BLOG2018-02-25T18:13:30-08:00

INSPIRING BREAKTHROUGHS

“What are you going to do to live your BEST life?”

– Janelle Bruland

You Can Adjust the Sails

By |September 10th, 2020|Blog|

It is a beautiful summer in the Pacific Northwest, and my family and I have had the opportunity to spend some glorious days boating in the San Juan Islands. With the Labor Day holiday and end of summer quickly approaching, we escaped with my parents to Orcas Island to catch the last hurrah. The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and there was just enough of a breeze to make everyone happy. Hikes around Mountain Lake, fresh salmon  Read more »

How to Purposefully Live Your Best Life

By |September 3rd, 2020|Blog|

When I was a young girl we used to sing a song called "Count Your Blessings." It is a simple song with a simple but profound idea: name the great things and people in your life one by one. That song was probably my first brush with the idea of living a gratitude-filled life. I have many blessings - more than I am able to count. But every morning, I take time to remember all the good in my  Read more »

5 Reasons You Need to Play More

By |August 20th, 2020|Blog|

When I was a little girl, my Grandpa built a playhouse for my sister and me in our backyard. It was a miniature of the farmhouse where we lived, painted white with green trim, and even had a small loft. We loved to play in our "very own" house, and spent hours of make believe there. Our kittens became our babies and would allow us (most of the time) to dress them up in doll clothes and push them  Read more »

Want to Be Happier? Stop Living on Automatic

By |August 7th, 2020|Blog|

In order to become a better and happier version of yourself, you first have to identify the areas of your life that you are not satisfied with - where you have succumbed to "living on automatic." Let me illustrate with a story. My husband and I enjoy kayaking together on the ocean near our home in the Pacific Northwest. There is nothing more beautiful than being out on the water on a warm summer evening as the sunlight shimmers  Read more »

3 Powerful Steps to Dream Big

By |July 24th, 2020|Blog|

As a child I had boundless energy and a big imagination. Dreaming came easy. Growing up on a dairy farm out in the country, my sister and I spent a lot of time playing outdoors. She and I spent hours playing in the tree-house my Dad built us in our front yard. We pretended we lived there, that is, until Mom called us in for dinner. Rainy days did't get us down as we would hide out in the  Read more »

Don’t Let Stress Hurt Your Marriage

By |July 16th, 2020|Blog|

I am sorry for what I said in quarantine. Over something ridiculously small I had snapped at my husband and needed to apologize. Can you relate? My day had started out just fine. Despite the extra efforts needed to rise above the latest negative news, I was ready to tackle the workday. Armed with my morning latte and my list of priorities I got to work. However, it quickly became one of those days where my best laid plans  Read more »

How to Better Love the Ones You’re With

By |July 2nd, 2020|Uncategorized|

It was the perfect summer-like weekend with mild temperatures in the mid 70’s. I had the unique opportunity to spend time with my three beautiful daughters. Yet, it was bittersweet, as yesterday we sent two back off to school. I feel deeply grateful for this “surprise” gift of time we were given. When the world shut down a few months ago and my girls were ushered back to the safety of our home, there was an incredible amount of  Read more »

Stop and Smell the Roses

By |June 22nd, 2020|Blog|

It's a beautiful summer morning in the Northwest and I am about to embark on one of my favorite weekly activities - tending to my flower garden and picking a colorful, fragrant bouquet for my dining table. A couple of years ago, my Mother's Day gift was the flowers to plant my own garden, and now I am harvesting the fruits of those labors with stunning roses and other delightful perennials to enjoy. I look forward to this time  Read more »

How to Take Control of Your Day

By |June 4th, 2020|Blog|

Imagine creating your BEST DAY. One where you have a lot of energy, you are focused, you are productive, you are getting the right things done in record time. And, you feel great about your accomplishments. The problem is many of us aren't feeling this way right now. All of us have been affected in some way by COVID-19 and the resulting shutdown we are now living in. In varying ways, our lives and daily rhythms have been disrupted. One of  Read more »

