The Late Night Show with Dan & Mike: How to Discipline and Balance Your Life

Coaches Dan and Mike from Brojo talk about the struggles they’ve had staying disciplined with exercise and eating healthy, and what tools they use to overcome issues like low motivation, procrastination, lifestyle imbalance, and outside interference.


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Full Transcript (unedited)

Mike Wells I like that the topic on my mind of late has been mostly personal on has been mostly just about balance, which I thought seemed kind of relevant to some of what you’re going through, I saw your post, about getting rid of the dad bod and, and I was thinking about it, I’m like, Damn, you know, like, I’m way out of shape right now I’m in the worst shape I’ve been in years. And it all happened in the last two months, when I when I got very focused on a work project, couple of work projects, just buried myself in them set everything else aside, just two months. That’s it, and it feels like everything else just kind of fell apart that then fast. You know, I find that really interesting because, you know, we talk a lot about the value of focusing and having just one thing to progress an area of your life beyond anything else you want. And, and to be fair amount of shit I’ve learned in the last two months is ridiculous, at least a year and a half of learning packed into two months. But it was a huge cost to that. You know, and I’m kind of reflecting on that right now. As I get back to the gym, you know, how did you find yourself kind of realizing that, hey, I’m letting my health and fitness slide. Other things are falling apart? Dan Munro Well, the health the health things been an issue for me since actually before my daughter was born. And I think we’ll just make this the topic today, let’s just keep going where she is this because I’ve got the generic heart issue. So I’ve got the high cholesterol, even if I’m totally awesome, I have high cholesterol. So my dad had his heart attack when he was in his 50s. And he survived. But after that ESD like a monk for the rest of his life and exercise every day hard out or he’s gonna die basically. So I’ve always thought like, I want to be around for Chloe, I’m gonna get my health sorted. But with the COVID Fuckin nightmare happening and everything. At the very least I had good excuses. And I could use the delay it. But also some quite reasonable barriers. Like I literally can’t go shopping for food and stuff like that. But anyway, so since clothes been born, I’ve gone down the path of many dads go basically, where you’re just anything that’s yours personally gets put aside, and you’re just all about the family, you know, and I’ve been like that. So I’m either working, which is also for the family, or I’m taking care of Chloe or helping Lucy with something. And that’s it, that’s all I’m doing is my entire life. No hobbies, no social life, nothing. No exercise. And with the sleep deprivation in particular, there’s two factors. One is like very sleep deprived, which makes it very hard to exercise, as possibly not even a good idea to exercise because you can’t heal, like you can’t do heavy workouts at the very least, or your muscles just going to erect from what I read anyway. Plus, we don’t have whinge about this a lot, but we don’t have support. So Chloe is always around, which means things like, you know, the regular food shopping, you’d need to do to like maintain a healthy diet, you know, like you got to prep meals and think through things. Were more like constant last minute grabs and ordering and just anything to get through the day. And it’s not that there was the only option available. But you know, in the state we’re in we’re looking for a path of least resistance at any point we because we’re constantly doing the path of most resistance all the time. So anyway, that kind of got into a bit of I guess inertia that just became the way we’re living now close more independent and stuff. And I realized actually, when am I going to break out of this? Because there’s no there’s never going to be an invitation to do. I’d have to go now. It has to change. Yeah, Unknown Speaker yeah, essentially the pressure builds. Yeah, this this is such a relevant topic. I think for the brojo guys, because so many of the guys are having kids right now starting families I probably know at least 10 that have that are either pregnant or have newborns of my close friends circle. It’s it’s time and I remember when my my kids were little Yeah, I felt like my whole life was just hijacked. None of my time was my own. It was it was survival mode. You know, you sleep when you can you eat whatever is available. You’re just getting by barely. But then there was a shift for me. When my kids reached about three years old. Were they were kind of autonomous enough I could sit them down for a moment they could play I could bring toys I could take them places they could actually walk didn’t have to be carried everywhere. and they needed to get out and do things. So I kind of rearranged my world around that if I needed to get fruit to eat healthy, it was a trip it was a family trip take my kids you know we go for a walk Yeah, it would take 30% longer maybe more. But it ended up being ended up basically killing a couple birds with one stone, you know, we got we got bonding time i They got to learn things we all got out, we were eating more healthily, everything in my world, hobbies, hanging out with friends, going for walks, going to the gym doing yoga, started a Japanese drumming team. I mean, basically, when they got to that age, they could actually be a part of my life kind of in parallel, rather than interfering. And the reason I find this really interesting was that somehow, I found that very grounding. It kind of balanced me, because I had to spend time with them. Now my kids are grown. I don’t have that grown, right. And there’s no one saying, hey, we need to spend time with you. We need to go do things we need to get out and get exercise, we need to go have friends. And so when I get wrapped up in something, like a work project, that’s it, man, I’m lost. I’m down the rabbit hole. And there’s no one here to pull me out. And I find it really interesting to realize that I have to do that for myself now. I have to somehow find a way to save and that’s it’s not going to happen I have to create my own demands, you know, to create a balanced schedule. Yeah, how old is Chloe now Unknown Speaker is Chloe is about to turn to. I could see like you’re doing other the writing on the wall a little bit. Like, as their independence grows and stuff, I can see a future where including Aaron my stuff. I don’t know about my work. But yeah, health and fitness and stuff like that. I could see her helping me prepare meals up on a little stall on the bench and stuff. If I was to do it right now, she would just throw it everywhere. But she’s very close to not being like that. I think she’s slowly. You know, she can eat with a fork and stuff. Now it’s getting like, very promising signs that she might be able to participate. She actually quite enjoys it. Well, what I’ll say is she likes climbing on me when I’m doing push ups. So we’re halfway there gives me extremely Yes, extra resistance in terms of his bones that like, punch him in the face. But yeah, so I like that idea. I think, yeah, if you said three years old, it sounds about right, I think I’m about a year off her been not a burden, but more of a participant. You know, like if I go shopping with her now. I mean, that is one way to get out of the house and do something but you know, she’s grabbing shirt off the shelves and throwing it and stuff like that it’s not quite helpful at this point. It’s more like I’d rather go without it. And at this point, you know what I was thinking of coming back to your thing. And I think this is our issue. I know when people have a nine to five job, or they have kids, or they’ve got a bossy partner, perhaps or whatever, you have like an external, on and off kind of management happening right like workings now. Because