How To ACTUALLY Be Happy By Minding Your Own Business (Focus On THIS)


“You Shouldn’t Believe Everything People Tell You” – Abraham Lincoln


No-one really knows what’s best for you – and most don’t care either. Make your own best guess to what will provide you long-term happiness.

How so? Here’s the long explanation;

The world is constantly speeding up faster and faster.

The unseen rate of technological improvements, the current demographic explosion, global warming, the economic shift to Asia and so-on.

Manual labor jobs are being automatized and/or replaced by robots, IT-work is being outsourced to low-cost developing countries, retail stores have to slim down or cut costs to compete with the ever-growing array of  e-commerce stores like, and many more to come.

The world isn’t going to be the same place as it has always been.

It’s going fast and it’s going hard, leaving many behind.

But, where?

I don’t think anybody really knows and we’re all just making our most educated guess for the future (me included)

So today I stopped and wondered if we’re going in the right direction and what you can do to be more prepared for what’s coming in order to maximize life quality.

From what I’ve seen we’re not doing that great overall;

  • Rising rates of obesity & other related health issues
  • Rising unemployment rates
  • Economic inequality
  • Lack of direction/meaning resulting in escapism-type behaviors (alcohol, video games, partying, tv, fastfood, travel …) (in excessive quantities off course)

Doesn’t sound all that great, right? Life quality could be (a lot?) better IMO.

To say my generation is lost, might be an overstatement, but not that far from the truth in my eyes. I’ve seen an absence of firm identity in many peers, a misguided direction in adults and policies, leading to destructive behavior in the long-term.

And frankly? there’s not really much being done about it.

I’ve found it troublesome.

Anyway, we can go the hippy tree-hugging route of wanting to change the world and its policy…

but on second thought, let’s not.

The point I’m going to be addressing in this post will be our un-adapted education model for this “new” future and what you can “should” be doing/focusing on in preparation.


Where are we going at the moment?

The focus we’re having at the moment (on a big scale) is to increase the welfare of our individual countries.

Welfare, mmm… Sounds great right?

If that’s our long-term focus how come we’re not seeing the desired results? The life quality we all are looking for?

I believe it’s in the way we measure it.

At the moment we’re measuring the welfare of a country in GDP (gross domestic product).

(Not to be confused with G4P)

Basically this is just a measuring stick for the overall economy of a country.

By focusing on this GDP as measuring stick for “welfare” – as a result, government policy is directed  towards increasing this value.

Cual es el problema with this?

“When we take money as the sole indicator for progress all our actions will be geared towards that”

IMO, the GDP is a lousy indicator for welfare. After your basic needs have been taken care off (security, food, shelter, …) it doesn’t add any relative change anymore to life quality.

And in our current modernized, westernized, societies; do we have a serious lack in these basic needs?

I – for the most part – believe not and therefore our focus should be re-directed to a better measurement stick for welfare (at least for more developed countries)

A study done by Daniel Kahneman concluded that “high income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being beyond a certain point”

“When plotted against log income, life evaluation rises steadily. Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ~$75,000.


Low income exacerbates the emotional pain associated with such misfortunes as divorce, ill health, and being alone.


We conclude that high income buys life satisfaction but not happiness, and that low income is associated both with low life evaluation and low emotional well-being.”

Beyond the overall point of 75 000$/year (6250$ month) we don’t see an increase in emotional well-being nor life evaluation .


The point I’m trying to make in this part is this; Beyond the point that our basic needs are provided for, we’re not seeing a rise in life satisfaction for increased income (Easterlin Paradox).

Measuring our “welfare” based on GDP is therefore inaccurate or even irrelevant.

The story of the Mexican fisher is a great illustration of the vanity of mere money-seeking in the pursuit of higher life quality.

So, what should we measure welfare in?

Where should we be going?

I’ve recently been introduced to a concept called the GNH ( Gross National Happiness) which measures progress of a country based on an expanded array of metrics instead of solely relying on increasing the GDP

(It’s about the concept not the actual content of the video ;))

By including additional different qualitative and quantitative metrics like consumer debt, purchasing power, health, pollution, surveys of social contentment and so-on, we’re able to change our focus (and in turn change our policies) to get an actual rise in life quality .

