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Episode #48 Transcript: Finding Purpose in Life – Do Something You Love with Eva Chen - How To Quit Working
Episode #48 Transcript: Finding Purpose in Life – Do Something You Love with Eva Chen

Episode #48 Transcript: Finding Purpose in Life – Do Something You Love with Eva Chen




Jeff Steinmann:  Welcome to the How To Quit Working show. I’m excited to be here again this week. I love this show. I’ve gotten so many great comments lately from people who are new subscribers to the show or people that have been around for a while and it’s just so exciting to hear from you about what you think of the show. I’m hearing so much great stuff, and I want to hear from you. So send me an email. I’m at jeff@howtoquitworking.com. Again, it’s jeff@howtoquitworking.com. And tell me what you think about the How To Quit Working show.

And we’ve got a great guest on the show today. We’re going to be talking to Eva Chen. She’s the creator of Brand From Within. And she’s got this ridiculous idea that you could actually love what you do to make a living. I have no idea what she’s talking about. I’ve never heard of that myself. But we’re going to find out what she has to say about that today on the How To Quit Working show. And you know I’m being sarcastic. I’ve heard of that. I know she’s got some really great stuff to share. That is the topic that I am very, very passionate about.

But before we get to Eva’s interview, I want to share with you a review that I got on the How To Quit Working book. And this came from Anthony Balduzzi who’s in Scottsdale, Arizona. And Anthony says, “How To Quit Working provided me with a very approachable and friendly guide to the vast untapped gold mine of internet marketing. Have a business idea? How To Quit Working can teach you how to produce, market and fulfill that business online faster, easier, and cheaper than you ever thought possible.”

And he goes on to say, “I really love that every page is packed with actionable strategies and invaluable experience from a man who has walked the walk. If you’re like me, you want to work less, earn more and help more people, I definitely recommend you grab this book. Jeff’s wisdom will save you years of time.”

Anthony, thank you very much for your kind words about How To Quit Working and I wish you the best with everything. You can check out Anthony’s website and see what he’s doing with the concepts in How To Quit Working over at halftimefitness.com. Again, that’s halftimefitness.com. Thanks, Anthony, and best of luck to you with everything.

Without further ado, let’s talk to our guest for today’s show, Eva Chen. Eva, welcome to the show.

Eva Chen:  Thank you so much, Jeff, for having me. I’m so excited to chat about this topic with your audience.

Jeff:  Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m glad to have you here. The thing that you’re going to tell us about today is something really crazy that I’ve never heard of but apparently, it’s possible to like what you do on a day to day basis. Is that true?

Eva:  Yes, yes. One of my—what I love to do is help people believe that they can have the dream business lifestyle that they want and the freedom that comes with it.

Jeff:  The dream, lifestyle that they want and the freedom that comes with it. Something that all of our listeners want to hear about. Eva, tell us, how do you do that?

Eva:  Well, it sounds so simple and that’s why we’re talking about this concept of love. But to just put in a little bit of context, my personal journey is just searching for a lot of meaning and purpose. I don’t like this about my job and that. I was a job hopper. I decided really early on in my life that I needed to find my purpose and I needed to find it and meaning as fast as I could. So what that led me was their loss. I searched myself to becoming really lost and it wasn’t until I stopped that I found it. And I just started living and loving my life. And it just happened organically.

The thing is, it’s so hard to—I mean, being humans, since we’re babies, we’re… and this is my Brand From Within. What inspired me is we have a million voices in our head telling us what to do, how to be… what job to have, everybody’s beliefs is really you. And that’s why when people say, with your brand, just be you. When you figure that out, then just do it. That is so hard because you is not really you. It’s your father’s beliefs, your mom’s beliefs, every media, everything that you’re brought up with.

What I found was, coming from a place of just loving what you do, even if you’re out of job, where you are looking for—you can’t look for things from external. Even if you’re not exactly in your dream job, you can simply—there’s parts of it that you can find that you love. And what that does is it makes you stand out. It helps people realize your energy because people remember, at the end of the day, how you made them feel and you’ll be appreciated. People will start hanging out with me. Your value will be increased just because they like the way you make them feel. And love really is one of those things that’s the highest energetic place. So just find it in whatever setting that you’re given.

