strong and un-wavering belief and faith.

They always have a day of ‘rest’. Individually and as a nation, they respect this day in thought and actions they take. This day of rest is a day of ‘reflection’. By reflecting, they increase awareness – of self and of matters external to them. This reflection allows each person the ability to give thanks and boost their attitude of gratitude’ towards living and towards their provider:

God.

Believe or not believe.
Get your ass off the pole of the fence (stop sitting on the fence!)
Choose.

And how am I an authority on everything “Fijian”and better understanding of ‘happiness’ than most people?

Because I was born and lived my early childhood in Fiji. I am 1/16th Fijian. It is in my blood, a drop I know, but it is there.

I now reside in one of the busiest and most beautiful cities in the world, Sydney Australia but …

As I’ve heard before …

You can take the Fijian out of the islands, but you can’t take the Fijian-ness out of the boy.

On a beach in one of my favourite parts of the world: the paradise islands of Fiji.
Enjoying the sun again.

Take it from me (and the vast majority of OPEs), Life is not a sprint. It is a long-distance marathon or grand prix car race.

The one with more strategic scheduled ‘pit-stops’ usually lives not only a long, good life but but a long good life of significance.

It’s your life, afterall.

Tip: Periodically Stop. Breathe. Reflect. Give thanks. Begin again

The brain cannot multi-task, this is a myth.
Neuroscience shows that the brain can only TASK-SWITCH.
You CANNOT multi-task without mistakes[/caption]

A valuable asset you possess: your attention

People live like their life as if it were a sprint.

A sprint to this elusive place. Where? It depends. Ask them when they stop, or …. when they’re six-feet under.

Many people are consumed in action(s), constantly reacting to a never-ending in-box of stimulus vying for their attention, time and money. A seemingly endless menu of options of reactions to constant interruption. Interruption to your life … your hours … your seconds.

People are spending a big portion of their 86,400 seconds per day just reacting to interruption (via the various technological inputs we have today in addition to other mediums). People’s attentions are being hijacked and in turn, so are their lives (time) and money.

What is all this rushing around for? Where will it ultimately get you?

I think it was Ghandi that said once “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

In body re-engineering, fast improvements are the result of excellent feedback from excellent coaches. Building good lean muscle mass with good balance & symmetry takes time, patience and a never-ending pursuit of continuous improvement.
Here, constant examination of my physique by my coach (and 2 x World Natural Body Building Champion) allowed me to reach my peak performance and placing 2nd in Australian Titles.
Learn to be more coachable to achieve your best in whatever area of life.
Vv.

 

Unthink to Think

Like everything else, practise helps.

As a lawyer or an Accountant or a sportstar is no better than the effort he puts into keeping up with his profession, so is the Christian no better than the effort he puts into self-examination of life’s big questions.

So, if you have not done so already, make time to reflect and examine your life today … before it is too late. It is your life, you only have one life after all. Achieve your salvation.

As Socrates said a long time ago –

“The unexamined life is not worth living”.

Start praying for answers to life’s big questions. I believe that your most important task is to not only be unafraid to ask questions but to ask the right questions.

For your sake, if you have not done so already, start examining the most important person in the world to you and that is: YOU! You do this by slowing down, having periodic time-outs and reflecting.

It can be very scary and a very difficult thing to do, to think. As a start, release all fears and release all doubt to aid you to release the unexamined life and embrace the examined life.

Find your way, your true path in life, even if it is a path less travelled.

Become increasingly Aware; take sufficient and appropriate Actions. Adapt (My Triple A philosophy to self-improvement in all areas of life).

Examine life. Examine you. To become the best you. Then, by default, everyone else gets the best of you too.

The examined life may not be all that flash either but I think it would be a life worth living as it would attract what you expect and reflect what you desire.

All the best!

 

Until next time,

Find your light.
Follow the path your light shines on
towards finding your TRUTH, your beauty.
Even better, use your light to help another soul that sees only darkness.
One life saved is worth more than a million empty words.

The Brain 🧠.
The mind.
I AM.
Use this most complex tool every created to become a better medium of communication to …. the universe, to infinite intelligence … to consciousness.
To your GOD.

Allow your mind to ”connect’ with infinite intelligence.
With consciousness.
It is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

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awareness, belief systems, Beliefs, change

I.Am.Nothing.

