Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?

127 hoursIt makes a huge difference in our brain if we think that we should be doing something, or if we think that we must be doing something.

Let me explain what I mean by that, and why you might not be able to achieve your dreams and goals.

But most of all what mental switch you need to make in order to make changes in your life.

Are you a I Should Person or a I Must Person?

Have you ever heard someone a bit over weight saying; I should lose some weight! What are the chances of them actually losing the weight?  Well, let’s put it this way; I wouldn’t bet any money on it.

Now, if someone tells me; I am a bit overweight, and I MUST lose the extra weight.  I would be much more willing to bet my money that this person will.  If they’re saying that they must lose the weight, chances are that they will take the appropriate actions to do so.

There are tons of “I should” type of people out there, and that’s why they don’t have what they want, and can’t achieve their goals.

It’s only once you decide that you MUST do something that things start happening. Let’s illustrate that with a dramatic true story.

An Incredible True Story of Someone Who Said I MUST

I don’t know if you’ve seen that true story movie titled 127 hours. It’s about a hiker named Aron Ralston (correct spelling) who fell into a crevasse as he was dragged down by a boulder that got dislodged.

Back in 2003, while Aron was hiking in a Utah Canyon, he fell into a 65 feet crevasse, and got his hand stuck between the boulder he was climbing that dragged him down, and the wall of the crevasse.

His right hand was completely stuck between the boulder and the canyon wall for five days. Each day he was trying new tricks to try to free his hand by attempting to lift the boulder to no avail. The boulder weighted close to a ton.

Towards the end of the fifth day, he decided that he was going to die, so he started recording some good bye messages on his camera for his family. Then he wrote his name, birth date and “approximate date of his death” on the stone wall. He had no more food or water and his right hand was starting to rot as it was smashed stuck in stone.  He was not expecting to wake up on the sixth day.

However, on day six he did wake up to his own amazement.  And he actually woke up with the strong realization that in order to survive he had to get rid of the part of his body that kept him stuck at the bottom of this crevasse.  That body part was his right hand.

Once he decided that he MUST cut off his right hand to get free, it was actually a relief for him, and he did. Yes, guys. This amazing man cut off his right hand at mid-forearm with a pocket knife, and snapped-broke the bones. (Sorry for the sensitive souls, but life is tough at times).

After he got loose from his own hand, he actually felt an immense joy, but he still had to climb 65 feet one handed while dripping blood from his other arm.  Amazingly he did!

Now, once he was on top of the ravine he was then still 8 miles from his car.

Thankfully a family was passing by as he was running down a hill after he had freed himself from the crevasse, and they gave him food and water.  Since his family had already launched a rescue team being missing for days, an helicopter happened to fly above them soon after that.

He finally was lifted by helicopter to a hospital six hours after he had cut his hand off.

He had lost 40 pounds and 25% of his blood volume.  But he was alive and he was being rescued. He survived this horrific ordeal, and he thrived. He keeps hiking and climbing and he even got married.

What made the difference between life and death for Aron Ralston was when he decided that he HAD to get out of there.  When it became a MUST.  And God knows this had to be a strong MUST.

When you set your brain to a MUST default it gives you amazing powers and clear ideas to be able to do what you have to do.

What Can we Learn from this Amazing Story?

We can all feel so lucky that we will never have to make as tough a decision as Aron had, but we can all learn something valuable from this true story.

There are many people who are stuck just like Aron with his boulder.  They are stuck in their life with no way up, unless they’d be willing to take drastic actions that would free them from their figurative crevasse.

Many people do live under a figurative boulder that smash them down.  People are stuck in ditch-like situations, and they are staying there until they die.  We all know people like this. I know I do.

Sometimes the action needs to be drastic.  Sometimes you are going to have to cut a figurative right hand to get free. You may have to leave your partner, you parents, your country, your job, the place you live in, etc.

Sometimes you may have to make small sacrifices, sometimes big ones. In Aron’s case he had no choice. It was his life against his right hand.  he chose life, and evidence tells us that he never regretted it.

It wasn’t his time to die. It was time for him to show what type of guts he had.

There are times when you are going to have to make some sacrifices.  Sometimes this is the price to pay to get “unstuck” in your life.  But no matter what it is that you need to do, a woulda, or shoulda won’t do it. It has to be your MUST.

Get Out of Your Own Ravine

If you are stuck into a figurative Ravine, unhappy, empty, frustrated, or even angry, it means that it’s time to make some serious decisions and go for it.

Whatever action you need to take, you need to make it a MUST action.  If you think that maybe you should do it,  you probably won’t.  However, if you feel that you MUST, then chances are that you will.