we’re shutting the shop up and you know, you need to come help me with dinner. So I guess I’m pulled out of whatever I was doing. And I don’t know how this relates, but what popped into my head was actually dancing. So I’m, I’m a person where I have a limit, no matter how much I love an activity, there’s a limit how long I can do it before I completely sort of crash on that activity. So whereas Lucy, she could dance all night all day and not get bored. I guess social dancing. There’s a certain point in the night is different every night, a certain point of like, if I do one more dance, I’m gonna hate this forever. Like I have to stop now I have to go. Especially I should have gotten one down to go down to the point where I now feel like it’s a chore and I’m killing like, I don’t want it to be my last memory. And it’s still something I’m practicing just dancing was the example where it first happened where I had to choose to end it arbitrarily. Like there’s no sign off externally. There’s no sign that like this is the time I just feel it out and go now it has to stop now. And I do this like thing I’m just Iran is just getting going on my I’m actually getting going literally like I’m out. And nobody could understand. I’m like, I can’t explain to you but if I don’t leave now, I’m never going back you know? Unknown Speaker Yeah, I’ve done that before as well. And I think you and I’ve both we’ve talked a lot about the value of the Irish goodbye just bailing when it’s time because you need to take care of yourself, you know, and, and trying to consider the expectations of others first as a death trap and just you know end up Yeah, hating your social world. And funnily enough, I’m in exactly the same way about and about really all activities is there’s a certain point where I’m full. If I go beyond that, it becomes work. I’m pushing myself out of any kind of like real enjoyable place to where there might be benefit. But I don’t want it anymore. I lose all sense of motivation. And I’ll find the same thing about work as well. What’s interesting for me about work is that particularly because, you know, you’re you’re an entrepreneur, I’m an entrepreneur, we do things that we love to do. And it’s a huge space, like, you get bored with writing, you do a podcast, you get bored with a podcast, you do coaching and get bored with coaching, start a new book, study something new, you know, there’s a million things. And literally, for the last two months, it feels like it was a week long. For me, I was so deep, that I find that there are certain aspects of my life that it’s almost rather than having a kind of aversive personality come out, when I go too deep, I become more addicted. Like, this is so much fun. Like, there’s so many things, there’s so much to learn, I can’t stop. And I’ll find myself going to bed at 2am in the morning and waking up at six. And that’s how my life has been for the last two months. And one day I look in the mirror and like damn, when’s the last time I went to the gym? Really, I can’t remember, I think I still have a membership somewhere, you know, I find that really fascinating. Because in the moment, I’m barely aware of that trade off. And even to the degree that I am aware of it, you know, for example, ordering in way too much because I just don’t have time to cook because I’m too busy working on this great thing. And I don’t want to stop now. So Uber Eats or whatever, run down the street and grab, you know, taco or something like that. And you’re kind of aware that this isn’t a healthy, sustainable way to live. But the experience of being so wrapped in something you’re so passionate about. It’s just so all consuming. It’s it’s, I call it Tesla syndrome. Because Nikola Tesla was famous for just he didn’t have a girlfriend he didn’t you know, he his life was about his work. Davinci was quite similar, right? And is it a certain people that you just get so absorbed in the thing that you’re passionate about that everything else fades away, and it’s not actually a healthy place to be, but you lose all sense of perspective on it. And I find I found once in a while I end up dipping my toe, I’m not anything like those guys, you know, but I end up dipping my toe into that pond, and then I come out going, that wasn’t like I enjoyed it. I don’t think I’m better for the experience. You know? Have you felt the same challenge? Unknown Speaker Yeah, now I have some external pools at the moment. A partner and a child are kind of unavoidable. I mean, I’ve heard of guys, they’re like, Fuck them. And they just get to do whatever they want. But I’m not that kind of guy. One of the upsides to having that people please a pathway, and when it is I can’t be there ruthless. So I get pulled out. But, you know, I think I’ve prior to, you know, when I first started my business, I was doing 90 hour weeks. That was all I was doing. And you know, my health plummeted, I had no social life, no hobbies, no reason why it couldn’t. It’s partly driven by the financial insecurity of getting started. But it was mostly just by the just obsession, there was an obsessive feeling. The drive like, like you said, addictive, couldn’t get away from my computer couldn’t stop looking at things. You know, what I think we’re going to end up talking about or start talking about is the concept of discipline, which I’ve been thinking a lot more about lately. And working definition I had going with a couple of clients was that discipline is about doing the right thing rather than what you feel like doing. And I think what we’re talking about, and this is a problem with either obsessive compulsive behavior, or procrastination obey via is you’re going with what you feel like doing. And I think what we feel like doing is often misleading, often short sighted, often about highs and lows, and not about long term rewards. And you know, it’s even when I think about like the neglect. So what you’ve been doing with work I’ve been doing with fatherhood. And I can make all sorts of noble narrative statements that justify that and be very hard for someone to argue against without them looking like a bastard, you know? See, I’m just doing the right thing as a father even if I can argue there. But the truth is, there is an obsessive quality to it. And there’s a people pleasing quality to it. You know, there are little moments where I’m spending extra time with Chloe, because I know if I don’t like Lucy will be stressed, which is actually caretaking her behavior, it’s not really about being a dad, it’s about making her less stressed. So it doesn’t bother me as much. It’s very much in there, at least the intentions got people pleasing flavor to another really I’ve relapsed quite a few times with people pleasing since Chloe was born. I guess that was inevitable. But discipline. Let’s say you got the classic example of discipline, like every morning you get up and exercise, you’re never, you’re never gonna have a consistency of feeling like doing some mornings, you’ll be pumped, but most will be. And discipline is doing it anyway. And I think self discipline is most difficult, like we’re talking about, if you got external factors like prompting you and pushing you, you can be disciplined by those, like someone you know, you can become reliant on a partner, or reliant on kids or reliant on a boss to like, choose your hours for you. But you and I both know, when you move to entrepreneurship, or you’re living alone or something, you just like, all the noise is gone. And you just go with what you feel all the time. And, yeah, it’s very easy to go lock in and procrastinate on other things. And then discipline is probably one of the most difficult and necessary practices, a human being can engage in for a healthy life. Unknown Speaker There is a book called The molecule of more that I really enjoyed, it’s a bit of a technically flavored look at how dopamine works. One of the big takeaways I had from that book is that pretty much half of our brain functions seem to function on dopamine, that are there actually, for dopamine pathways that drive our thinking. Some