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My Journal - Joe


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Three day awesome streak! The Slight Edge is a great read so far. I find myself looking for little things to do during the day that give me the slight edge. At work I've been going up a flight of stairs, walking across my building, down the far set of stairs and back across to my desk when I print things, get water, or go to the bathroom. I've timed is as a three minute walk to do this. When I do it 10 times during the day, I just got a half hour of walking in which is double my original goal! During lunch break, I read the book which is 30 minutes long. I log all my food and exercise as it happens throughout the day too. This sounds like a ton of unproductive time at work, but it's not noticeable to anybody but me, and I always get my work done. That's three important habits I'm getting down without taking any extra time out of my day. Meditation is 15 minutes before work and journaling and commenting here is about 25 minutes after work. It blows my mind how much 40 minutes is impacting my life for the better. With video games, it seemed like every peek at the clock showed that 40 minutes had passed.

I'm excited right now and I'm doing great. I've been excited and done well for stretches in the past, but I intend to make a permanent shift this time. When I feel my motivation waning, I'm going to visit this site and just read the posts. I really find them to be re energizing. I haven't forgotten that I started this journey knowing that I could not accomplish my goals without a community of people who understand the difficulties. I can't ever forget that.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Being able to walk 75 minutes today!
  2. Having awesome play time with my baby!
  3. The excitedness I'm feeling
  4. My morning meditation
  5. My hugely reduced anxiety
  6. My new habits
  7. The smoothie my wife made for me to bring to work
  8. My job
  9. Baby smiles
  10. My shower today feeling extra refreshing
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This is all money.

I always like to say... never underestimate the power of a focused hour. That 40 minutes you invest every day brings an incredible return, and it's only 40 minutes! Love that you're being able to experience this. :)

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I have to say that I'm really starting to feel the momentum building by making those slight edge decisions. I'm rolling along today like the last few days. Speaking of rolling, my daughter rolled over for the first time ever! I'm so freaking proud! I always thought that parents who made such a big deal about things like that were idiots, but now it's me. I just need to keep doing the little things right and enjoy the ride.

I really want to be going full steam ahead with good habits into the school year. Those 12 and 14 hour days are going to be rough. It's so important to me to take one class this semester and do well at it. With the job and kid, it won't be easy. I want to prove to myself that I can do this, and keep my habits up through the whole semester. I had some good habits going before I started taking classes again a few years ago and those habits died. This time has to be different. I've got more tools at my disposal this time around and no video games to anchor me down. Hopefully these advantages will outweigh the challenges added by parenthood.

It's time to write down a thankfulness list, get my baby bathed, and be ready for the wife to be home!

  1. My baby can roll!!!
  2. My wife told me about it immediately! She's such a good communicator.
  3. I talked to my parents today and had pleasant conversation.
  4. At work, I toured our manufacturing facility which is 45 minutes away from my office.
  5. I got some serious walking in again today.
  6. The scale showed me a new record low since I started my fitness habits.
  7. The weather was perfect today.
  8. I'm learning to be more positive.
  9. My grandma remembered I have a baby (she has Alzheimer's).
  10. My cats are behaving.
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This Friday has been completely different from last Friday. My baby has been crying very little all week, and that has a lot to do with it. Also, I can feel my progress accelerating as I apply the slight edge principles. I have to remember, it's easy to make the tiny right decisions, and it's easy to make the tiny wrong decisions. When I think about the power of doing tiny things right, I feel very motivated to do them. Why not do them? It's easy! If I print something at work, I walk the long way back to my desk. If I do this 10 times, I just walked 30 minutes! Why not walk up the stairs instead of take the elevator? Should I meditate? It's a reason to sit still and feel good! It's a simple thing, and it makes a difference! I'm finding that I constantly have these simple little choices to make, and consistently picking the better option is powerful!

These choices make me feel good and happy and, as I read, happiness is the key to success. The ripple effect is also real! My wife has noticed my improvements and has been encouraged to pursue her goals too!