Jeff:  So that’s interesting. It sounds like you’re saying if somebody is stuck in a job that they don’t really like, you’re saying there’s got to be some part of that job, something that you enjoy and find that love. Is that right?

Eva:  Yes, yes. Because it is all about you or how you see things. And then, while you’re in that job, of course, you can start planning your exit. You can start planning your dream lifestyle. But to find what that is, getting connected to that higher energetic place is a first step. I mean, we’re going to talk about more tactical later but I think you’re never going to get anywhere or transition successfully because the transition is difficult. If you can’t, because it’s very difficult. I mean, it’s not difficult but it takes a different mindset and person to become a successful entrepreneur with this dream lifestyle. You have to have endurance. You have to have perseverance which means you have to be able to see the good in everything. Love. You know what I’m saying? Have that type of attitude.

Jeff:  I see. Well so, if I’m out of there in a job and I don’t know, let’s just say I’m maybe doing some customer service. And I really don’t like it. But you’re saying figure out the part of that that really lights me up and the part of it that I enjoy and feel really connected to. How do I identify that if I’m in that situation? 

Eva:  Sure, that’s a good question. I think we overcomplicate the search for meaning and purpose and what am I exactly doing. If you simply look at your core values, start living your values. Say you really value kindness or compassion or wisdom, there’s a way or connection people. Find out what it is that lights you up and you can start living it whether it’s how you interact with people.

I mean, there was times where I was just really depressed. I felt like I was searching the majority of my life. When I woke up and just started thinking, you know what? I’m going to live my core values. Not what other people expect me to do but what I felt successful. I said, you know what, even though I’m not the exact thing that I want to do, today, I made somebody laugh or today I showed kindness to somebody. It’s really about connection with people.

And then, nowadays, in looking for a job or profession, I think it’s not so much about your experience. People really want to know who you are and what you stand for. I mean, I’ve heard of interviews where you go in and people just say, tell me something that’s not on your resume. And so, expressing to somebody your philosophy about how you had this job that you didn’t like but you were able to really take that job and generate a sense of passion and purpose through it. And I believe all of us can find it in anything and it always has to do something with a connection to people, adding value. Look at your core values because core values are universal and you can live and show them and whatever you’re doing.

Jeff:  Well so, tell us a little bit, Eva, about your journey. I’m guessing you didn’t have this awesome philosophy all of your life and you weren’t always living in this place where you are now where you’re doing something that you love. Tell us about your journey.

Eva:  Sure. I was, like I mentioned, this searcher. You know what? I cannot move on with my life in terms of anything until I found my purpose and become successful on business. I started up corporate. I have the dream kind of like a consulting job. This is back in the early ‘90s. Got paid a lot of money, went to another consulting firm and did all the classic. I went to business school, the brand marketing director, everything. And I was constantly searching for something to fulfill me.

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Jeff:  I’m sorry to interrupt. But it’s so interesting that we hear this so often and that you said that you were working dream consulting jobs. You’ve gone to business school. You’re probably making a really good money at the time. And you had the life that so many people would lay out for you and that so many people would define as success. But you were still searching for something different.

Eva:  Yeah, I never thought I was successful. I was a failure. I mean, a part of it is comparing yourself to other people and I started my own business. And my first business, I hit the wall, totally burned out. I felt really regretful like I lost the best years of my life searching for meaning and purpose. It was external. And then I finally thought, you know what? I’m just going to live total with my truth. Live my values even if I’m jobless, whatever. I feel like a loser in my family. I’m going to live the things that I think are really important. And I’m going to express that. And I’m going to make somebody feel that way everyday. And it doesn’t matter what I’m doing in my job.

What happens eventually is that you’re more motivated, you’re more inspired and you’ll take action. The searching thing, searching for purpose and passion, I mean there’s so many books on that and I was… to describe how I felt, I felt really tired. I feel like, you know what, I’ve been in an exhausting 25 years of searching. I just wanted to do some good. I put so much pressure on myself to find my calling, my purpose in my life. And I didn’t live. I didn’t feel like I could participate in life, with people because I hadn’t found my dream job when all along, I could have probably made a successful career and slowly transitioned and made a job that I wanted.