of them are for instant gratification, very reptilian brain, I’m hungry, I want to eat fatty, sugary foods, I want to sex I want alcohol, whatever cravings oriented. But just as importantly, our future oriented desires, life goals, ambitions, you know, wanting to have ABS wanting to have that great relationship, wanting to build your business. Those are also driven by dopamine. And so there was a period of time where I just thought dopamine is evil, like it drives me towards the pizza and the beer and the you know, things that aren’t benefiting me, and where I want to go. But that’s not the case at all. And what I’ve realized is, if I look at my past, the reason I’ve been very successful that some periods of my life in some areas of my life, is because I created an environment that focused my dopamine on the things where I get the most benefit. So when I’m starting my business, I surrounded myself with good people set up a site where I could work without any distractions, and we just went, you know, hardcore into building that business. And it succeeded, like like nothing else. Same thing with family relationships, raising kids, putting myself into that environment was surrounded by I didn’t give myself any choices, basically. So it’s like you’re saying part of it is feeling pooled into wanting to be a part of that. Part of it’s feeling pushed, other people have needs and demands and expectations on you. But all of them are pointing me in the same direction. So when I would go to work, part of it was because hey, this is exciting and fun. And I’m really enjoying it. Part of it was because if I don’t, my employees have no idea what to do, because I’m not there sort of conducting the orchestra. Part of it is because clients have deadlines. So I’m pushed and pulled in every but it’s all towards the same target. And in those situations, my my level of effectiveness and progress was was 100 out of 100. Right. Now, what I’ve realized is that the world that I’ve created, the world that I’m in right now, is really only oriented towards work. Right? It’s not oriented towards physical fitness health. It’s not organized in any specific way towards like social connection relationships, you know, those are part of my life, but they’re not prioritized in any sense of the way in the way I’ve set up my world. And I begin to notice it, because what happens is, those those normal demands those little pushes As in pools of everyday existence, the emails you get when you wake up in the morning, the texts you get through the day, you know, they end up really sucking you into this vortex of where you’re absolutely focused on on one thing, but at the expense of everything else that’s balanced. And I find it very hard to pull away from that it’s kind of a quicksand experience, where you got into it, you felt safe, you felt in control, suddenly, you weren’t so much in control anymore, and you’re kind of flailing around just trying to stay afloat. And it becomes a very interesting exercise to say, well, discipline actually means sacrificing some of that. Like, I actually have to say no to myself about certain things that I want to do, or I have to say no to a client about certain things they’re asking from me, I have to really, it’s almost as though the people pleasing nature is inward facing as well, that there’s a sense of, I need to make me happy. It’s like, No, you don’t. Your job is to make you healthy and strong. And, and, you know, live a good long, full life, it’s not just to enjoy now, or to be wealthy now, or to have great relationships. Now, there’s future stuff you have to consider in that equation. And if you don’t, you’re going to suffer. Unknown Speaker What I’ve been here along those lines, what I’ve been trying to figure out is if you get the want wrong, then you do realize what it is you’re trying to achieve with, you want to call that a goal or just a desire, vision. If you if you don’t get there, right, or you’re lying to yourself about what it is, and there’s something else behind that, that you’re secretly going for. You either gonna procrastinate or overdo things. And usually those occur simultaneously, right? Procrastination is usually an excessive amount of another task, or another type of tasks. What I’ve been trying to think of Bailey is what’s a what’s it going to image a vision, it would keep me on track. And more importantly, like the kind of instant gratification dopamine will override that urge, or make it very hard for me to follow that urge without feeling very guilty. And, and one of the things that having a kids helped me with is that, for the first time, maybe in my life, my focus has shifted from me being something that I like being as being the primary goal, to being something that’s of great benefit to her. Which is actually still the same thing. But it’s got this like, like you said, it’s a kind of a helpful external component to it. I’m like, This can’t just be me, like, jerking off in the mirror just going, you’re awesome. As we something that benefits her, and it’s made me ask a very, like, careful question around what is an actual good father, not one that’s particularly you know, seem to be good necessarily, or one they’d like follows common. So called wisdom, but the one where as the father role, your impact, gives you the best possible chance for a very high quality of life, the high self confidence for her to be as fruitful as she’s possibly going to be. Knowing that, you know, that’s only part of the pie, other things are going to influence her, but also to create an influence that should negative influences try to throw off track, your influence counters those in some way and that kind of thing. So I’ve been two years, I’ve been thinking about this and rethinking about it, plotting various points, reading scientific articles and books to see why, what works and what doesn’t, objective way and so on. And the answer is pretty clear. It’s nice one and which is already, just living with integrity goes a long way. Just being available goes a very long way. You don’t have to do something special, just be there and be present in your focus. But more importantly, it’s just the message keeps coming through like I need to be doing well. That’s what’s best for her. So as best for my relationship and everything is that I’m firing on all cylinders. I’m very healthy, not just physically but mentally, the healthier I am physically and mentally combined with being available for her guarantees, basically the best possible influence I can hear because I’ll be role model. She’s going to copy what I do much more than she’s gonna listen to what I say. She sees me eating healthy all the time. She sees me saying no to bad things and turning off screens when I’ve had enough and if she sees me, you know, being confrontational to unhealthy social influences. And she sees me having fun as much as I can. She’s likely to copy that essentially. And you you’d likely look for guys like that, you know, assuming she’s straight. In a romantic future, she’s going to prefer guys who are like that. Unknown Speaker One of the things that I really enjoyed, when my kids were in this age range, typically between, I’d say three and 12, they were just part of my life, they are intricately wrapped up in everything that I did. And I was very aware that they’re watching me, learning from everything I do, they’re learning from every decision I make, they’re learning from how I balanced my life between taking care of things like washing the dishes, or cooking dinner, working relationships, friendships, hobbies, health, and fitness, all of it, they got to see me doing all of it, none of it was hidden from them, I simply didn’t have the opportunity to hide it from them because I was a single dad. So they were always there with me. And one of the things I became acutely aware of was that me showing them that it was important to live a rich and full life full of activities and friends and learning and hobbies and experiences, even as a single dad, you know, challenging situation, was incredibly important for them, it’s