I'm really getting addicted to these books. They're so interesting, and they're helping me learn how to live the life I want to live.

I am thankful for:

  1. I bought garlic scapes at the farmer's market today! They're one of my favorite things to cook with!
  2. I bought yellow carrots there too! They have such a vibrant taste and can't wait to cook with them!
  3. The tomatillos were super cheap so I got a bunch! I'm going to make some healthy and delicious green salsa with them!
  4. I ate the tastiest fish taco I ever had at the farmer's market!
  5. I fucking love the farmer's market!
  6. My baby has been doing a lot of crunches. She's working on sitting up!
  7. The website www.myfitnesspal.com has made food journaling actually fun. I didn't even think that was possible.
  8. I'm becoming the kind of dad my baby deserves.
  9. The weather has been absolutely perfect for the last two days.
  10. My legs are getting stronger from all of my walking slight edge choices. Running is in my near future!

I'm exhausted so I'm going to read The Slight Edge until I fall asleep.

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I'm really getting addicted to these books. They're so interesting, and they're helping me learn how to live the life I want to live.

?Booya! Loving your progress and the best part is that it's because of your process.

When you start taking action based on how you want to feel, that's where the real game changer happens. I remember for me a mantra that helped was feeling good feels good. I go to the gym and work out because feeling good feels good. I meditate because feeling good feels good.

In Resilience by Eric Greitens (current book) he talks about how things can make you feel worse or better, and better sounds good doesn't it? ;)

The best part is that by taking ownership and following through yourself, that inspires the people around you and the momentum begins to grow that much more. I find in a lot of relationships people put the ownership on someone else. "Why don't they pursue their goals!" When that person isn't pursuing theirs either. So by the action you're taking, people around you notice it and that helps give them permission to start doing it too, and now you can encourage each other. Everyone has their own path and you have to love and accept them for their own path, but by continuing to focus on your own journey and pursuing what your heart desires, you'll be that much more happy and fulfilled. Who doesn't want that? :)

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Would you recommend Resilience for my next book? I want to have something lined up and ready to go.

I'm finding that carefully managing my habits to ensure that I really enjoy them is key. I don't go all out at once like I used to. Doing that just makes me feel pressure and takes the joy out of it. I just try to do a tiny bit of something good and reflect on how much I liked doing it. By doing that, I always end up doing more because I have fun doing it. If I just do the bare minimum goal, I am still building my habit and I don't feel overwhelmed at all. For example, I set the goal of walking 15 minutes a day, but in reality I averaged about 50 minutes a day because I feel so pumped up when I meet my goal that I just want to go further. My reading goal is 10 minutes a day, but I just read whenever I have down time. I should probably set an upper limit on reading instead of a minimum, haha. Reading has never kept me from doing other important things at any time or made me ignore my responsibilities so I won't do that just yet.

Today was a lovely day. I love it when I can spend all day with my wife and child. We went out to a farm where we walked through huge sunflower fields. The sunflowers were about 7 feet tall. It was quite the relaxing experience to be surrounded by them. We both got quite a bit of cleaning done too which is really hard to do with a baby in the house. My daughter peed on me too so it's off to the shower after this entry.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Fields of sunflowers.
  2. A squeaky clean car and garage.
  3. Many baby smiles.
  4. Being under my calorie limit for the day.
  5. My legs are getting stronger from all the walking.
  6. My home made guacamole.
  7. My growing slight edge momentum.
  8. Being able to trim my baby's finger and toe nails (this is a real challenge).
  9. My lack of anxiety.
  10. Learning about the power of making these lists (and they're fun).

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Daring Greatly it is!

Today was great! I was able to get a lot of cleaning done, celebrate my wife's birthday with her and her family, batch cook lunches for the week, play with the baby, continue my good habits, and have fun! I'm certainly beat after such a busy day, but it's a very satisfying tired. It's amazing how much I can do with the proper foundation.