The #1 Sleep Rule to Beat Your Stress

By |May 21st, 2020|Uncategorized|

One of the top complaints I am hearing from my clients, colleagues and friends is, “I just can’t sleep.” Can you relate? I can too. Although sleep is something I fight hard for, the uncertainty of today’s new “business unusual” is enough to keep anyone up at night. There is no doubt about it, these are unprecedented, and yes - scary times we are living in. Stress is at an all-time high with all of the uncertainty in today’s  Read more »

5 Powerful Steps to Change Your Thinking

By |May 15th, 2020|Blog|

Mind over Matter. Apparently, I said this to my kids a lot when they were growing up. We were having a conversation the other day where I asked my daughters what words or phrases they remembered hearing over and over. “Mind over matter” was at the top of their list along with a few others. Do your best. You can do it. Be nice. When they would get in an attitude funk, complain about being picked on at school,  Read more »

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life

By |May 7th, 2020|Blog|

For years I have made my Sunday trip to the grocery store to stock up for the week. These days in the midst of a global pandemic, it is very different. Last week the atmosphere was heavy. I could feel the fear and apprehension of the customers. People self-distanced. No smiles. No eye contact. Some people were in masks, gloves, and even goggles. Everywhere, complete silence. Some people walked into corners to wait out a busy aisle. Others lunged  Read more »

Do This to Be More Calm, Centered, and Focused.

By |May 7th, 2020|Uncategorized|

It is easy to get caught up in our emotions sometimes. Has this happened to you? You were simply going through your day and then receive an upsetting phone call, find yourself facing a big problem at work, or you get in a fight with your spouse. With lightening speed your mood changes. Emotions take over and you may get to a place where you think these negative emotions define you - I am angry, I am sad, I  Read more »

The Leader’s Role in Times of Challenge

By |April 2nd, 2020|Blog|

We are in unprecedented times as the global pandemic continues to expand. Businesses are implementing contingency plans to protect their team members and clients, and still do their best to keep their organizations running. Leaders are working hard to continue to do business as usual when business is “not” usual. As a leader you may still be working with your people in person because you are in a critical industry or you may, like many, be working remotely from  Read more »

What You CAN Do to Thrive in Times of Uncertainty

By |March 19th, 2020|Blog|

As we watch the evolving and escalating nature of the COVID-19, it seems every day we are told something else we can’t do. Out of necessity we have left the top levels of the needs pyramid of self-actualization, to pure survival mode with concern for the basics of having enough food and toiletries. If you have braved the grocery story in the last few days, they have gone from bustling to silent, with hardly anyone in the stores. The  Read more »

5 Ways to Be More Present

By |March 5th, 2020|Blog|

Do you have a hard time being present? When my children were small, I was a single mother working hard to be everything my kids needed me to be, while putting in a lot of hours running my growing company. Looking back I found it very difficult to be present. When I wasn’t working I was taking my kids from one activity to another. I didn’t realize then how “on overload” I really was. Wherever I was, my mind  Read more »

What is Most Important to You, Right Now?

By |February 6th, 2020|Blog|

When I was in the second grade my mother signed me up for piano lessons. I was excited as it was something fun and new to learn. Admittedly though, I am easily distracted and if it wasn’t for a disciplined mother, I would have quit in the first year. After all – on a sunny day the last thing I wanted to do was practice piano after school when I could bike over to a friend’s house to play  Read more »

3 Ways to Be More Hopeful This Year

By |January 23rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

Each January I have the privilege of attending an industry CEO conference in a warm, tropical place. This year it was in Aruba, a fabulous weather reprieve from the frigid 20-degree temperatures we left at home. One morning I opened up the curtains to the beautiful scene of a double rainbow. A brief shower had passed through and as the sun peaked out behind the clouds, the rainbow showed a mesmerizing display of colors that became more and more  Read more »

Make Next Year Your Best Year

By |December 19th, 2019|Blog|

Yesterday we had one of those surprise, bright blue-sky winter days. The forecast was calling for a week of rain, so when we woke up to sunshine my husband and I decided to take a mid-day break from work and bundled up for some exercise in the fresh air. On our walk we talked about our December activities; how quickly the last few weeks of the year always go; and how we are looking forward to our plans for  Read more »

Give Yourself the Gift of Peace.