incredibly important for them to see that that was not just out of enjoyment, it was out of staying healthy and maintaining my integrity and being a rock for my family. They never saw me sacrifices, things I was quite fortunate, like, I did those things because I needed to do them. But I also did them because I realized they needed me to do them. They needed me to do them so that I could be the dad that they needed if I was entirely focused on them. Some point, exhaustion, resentment, frustration, lack of purpose, spinning compass, all of that was going to be their reality in their perception of well, this is what it’s like to be a dad, that kind of sucks. But that would be their family experience. I could not let that happen. I did not want that to happen. So I found that a really, really compelling reason to invest the time I did it never felt wasted. And they got involved in so many things. They tried martial arts, they got into Aikido and karate. They did acro yoga, some acrobatic stuff. They did Japanese drumming for about two years, did some performances on stage, went for some epic hikes, did random art projects, we’d take apart a TV that wasn’t working anymore, just anything we could do that was interesting and fun. And where we could learn. They were part of that. And it was that kind of I got to sort of immerse them in my own core values experience of being me, it’s like, I’m curious, how does this work? Let’s find out. We’d rip it apart together. And we’d hit the internet and try to figure out what this thing was. And it was a great adventure for them. And I think that’s, that’s the key is life is meant to be an adventure, if it feels like an adventure. Like you don’t know what’s around the next corner. And that’s super exciting. Because you’re, you’re right up against it, you’re probably in the right place. You know, if it feels like everything is predictable, you’re probably so deep into the comfort zone that you’re going to struggle to find your way out. You’re almost certainly not growing or challenging yourself or your kids if you have kids, you know, in any meaningful way. And that became to me that that felt like death. You know, the few times I found myself in that place. I was like This sucks. This is not even living. You know, and I certainly I certainly didn’t feel like I could be the role model that they deserved, you know, when I was there? Unknown Speaker Well, yeah, it’s interesting, because we’ve kind of got two separate dilemmas. One is I’ve got the dilemma of the people pleasing urge, and sacrificing myself, which I do like successfully battle again, sometimes, but I’ve I’ve been slipping a lot since she was born. And then you’ve got the dilemma of no one watching you. Then nobody, you know, to be held to account to large periods of time. And both of those are quite dangerous places for discipline. I think, you know, when I look at what I need to do, is basically it’s the crazy quote that I get from Tim Ferriss Four Hour Workweek, you know for big good things to happen little bad things need to happen. And like for me to be the dad she needs sometimes I have to do things that upset both her and Lucy have to like not be available in order to be better available and have to take care of myself before I take care of them sometimes and so on. Something I’ve preached a lot But being hypocritical about as well, as hard to put into practice, it is and like I say we, you know, maybe I’m making excuses, but I feel like they’re real barriers, you know, that combo like I see it of faculty of I’m lucky to get four hours sleep a night for two years now. And me and Lucy and Lucy is far more devastated by it than I am. So I’ve kind of got caring for her on top of it. And then like, a large percentage of the time, there’s no one to leave Chloe with, we don’t get a break from clay when she’s just started daycare, and then she got sick instantly. So she’s back. You know, that combo was just, I couldn’t get my head above water, you know. And then like you think about that, and then like, the car breaks down, I have dental problems on top of that. And just reaching for the surface every day, like one breath, just give me one fucking, like the only break again, the day is the time that Lucy and I spend together when Chloe has a nap. And that time is so important to me that I don’t want to use it all with a workout. But that’s the only time I could do a workout unless I find some sort of magic spot. But as I hear myself talk, there are excuses there, you know, like, Can I not do a 10 minute hit workout somewhere in the day, of course I can’t, just won’t be the time I prefer. And I won’t be in like a gym, I will be on my bedroom floor and bumping into stuff. But that’s not an obstacle. The thing is, that’s the discipline thing is you have to do this almost cold light of day, write down what your day should look like, if you’re being the man you should be. And then force yourself to do that no matter how you feel, essentially, you know, kind of follow your own instructions made when you’re rational. When you’re feeling irrational. And I think you know a person we’ve seen it with like you get over those military guys like Goggins and Jocko Willink, and all those guys, you know, this is their fucking mastery, you know, this is what they’re strong. The guy runs every day, no matter what the guy makes his bed every day no matter what. And then, of course, we’ll have other problems, which is they’ll be disciplined to such an extent where they follow the rules, even if the rules need to change, if the rules no longer appropriate, or a situation grants an override, they’ll gonna do that, perhaps I’m guessing. But that’s why discipline is such a complex and nuanced idea of mixture of rigidity and flexibility of being able to like take in the context and decide which of those is appropriate? Do I go with the plan or is now the time to break it without being influenced by how you feel in the moment, but through logical nightmare? Unknown Speaker It’s difficult, I’ve found some tools that really helped me with discipline, and they’re basic things like, like having a cheat day, you know, you’re allowed to have good fun things that are purely for the enjoyment of it, ice cream, whatever it is for you. But once a week, Sunday is that day. And I find little tools like that helped tremendously, because from a psychological perspective, you’re not telling your inner child, whatever, no, in which case, it’s just going to rebel and scream and pull things off the shelves. You’re saying Not yet. You can have cake after you eat your broccoli, you know. And I found that using tools like that on myself were really, really beneficial in helping me to stay focused. One of the tools I found most interesting, that really benefited me was a was where I took the what I call the five areas of lifestyle design, just wrote them down on a sheet of paper. So it was inner self, like, you know, how I’m feeling how I’m thinking and my journaling? am I meditating those types of things, health and fitness, wealth, relationships, and then future mission, mission and purpose. You know, those are my five columns. At the start each week, I go to a cafe with Starbucks locally, sit down, and actually write out what do I want to accomplish this week and each of these five areas, and just made a very simple map. This is only for one week? Am I going to hit the gym three times this week? Am I gonna do some yoga classes? Am I going to dancing? What am I doing working on? You know, in terms of writing projects, or new products or just something I’m building end, who am I going to go see and hang out with everything was on there. And it only took half an hour to sort of sketch out like, here’s what I want to do, and that would stand like what do I need to do today? What are my priorities today? And what I found really interesting and this is we’ve had this discussion about just one thing versus where you where do you spend your resources. Unknown Speaker But for me, hang on just the sake. Unknown Speaker I found that sort of splitting I’m Unknown