I didn't really have the smoothest family life when I was a kid. When things were rough, I would often imagine the family life of my dreams. Now that have my own family, I know I have the opportunity to make that happen. Since quitting the games and starting to build myself up, I feel like I'm becoming the best father I can be. I feel so hopeful that my baby will have the family of my dreams.

I'm thankful for:

  1. An absolutely delicious lunch.
  2. Being able to clear out some clutter from the house.
  3. Peace of mind.
  4. Hope for the future.
  5. A great night's sleep last night.
  6. Laughing so hard that my stomach ached.
  7. Getting my cooking done.
  8. My wife getting all the groceries.
  9. Having an excellent weekend.
  10. Play time with my baby.
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The good times have lasted through the transition back into the work week. In the past, transitions would often spell the end of good habits, but not anymore. I just remember that all day long I have easy choices to make that continue having the slight edge work in my favor. Before work, I kept up my good morning routine which is actually getting easier. I'm not struggling with mornings nearly as much as I used to. At work I was able to learn a bit more about my job and make good progress on my tasks. I kept taking the long way back to my desk while speed walking. People think look at me like I'm busy or important because I walk everywhere with a purpose. Really though, I'm just trying to learn my job and not screw it up, haha. Baby time in the evening was a success. She even took a nap, and I made sure to get as much cleaning done as I could before she woke up. She'll be asleep in a few minutes, and the wife and I will enjoy our evening time together! I'm feeling very powerful and confident lately.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Reaching a new low in my weight loss! I'm now down 10 pounds with 25 to go.
  2. Getting a couple of lingering items off my to do list. It feels good, but there's a few more tough items to get through.
  3. Learning to be mindful of the present moment.
  4. Having positivity be a dominant mindset instead of pessimism.
  5. The Slight Edge book. It pumps me up and gives me the right outlet to direct my energy.
  6. My old work friends invited me to a social outing on Saturday! I love those guys!
  7. I was able to handle the cranky times with my baby like a champ today!
  8. Another old friend told me about some architecture work I might be able to help with. I've never done work in my dream field before!
  9. My wife and baby bring me endless joy! I'm constantly laughing because of them.
  10. I have a few people who mentor me at work! A lot of people aren't that kind.
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The good day streak continues! I've been doing the five habits that lead to happiness from the Slight Edge book (meditate, journal, exercise, random act of kindness, and read). These things are really working for me. Since happiness is the key to success, I'm on my way! I really should list my goals.

  1. Be an excellent husband.
  2. Be an excellent father.
  3. Get my bachelor's degree.
  4. Learn and practice self development.
  5. Enjoy every day.
  6. Excel at work.
  7. Reach my goal weight.
  8. Run a marathon.

I worked diligently my job today. I don't really understand too much about the systems that we use at work just yet. They're so different that what I have been using. That's okay because I came home knowing a little bit more about them that when I went to work. I just have to do that every day.

I got quite a bit of walking in today. I can feel my legs strengthening, but I have to be patient and increase my exercise very gradually. I'm so tempted to just run until I can't run anymore, but every time I do that my legs end up hurt. I'll do a two or three minute run in a few days and see how that goes. I'm very happy to say that I've reached another record low for my weight again today!

I had quite a bit of fun with my baby again today. The way she looks at me when we're having fun together is the best thing I have ever experienced in my life. I'm so lucky I can experience this every single day!

I'm thankful for:

  1. A record low weight!
  2. Continuing good habits.
  3. 26 days of no video games!
  4. The happiness I feel coming from within.
  5. My wife bring home sushi for dinner!
  6. The Slight Edge book giving me fun and productive down time.
  7. Learning to live in the present moment. It's not at all natural for me, but I remember to do it for a few moments during the day.
  8. Having to opportunity to feed my baby some rice cereal.
  9. The weather is beautiful even if it is a little warm.
  10. Becoming a little bit of a morning person. I'll practice it every day and improve!
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Today was good again! My baby cried a lot this evening, but I'm so much stronger than I was two weeks ago and handled it like a pro! I've been focusing on making sure my key habits are part of my daily routine. This really isn't that hard because I enjoy all of them. I find that other things are starting to fall into place. Just like it says in the Slight Edge, it's all about being steady and consistent rather than trying to go fast. I can't believe how fast things are coming together while I'm actually trying to go slow and steady.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Getting into a groove at work. I'm doing the more basic stuff, but I'm getting good at it.
  2. Cooking my favorite dinner, homemade carnitas burritos with freshly make tomatillo salsa.
  3. Not being rattled by my crying baby.
  4. Not locking my cat in the closet all day like yesterday. I figured that out after yesterday's journal entry. He's perfectly fine and happy.
  5. The positivity I have is overcoming negative emotions. A guy at work was being douchey to me, but it didn't faze me one bit!
  6. Having another book lined up. I may start it tomorrow!
  7. Having this journal and the feedback in it.
  8. Taking time to be in the moment, not in the past or future.
  9. My couch is so much more of a place of relaxation and rest rather than a trap for video games and depression.
  10. I came in under my calorie goal for the day. The scale didn't show weight loss today, but that's fine. Consistent and steady effort will ensure I reach my goal weight.
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Consistency is king.

Also you just made me crave mexican food. Since leaving LA in February I've been craving it like crazy. Canada's mexican food just doesn't cut it.

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Consistency is king.

Also you just made me crave mexican food. Since leaving LA in February I've been craving it like crazy. Canada's mexican food just doesn't cut it.

Do you enjoy cooking? I'll happily share my recipe with you. I made it one day because I enjoy trying new recipes from time to time, and it was amazing! I would order it at a restaurant for sure.

Today, the streak of feeling on top of the world continues. I have faithfully been accomplishing my habits (meditation, food journaling, exercising, reading, and journaling here) for a while now. I can say that the Slight Edge is most definitely a real thing. I'm going to finish the book tonight or tomorrow! I can't wait for my fresh new batch of knowledge from the next book. I'm becoming powerful. My patience is up, my physical shape is improving, my happiness is through the roof, my relationship with my wife is wonderful, and I'm confident. I am going to complete every one of my goals. After that, I'm going to dream up even bigger goals. I haven't really been talking too much about the day to day details of my life here for a few days because it's just the same old thing lately (which is excellence).

I'm thankful for:

  1. Joining this site. I came to quit video games, but I find myself in a personal renaissance.
  2. The weather was excellent. It made my walk outside so comfortable.
  3. My legs. They are getting stronger!
  4. My baby's fantastic attitude today! She got her shots today, and hasn't been crying very much at all.
  5. My wife. As I apply the slight edge to our relationship, she has noticed and reciprocated.
  6. My job. It's been a satisfying position so far because of the challenges.
  7. My car. I got it in 2001, and it's still reliable!
  8. My house. I got it when I was single, and now it's a home filled with love.
  9. My energy. It's been through the roof and allows me to accomplish all of my daily goals.
  10. Happiness. It makes living worthwhile.
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Friday is a great day. The end of the work week is nice, but I've been engaged in my work and I'm not tired at all when Friday rolls around. What makes Friday great is the farmers market. My family and I enjoyed delicious food, bought exciting vegetables, and met some cool people! In most places I go, there always seem to some douche bags around, but not the farmers market. It's like a magical land that repels the douches like water repels cats. I can talk to just about anybody there and it's all smiles, politeness, and laughter. It is exactly like Disneyland was like for the four year old boy I used to be. I got to pet awesome dogs and let my baby interact with other people's babies. Then there are the fish tacos. I love fish tacos. I ate fish tacos. It was awesome. Fish tacos are awesome.