But that’s mostly just speculation.

Point being; Our focus is off which makes our policy off and the biggest problem I’ve seen with this is in our education.

We’re preparing our youth for a future in which they can work and increase the GDP (like we’ve always been doing), since our whole policy revolves around that.

It used to be somewhat relevant for its previous function; creating order-taking, obedient workers to accommodate the industrial revolution.

As Alvin Toffler put it;

Built on the factory model, mass education taught basic reading,
writing, and arithmetic, a bit of history and other subjects. This was the “overt curriculum.”


But beneath it lay an invisible or “covert curriculum” that was far more basic.


It consisted—and still does in most industrial nations—of three courses: one in punctuality, one in obedience, and
one in rote, repetitive work. Factory labor demanded workers who showed up on time, especially assembly-line hands. It demanded workers who would take orders from a management hierarchy without questioning.


And it demanded men and women prepared to slave away at machines or in offices, performing brutally repetitious

But now? With the current trends it has become obsolete for the future (more so than ever)

So my conclusion of our current policy and adjacent educational system?

  • It is NOT focused on your individual happiness/life quality (never been either)
  • It is NOT focused on your long-term economic stability (we no longer need “obedient workers” nor will they thrive economically)

I believe a drastic change is needed in the way we start to think about our own life in the future.

First up: Take more responsible choices for your own life quality instead of following covert curriculum from people who – frankly – don’t care all that much about you.

Don’t fall for the trap that people who are older and “more experienced” than you know what’s best for your life. Most of the time they don’t have a clue either.

Second: Don’t slave away the best years of your life to fulfill obsolete policies in undersized cubicles. Make your own financial judgments for long-term happiness. Having a ” secure job” is a thing of the past. 

(Although for many this has become a key structural element in their life – a conditioned psychological “need”)

“For many people, a job is crucial psychologically, over and above the paycheck. By making clear demands on their time and energy, it provides an element of structure around which the rest of their lives can be organized” – Alvin Toffler



How To Mind Your Own Business And Be Happy

School “prepares” youth for a future that won’t exist anymore at the speed at which things are going.


Mind your own business by meeting the requirements for your own happiness. 

From what I’ve read so far I conclude there are five main pillars for long-term happiness you should be striving for.

  1. Mindset (High self-esteem and a positive outlook in life)
  2. Basic Needs (A baseline of health, wealth & social life)
  3. Meaning (Making positive impact on others trough work or communication)
  4. Flow (An activity you can lose yourself in, a “passion”)
  5. Growth (Consecutive setting and achieving of personal goals)


Make your best educated guess to what roads will lead you to those destinations. Here’s how I am tackling/have tackled each;

1) Mindset 

I believe in building your life on a solid character-base. Define for yourself what person you want to be and eradicate your mind of negative thought-patterns by changing your beliefs.

We shape our life by the paradigms we choose to look trough.

By persistently visualizing the person you want to become and conditioning your desired beliefs, you’ll rewire the default state of your brain and – over time  – become the person you’ve envisioned.

2) Basic Needs

Get a baseline of your essential needs and steadily maintain each to ensure you can focus on more important things.


Everyone has different standards for what they define as “healthy”. I’d say: experiment and build on your own conclusions. Achieve a baseline you see as acceptable (meaning you aren’t in a state of constant pain/malfunctioning because of health issues)

I do however believe that my post on the 6 laws of a healthy life will help any individual tremendously and would be a great guideline for anyone looking to get started,


Like I already stated above: Excess money does not make you happier but a shortage does buy you unhappiness. I believe everyone should have a baseline of wealth that provides them financial independence.


We’re living in a continuously growing information economy (and even attention economy). The person who is knowledgeable AND stands out is capable of creating for himself opportunities to generate vast amounts of wealth.

Let’s face it: A job where you trade your time for money is never going to make you even remotely free (financial independent). I believe you should find/create an opportunity where you can start getting paid for the results of your work and control all the variables (platform, working hours, pricing, conversion, …) yourself.