Remember, whatever you’ll have to do to make your life better, won’t be as hard as cutting your right hand with a pocket knife, and using the weight of a boulder to snap your bones.  Yet, for someone such as Aron Ralston it became a MUST, and he did it.

Listen to Aron Ralston himself…

So, after reading this story, how do you feel? Do you feel that you can change something you don’t want or like in your life to make it better? Please, do tell!

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36 thoughts on “Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?”

  1. Hi Sylviane,

    This was such an inspirational story about Aron and all that he went through.

    I agree, there is a HUGE difference between when we say should or must. Should leaves an option in our mind more than anything else, whereas must is an self-affirmation that we have to go ahead and do it – no matter what. There are no ways about it.

    Had Aron not shifted his should to a must – he would long have been dead. But it was his courage and will-power, accompanied with the vision he had of his future son, as he mentioned in the video, that really pulled him through and made him take the step he did. It’s not easy, and I shiver at the thought to be placed in his shoes! I wonder what I would’ve done in such a case. That’s the time when a small light of hope, which was his son here I think, can do wonders for you.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story with us, and inspiring all of us too. Have a nice day ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh invites you to read..Ways of Dealing with the Loss of a Loved OneMy Profile

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I love this story and I think that it’s one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever heard of.

      They made a movie of the whole thing and I watched it so attentively. It was amazing. All the things he went through during those horrible 127 hours are well described.

      Here we also see the power of a vision and how it can help us to take are MUST steps in order to accomplish our biggest dreams. As you mentioned, the vision of his future son was powerful in his case.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this story and thank you for coming, as always.
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?My Profile

  2. Slyviane,

    This truly amazing that you wrote your post on this story now. I was driving down the road a couple of days ago and started thinking about this story. I imagined Aron down in that crevasse and thought about what he must have been thinking while he was cutting off his own hand.

    I actually was thinking about how this story affected my life and how I needed to live my life as he lived his.

    This is an amazing story and our lives can be just as amazing if we live our lives by what we must do and not what we should do.

    What an amazing post.

    Dee Ann
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    1. Hi DeeAnn,

      Now, yes, that’s interesting that you’ve been thinking of this story just few days ago, and here you see it on this post.

      We can only be in awe at what happened to Aron and how he got out of this. It took a lot of will, and courage.

      Many of us are complaining about futile things. So many things are futile compare to this, andyway. It’s not every day that we have to make such tough, tough decisions, is it?

      Thanks for coming and I’m glad you enjoyed this 🙂
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?My Profile

  3. Hi Sylviane,

    What a story! If that doesn’t explain the difference between should and must, I don’t know what will. Loved the video you put in also.

    So many people are figuratively stuck like Aron. They may say to themselves “I should” all their life. But what happens if they do that? What would have happened to Aron? He would have died if he didn’t say to himself “I must.” Cutting off his own arm and saving his own life is truly amazing.

    When someone is in a situation that is painful or stagnant in any way, they “must” get out of it or they will be “stuck.” Aron is a fine example of the human spirit. We can do anything we must do to live the best life we can.

    When people say “should” to me it is a red flag that they are not going to change. They should on themselves and die within.

    This story is so compelling for those who need to make changes in their lives. There is always a better way, a better and more healthy life and I do believe we Must achieve that, no matter what!

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    1. Hey Donna,

      I knew you’d love this story Donna. Like you said if this doesn’t illustrates the difference between should and must, nothing will. Well put 🙂

      I’ve known of that story for over a year now, but it’s now that I thought it could be the subject of post, because it’s so inspiring.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this!
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?My Profile

  4. Hello Sylviane
    What an amazing real life story. First thank you for such an inspiring article.
    It spoke volumes to my life. You are right, so many times we say “we should”, and then we never do it. I MUST is like I have no choice but to carry it out. There is so much to learn from people like Aron Ralston. I loved the video.
    Thank you for making an impact on your readers.

    Gladys Cruz posted….Awareness by Living your life consciously
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    1. Hi Gladys,

      Yes, there’s so much to learn from this amazing guy! I love this story, and if this doesn’t show people that they can get out of whatever situation they may be in, I don’t know what will.

      What he says in the video also shows that God never abandons us, but shows us the way out. Sometimes the way out is not easy and can be painful, but it still is a way out.

      Thanks for your visit, Gladys.
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?My Profile

  5. Hi Sylviane,

    What an inspiring story! It clearly explains the difference between I should and I must. Nothing can explain it any better. Wow, it made the hairs on my arms stand. Really amazing story and it spoke personally to me as I am stuck on something and I was questioning myself should I or I must and I guess your post answered my question. I loved the video too.