Speaker sure you’re cutting in and out quite badly, but I might have just come right now. Yeah. Okay. All right, take Unknown Speaker it out Flickr for a moment there. So one of the things I found really beneficial about this approach was that I found myself moving forward in every area of my life that I cared about, rather than just moving forward really fast in one. But all the other areas were falling backwards, you know, backsliding, I was moving forward in all of them very steadily. And one of the very interesting facets of that is if, if there was ever a time, when anything kind of went off the cliff, any part of my life, a relationship, a work project, a health situation, whatever it is, all those other areas were really stable. So the experience for me wasn’t like, Oh, crap, my life’s in the shitter. Now, you know, it was, Oh, this isn’t ideal. But all these other things are going great. Let’s double down on those while we wait for this dental issue to take care of itself or whatever, I’ve gone through those exact same situations, it was really helpful to kind of see clearly, where I was making progress really helped me psychologically. So I keep thinking about that. I keep thinking about the fact that I haven’t, haven’t done that balancing act in ages. I haven’t even printed off one of my one of those sheets, or ever sat down with a coffee and said, Well, what do I want to accomplish? What are my goals? And when I don’t do that, I find myself in the quicksand in no time flat. Unknown Speaker That’s the key, I think, is there needs to be a single practice that has a domino effect, where if you engage in it, you can’t help but become disciplined by following through on it, you know, and you just described, yours probably would be interesting to see you go and apply them, you know, in the next 48 hours and see if that does the trick, which are a well, if it’s worked before, it will work again, usually, right. And that’s what I’ve been working on as well. I’m trying to think now. Like, how did I suddenly become disciplined with my health. And like at the time, like I say, there’s days where she put me on antibiotics, which means I can’t work out, because I’ll just fucking pass out. They’re so strong. And like, you know, my wife’s really struggling because I’m trying to eat or healthy and she’s eating normal, and how do we cook and all that. So there’s always barriers, but I’m like an on point, like, apart from not being able to do what I can’t do, I’m not slipping. I’m only cheating on the cheat day and so on. And when I think about why I got here, what stands out to me is the there’s a long term and a short term technique that have worked. The long term one is journaling, honestly. And for a long time now I’ve been writing that How about how disappointed I am and what I’m doing about my health. And it builds up a healthy guilt motivator. So I haven’t been released very recently, I have not been lying to myself about what’s happening with my health. I’ve been neglecting myself I’m meeting like shit, a good exercise, but I didn’t just talk myself out of it. But one every time I have to write that on my fuck I’m reading this again, you know, like, why the I don’t want to be around for coil? Or what is this bullshit, just getting mad at myself, essentially, for the theoretic Bay View, and pathetic excuses and so on. And that has a long term effect. If you’re very honest with yourself and your measurements, it becomes impossible to ignore. And you just staggering that cognitive dissonance all the time. And then what I’ve done, which I think really pulled the trigger for me more recently, is creating in the moment cognitive dissonance, which is I’m allowed to do anything I want anything at all. As long as I asked myself a question like, is this living by the value of respect? Or I might ask a question is like, me being my ideal self? Is this what he would do? Or is this the best you can do right now? There’s certain questions I play with different ones. Usually, like with my clients, I’ll find one question that really like hits the mark for them like this squirm when it’s answer because they just can’t get away from the answer and it’s just glaring and they can’t like they can maybe go ahead with the bad behavior, but they can’t enjoy it. You know, it’s like ruined for them. Because this one guy might say like, my original question was always like, what would a confident man do right now? And you go and do the opposite, and you’re like, I’m just being a total fucking pussy and something you might usually enjoy like joking into porn or smoking some weed or eating a big cake is just soured for you. Is feel bad doing it you don’t feel bad later like usual you feel bad during and And it allows me It allowed me to kind of that’s my maintenance go to. So whenever I get little compulsions and urges, I think what have I been asked? Mostly? I’ve been asked myself the respect question. I’ll be like, is this respecting your body? Or is this respecting the plane? Is this respecting your fatherhood ideal, you know, and I’m looking at, like, I don’t know, it’s not cake in our house, but it might be biscuits or something, I’d be like, really, you’re going to eat that instead of respecting yourself and was like, can have the biscuits. Unknown Speaker One of the perspectives that I like, a lot on, on exactly this approach, is to frame it as anything I do. Anything I don’t do, consciously is a choice. It’s a choice I’m making. So if I choose, I don’t actually feel like going to the gym today, I’m a bit tired, I didn’t get much sleep, I actually have to say to myself, I’m choosing to be unhealthy. Right, I’m choosing to get fatter, I’m choosing to live less long. And to be further away from, you know, ideal fitness goals. That’s a choice. And if you’re very aware, if I say that out loud, like I’m choosing right now, if I do this, I’m choosing. And it makes things very clear. This isn’t just this can’t slip under the radar unnoticed, right? This is a conscious choice that I’m making. And that’s very powerful. So I actually have to become self confrontational. Right. Yeah, find those finding that right question that really kind of pushes you. Because, for me in particular, I would never consciously want to do things that cause me harm. So that one actually pushes me hard. Right? If I say, and I’m choosing this unhealthy decision, whatever it is, I feel that I feel that hard. Like, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t feel right, you know, and I’ll really I’ll stay awake over that. Unknown Speaker Yeah, I like that one. I think what we’re seeing is a combo here which is discipline has elements of both responsibility and respect. And discipline is bearer space doing what’s right and and responsibility is about realizing whose job it is to do that thing, which is yourself. I love that I’ve used that one many times myself as well. Like what am I really choosing not what am I not choosing? What am I choosing? And that’s been very powerful since having daughter like, Okay, I’m choosing to be a poor role model for Chloe so that she ends up being a weekend’s but like, life just shifts all over. I’m choosing their own now, by eating this in front of her. He’s just holding it like shaking like, oh, I can’t do that. fucking horrible and it’s not it’s not untrue. I mean, I’ve been this isn’t for everyone, but it’s a type of language that works well. I like hard, brutal language. Like when I when I get a coach I was asked him like, just fucking go to town, bro. Like, don’t be soft with me, like hurt me. Like, it’s because I’m so resistant to authority. I need a big whack, you know. And I find it funny which helps me motivate stuff. I’ve been watching a lot of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay. That’s my new thing. It’s my only like break in the day, I guess we want to one of those together. And he’s got a very specific style that appears to be very effective. Which is mostly insults that are very, very accurate. You know? Without like Ranko Allah he’ll be happily working alongside that