Retired Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah's Captain - Phil Waugh doing triceps press-downs and "feeling the essence" with perfectly performed repetitions. A great example of a human being striving to be the BEST he can be - for himself, first and then, everyone else. All day. Every day.

Retired Legend of Rugby, Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain – Phil Waugh doing triceps press-downs and “feeling the essence” with perfectly performed repetitions.
A great example of a human always striving to be the BEST he can be – for himself, first and then, everyone else. All day. Every day.

Do you believe in miracles?

I do.

You see, just today a very good friend of mine from my undergraduate university days (over 20 years now) sent me a message saying that the suggestion I gave him with regards to playing the “I am” game worked. I shared with him the game I thought up to help my children sleep at night. It works for my children and I did ’not see why it would not work with his.

Well, he just wanted to say that it has worked with his son and he shared his gratitude with me. However, he asked me a question followed by an enlightened question. The question was “Paul, is there more to the I AM statement than what I am telling him? He was beginning to realise that “I Am” is a different entity/thing. He asked me the question “what is it?”

Now, I told him that there was no other use for the game other than what I mentioned in my earlier blog on “I am”. However, it got me thinking about whether there really is an “I” in I Am.

You see, I have always believed that we are like mini-human-phones/computers all connected to a larger power-source (the universe force-field). Some people have stronger connections to this universe than others. The weaker the ‘connection’, the more you suffer in life. Your beliefs and belief system has a lot to do with a lot of your physical suffering.

I have always believed that “Your body does not lie”. Period.

I have deduced this from my lab in the gym helping thousands of people over the last 20+ years. All illness in the physical realm stems from a weakness in the spiritual realm. This included emotional illness too which almost stemmed from the perception people had of themselves. That their personalities were themselves. Ruled by their egos.

This realisation that we – each of us may be part of a greater network (for want of a better term) of consciousness has come to me many times over my 40 years on this planet. I think my friend has a very good point because I did come to a realization many, many years ago in my late teens.

I have two stories to share with you (but will share the second in a future blog). The one I am going to share here, I have only told a handful of people in my life so far and now I am going to share it with you …

One day about 23 years ago, before I stepped in to the gym I would eventually own 15 years later (I saw myself owning it from the moment I first walked in to the place and I was only 17), I was driving along a major free-way about 5 minutes from home. It was between 5am and 6am somewhere and the sun was just beginning to rise. I hadn’t slept for 24 hours straight. My cousins and I had gone out to the city for a night out and I was the designated driver (well I didn’t start drinking until about 21). I was still only 17.

I was driving at about 70km per hour as I passed a set of lights as it turned ‘orange’. I was on the inside lane of a 3 lane freeway. At that point, the morning sun’s rays shone in to my eyes, blinding me temporarily. I was caught between deciding to close my eyes or keep it open.

I closed my eyes.

It felt so good. I would have closed it only for a second or two but it seemed like eternity and I wanted to just leave it so. Like I said, it felt so good. My tiredness disappeared and was replaced by a delicious warmth … and then a state of peace beyond all description.

It was as if I became oblivious of the physical body.

But then … a voice in my head said “Paul, open your eyes”. It sounded like my grandmother who I was very close to until she died when I was 13. I didn’t want to open my eyes, but I did.

I loved her.

When I opened my eyes, I realised that I was driving my car (with my cousins in the back seat, still fast asleep intoxicated with alcohol) but there was a lamp post I was just about to crash in to.

In that instant (it would have been less than a second … but which seemed like an eternity), I saw my whole life flash before my eyes. But before this happened, I felt intense fear. I have never felt fear like this ever since. There was a freezing shiver that ran up my spine and it seemed that my heart cried out in tears that were frozen in time.

In that space of time (which seemed like an enternity), my thoughts focused on manouvering the car away from the pole which seemed to be only a meter from the car bonnet. It all happened so fast. In that instant, that cold shiver in my spine disappeared and then it happened.

I felt a state of peace beyond all description. This was accompanied by a suffusion of light with my life to that point flashing by at lightning speed. I was filled with what seemed like love. An overwhelming sense of love. Infinite love. For that ‘split second’, I believe time stopped or it seemed like. My perception of time was like nothing I had ever experienced.

It seemed like I became oblivious to my physical body and it seemed that my awareness fused with this light that was flashing before my eyes, flushing me with all my ‘life moments’.

I was in an illuminated state.

My mind stood still. My mind went silent. It seemed that all thought stopped. I was at my happiest. I was at peace. Fear vanished.