    Thanks Sylviane for such an inspiring post and I have to tell you this, I love this blog of yours as every week, I come to read and comment but I always get out with either a lesson I learned or an assurance on a decision I have to make or a situation I have to change. Very inspiring.

    Be Blessed,

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    1. Hi Neamat,

      You see, comments like your bring tears to my eyes and it’s for people like you (who are really going to read my post) that I write them.

      I know that it’s common procedure for people to scan posts, but the posts on this blog should be read line by line to get the full benefits from it. The sad thing is that I’m sure some people still scan them.

      I’m glad if you like this blog and enjoy the posts every week, and if this one post could help answer an important question of yours, all the better and how rewarding to me to hear this 🙂

      Frankly this blog hasn’t yet received the traffic it deserves, but I know that it will 🙂 Because I try to put valuable stuff in here.

      Thanks for coming and for your comment, Neamat.
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?My Profile

  6. Wow, Sylviane, what a brilliant way to demonstrate an important lesson. The difference between should and must is vast and Aron is literally living proof of that difference.

    I saw 127 hours and have been impressed with Aron’s story even before I saw the movie. I can’t even imagine the resilience he must have to endure that situation.

    I wonder if he ever had a son. What an incredible vision.

    Thank you so much for this inspiration, Sylviane!
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    1. Hi Carolyn,

      I’m glad that you enjoyed this story “again”. Yes, it’s so uplifting. We need more people like Aron on this earth.

      I do not know if he had a son, but I do know that he got married so I wouldn’t be surprise if he did. Am so happy for him 🙂

      Thank you for coming, Carolyn.

  7. Hi Sylvianne,
    I’ve heard of Aron Ralston’s story but I didn’t know the details of what he experienced. This was such an inspiring and emotional story. I’ll admit I cringed at the part when he made the decision to free himself. What is so astounding is that he had the strength to keep going after he was free. How did he have the strength after 5 days of this horrendous experience? His story shows how powerful our thoughts can be when we choose the right ones. Should is like try. Most of the time it doesn’t happen. Must is powerful and Aron’s story is proof of it.

    I read the post and was immersed in the story. The video made me cry when he realized the little boy he hoisted onto his shoulder was his future son…so touching. It gave me goosebumps!

    This is the perfect story to illustrate how capable we are when we set in our minds the thought that we must do something rather than should. Whenever a should thought creeps in my mind, I always remember the saying, “How many times have you should on yourself today?” and it immediately helps me to switch. I don’t use the “s” word anymore. Thanks Sylviane. I really enjoy your blog and the information you share. Every post has been a catalyst to help me with situations in my life. You are a doll!

    Raena Lynn
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    1. Hi Raena,

      Well, knowing your interest in personal development I sure I’m glad that you came and read this post.

      How a man that had not eaten but the left over snacks that he had in his back pack and drank whatever left over water he had (that were long gone after 5 days), had any strength left to do what he did, can only be explained by the strength of the mind and how the brain goes on over drive once we make important decisions such as this one.

      One can only wonder what “we” would have done in his shoes. But even if we never found ourselves in such a dire situation we can apply this to whatever tough situation we may be in. That’s an example that I’m trying to keep in mind, always.

      Thank you for your input, Raena.

  8. Oh I remember Aaron’s story Sylviane. I remembered thinking man, that guy sure is courageous. I don’t know what I would do in a situation like that but never say never right!

    That’s one of the reasons that I take what a lot of people say to me with a grain of salt. They’ll complain about how they’re stuck, they’ll throw out their excuses but we both know that everyone has the ability to change.

    What you’re sharing here to me is still about people changing because if there is something we “must” do in order to move forward then you have to make that decision to just do it. Is it always pleasant? Is it scary sometimes? Well look at what Aaron did to survive.

    Sometimes it’s leaving that horrible relationship, sometimes it’s moving to a city away from your family or sometimes it’s just knowing that you can’t stay in that job that you’re in anymore. You must make that change, you must do it in order to be a better person and have a better life.

    That really is a fabulous example Sylviane that you shared with us about Aaron. As my Dad use to say, “it kind of makes your life seem insignificant when you see what others have to go through”. Amen to that.

    Thanks Sylviane!

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    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Yes, this goes to show you how once we decide that we “MUST”, it makes all the difference. Man, how many excuses can we find NOT to cut our right hand? Quite a few, huh? Actually dying is probably much easier.

      I watched a video where he describes each step that it took to cut his hand. Well, it’s not pretty. Thing this is more attached to us than we may think. And the physical pain!!! Wow, don’t even want to go there.

      This guy is a true hero, and we can only stand in owe, and take in all the lessons is teaching us.