By |December 13th, 2019|Blog|

“Peace can be yours this season if you decide to make room for it.” Janelle Bruland The Holiday season is in full swing. Wherever you look there are signs of the season – twinkling lights on the houses, freshly cut trees atop cars, Christmas music playing. It seems everywhere you go in December; people are rushing around in a frenzy. People ask, “Are you ready for Christmas?” I don’t think they are asking about the real meaning of Christmas,  Read more »

Today I Choose to Be Grateful

By |December 13th, 2019|Blog|

Sometimes life throws us a curveball and it is difficult to maintain an attitude of optimism. The good news is that even though we can’t always control the circumstances we find ourselves in, we can choose our mindset. My daughter Paige spent time a few years ago serving in a local orphanage in Guatemala. Areas of this country are so poor and disadvantaged that many families and children work as scavengers in city dumps in order to simply survive.  Read more »

Record Your Precious Moments as They Become Lifetime Memories

By |November 9th, 2019|Blog|

The days are getting crisp in the Northwest as we anticipate the holidays just a few short weeks away. Though admittedly I mourn the warmer days of summer, I enjoy the cool, blue sky days of winter and always look forward to the holiday season and spending special time connecting with my family. One of our favorite places to go during the holidays is the beautiful resort town of Whistler. Located in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia,  Read more »

You Are a Warrior

By |November 9th, 2019|Blog|

Does music move you like it does me? When that familiar song starts playing that is one of your favorites do you start humming the lyrics, or singing, or do you even get the urge to start moving around to the beat? You’ve likely seen the flash mobs where one person in a crowd starts out by spontaneously bursting into a song and dance number and people are moved to join in. The movement can grow into hundreds within  Read more »

What Do You Need to Let Go?

By |October 3rd, 2019|Blog|

Fall is here in the Northwest and with it crisp temperatures with a bit of morning mist giving way to warm sunny days. Though I love the change of seasons I must admit I am mourning the end of summer just a bit. Out on the golf course yesterday the deep green of the fir trees against the bright changing colors of red and gold on the stately maples created a stunning display. As we walked the course we  Read more »

5 Easy Ways Busy People Can Successfully Manage Their Calendar

By |April 10th, 2019|Blog|

Sometimes the answers we need are simple and uncomplicated. So much so, in fact, that we miss them or we don’t give them the attention they deserve. I created a system for myself that I call “intentional calendaring” which has increased my productivity and maximized my performance. I am here to tell you that the growth and profitability of my business have been positively impacted by this one idea. In fact, it is the one idea that can  Read more »

How to Make a Positive Impact—One Interaction at a Time

By |March 26th, 2019|Blog|

I travel frequently and the Bellingham airport has become a regular stop for me en route to various business meetings. Last week, I took an early morning flight to Portland. Admittedly, I was hardly awake at 5 a.m. and really needed some coffee as I waited my turn at the security line. There was someone new standing at the conveyor belt as the passengers put their items through for screening. At my turn, I placed my bag, coat, and clear plastic  Read more »

How to Purposefully Live Your Best Life

By |March 12th, 2019|Blog|

When I was a young girl we used to sing a song called “Count Your Blessings.” It is a simple song with a simple but profound idea: name the great things and people in your life one by one. That song was probably my first brush with the idea of living a gratitude-filled life. I have many blessings—more than I am able to count. But every morning, I take time to remember all the good in my life. I  Read more »

What do Presidents and Love have in common?

By |February 21st, 2019|Blog|

February. The month where we celebrate love and Presidents. But what do they have in common, and why on earth would you talk about politics and love in the same blog?! (the boss asked me this ;-)) It’s easy. Love and Presidents all start with Eros: The Greek, mischievous, young adult. No matter who you voted for, they all act like Eros. Maybe not Greek, but likely mischievous and childlike. But in all Presidents, there are 3 traits that  Read more »

New Year – Fresh Start

By |January 21st, 2019|Blog|

I have always liked the start of something new - a new project, a new book, and yes, a new year. A New Year is a new beginning, and an opportunity for all of us to make a fresh start. At the beginning of each year, we have a tradition in my family of taking time to pause and reflect on what we accomplished the year before, and to set goals for the year ahead. This time we asked  Read more »