  • First up: Find your natural strengths and see how you can build upon them to create value for others – in a self-controlled setting where you are being paid for your results.
  • Secondly: Don’t spend the income you make on material possessions until you’ve built a revenue generating asset column (businesses, brands, cash flows, notes, intellectual properties, rental services, licenses, real estate, inventions, …) that can support your living expenses until these regular incomes have outgrown your monthly expenses and you’ve become financially independent. To many people simply increase their expenses when their income rises, leading to an endless loop.


Find a baseline of social contact that will make you stop feeling lonely. This is defined as; “a quantitative and/or qualitative lack of social contact”

I believe this baseline is different for everyone. Some people need very little whilst others need it daily. I can go without people for quite a while but I’ve found that 2-3 close friends with whom I meet up weekly add a lot more substance to my life.

Psychology has found that the two most important factors to maintain friendships are openness (talking about stuff that actually matters vs. superficial crap – duh) and engagement (putting in the effort to meet-up – showing you actually care to maintain the relationship)

If you want the friendship in your life, be sure to abide by these two simple rules.

For your love life I believe every man would benefit greatly from reading “The way of the superior man” and watching any video by Owen Cook. After you’ve become better at the skill of relating with and attracting women, then settle for one cute, sexy, funny, whatever girl that can satisfy your needs and go from there.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to waste your time endlessly chasing tail. When you meet a “keeper”, don’t let your penis mess up what could be a great relationship.

However – If you have a high sex drive and you’re tempted to have sex with other women, just tell her that you want to keep seeing/dating other women and be clear about your mutual expectations. Biologically it’s perfectly normal for a man to desire more than one woman (procreation instinct). Some women are cool with this, some are not.

Just make it clear from the start and DON’T make promises you won’t be able to keep. Hold true to character at all times.

3) Meaning

Meaning in your life can be found by making positive impact on others trough work you do. (Or by reading my post on finding purpose in life ;))

Ask yourself the following: What do you consider to be the most valuable thing you have to offer the world? What’s your “gift”?

Not to get whole mellow in this post – but it does make your life a whole lot more worthwhile when you know you’re making a dent in the world, leaving somewhat of a mark at least.

For me at the moment I derive meaning in my life from maintaining this blog and writing about things I believe are important to improve my & your life quality. The same thing I’m trying to communicate to others who engage in escapism-type behaviors.

4) Flow

We all have our unique activities in which we can “lose ourself”. The point in which we are totally immersed in the task at hand and where we lose track of time. Our “passions” so to speak.

From these moments we derive a high sense of satisfaction and emotional well-being.

There are many “follow-your-passion-guru’s” out there that say you should try to make money by doing what you love, I think it’s horrible advice. People pay for having their (perceived) needs satisfied, not what you love to do.

Get the basic financial independence in check like I talked about and THEN focus on what you find meaningful (IF you’re lucky you can combine both – great. But make the financial independence your main objective first and your meaningful activity your part-time hobby)

5) Growth

Now you have your roots deeply planted in the character ethic, you’ve established a positive outlook on life, your basic needs have been taken care off, you’ve found meaningful work to contribute to the world and you spend a lot of time indulging in your passion(s).

Now you’re pretty much left with only one thing to be happy; Keep growing!

Meaning goal setting in all areas of life.

Keep the story of the beggar’s bowl in your mind; human desire is endless, meaning you’ll never “get there”. Happiness isn’t measured in absolutes but relatively – moment to moment progression over time is what’ll provide you long-term happiness.

(although I believe you need the baseline described above in which you aren’t constantly experiencing emotional/physical pain)

The only way to measure relative progression is by continuous growth.


Anyway, that’s the way I’m approaching my life at the moment, but you might opt for different turns in the road..

The point I’m trying to make is this:

Fill in the blanks to meet the five requirements for your long-term happiness. It’ll make you feel more responsible for your circumstances instead of complaining why the world is not devoting itself to making you happy.

As you go along, adjust and improve your direction by self-education. It allows you to “stand on the shoulders of giants” by learning from the mistakes of others.

Last point?