person. Five minutes later he doesn’t hold a grudge but he’ll say very very accurately cruel things to them. And I like talking to myself like that. You know, like also you’re gonna be a little bit choosy and denial that’s that’s the guy you want to be you know, you’re gonna be a fucking obese fat as as the water everywhere like that’s that’s an awesome giveaway. Good luck. You know, you want everyone to see that you want to be that? That’s that’s your role model. You know, does the coach who doesn’t take care of himself awesome. What a cool guy. And that like, this isn’t for everyone. For some people that’s actually their self talk that they used to demotivate themselves. But for I don’t know for my personality type perhaps maybe it’s the challenge. I’m actually creating authority figure I now want to prove wrong even though that figure was me. And it’s kind of like oh fuck it show you I can do some push ups. Sometimes it backfires or literally backfired this morning. I was like oh God, I’ll finish my antibiotics and then I’ll do work exercise again. Just like what you just can’t believe the doctors you know. I mean, you’re frozen over but the evac let me know if you can hear me I can see that. Yeah, I was I was gonna leave the doctor’s tell you how to live a little bit. So dropped in, did some push ups and then almost passed away. They weren’t like but the upside Did they I mean, I stopped, you know, the upside to there was I didn’t just take something at their word I went and tested it now I’m feel very like guilt free about not exercising, like I made sure that this was not an excuse. This wasn’t me posting, you know, this was a genuine barrier. Because I think that’s one of the biggest issues to discipline that I’ve seen in my clients more than my own problems, maybe that is the difficulty distinguishing the difference between an actual barrier and an imagined one. You know, you think of going to the gym when you’re pushing out that last rep. Is it actually that you can’t lift it? Or do you just think you can, you know, we’ve talked about that before, you can usually get another three in you, the muscles still have room to grow. But your mind’s given up? And they will say, see the sort of people pleasing and and myself, you know, but my partner’s really sick. Right? And that stops you doing push ups? How exactly? Is he grabbing you and throwing up in your face while you’re trying to do push ups? Or is it just you feel uncomfortable neglecting her, which isn’t actually a real thing stopping you? And that, you know, being able to distinguish that difference? That’s why I had to go do push ups even though I knew I shouldn’t. As I had to figure out if this is a real barrier or not, I had to get Okay, now my body’s like shutting down as I do this. I’ll listen to the doctors for once. Yeah, Unknown Speaker yeah, don’t don’t the Navy Seals have something that Joko brings up on so I think it’s called the 40% rule, is the idea that when you feel exhaustion, you’re only 40% of the way to failure, you still have way further to go. And I think that that is it can be very true, particularly when it comes to endurance challenges, maybe not, you can’t lift 150% More but you can probably run 150% further if you just buckle in. But yeah, that is that is really interesting when we talk about the the concept of self discipline, and the sort of the what goes on in your head. I can’t help but think that people pleasing plays a big part of it, even though it’s people pleasing towards yourself. It’s a sense of, I don’t want to create negative emotions unnecessarily, because it’ll make my world hell. Right. It’s that kind of avoidant confrontation avoidant behavior. And it kind of makes sense because the guys that really know how to push themselves the sort of elite athletes out there. I had never really considered this before but I can’t immediately identify anybody where I’d say that super athlete is a people pleaser. You know what I’m saying? Unknown Speaker Yeah, and this may be the first time I’m thinking about it to both those elements. One is that people pleasing includes yourself as a person. So you know, that’s part of the people that you try to please maybe the one you’re actually trying to please the most would be a very accurate statement. He was trying to make him feel comfortable. So that’s interesting. I’ve never I have thought about that. But not like that before. Like it’s another people that you’re pleasing sort of thing. And I agree, like I’ve studied a lot of very disciplined, highly successful people and generally the more rigid and discipline someone is, the less conscientious they are, to the point where I’d be considering their Goggins as high in psychopathy and things like that. I mean, military guys who kill people and stuff there must be a level of psychopathy here they don’t back down from shooting a stranger face you know. But yeah, well again there is actually there are exceptions I think a great one if you ever want to get into it, Andre Agassi his book open shocking revelation about him as he fucking hates tennis and always has from the minute he picked up a racket is hated every second of it, basically. I mean, he had highs like bristle kind of like validation and approval highs but tennis was always just this demon firm. He wasn’t doing it out of passion for the tennis but it starts with embracing his very overpowering dad. And you know it’s dominating dad who he always wanted love from but could never get it unless he won a game of tennis through to like winning the crowd and having the medals and having people see these God Brooke Shields as a missus. And all this kind of stuff is like the book is very aptly named open. It’s such a great fucking title for a book because about 10 essence about him opening up, but beautifully done. I don’t know if he wrote it by himself or had a biographer, but it’s a very one of those transparent, honest reads have ever had from an autobiography most people but self aggrandizing this guy was just like, totally open about just near constant suffering mentally. But the compulsion he couldn’t give it up. Like, if he hadn’t been good at it, he wouldn’t have kept doing it. So it was almost people pleasing was his discipline. And so they may The Yeah, no, I think about I think there’s either gonna be zero people pleasing. The discipline is like, Fuck you, I do what’s right for me and then we’ll talk about you. Or the exact opposite where someone’s very discipline because they’re like being watched, and other people depend on them, and they get approval and validation for doing it right. Unknown Speaker You know, I hadn’t heard of his story before, that’s quite amazing. And I actually hadn’t heard of it in, in the realm of, you know, like super athletes in sports very often, but I’ve heard of it very frequently in communities to like professional dance. Were from the time someone was a little child, they had to please their parents. So they went to ballet, and they, you know, broke their feet and pushed it every day and had to be the best. And, you know, or are the girls that are raised into sort of the beauty pageants? Same thing, they have to be perfect, because it’s the only way their parents will accept them. It’s 100% people pleasing. But the effect rather than being a glass ceiling, it’s more like coals under their feet. Yeah, right. Make them keep dancing is very interesting. It’s a very powerful thing. And when you when you internalize that, in the case of like, like a gosee, is that I imagine that he, at some point, realize that he’s good enough to, to get validation from others, including his dad, and therefore he can’t possibly stop, he has to be the best he has to push himself, not because he loves tennis, because he felt that need for approval, secondhand from his dad, he couldn’t approve of himself unless he had that approval from others. Just people pleasing, alright, but in a very different way. And what’s interesting, if you’ve read, you’ve read Goggins bio as well. There’s a similar twist to it, but it was all about more about himself than