I mean, if you are an amazing employee and have great energy, they’re going to do whatever they can to keep you there and create your dream job, whatever you want. And so, there’s just a type of person… they say this, that the most successful people, it’s not about IQ, it’s the sense of endurance and perseverance. And it really comes from how you see things. It comes from just loving yourself, right? I mean, that was my… and what you do and not really identifying so much of your self-worth based on that.

Jeff:  Yeah. Well now, Eva, it sounds like you didn’t just… when you decided to start living your life in a way that was more meaningful, that for you didn’t mean just leaving your job. It meant just behaving differently in your existing job, right?

Eva:  Exactly. It just meant feeling like I existed even though I didn’t have the right situation and everything. And I think just a great way for somebody to connect with that is to think about their core values because everyday, you can live it and feel really successful and make a huge impact just by doing that. And it’s really that your core values, it’s really an act of love. It’s really what you believe in and sharing that and then making somebody feel that way. So, I mean, it can just shift how you see things.

Jeff:  And you don’t have to change your circumstances to change how you see things, right?

Eva:  No. And that’s the ultimate. I think when you talk about evolvement or self-mastery, you can generate and love your life regardless of what circumstances and confidence that comes from knowing that whatever circumstance and that life gives you, you can still find something and change it and find something to appreciate about it. Find something to love about it. Find, make good of it as a great feeling to have and it really builds your confidence that you can do anything.

Jeff:  So what happens then? What happens when you change the way you view your situation?

Eva:  Well, what happens is that you see opportunity. You see things that you never see because you’re blind. And the greatest—I mean, you don’t have to look very far to see that the greatest accomplishments, opportunities are when people had a… like a bad circumstance is that you would think it’s a bad or a challenge or obstacle, something you didn’t like. Like, how can you creatively and strategically make something of that and it really helps… it’s your mindset. It’s an opportunistic mindset that no matter what, you’re able to make something good. And usually, the worst stuff ends up to be the best stuff.

Jeff:  So what do you recommend somebody change first? Their circumstance or their mindset?

Eva:  I think the mindset. I think most people are just going through life on autopilot thinking they’re not at the place that they want to be. You’re never going to be because you’re always going to be comparing yourself to the next best thing. And to really think about what lights you up regardless of circumstances? And that’s where I get back to starting to live from a place of love. What do you love making people feel?

If it’s cooking… one of the things I did was like, I just picked up… I started cooking because I loved making… and my mom was having—she had breast cancer so I was able to… I just cooked. I was bummed out and that was something I would never have explored in my life. And I just started and that got me into… what I do is all about like, healthy wealthy CEO of your life. It’s something that I really believed in and I started doing that. And so, that’s where I say go back to what you love to do.

Jeff:  Well like, you mentioned the cooking example. If somebody loves to cook and they have a job, maybe doing customer service at a call center. You can bring that into your job maybe just by baking some brownies for your coworkers.

Eva:  Exactly, exactly. If you want to transition, if you’re in a current job, I say you’re lucky because you can start doing what you love, doing all these other things. I mean, saying this but while you’re getting paid. You can have that in your mind. You can plan it out and very strategically. And most people don’t. Most entrepreneurs have the stress of having to get a paycheck so you can’t really just do that. Show people and grow your expertise. And that’s the other thing is you need to be so good at what you want to get into. And so, just start breathing and studying it. Obviously, you can start doing that because you have to become a master at that and you can do that while you’re in your job.

Jeff:  Amazing, amazing advice. Now, Eva, do you think that… you talked a lot about learning, about business and getting really good at what you do. And I totally get that that’s important but do you think that that knowledge and that information is what stops people from leaving their current situation to go do something that they would enjoy more?

Eva:  I think when you love to do something, when you love it, you will be… I mean, I’m thinking of like, natural born strengths but usually when you love to do it, you’re 16 times more productive. I mean, there’s some great assessments that you can take. I think it’s discover your strengths now or strengths finders 2.0. It’s not about your job or your skill because that’s the whole thing. It’s you got to find qualities that you can adapt to any type of career that are very natural for you. And a lot of times, people take for granted what they’re really good at. They love it because it’s so easy and people love and appreciate them but they think it’s so easy for them. They take it for granted.