5 better ideas to find cash

By |January 7th, 2019|Blog|

Gross. Don’t put your hand in the couch cushion. Here’s 5 better ideas to find cash. 2019. Wow. I finally just started using the right date when writing a check and now it’s off to learn another. In the past it was February when the year became second nature, and now it's November. It must be because we write so few checks. My kids don’t even have a checkbook. Venmo and Apple Pay rule their lives. That got me  Read more »

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

By |December 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The cold winter winds have blown the grey skies away to beautiful blue this week, giving us a new look at the majestic mountains that surround us. I am once again awestruck by the beauty of the place in which we have the privilege to live. As we move toward the holidays, I love to watch the homes and streets light up with decorations; it’s a sign of life, and celebration. Even though many of us have had our  Read more »

Top 5 things to do in December

By |December 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|

December is a crazy time of year. Year end at work, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and food. Food and more food. Personally, I workout more this month so I can eat more. It’s the time of year I am willing put extended time in the gym so I can eat and drink whatever I want. The other top 5 things I do in December that you can too: 1. Birthdays. December is a huge month for birthdays. Larry Bird,  Read more »

Count Your Blessings

By |November 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|

Remember learning the song as a child, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one….”? If you are like me, you will now be humming this song and will have it in your head for the rest of the day. In this Season of Thanksgiving, it is a great time for us all to be reminded to count our many blessings. My daughter spent time a few years ago serving in a local orphanage in Guatemala, and came  Read more »

Gratefulness

By |November 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Thanksgiving is a great time of year. Time with family. Time to watch Basketball. Many do turkey trots or play flag football with friends (be careful you could twist a knee or rupture your Achilles tendon as you get older). I wanted to think of things I was grateful for and came up with the standard: Live in America, Family, etc. Then I decided. What am I grateful for that I can share or that is about others or  Read more »

What Do You Need to Let Go?

By |October 23rd, 2018|Uncategorized|

Fall is here in the Northwest and with it crisp temperatures with a bit of morning mist giving way to warm sunny days. Though I love the change of seasons I must admit I am mourning the end of summer just a bit. Out on the golf course yesterday the deep green of the fir trees against the bright changing colors of red and gold on the stately maples created a stunning display. As we walked the course we  Read more »

24 days to a half-marathon

By |October 10th, 2018|Blog|

Don’t try this at home   Bellingham Bay Half marathon was September 30, 2018 and I survived without injury. The day started off chilly and wet so the toughest part was picking out what to wear. Decided on shorts and t-shirt with ball cap. Simple and if I am cold I will run faster. No injuries. Lots of fun. And great people. The lady flashing us was a bonus to get up the last hill. I don’t think she  Read more »

Start Your Day Off Right

By |September 27th, 2018|Blog, Leadership Lessons|

How do you start off your morning in a way that puts you in your best possible attitude for the day? When you want to have a day of excellence, it makes a difference to start with an effective routine. All of us have a morning routine already whether we think we are creatures of habit or not. If you look back over the last week at what you did when you first got out of bed, you will  Read more »

25 Days to a Half-Marathon

By |September 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Bellingham Bay Marathon is September 30, 2018 and I just signed up. It should be glorious. Fall color on the leaves, slight chill in the air; high energy and I will run with a great friend. He asked me to hold him accountable, so I decided to reciprocate. Why not? I mentioned it to my wife and she said “It’s only a half, you should. You have done Ironman, 2-day races, and marathons. No problem, its only 13.1 miles.”  Read more »

Take Time for Summertime

By |August 17th, 2018|Blog, Leadership Lessons|

“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine... it’s summertime!” Kenny Chesney has it right – summertime is here, and it seems to brighten everyone’s mood. Now we find ourselves in August already and the summer days are passing by. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we enjoy the summer months when the days get warm and long, and we can end our evenings with unmatched sunsets. Through the winter we wait so long for summer to  Read more »

Leader vs. Finisher

By |July 13th, 2018|Blog, Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

  Leader vs. Finisher By Graham Youtsey Soccer is loved by millions, yet detested by almost as many. Kind of like the POTUS now that I think of it.  A huge soccer fan myself, I have joined the more than 3 billion viewers of the World Cup. Clint Dempsey is one of the top players in the US and one of the best American players ever. He has played in the Premier League in Europe,  USMNT, World Cup, and  Read more »

Calm Your Busy Mind

By |June 21st, 2018|Blog, Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

It’s 8 a.m. on Monday morning and you have settled in at your desk to prioritize your day. With your top three important tasks clearly outlined, you dive into the first project. Before you even realize it has happened your mind has wandered away from what you are working on. You find yourself thinking about the school function you need to attend this evening and you can’t forget to leave work on time. You remember the promise you made to  Read more »

Time for Reinvention?