I am writing you this blog today because I survived that car accident. I have lived every second since that day, very differently. It changed my perception of life and the world forever.

You could say that I had a “near-death experience”.

After that experience, my accepted reality of the world seemed only temporary. Traditional religious teaching lost a lot of significance. So much so, that the loss of traditional religion spurned a personal discovery of spirituality.

ON that day, I believe that “I” didn’t really exist. That “I” was really a small, insignificant part of this larger, greater “I”. This greater “I” really determined what happened in my life. “I am” didn’t really exist and “I” is NOTHING! It was this energy-field. This energy-field is the universe and we are all part of this universe.

We’re all connected to this greater force-field, we are ONE with it. I became ‘one with the universe’ at that moment where time stood still when I opened my eyes and so my life ‘flash’ before my eyes.

There is no “I am”. There is no ‘me’ so, if there is no “I am” and there is no ‘me’, then, it follows that “I AM NOTHING!”

I believe that so. We are all outposts of balls of consciousness that is connected to this universal consciousness. This is the real “I” in the “I AM”.

To strengthen this ‘connectivity’ to this wireless technology (that we call the universe), one just needs to replace ‘unloved’ with love. One needs to genuinely live with care and kindness. This is all that is required. The fruits of this will show itself in time.

One must also have patience and one must be compassionate towards everything, including one’s own self and thoughts. “I am” melds in to ‘nothingness’. Ponder on this thought for a moment…. And realise how profound this realisation of “I AM NOTHING” is. It is enlightening.

We are all part of ONE. One universe. Most of us just don’t have the right tools/applications to interpret the messages we perceive in the correct way.

So, I think my friend is on to something very profound at this phase in his life. The realisation that “I am” is more than “I – AM” and NOTHING AT ALL!

I am happy for him. His realisation. It is his journey through the sea of life. It confirms something I concluded on and changed my life forever that early morning driving home from a ‘big night out’ on the town. It changed my life forever.

From my perspective, I agree with my friend – “I Am” does not exist. “I am” is only an instrument of a larger “I” and that “I” is the universe. It is GOD or whatever you want to call it. But, for now this “I Am” game I created to help my children (and now my friend’s kid) sleep better – works. We will continue using it until it becomes useless.

Strengthen your connection to this “I”. Leave your “I am” on the floor. Leave your ego at the door! It’s not worth the pain and suffering you will endure if you let it run your life.

Live every day as if it were your last. I know I do.

Choose wisely.

 

Until next time,

Explaining some of the little things (mosquitoes) that add up to the larger things in body re-engineering. Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain - Phil Waugh.

Explaining some of the little things (mosquitoes) that add up to the larger things in body re-engineering.
Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain – Phil Waugh.

Writing things down sometimes helps in the communication process.  The goal is not communication. The goal is EFFECTIVE communication. Sometimes lacking in all areas of life ie., 'being on the same page'.  A+ Student: Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah's Captain listening intently.

Writing things down sometimes helps in the communication process.
The goal is not communication. The goal is EFFECTIVE communication ie, ‘being on the same page’.
A+ Student: Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain listening intently.

~~Life COACH~~

~~Life COACH~~

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action, adaptation, awareness, change, choices, diet, eating

Brains eat books.

_MG_9765

I love children and I love my kids.

There’s not a day that goes by where they don’t make me aware or more aware of aspects of life. There is no doubt in my mind that having children is a blessing. No doubt at all.

I love telling my kids imaginary stories and get lost in them with them. They have story time every night just before bed, part of their bed-time routine. They have been born in to a home of books like many children all over the world, a rich source of knowledge.

Sometimes, they can get lazy and mis-treat books – theirs, Cathy’s or mine in a less-than desirable manner. For example, they would throw it on the floor or walk over books or leave them strewn all over their bed-room.

I have constantly reminded them of the importance of looking after their books and treating them with respect, likening books to food. I would say things like –

“Kids, please take good care of your books, they are nutrition for your mind – food for your brain”.

Or something along the lines of –

“You wouldn’t eat food off the ground that is dirty, would you? You would get an up-set stomach if you did, just like books for your mind.”

Now, I know my daughter who is two years older than Zachary, fully understands my messages but my son, Zachary has not given me any inclination in the last year that he was getting this message, until last week.

Well, his mother – Cathy, was asked a question by Zachary at the dinner table about a week ago (I was at work) relating to nutrition. This is how it kind of unfolded –

Zachary asked his mum, Cathy how the brain gets its food.