So, I would say people probably… like, a lot better at what they do if they love it than they give themselves credit for and that they’re ready to do that.

Jeff:  Yeah. So you’re really saying if you stop spinning your wheels and being frustrated and just focus on what the heck is it that you really want to do and figure out how to inject that into your current situation, whatever that is. Then you’re going to have the energy and the momentum that you need to go do all of that. Much of it is frankly very boring stuff. Maybe that’s learning about marketing or setting up your legal structure or whatever that stuff is. You’re going to have the momentum and the push to do that because you’re being driven by something that you really, really care about and you really love doing.

Eva:  Exactly, exactly. Yeah, and when you’re in that current job, you can have a plan for that and start telling people. And that’s the great thing about the world that we live in, the digital world and technology is inexpensive to do. A video, write a blog, test up the waters. You have nothing to lose. You already have a job. And that’s the thing where there’s more freedom and authenticity because you have no pressure.

And usually, that is when—and I would just say, go for it. Go for it with wild abandon because most entrepreneurs, they don’t have that job or have that pressure. They pull back. They’re a little bit more hesitant. They’re not completely done because they feel like they have to filter, whatever. I mean, if you have nothing to lose like if you act like this, you have nothing to lose, usually you’ll make it. That’s why it’s all crazy entrepreneurs like Richard Branson that act like they have nothing to lose that end up hitting home run.

Jeff:  So if you act like you have nothing to lose, you’ll have more success.

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Eva:  Yeah, and that’s where acting and just loving it, just love the experience of it. Love the experience of it, let it be good, the bad, the ugly. And what it is, it’s when you’re in momentum and you have this attitude, you see the opportunities, that they come where there are other times you never see them. And before you know it, you’ll have opportunities come your way and that’s just what happens.

Jeff:  Awesome, awesome. Because you’re looking at it from a different perspective, right? You’re looking at it in a way that you’re open to seeing these opportunities.

Eva:  Yeah. And they are probably there before, you just didn’t see it. And that’s where you have to—that’s where the mindset and the attitude of just loving everyday, living your core values which is just your truth. Now, be more intentionable, intentional in your day to day even though you think you’re in a dead end customer service job, you never know who you might talk to on the other phone or with the attitude, who you might run into at lunch. Start doing other things that you love. Start telling people all that kind of stuff. Get a plan and it’s… yeah. Don’t start living when you get out of your job. Start living now and act like this is it.

And I think that’s like the adjustment in your mind that you have to make every morning because you don’t want… because time is all we have. And everyday that goes by where we don’t—we’re not aware of the opportunities that come our way that it’s just always that one decision, that one opportunity, that one little thing that we could have done. If you hear about success stories, I could have very easily been the other way. But because they did this or showed up at this place, went up and talked to this person that opportunity happened. And now, their whole life is different.

Jeff:  Yeah. Now you said something I thought was really cool. You said, act like this is it. Like, this that you have right now. Act like that is it. And just enjoy it to its fullest. I think that’s just an awesome, awesome piece of advice. Your point, which I think makes so much sense, is once you start doing that, then opportunities—then you’re able to see opportunities and it makes—actually making the changing your situation or your circumstance easier because of the opportunities that you’re able to identify. And that’s just such a powerful, powerful piece of advice. So I really hope our listeners get that, that whole thought and that whole idea of understand and appreciate where you are right now and what you have right now at this moment because that is what enables change to happen.

Now, Eva, I kind of cut you off a little bit when you were—because I got excited about something else—when you were talking about your story. But you said that you began to really cherish the parts of your job that let you do what you love but then you eventually did make a change. So tell us a little bit about how you actually made the circumstantial change after you made the mental change.

Eva:  Well, I mean, I was a marketing director. I help take a company public. And then I got laid off. So I had to. And then I ended up getting a job.

Jeff:  Well, that was an opportunity. Right?

Eva:  Yeah. That was total opportunity. But I made a lot of mistakes. If I was going to redo things, I have the severance, I had a lot of cushion to do what I really love but I chose not to because I thought I had to do—everybody was telling me, I had to do things a certain way or success was this instead of just totally doing what I love. I didn’t think I deserve to do what I love. I didn’t think that I could… I mean, it was just unconceivable to me that I could just do what I love. And I think a lot of it was the self-worth that I attached to not having the big corporate job to being laid off to a lot of things. So, and I made myself struggle needlessly like, I punished myself.