about someone external, like parents was a point where he just looked in the mirror and said, You know, I can’t handle this anymore. And, and hated himself into the point that he actually had to change to just be able to live with himself, you know, decided to push himself extremely in the opposite direction and never stopped. I mean, nearly killed himself several times. You know, just because he didn’t know how to stop at that point and be okay with it? Unknown Speaker Well, I think, yeah, that’s a key difference. Because the discipline that Andre Agassi has, is it doesn’t actually meet our definition for merely of doing the right thing. He’s actually doing the wrong thing. He’s just doing it very consistently, very frequently, and to an extreme level of effort. So he’s very consciously being bad. It’s like a Nazi soldier with a high body counts, like they’re very disciplined, but you know, they spend the rest of their life having nightmares and guilt. So they’re not actually doing the right things. So that’s not discipline. Whereas, Goggins is an interesting case, because nobody but him and maybe not even him will ever know if he’s actually doing the right thing. What do we know as we’re doing the thing that he’s doing the thing that as a counter reaction to the disgust that he felt about himself, and in your rights, I guess he was always about other people in Goggins is very self self centered, but not in the way that that’s connotative. Just, he does it for him. You know, I mean, the title of his book is like, it’s funny, the difference in those book titles like Andre is open, and guarded as can only fuck you. Yeah, so I guess even with this book, there’s an element of like, please feel for me, you know, please love me or the, you know, the damaged person I am. And Goggins is like, read my book or done Angular, fuck you or I just because I’m mocking me. So there’s a kind of a no grandiosely. I think Goggins actually has a humility that allows them to always identify his weaknesses, but he goes so far as to go like, is he achieving his definition of healthy? Which means like wrecking your bodies, okay, as long as you’re satisfied in your mind about who you are? Or is he actually being unhealthy? Because there’s plenty of evidence that is very obsessive quality. There’s, from his own words, he seems to struggle to connect with people. He’s only like friends with his marine buddies, and like nothing else everybody else is suspicious of and distrustful of think he has a partner, but the fact that she’s not even mentioned in the book I find fascinating. Like, she doesn’t take up that much of his mind to warrant a Unknown Speaker pair of they came and went through the story. Yeah, like, Unknown Speaker maybe it’s not relevant to the story, but the point is, like, I see some red flags in his approach. Whereas like, you could say that that’s discipline, but if discipline, the word requires a healthy set of activity like you have to be doing the right thing, then I don’t know if he actually is disciplined if it’s just rigid. Unknown Speaker Now that’s I think we’re, we’re basically introducing a new concept, a new definition discipline in its raw form of being able to push yourself towards future goals. And, you know, with a, with an immediate sacrifice, that’s sort of the common view of discipline. By that measure. Goggins is ultra disciplined, right? He does not enjoy today. But tomorrow keeps getting a little bit better, the more he pushes himself. And, you know, he’s pushed himself through through some enormous challenges, you know, to get where he’s at. And he’s not the only one who follows that pattern by far. Sir, Edmund Hillary, and you know, this discipline is a fascinating topic there. But that key question, is this benefiting you? What’s the end goal here? Why, why are you doing this? Is it just so you can look in the mirror and feel you’re not weak? Or are you actually turning yourself into a better person? You know, are you running from something? Are you headed towards something? And it’s a big question, a lot of people don’t actually stop the answer, like, No, I just need to overcome who I am. Okay, but where are you going to then, you know, what’s the destination, and they don’t have a map. But I think what we’re actually talking about is something along the lines of a distinction between, you know, what this reminds me of, is the distinction between shame and an authenticity, shame. So shame being this idea that something about you is wrong, just because you’re a flawed and useless human versus the feeling that something is wrong, because it goes against your core values. And that’s a valuable form of shame. Here, we’re talking about discipline versus authenticity, discipline, the idea that you’re actually doing this to be more authentic, to be more real, and to become a better version of yourself. And if you can achieve that, it’s worth every drop of sweat, you can pour into it. It’s very difficult for a lot of people to even tell what that is. Unknown Speaker But you know, this, I think you’re on track because there’s discipline, which is just a neutral tool, it depends what you pointed at, the ability to do the thing that aligns with the goal as opposed to other distractions. But like I said, you could be a discipline Nazi soldier, your end result is, you know, tried as a war criminal and executed, like who wins there? Nobody. Well, made me think of two contrasting stories. So one that came into my mind was Muhammad Ali. And he’s often quoted as saying he hated every step of practice, he fucking hated running, he hated all of it. But he’s just like, I’m going to be the master, I’m going to be the myth. And that was always that I’m going to be the champion of the world. And he’s like, whatever it takes to do that. I don’t care how I feel. But here’s an interesting case is decline in his old age is directly related to boxing. You know, he suffered brain injuries and that’s why it is, you know, as whatever, technically, he was given the shakey can’t talk them, you know, and so his final years were a kind of stutter and stumble and roll down the hill. I mean, I’m sure he had good times, but I don’t doubt it was his ideal. So he paid a very heavy price to be the man. Very heavy price. And compare that to a story I heard recently. Do you remember police academy those cars comedy movie, there’s like eight of them. And high tower. The tall black guy made the noises whenever he really knows. So he disappeared after those movies. Nothing really came of it? Well, I don’t know. I can’t remember the full story of top of my head definitely worth looking up. Basically, what happened was a family crisis. And I think his partner died and left him with a child more than one of the stories out there on the internet easy to find. And he was left with this dilemma continue with this Korea that’s just on fire right now. Like I am that guy. I’ve got millions of people copying me and trying to be me. I can turn this into something or be there for my my child. And he chose to step down from the spotlight. Similar to that guy who was in like, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and now he disappeared for similar reasons. These actors are right at the prime they just disappear. To do something that was noble. And you know, hi, Tara. Like he’s kind of coming back now. He’s doing like comedy tours and sharing their minds like who’s this dude? What’s up with the noises? But is that disciplined to step back from the grand goal to step back from the world? Recall that the, the just the Unknown Speaker right at the cusp of Unknown Speaker success. Yeah. And as a certain type of six glory, that’s the word I’m looking for. Yeah. But glory in favor of being just a good dead on favor of just taking care of your health so you can make the most of the time you have or whatever these things that aren’t glory that aren’t like people are not going to write about you. Actually, they’re writing about Hightower, which is interesting. But the story that isn’t what everybody would call, discipline, perhaps