I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re doing with their life but impose their confused truths on others to affirm what’s working for them (and prove where you – clearly – are going wrong)

Mind your own business I’d say..;

  • Global focus – and therefore policy – is misdirected, leading to lower life quality in the long-term. Don’t rely on what others tell you to provide a stable future, they don’t really care.
  • Mind your own business by meeting the long-term requirements of happiness;
    • Mindset (high self esteem + positive outlook)
    • Basic Needs (baseline of health, wealth & social)
    • Meaning (find meaningful work to provide value for others)
    • Flow (find an activity in which you can lose yourself)
    • Growth (consecutive achievement of personal goals)
  • Use self-education to adjust your direction, become a polymath

Which Of The Five Pillars Are You Struggling With The Most?





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The Ultimate Guide On How To Focus On What Really Matters (The Focus Pyramid)

Naamloze afbeelding

“Chaos breeds life, order creates habit” – Henry Adams


(& habit creates progress – and who doesn’t like progress? edit: I do!)

I try to wake up every day with clear intent of where I want to go with my life. Yet I constantly bump into the dichotomy of chaos and order since I look for a pretty divided outcome;

  • On the one hand I’m feverishly looking for progress in my life which flows out of clearly structured habits
  • On the other hand I’m looking for my life to be supremely blissful, composed out of thrilling new experiences.

In the mean-time I’m getting distracted by other people telling me how I should live my life to harvest what they believe to be “success”.

It’s chaotic,
therefore confusing,
therefore difficult.

& I don’t like that

So, how do I face this conundrum? And more importantly; how do I organize my life when everything is falling apart?

edit: Yes, I’m experimenting with difficult words.


Indicators Of Chaos

Dishes are piling up, keys magically disappear (although they were in your hand two seconds ago) and groceries just don’t get done. It’s mostly the small things that give in first..

But it increases..

Deadlines aren’t met, appointments are forgotten and overall your confidence just drops to an all-time low whilst unfinished tasks are piling up on your desk.

It doesn’t help that our surroundings are constantly competing for our ever decreasing attention span in what I find to be “The Age Of Distraction”

Think media, video games, advertisements, …

And we wonder about the cause of the rising epidemic of ADHD in youth?

Life seems to fly past whilst we struggle to gain some traction.

Chaos galore..

I hate it.

I like LOVE being “on top” of my stuff.

Yet last week I had the feeling that control was slipping trough my hands a bit – Like a bundle of sand I’m trying to hold that’s flowing trough my fingers caused by the exerted pressure.

Losing grip on your life?

It sucks IMO

It’s the sole thing that prevents growth (which is what you’re – hopefully – striving for).

So, how do you fix this?


Why Do We Need Structure?

We don’t Simon! I’m getting all my stuff done already – “on the fly” – without too much planning!

I highly doubt it and if you’re getting any results at all, they’ll be sub-optimal at best.

Let me answer that question with a great quote I’ve stumbled upon recently;

most people surveying the world around them today see only chaos. They suffer a sense of personal powerlessness and pointlessness.”

“Individuals need life structure.

A life lacking in comprehensive structure is an aimless wreck. The absence of structure breeds breakdown.

Structure provides the relative fixed points of reference we need.” – Alvin Toffler (The Third Wave)

Let me repeat that: The absence of structure breeds breakdown.

You can solely build up something (e.g. progress) with a solid plan of attack. Ever tried;

  • Building a house without a plan?
  • A thriving business without a solid business plan?
  • A strong body without a effective training schedule?

You’ll end up with these kinds of results (click to enlarge)

Yeah, Ok. I think life can be pretty chaotic at times. I guess some sense of structure sounds reasonable… So..

How Do I Focus On What Really Matters?

What we basically lack when all is going to shit is focus

What we basically lack when all is going to shit is focus

Yes, I’ve written that twice. So you’ll understand.. CLEARLY

Sounds plausible Simon, so how do I get more focused & structured?

Alright, time to get practical.. Structuring your life is relatively simple yet not that easy. The way I approach it is in 5 steps;

  1. Vision
  2. Goals
  3. Prioritize
  4. Plan
  5. Execute

Let’s take a closer look..


focus on vision

First up, it goes without showing that you should have somewhat of a purpose defined and have designed your life plan by now. Having a vision planned out for your life is the foundation of clarity.