By |May 31st, 2018|Blog, Leadership Lessons|

Do you feel lost? Are there challenges in your life that seem insurmountable? The past month I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of people at conferences. Driven, hardworking, and fun people. Underneath the facade I could sense trepidation and fear, it was in their eyes. I would find myself sitting in a chair in the lobby of a hotel next to someone pouring out their biggest fears. Some shared that they were leaving their jobs, "But don’t tell my  Read more »

Choose Your Thoughts

By |May 10th, 2018|Blog|

What was your first waking thought today?  Some days we wake up ready to take charge of the day, but we have all been there on days where we would love to simply pull the covers back over our heads when we hear the morning alarm. What were your main thoughts over the last 24 hours?  Were they thoughts of hope, love, thankfulness, or worry, fear, and escape?  Our thoughts can become our reality so it is important we  Read more »

The DISC Assessment, More than a Personality Test

By |April 26th, 2018|Blog|

When I received my certification in the DISC assessment, I learned it was much more than just a personality test. The DISC assessment has the power to enhance productivity, communication, and understand our own strengths and how it interacts with the workplace. The concept is simple, there are four quadrants: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness.  1. Dominance personalities place emphasis on accomplishing tasks with an eye for results. They place focus on the bottom line of issues and tend to have  Read more »

How Do You Show Up?

By |April 4th, 2018|Blog|

    I travel frequently and the Bellingham airport has become a regular stop for me in route to various business meetings.  Last week, I took an early morning flight to Portland. Admittedly I was hardly awake at 5 a.m. and really needing some coffee as I waited my turn at the security line.   There was someone new standing at the conveyor belt as the passengers put their items through for screening.  At my turn I placed my  Read more »

What Tools Drive Excellent Business?

By |March 27th, 2018|Blog|

Do you remember your grandpa’s toolbox? My grandfather had his trusty toolbox always at the ready. It was filled with various tools that were well loved, and he always knew which to use and for what. There are many tools in a good leader’s arsenal. Countless executives have done interviews giving away tips and lessons they wish they had learned earlier in their careers. I like to keep up with what is going on in the world of business  Read more »

How Do You Build Your Team?

By |March 15th, 2018|Blog|

Every year around this time college basketball participates in what America has lovingly named “March Madness.” We are big basketball fans in my family. Not only do we cheer on the college players as they give their all in the tournaments, we support our local teams as well. It takes many things to make a successful team, both on the basketball court and in business. First, to have a successful team you must have talented players.  It takes talent  Read more »

Do you love your work?

By |February 21st, 2018|Blog|

February is the month of love, and so I have to ask:  Do you love your work? As we spend the majority of our lives in a career, shouldn’t our work be something we love?   A recent survey sponsored by Monster.com and conducted by market research firm GFK found 22% of workers in the U.S. said they loved their jobs so much they would do it for free, 15% of American workers said they disliked or hated their jobs,  Read more »

Leadership Lessons —The Courage of a Leader

By |November 30th, 2017|Blog|

Winter is coming. Summer seemed to end like a light switch going off, and the crisp Fall days are getting shorter and shorter. In the Northwest we got a glimpse of the coming season with the earliest snowfall since 1973. After a busy work week television is a great way to give my mind a break. I know I am not the only one who’s gotten caught up in the series Game of Thrones. I have a love hate  Read more »

Leadership Lessons – Stop and Smell the Roses

By |November 30th, 2017|Blog|

It’s a beautiful summer morning in the Northwest and I am about to embark on one of my favorite weekly activities—tending to my flower garden and picking a colorful, fragrant bouquet for my dining table. Last Spring my Mother’s Day gift was the flowers to plant my own garden, and now I am harvesting the fruits of those labors with stunning roses and other delightful perennials to enjoy. I look forward to this time each week where I stop  Read more »