Cathy proceeded to start explaining the process of digestion, that is – when you eat the food is chewed and then makes its way done the oesophagus down to the stomach and then enters the intestines. It passes through the linings in to the blood and then is pumped to the brain and so forth. Both my children just love the processes of the human body explained to them. They never seem to grow tired of this topic at this stage.

Before Cathy could finish her answer, Zachary interrupted and said –

“No, mum!”

“… Brains eat books!”

When Cathy relayed the story to me, I was surprised. But I was also content that my son had not only been listening to my ranting about the importance of books and taking better care of them, he was making conversation regarding this topic.

I was particularly impressed that he had summed up my messages better than I ever did. He used less words. I had never said “brains eat books” but I did say many other statements that meant the same thing.

You would be hard pressed to get much better than “Brains eat books”. I know I never said it that way.

So simple. So true. So beautiful said.

He took everything I said in over a year and filtered it and got to the essence and spat out a 3-word summary. That was just brilliant, I simply love the intelligence behind the thinking.

So, keep feeding your brains … with books. The right books. The right nutrition.

After all, they do say – you are what you eat (for the mind and body).

Eat well.

 

Until next time,

VVc_logo_cropped

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a better life, action, adaptation, adequate sleep, ageing, awareness, balance, belief systems, Beliefs, better choices, care empathy, caring, change, change management, children, choices, compassion, creation, dads, dads love, daughters, Energy, examined life, game of life, God, habits, kids, life, long-term perspective, mind, needs, parenting skills, perseverance, relationships, responsibility, self discipline, self improvement, self love, self-respect, sleep, Vitality, you, your life

I am.

My young gritty Viking Pirate Prince already getting in touch with his “feminine side’ and enjoying beauty – in cars, watches, buildings … and others
He has the best coach in the world at his disposal.

A Restful mind in Sleep is a peace of Mind.

Sleep consumes one third of our lives. Yet, most people know little about this daily excursion into our inner world. The exact functions of sleep and dreaming have been debated over the ages but are still not really known.

Sometimes we all find it difficult to fall asleep when we want to, laying there staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning.

Feeling restless.

You may have too much on your mind or not much at all. You may be over-tired or you may not be. You may simply feel restless even though you seek restfulness. For whatever reason, we all find it difficult to fall asleep when we want to. Sometimes.

Some of us, more than others.

 

I AM.

  1. I. AM.
    GOD?

I play many games with my children. They keep evolving. I like to think I do, too.

One particular game I play with my kids is one I call “I AM”.

You see my son has had problems for a while now falling asleep in his bed. As a result my wife and I take multiple trips to and from his room to try and settle him to sleep at night. Most of the time we just let him sleep in our bed. Most of the time he gets away with it. Until not too long ago, I introduced the game to him.

“What’s the name of the game, daddy?” asked my son Zachary.

I said it was called “I am”.

“How do you play it?” asks Zach.

I told him that the objective of the game was for him to say “I am” to every question I asked him. Only that phrase but with a few conditions for him to adhere to:

  • Lay still
  • Look me in the eyes
  • Whisper the answer “I am”

It’s been successfully implemented on almost every night I put my son to sleep. He doses off to sleep as he repeats the answer of “I am” to every question I ask him, most of the time with a little smile on his face.

Every time.

I thought up this game for two main reasons:

  1. To get him to fall asleep with improved regularity and with minimum resistance
  2. To condition his neuro-wiring as a foundation for his strength of mind

My gritty Warrior Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️ prince 🤴

I know reason number 1 has been achieved so far.

As modern neuroscience confirms sleep (including napping) is critical for the health of your brain and you as a human being. Brain health, neurotransmitter release and sleep are intimately entwined. Studies suggesting that psychiatric disorder and neurodegenerative disease are often connected to some form of sleep/circadian rythym disruption.

So, work on improving your sleep patterns and focus on quality of sleep rather than quantity for your overall health.

Responsible for transmission of critical electrical, chemical & hormonal messages -internal communication

Who’s daddy’s … ?

I will know if reason number 2 is achieved in about 10 years and probably for the rest of his life. Time will tell the fruitfulness of this game that will ultimately be for his benefit.