Jeff:  How did you make yourself struggle needlessly? What would you have done differently there if you had it to do all over again?

Eva:  That’s a great question. I would have just start living this advice I’m giving right now. I just start living like my life was right now and not when my career was successful or when I had things that I needed to have. I would have just started living life now, like this is it. Because now, what I feel like is I wasted the best years of my life searching. And that’s where I get back to the place I started with is just stop searching, just start living. If you don’t know what lights you up or you don’t feel like you have meaning or purpose, people don’t remember what you did or what you said. It’s just really how you made them feel.

I think connecting to… it was for me, connecting to my authentic core values, I think I was driven for success and money and lot of ego driven things that weren’t aligned with what I really wanted to do. And a lot of it was things that were passed down to me, these agreements that I made in my mind. And that’s where I get to really just simplify things. Just start living and living your truth. One way to find that is through what you believe in, your core values, and how you can give, how can you express or communicate or add value to the world by living those values.

Jeff:  Awesome, awesome advice. Well, Eva, what is some really specific things that our listeners could do to take your advice and to do things as you’ve learned and as you teach how to do them?

Eva:  Sure. One thing I think is—I talk about this searching—is to just… if anything is possible, if you could just wipe the slate clean, I would get out of computer. I would literally give yourself like a half day retreat. Go for a walk or do something and really just take a… just think about the times in your life where you’ve been in this zone of love, where you’re excited and you’re passionate, when you’re captivating people.

Just really think about the things that light you up from within that you can generate. And I think it’s really good to take an inventory of yourself of what you’re naturally good at. Because we were put on this planet, all different, nobody else is the same. We all have gifts. And I think when you know what you’re naturally good at, I would just do that and call up three of your closest friends and say, you know what? If you could give me three adjectives to describe myself, what would they be? Because usually, what’s so great about us, we don’t see because we’re living it and it’s so easy for us.

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So, I would just go and just take personal half day retreat, wipe the slate clean. If I didn’t have any of the influences that I had in my life, what kind of person would I be? Because who you are is a question that keeps us—you stuck in the past and that might not get you to where you want to be. And just create yourself newly. Like on a blank canvass, wipe the slate clean. And then find out what you’re naturally gifted at. Get that perspective from your close friends that you trust.

Jeff:  That’s a great piece of advice. So go to your close friends and ask them for free adjectives that describe you. That’s cool. And I think the exercise of just going away somewhere for a half a day, like you said, take a walk or sit in a park, whatever you like to do.

Eva:  Just unplug. Just unplug.

Jeff:  Yeah. Just get disconnected and just think really, really openly about who do I want to be? Who in the heck do I want to be? What a powerful exercise.

Eva:  Yeah. Because you can be anything. Nothing is tying you to… I mean, look how often celebrities and people reinvent themselves. You can completely do that. There’s nothing stopping you from—and the whole thing key is clarity. The clarity and what you stand for, how you want to make people feel, the relationship you have with yourself, the relationship you want to have with other people, what’s really important to you. And be the best at that. Be the best at what matters most. I think we try to be to our people. We’re so all over the place and are world because it’s a very viral, digital world. And I think when you get back to basics and really think, at the end of my life, what do I want to be known for?

Jeff:  That’s awesome. Well, Eva, tell us a little bit about your book called The Brand Within.

Eva:  Well, it’s my digital… I actually have a complementary—it’s considered branding but it’s a digital complementary free branding course. I made it digital online so it’s available to everybody. But it’s all about finding the right dream and how do you feel it right now? Like, getting to yourself off a place where you can generate those types of feelings that you want at the end of the day when you reach those dreams. Because we our dreams because of the way they’re going to make us feel.

So, how can you make yourself feel numb right now? And really working to build a brand from within. So you can go to my website and you’ll get a short video plus an action guide from me all about building your brand from within which is really your personality brand that you can apply to making yourself stand out more in jobs, in your career, really your core values. For the entrepreneur, how do you communicate that that’s relevant for people and creating a movement of your own? So discovering your brand, owning it and really creating a movement based on you and what you stand for.