Take the First Step

By |June 17th, 2017|Blog|

The end of the school year brings excitement for many—a time of graduation. This year we celebrated two graduates in our home with one daughter completing High School and another completing University. I had the privilege of being the Commencement Speaker at my daughter Paige’s High School graduation. I asked the students, “What are you going to do after High School?” This is one of the most asked questions of High School graduates. Over and over people will ask  Read more »

Time for a Spring Clean Up

By |April 25th, 2017|Blog, Leadership Lessons|

The season is changing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and our teams at MSNW are preparing for Spring cleanups at our client businesses and properties. Spring is the rebirth of creation and it is a delight to see bulbs poking their heads out of the ground, colorful buds appearing on the trees, and waking to the music of happy birds. One of the gifts of Spring is that it seems to provide a new energy to clean up rooms  Read more »

Leadership Lessons – The Power of TEAM

By |March 14th, 2017|Blog, Leadership Lessons|

Every year we choose a new theme at Management Services Northwest, and in 2017 our Corporate Theme is “T.E.A.M. - Together Everyone Accomplishes More." This year we want to work together to be a high functioning, highly effective team with a laser focus on our mission to be the company of highest reliability. This season I have been observing what makes teams successful from watching young high schoolers play basketball.  My family and I have been attending many games  Read more »

How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions?

By |February 16th, 2017|Blog, Leadership Lessons|

Just two months into the New Year and approximately 75% of us, according to a recent health poll, have already given up on those New Year's Resolutions we made for 2017. Individuals make resolutions as they desire change.  However, when it comes down to the commitment and hard work required to accomplish them, most people don't have the bandwidth and consequently drop out in a matter of weeks. Below are some of the top resolutions of the last couple  Read more »

Leadership Lessons: Make 2017 Your Best Year

By |January 19th, 2017|Blog|

I always enjoy entering a New Year. It is a time of beginning, a fresh start. Our management team has a ritual of coming together at the beginning of each year to reflect on the positive and growing experiences of the last year, and to set a theme and goals for the coming year.  We do something similar at home, however my teenager rolls her eyes and says, “Mom, I just want to live in the moment!” What about  Read more »

Leadership Lessons – Finding Peace this Holiday Season

By |December 9th, 2016|Blog, Leadership Lessons|

It seems everywhere you go in December, people are rushing around in a frenzy to get ready for the Holiday season.  People ask, "Are you ready for Christmas?" I don't think they are asking about the real meaning of Christmas, meaning instead "do you have your Christmas cards out; is your shopping done yet; are you set for your parties?" Why are we so busy being busy? You have heard me talk before about the standard work culture these  Read more »

Leadership Lessons – Kidnapped by the Urgent

By |November 17th, 2016|Blog, Leadership Lessons|

My family and I love to visit beautiful Victoria, British Columbia and enjoy the world famous Buskers Festival. The walkways along the waterfront are filled with street performers from all over the world mesmerizing us with their comedy shows and juggling acts, and daring feats from balancing atop high poles to fire throwing. As leaders in fast paced businesses going 7 days a week, we can often feel like a street performer juggling several balls at once. We have gotten quite  Read more »

4th Quarter Reset

By |October 13th, 2016|Blog|

A friend of mine posted on Facebook, "I am glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." I have to agree, as Fall is a lovely time in the Northwest with crisp foggy mornings, warm afternoons, and the trees shouting their beauty in vibrant colors of orange, yellow and green. It also is a time where we are coming off summer vacations and getting back into school and work routines, and a great opportunity to sharpen our  Read more »

End Your Day Well

By |August 11th, 2016|Blog|

Similar to an effective workout cooldown, where you unwind the body and heart rate to a resting pace, and take the time to stretch the muscles you have used, a similar wind down period at the end of your day brings you to a place of relaxation and prepares your body for a good night's sleep. Entrepreneurs and business professionals can pick up the bad habit of working at a crazy frenzied pace until they run out of daylight  Read more »

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