The questions I ask him are repeated and are quite similar to these:

  1. Who’s daddy’s smartest boy? …. And he would say … “I am”.
  2. Who’s daddy’s kindest boy?
  3. Who’s daddy’s strongest boy?
  4. Who’s daddy’s fastest boy?
  5. Who’s daddy’s caring boy?
  6. Who’s daddy’s happiest boy?
  7. Who’s daddy’s loving boy?
  8. etc

Zachary would fall asleep answering “I am” to every question some of which I repeat. My daughter Olivia, who is two years older does not have problems falling asleep but I also play the game with her.

She loves it. Calms her down even further.

A “sense” of who they are is learned from the first man of significant influence in their lives –
us. Dads.

The power sitting dormant in your subconscious mind.

Just like the many other universal principles in life like for example, water seeks its own level or that matter expands when heated. It is a universal truth that whatever you impress on your subconscious mind is expressed in the physical realm.

It is akin to saying a prayer and your prayer is answered because your subconscious mind is principle. Like all principles, the facts are universal and unchangeable. It is just the way things operate.

Not sometimes. All of the time.

True?
Neuroscience is still at the level of where medicine was in the 1700s
A long way to fully understand who we are….
Who “I AM.”

 

The Power of Belief.

The subconscious mind works according to the law of belief. The Bible and probably most other religious texts is littered with examples of the power of belief.

I see my children’s minds as a bed of rich soil that will grow whatever types of seeds I plant and intend to grow. I believe in the power of prayer and the law of belief and why this game of “I am” aims to sow thoughts of happiness, goodwill, right action and success in my children’s minds.

Believe or not believe.
Get your ass off the pole of the fence (stop sitting on the fence!)
Choose.

Hopefully, the magic of the ‘compound effect’, like compound interest on a loan or investment … with time, these wonderful seeds of thought in the garden of their minds, will reap a generous harvest for them.

I have always believed that “the world within creates the world without”. This is a truth and there is a definite link between the subconscious and your conscious minds. As I have discovered in my life, and part of my line of work in helping others achieve their best and their goals – the subconscious mind is very sensitive to your conscious mind.

I learned something from my grandfather when I was very young – that nothing can stop you or anyone … but all is as thinking that makes it so.

Watch your thoughts, I say.

Learning and absorbing our habits every single day of their initial phase of their lives is what our young Princes do.
Teach them well.

Learn and apply the most important & powerful LINK.

Having a deeper understanding of this link gives you the power to help accomplish your goals. It is effectively praying and communicating to God.

Believe or not believe.

Prayers always get answered but you have to be a believer. This unwavering belief happens to be the law of the mind.

You have to believe in belief itself!

I will assist in being the captain of their ship in their early years of life, helping them navigate their conscious mind with the understanding that their young subconscious minds will take and accept as true what they confirm in their ‘I am” answers before falling asleep.

A ‘sick day’ from school day for us here, 4 years ago now.
Enjoying the entertainment at Sydney’s beautiful Luna Park.
I never let schooling interfere with my or my family’s education.

Simple is uncomplicating Beauty.

I am”: a very simple, yet powerful affirmation of nobody else but – ‘you’. An affirmation of the communication from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind. It is simple, yet complex … and Un-complicating of Real Beauty.

A prayer. Repeated.

Beauty comes in the human form.
It is a living masterpiece.
On display, from a masterful poser/artist, the human body exemplifies beauty and truth rolled in to vibrating ball of flow of muscle.
The hard part is to CREATE beauty. We all have the ability within us.
To create a beauty through the human form is genius.
Providing the scaffolding for your childs(ren) character building towards a ‘beautiful character’ is like sculpturing a great physique.
Everything matters, however, small it is.
GIGO for their minds:
If you want to create champions and leaders , feed them daily champion & leadership thoughts.

Try it, see how you feel after a month.

Try this game with your kids and see if it helps with their sleeping. Try it for a month. The main benefit however, is in the strengthening of the mind. Just like building good quality muscles you have got to be persistent and consistent with daily application of the relevant principles.

You could even try it with older kids (adults) too. Maybe even you. Just change the affirmation questions and find a quiet time and place (preferably just before falling asleep) and create a better you.

Create a better life from within starting with “I am”.

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate.
Me, a Simple-complex Man.

Remember: you reap (your destiny) what your sow (your seeds of thought).

 

Until next time,

Cheers & Ahoy!!

 

The Old Cap’n Viking Pirate … & thoughts and words on belief, subconscious mind and I am.

The Brain 🧠.
The mind.
I AM.

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