(If not, I highly recommend you to > Download A Copy Of My Life Plan Excel File< and start reading my post on Goal Setting. )

Here’s a quick re-cap of how I do it;

Start by envisioning how you want your life to look like ideally in all areas of life. See it as a menu (like in a restaurant) where you can pick basically anything you want. Think like a child for now – think limitless.

Go over the essentials like your ideal health, financial situation and social life. Expand further into skills/knowledge you want to master, the way you want your mind to be, what you want to contribute and so-on ;) Pick the things that excite you the most.

Got that image in your mind? Good!

Now, write down specifically what your ideal day would look like. If you need some inspiration here’s a part of mine;

I wake up in a king sized bed next to the most beautiful and smart girl you’ve ever seen in my house on the beach in Hawaii. I do my morning ritual and drink from my juicer. I go for a swim in the ocean and catch some nice wild salmon to eat later in the evening. I go back home and wash myself and do a light morning workout. I read a couple of hours in a interesting book about astronomy and technology…

Basically: Establish an ideal vision of what you want your life/you to look like.

What does your ideal day/life look like?


focus on goals

Now if you’re ambitious you probably have A LOT of ideas about how your ideal life would look like. But clarity doesn’t come when EVERYTHING needs to get done or when your to-do list runs endlessly. Therefore we’re going to reduce all your goals to your top three that will have the MOST IMPACT on the quality of your life (Be sure to make these VERY SPECIFIC).

This is key!

Discard all the rest.

To give you an example, here are mine;

  • Great Health
    Without great health I’m nothing. Iwon’t be ableto function optimally nor be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I value energy, strength and aesthetics. I define “Great Health” as;

    • 85kg @ 8% bodyfat
    • 300Kg Deadlift, Squat 250Kg, Benchpress 200Kg)
    • Great skin, gut health & white teeth
    • Radiating energy (focused and alert at all times under optimal conditions)
  • Financial Independence
    Financial independence will grant me freedom of time and energy to spend on work that I find worthwhile to pursue. It clears the issue of money of the table and can get you really started to make some impact in the world. “Start making a life and not a living. I define FI as;

    • €6250/monthly
    • Own two fast-lane businesses
    • No debt
  • Great Social Life
    People are a necessity in my life. Although I’m not naturally gifted in the people department I value strong relationships to a huge degree. I care about quality notquantity in this area.I define “a great social life” as;

    • Great connection with two close friends (M & N)
    • Mastering all the principles taught in “How To Win Friends And Influence People”
    • 3 high-quality girlfriends (smart, fun & attractive)

What are your top three goals?


focus on scale

So now we’ve established the “what”-part. Now we’re going to move into the “how”-part. Now this is off-course the most tricky part since you can never really know exactly which actions will take you to your desired end-goals.

The best way to do this is to simply weigh-off your options and estimate the highest-leverage actions.

Just take your most educated guess by analyzing your situation and copying what others are doing. Trust in the process and adjust it as you go along. As Steve Jobs said most eloquently;

You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. – Steve Jobs

So, How do I do it?

I use a method called “The Law Of Pareto“;


It is originally an economic principle that stated that;

  • 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers

It helps to focus on the actions with the highest leverage in achieving your goals. It can be applied to many things and will make reaching your goals increasingly efficient.

Basically, you’ll ask yourself: “What are the 20% of actions I can take that will get me 80% of the desired results?”

As applied to my goals above, this is the best bet I can make at this time;

  • Great Health
    • Train heavy
    • Eat healthy
    • Sleep 6 to 7:30 hours a day
  • Financial Freedom
    • Learning
    • Writing
    • Experimenting
    • Money Management
  • Great Social Life
    • Meet-ups with my two friends
    • Cold-approaching women
    • Networking/Interacting

Note: There’s also a concept called Hyper-Pareto, meaning you’ll repeat this process again to become even more focused.

  • “What are the 20% of actions you can take of those 20% that will get me 80% of the results of the 80% of results?” (So basically: 4% of actions that yield 64% of the results.Do this again and you’ll get the 1% of actions that will give 50% of the results (in theory). But who wants half results eh?

It’s fun to experiment with this but the idea is simply this; Fill ALL your time with high-leverage activities.