they’d say that, you know, you stopped being disciplined if they didn’t know the full case. But I think of Hightower like to step back from all they’re right at his fingertips, and even know his real name, to just be a good day to his kid, and just, you know, hey, if you don’t take the wave, you just fade instantly, everybody, five years later, nobody knows what I’m talking about. Right? Just to be a good dad just to be able to take her to school and pick her up help with the grief of losing your mom, or I think that you know that, for me, that’s discipline. Imagine how hard that would have been a decision. You know, Unknown Speaker this, I’ll just share this story. Because it, it’s, it’s on my mind as you’re sharing the story of high tower. In the US, I have a friend who told me about his childhood experiences. He’s one of five kids, big family. I think he’s the youngest of five kids. So he, one day came home from school with his brothers. And one of the brothers went inside, and then came straight back out and said, nobody’s going in to the house. Apparently, there had been a horrible breaking and entering in both of the parents, both of his parents were slain. And kids came across it. So he didn’t see this situation. But his brothers did. Immediately there suddenly five orphans, just trying to cope with Oh, my God, what, what do we even do? What do we even happen? So the dad had a brother, who lived in a state nearby in the US, and had two kids and a wife and he new family, and they’ve just gotten home, started, and he had just gotten a job, and they’re just kind of making it, you know, starting to get their life together, suddenly finds out about what’s happened to his brother, and that his five nephews are suddenly without a family. It’s it’s like, looked at his wife and said, There’s no way in hell they’re going to an orphanage. She said, Nope. Somebody had seven kids living in their house. That is a radical 90 degree turn in your life to make that commitment without hesitation at all always fascinated me as a as a guy who knew what he was about. And his wife as well, absolutely, she was I mean, 100% as much part of this decision, but they absolutely knew that family mattered to them far more than comfort or success, or space, or their new home or their new job, all of that was gonna get set aside in favor of doing what they really believed in. And to me that, that sort of exemplifies the best of what discipline is about is realizing that your values will sometimes require sacrifices, sudden radical change shifts of direction, hard decisions, right, big decisions, life changing decisions, and that when you know who you are and what you care about those decisions. You don’t have to think about them know the answer before they even arrive. I love hearing stories about people that find themselves in that situation and immediately know what the answer is, even though it’s radically unexpected and radically challenging. Unknown Speaker Well, I think, and this is maybe a good way to sort of wrap it and present a final case, there’s kind of two sides to what we’ll call from now on authentic discipline. So this is discipline where you live by your values, no matter how you feel. Not just you do a set task, no matter how you feel. Now, there is some structure to like if my value is health, it helps to have a morning workout every morning that I do, no matter how I feel, by values or also say if I’m injured or antibiotics or whatever, I skipped the workout. So there’ll be some nuance because the value is overriding thing. It’s not about working out. It’s about being healthy. Being healthy sometimes dictates I must do something else. And also being healthy is about consistency and frequency and regularity. So it helps to you know, prep my meals and all that it all contributes to the value But what I love is I think you know that you’re disciplined with integrity, you have that authentic discipline, if a big curveball comes out of nowhere, and you can make your decision in less than 10 seconds with no residual guilt or doubt about what their decision should be huge life changing. And that’s what I think I’ve found is when I’ve been on point with integrity, like I remember when Lucy was like, Well, maybe you could come live and check. And I was just like, Alright, that was it. I was I don’t need to figure out why I said, Yes, I know, I’m on point right now. Like, and it was huge. I mean, I’m talking about everything, possibly changing the design, that’s the right thing to do. It’s got to be done. And I didn’t even need to really figure out why. Whereas, you know, I know I’m lost. When I’m haggling over little things, you know, resolve, maybe we should do this. And I’m like, man, I’ve lost track my compass, my compass should just be the funny thing, the freedom of integrity as you actually lose your autonomy in a way, which is like your compass. Boy. Why should I do that? All right, you say, so I don’t feel like it. But I’m doing it anyway. Unknown Speaker It feels like the route on the map is like written in red magic marker isn’t gonna change. In a way, that’s freeing, because within the bounds of that, you know, headed north, according to your compass, you’re totally free to make any of the small decision do you want along the way that big decisions have already been made? Unknown Speaker That’s a good way. Yeah. Unknown Speaker I enjoy that. And it’s funny to hear you talk about, you know, like, the experience of discipline does feel like there’s this war going on between what you know, is right, what you want, what your future is about who you want to become that’s in your head, it’s reasonably clear for most of us. And what feels comfortable? And anytime you feel that struggle of Oh, which way should I go? It’s usually a battle between those two halves of yourself. I want to be fit pizza and ice cream. It sounds so nice. That’s 90% of the cognitive dissonance that I experience, right? And the thing is, when you’re when you’re being authentic, and when you’re really being disciplined according to your values, that argument should be pretty tame. Because you know, very clearly what the benefit of staying on courses and the big win you get, you get huge reward for that. Just today. Unknown Speaker Yeah. I think Yeah. And that’s what I’ve noticed my shift lately to become disciplined with health is those little like bits of like, oh, I can’t be bothered working on like me, I’m sure you can, we’re doing anyway. It’s really not an argument. It’s more like a parent with a child and the parent is definitely the one in charge. And it’s just gonna You don’t want to do it today. You can do it later, but we’re doing it now. And I like that I like when I’m in that state. Because I feel like in the health section of my life, I’ve been out of that state for so long. I’ve just felt that kind of lostness and that guilt of mistreating myself that sense of being disrespected. But also feeling powerless. I’m like, I seem to have reasonable excuses, like, seems to be this wall. I’m heading as if I’m really trying. But the wall was I wasn’t willing to let go of other people’s feelings. I wasn’t willing to let some other key people in this house get upset while I took care of business. And now I am I got a bit of the gogans, ruthlessness going and also it’s it feels like ruthlessness. But of course, whenever I actually follow through I’m like, are they’re not doing their bed. That suffering was in my head, like they can handle their fucking capable human beings as making them out to be weaker in my head than they actually are. Who knows what I was doing that but I was wrong. So stop doing that, you know. So we’re saying I think we’ll both apply our our approaches. I’ll be keen to hear what happens when you do your little five point exercise again. And I’m going to keep up with my berating myself in a loving manner. You know, keep being a bit of what Unknown Speaker all the tools Yeah, going and looking forward to see the changes. Yep. See you again in about three weeks.

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