I did all of my good habits again and made all the slight edge decisions all day long. These things are transforming my life in the best way. The thing is that it's Friday, I went to the farmers market, and am now in the afterglow of the farmers market. It's remarkably similar to being post coital. Yes, I went there.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Fish tacos.
  2. Friendly people.
  3. Baby interaction time.
  4. Orange and yellow tomatoes.
  5. The bold and clear rainbow we saw at the farmers market.
  6. Good habits.
  7. Getting the basement cleaned out.
  8. High energy levels.
  9. Low anxiety levels.
  10. Happiness.
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I just wanted to take a moment to share an important experience during today's meditation. I usually have to dash off to work or tend to my baby after my morning meditation, but today I have a moment to jot down a thought. This is a slight edge post for me.

During meditation, there is a stage where I focus on my motivation for meditating. During this stage I focus on inhalation and exhalation. On my first inhalation I think the word "family" and I envision my wife and child as delighted to see me as I see them. When I exhale I think the word "self" and envision myself as physically and mentally fit. During my second inhalation I think the word "school" and envision myself excitedly walking across the stage at graduation. One the second exhalation I think the world "work" and envision myself as a mentor with extensive knowledge to share and patience to share it.

Family. Self. School. Work. Doing this five or six times during the beginning stages of meditation greatly boosts the quality of the rest of my meditation.

For anybody who reads this and meditates, I would like to suggest that you pick four reasons why you meditate and try this out. You may find it as powerful as I do.

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Today was a wonderful day. The family and I spent a few hours with some of my friends. There was socializing, reminiscing, and good fun. I brought my baby into a swimming pool for the first time today! She was very happy but not excited to be in there with me. I was thrilled to share this new experience with her. She also ate a bit of banana for the first time! She loved it! Some time next week we're going to introduce her to avocados. I hope she loves them as much as I do! Right now I'm feeling like a millionaire again. A good family, a clean and safe place to live, wholesome friends, a job that's stimulating, and future goals are everything I need in life.

I am thankful for:

  1. Pool parties.
  2. Bananas.
  3. Friendship.
  4. A wonderful wife.
  5. Baby smiles.
  6. Finding time to clean.
  7. A great meditation session.
  8. Peace of mind.
  9. My strengthening legs.
  10. My cats.

Edit: Today is a major milestone for me! I have been game free for 30 days! I feel like the champion of the world!!!

Edited by wookieshark88
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Today was a busy day. The wife and I finished just about all the cleaning we had set out to do over the last few weeks. It feels great! We went out and had a nice time after that. We visited the aquarium and some nice little shops where I picked up a pair of running shoes. I think I'm going to start running tomorrow! I've been food journaling faithfully and I've been under my calorie goal for about five days now. I just need to read before bed so I can complete my last habit of the day.

In the book Daring Greatly, the author talks about being vulnerable. Many people think that vulnerability is a weakness, but the truth is that it takes courage and strength to allow yourself to be vulnerable. I've found this to be so true all my life. The hardest things I've ever done required me to gather all my strength and expose myself. It's a good book, and it's tough for it to follow immediately after the Slight Edge because that book is legendary in my opinion.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Getting close to running!
  2. Learning the importance of vulnerability.
  3. Having my habits become more internalized.
  4. Having such a clean house!
  5. Baby babbles.
  6. Having so much more energy that I did in my gaming days.
  7. Being able to read other people's experiences here.
  8. Having a great weekend.
  9. Not dreading Monday because my job is good.
  10. Making all the right small decisions.
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I woke up at three in the morning and realized that I forgot to journal. I figured that I would just do it in the morning, but my mind wouldn't let it go so here I am! I love my new habits anyways so I'm not upset about the lost sleep. I've lost many sleep hours to games and didn't care then.

Yesterday was another strong day for me. I'm loving my habits and new life! My wife has really noticed the changes in my life and has commended me for them. I've told her many of the reasons why I'm making changes to my life, but I didn't really tell her that I quit video games for life. I was always such a closeted gamer that I never told a soul. I really want to share with her the impact that games had on my life, but it's so scary for me to confront that much shame I feel about the games. It's a really good thing I'm reading Daring Greatly because this is exactly what Brene wrote about. I know that my wife and I will experience a higher level in our relationship once I share. Since the book speaks about this stuff, I think I'm going to read more before I share my secret with her. I have complete faith in her that she'll be good to me as I make myself vulnerable. I think I'm really just scared to verbalize my shame to somebody I love.