Jeff:  That’s awesome. Now, where can we go to get that?

Eva:  It’s at brandfromwithin.com. You can’t miss it. It’s a digital branding course that’s really meant to break yourself free and create yourself newly.

Jeff:  That’s awesome. So we’ll go to brandfromwithin.com and there will be a link to that below.

Eva: You can’t miss it. And you’ll just get that quick little inspirational video to really kind of define the kind of person you want to be. Then you’ll know what your best assets are, what you have to work from and what you love to do.

Jeff:  I think that’s a great, great thing for folks to go through. I’m going to go there. I’m going to get it. I’m going to watch the video myself and see what I can learn from it.

Eva:  Yeah, yeah. Definitely. I think start planning. Start thinking day job to dream business. Start pounding at your plan and living and feeling like you have it right now.

Jeff:  Feeling like you have it right now. Living and feeling like you have it right now. And getting away from that whole idea of when this happens, then everything will be okay. When I reach this level in my career. When my business reaches this level. When I finally quit this job. When my kids grow. Whatever it is. Quit reaching for that thing in the future and figure out where is right now.

Eva, what great advice you’ve given our listeners and thank you so much for being here. What’s the one last thing that you want to leave our listeners with?

Eva:  One thing is… that’s a good question. Stop searching. Just start living. Stop searching for meaning, purpose from external. You can generate it within right now. I would just say stop searching.

Jeff:  Stop searching, start living. What amazing advice. Eva, thank you so much for being on the show. I wish you the best of luck and I can’t wait to see what you do with The Brand Within in the future.

Eva:  Yes. Thank you for having me.

Jeff:  That was Eva Chen, creator of The Brand Within. She really gave us some great, great advice. And I think the most important thing that she said is stop searching. Stop searching for happiness in some external thing, in something that’s going to happen in the future, in something that you don’t have, in something that you want and something that you’re trying to get. Whatever it is, find happiness within. And I think that’s why she called her product The Brand Within because it’s all right there. And it’s not until you realize that and it’s not until you actually live from that place of being happy and content with where you already are that you can actually get new things in your life.

This is something that a couple of our guests have talked about. And I remember Bradley Morris talk about that. And if you want to search for him, you can just go to the howtoquitworking.com and search for Morris and you’ll find his episode. And he talks about that same thing as well.

Now, I also wanted to let you know about a really special offer that I have for How To Quit Working show listeners right now. If you go to howtoquitworking.com/book, you can order a copy of the How To Quit Working book, and it comes with $150 worth of bonuses. It’s a free training series which talks about all of the things that our guests talked about on the How To Quit Working show and talks about how you can put those things into practice for yourself. Most importantly, as I said, how you could put those things in practice for yourself.

I should also let you know if you buy it at howtoquitworking.com/book, you will also get a copy of the audio book. That’ll come to you right after you purchase it from that site. And you’ll also get the free training video bonuses. Now, only for people who listened to the show, I will throw in an additional bonus which is a copy of the workbook. So I’ve created a workbook that includes all of the worksheets that I referenced in How To Quit Working.

Really, if you read the book and fill out the worksheets, you basically have a business. It’s pretty, pretty cool. So if you would like that bonus, go ahead and order the book from howtoquitworking.com/book. And then forward your receipt to support@howtoquitworking.com and they will also ship out the workbook. Go over to howtoquitworking.com/book and learn how these people do all these amazing stuff. How I did it for myself and all of the great lessons that the guests on the How To Quit Working show have taught us. Until next time.

You can get more information about Eva and Brand From Within at:

brandfromwithin.com.

 Subscribe on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-quit-working-show/id632735157

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About Jeff Steinmann

Jeff wants to help you Live More. He is the author of How to Quit Working, A Simple Plan to Quit Your Job for a Life of Freedom. He hosts a weekly show called The How to Quit Working Show that features lessons from Freedom Fanatics who quit their soul-sucking 9-5 job and created a business that lets them live a passionate life of freedom. Jeff also writes for several media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Lifehack and Elite Daily. Most of all, Jeff is a Freedom Fanatic, fiercely devoted to finding a better way to “do life”.

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