What are the highest leverage actions you can take for each goal?


focus on deadline

From there start dividing these big, high-leverage actions into smaller actionable steps over time (like I talked about in my post on goal setting), Be sure to include benchmarks (measure points)

Therefore reduce your actions/set benchmarks for;

  • 18-months
    (according to Peter Drucker this is the furthest we can plan into the future without the image becoming unreliable)
  • Yearly
  • Quarterly (3 months)
  • Monthly
  • Weekly

What are the smallest actionable steps you can take for each period and how will you track progress (determine benchmarks)?


focus on execute

So now you’ll have filled in your Week-Planner with a load of high-leverage activities. So how do we efficiently do the actual work?

I’ve used numerous tactics to actually plan my days;

From planning every moment in detail to the very hour I’m supposed to do it as well as letting my life flow by without any order.


The first approach leads to a stress overload, lack of freedom to adjust and you mostly miss all your deadlines which feels extremely unrewarding. The second approach is like having no goals at all (which is probably the approach most people use)

Structure is necessary yet too much of a good thing is a bad thing.


Plan your ONE highest-leverage activity first thing in the morning and execute it until it is done. Everything else besides that ONE THING is simply a distraction.

  • NO email
  • NO facebook
  • NO people interrupting
  • NO cleaning
  • NO nothing else
  • (unless these are your one thing)

Just nice… clean…. constant focus. Aaaaaaah, feels great doesn’t it?

“There’s no force greater than a well-focused mind”

The way I execute daily is by choosing three to four “big things” with one primary focus for my day (I usually do this the night before). I write them down on my whiteboard and take a picture of them when I leave the house. I focus all my energy and time on those 3-4 tasks and let the other chips/interference’s of life fall where they may.

Like Stephen Covey said in his book “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”; Focus on your “Big Rocks” first.

Note: Be sure to set a realistic time-block (set a time for) your activities in which they NEED to be finished & keep them short! Two reasons for this;

  • If you give yourself too much time you’ll just end up expanding your work (Parkinson’s Law)
  • If you give yourself too little time you won’t be able to finish the task

You’ll learn how to do this more efficiently by practicing and experimenting.

Just line up your bricks and let them fall as they should. Then witness the formation of forward momentum that will grant you total life control

Sounds pretty good – doesn’t it? :)

Final Notes

Note that your vision will change continuously over time and therefore the whole hierarchy will change. The goals I’ve set at the beginning of this year have become highly inaccurate now and therefore I recommend to actively review this process about once a month. If you feel like you’re going off-track there’s no need to wait a month and you MUST do it sooner.

Furthermore you’ll still have some routine tasks that are low-leverage but need to get done anyway, things like; doing the dishes, washing your clothes, cleaning your house, running errands, cooking, … .

If you can afford it, I suggest you delegate low-leverage tasks to a maid. If not; Batch them all together in one day/afternoon, whilst listening to audio-books.


I’ve also made a supportive video for the ones who don’t have the time to read trough all of this.

Note: However the fact that I made a video, I want you to know that speaking isn’t one of my natural strengths and – although I’ve made progress on this – I recommend reading the full blogpost over watching the video.

Watch On Youtube


All-right! A lot to take in… Here’s a re-cap of what you need to know;

  1. Vision
    Create Your Ideal Vision
  2. Goals
    Set Your 3 Highest Impact Goals
  3. Prioritize
    Determine Your Highest-Leverage Actions
  4. Plan
    Divide Your Actions Over Time And Set Benchmarks
  5. Execute
    Pick 3-4 “Big Rocks” And Annihilate Them Accordingly

focus on pyramid

That’s the exact system I’ve been using for the past couple of months and it’s working flawlessly so far. I’ll adjust it further as time goes on and I’ll see where it gets me.

So, what do I want you to do for now?

Use it! (or at least give it a try & give me some feedback on it ;))

The best way to test this is by simply asking you this one question;

What Are Your 3 Highest-Impact Goals Overall & What Are The 3 Highest-Leverage Actions You Can Take This/Next Week?

Ok, I lied. Those are two questions :/

Anyway, that’s it for today!


If you feel like this post can help anyone out that you know, feel free to share it with your friends or send it in a mail to your mom! It helps me out a lot! If you’re having any thoughts or questions on this topic, feel free to share those with me in the comment section below.

Take care,



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