I'm thankful for:

  1. My habits being strong enough to get me out of bed to complete them! Video games used to do this to me which means that my good habits are replacing games in my habit cycle!!! This makes me extraordinarily happy.
  2. The Daring Greatly book. It's giving me the motivation to complete an important step in my life.
  3. My baby ate avocados yesterday! She loved them as much as the wife and I do!
  4. Feeling adequate at work. I was able to work all day long with minimal assistance.
  5. My mother in law. She saves us soooo much money by babysitting and made us ratatouille yesterday!
  6. Having a nice conversation with my parents. I see them once or twice a year so quality phone time is important.
  7. My mom and baby had their first conversation! I put the phone on speaker and they babbled to each other. It was adorable.
  8. Visualizing my dreams. I've never been brave enough to do that until a few days ago.
  9. Dinner last night. My wife cooked sea scallops to go with the ratatouille. We ate like (healthy) royalty.
  10. Writing these lists. They have had an impact on making happiness the default setting in my brain.
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Haha I love this! Sometimes it's best to just get up and get things done! The book will continue to help you through this process. Something you may want to do as a first step is just to write out what you would want to say to your wife. You don't have to show it to her (although you can), but that can sometimes be a way to get it out there in a more safe environment, and that can encourage you to share it.

PS. avocados are awesome.

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"The reason why you see that I'm doing so much better in my life is because I quit playing video games. I played them too much in my life, and I always had problems balancing games and life so I wanted to quit. I really don't like talking about video games because I feel ashamed of how much they dragged me down. I hope you can understand that this is hard for me, but I want to have the best marriage possible so I don't want to keep it from you."

I cringed just writing that, haha. I'm sure she'll treat me kindly. I guess it's just the admitting part that's hard.

I'm going to gauge how my legs feel tomorrow, and run for just one minute if they're feeling good! I can't wait for the next step towards being a marathon runner. The slight edge shows me the optimal rate of growth in this endeavor. The correct thing for me to do is just exercise every day, and increase very slowly. It's not about the results, but the process anyways. The process have kept me motivated, focused, happy, and fit. That's the most important thing about this anyways. Crossing the finish line will just be the cherry on top of many many slight edge choices.

All my habits are complete for the day except finishing out my food journal after dinner! I'll probably read for a bit to fall asleep too.

I'm thankful for:

  1. My habits. My life is definitely trending upwards and I know my habits are the foundation.
  2. Practicing telling my wife about games. I'm going to do it soon and it's going to improve our lives together.
  3. My grill. I just scrubbed it thoroughly and hooked up the new propane tank. I'm thinking salmon burgers are on tonight's menu!
  4. My older cat. He meditates with me in the morning. He's always been there for me when I was sad or if I wanted to play. Now he's giving me a bit of support in that I don't meditate alone. Yes, I am a crazy cat person.
  5. Starting a new assignment at work tomorrow. It seems fairly menial, but I want to master that stuff so I have a foundation to grow in my job.
  6. My friend, Bill. He's a great human being, and I'm honored that he would be my friend.
  7. My dreams. I used to be scared of them, but not anymore because I believe I can turn them all into reality.
  8. Photoshop. I'm working on the next installment of my baby photo album, and photoshop helps me really get the most quality I can out of my photos.
  9. Being mindful of the moment. It really helps to keep my mind strong when I remember to just live in the moment from time to time.
  10. My wife. She's helping me plan a trip to California so my family can meet my baby.
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Exactly, 100%. The thing is, goals are just a compass, but the process is the consistent element in every goal, so you might as well fall in love with the process because it's what you'll be spending 99% of your time on anyways!

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