      I’m glad you enjoy this story again, Adrienne 🙂

  9. Now that is an amazing story. I remember hearing about that movie, but haven’t seen it yet. Now after reading this, I want to. I have been a “should” person all my life and over the past year, I turned into a MUST person quick. It is funny how life situations can throw you in some dark corners and help you decide real quick what your next course of action is going to be. Thankfully I have never been in a situation like that, but still, what an inspiration to think about. Thank you for this, I needed that today.
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    1. Hi Sonia,

      I’m glad you caught that post. Yes, you should definitely watch that true story movie. I was totally glued to it when I watched it. It’s very inspiring.

      Like you I’ve been a “should” person for way too long, but back in 2006 something clicked in my head and it was the beginning of the end of “shoulda” 🙂

      Thanks for coming and I’m very happy you found this post when you needed it. Law of attraction at work!

  10. Hi Sylviane

    I remember the story really well and I have to say he was a lot braver than most of us. But then again I would never venture into a cave or go out alone on a hike. He paid a high price for his risk, but I still admire him for his courage.

    We probably all take foolish risks at times, but it is how well we can pick ourselves up off the ground and move forward, is what really counts. It is hard to get out of the habit or saying should have done this or should have done that or should do this. We are always looking for an easy solution or maybe even a fairy godmother to fix all our problems, but unfortunately it never happens.

    We just need to get brave and have courage to make changes. Thank you for the inspiring post.

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    1. Hi Mary,

      You’re right, the situations we may find ourselves in are often equivalent to the risk we are taking, but again, we take risk everyday just by driving a car.

      This was a seasoned hiker and I don’t think he thought he was in a dangerous situation, but it turned into one in a second.

      Yes, we usually are looking for easy solutions, but sometimes there’s just not such thing.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  11. Hi Sylviane,

    You know I just wrote a blog about the difference between “Must” and “Should” last night LOL… but it won’t be published until the third week of July. It goes right along with what you’re saying. I like the story of Aron Ralston. This is inspiring and we all can learn from this. Thanks for sharing!
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    1. Hi Sherman,

      Wow, you sure write your posts well in advance 🙂 I wish I could say the same.

      Yes, this story is really encouraging, and I’m glad you were inspired by it.

  12. Hello Sylviane,
    I have watch the movie and it was really inspiring and i did learn from it.
    there will always be two kinds of people in this world; does who are go getters and does who are afraid 😀 When you use the word should, it doesn’t show seriousness and i’d say that that word is for the week.
    I am always that “Must” kinda guy and that’s what makes the strong what they are. Thanks for this lovely post and do have a great weekend ahead
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    1. Hello Babanature,

      I’m glad you saw that movie and find it inspiring. It sure was, wasn’t it?

      I am glad that you are a MUST kind of guy, that’s a good thing to be, and it’s helpful to get to your goals, isn’t it?

      Thanks for coming.

  13. Hi Sylviane,

    I remember reading about Aron and being awestruck by his courage and his determination once he realized on that life-changing morning that he still had a choice to live or to die.

    Reading your post made me think more deeply about the real lesson to be learned from Aron’s experience: that we can always be more than we initially think, we can always do better until we arrive at our absolute best effort.

    The most important thing we can do to achieve anything is to do the absolute best that we can do at the time. What more can we or anyone ask of us? To me, that is the true definition of success.

    Of course, we have to be honest with ourselves. We usually know deep down when we can do better.

    I asked myself how many times I have used the word “should” instead of “must”.
    What you say is so true, our words and the way we “self-talk” often reveal our intent to others even if it remains hidden to us, that is, until we become aware of our negative habit.

    There is one particular goal I’ve been stuck on for a while, and your post has helped me to see that, to break through it, I can do better, I can change my thinking from what I should do to what I must do.

    It is simple really, once we see it.

    I love your blog. I’ll be back soon. Have a great week!

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    1. Hi Jude and welcome here. I’ll be sure you hop over to your place this week end to get to know you better.

      We all have used the word should rather than must, but that only shows that our intent wasn’t strong enough. That’s why we probably didn’t go through with it. If we are honest with ourselves we can all see that, but we can also correct ourselves and replace that one “should” by “must” for more successful results.

      Thanks for coming and for leaving your thoughts with us 🙂

  14. Sylviane, It’s amazing to think what a difference one word can make, isn’t it? I must make a must do list for the next few days and see how I can be more productive after reading this one. Many shoulds just get left by the wayside. I’ll be listening more to see how people go about their words with these 2, fascinating post!
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    1. Hi Lisa,

      Indeed, what a difference can a word make. I think that whether we use I should or I must send a specific signal to our brain and we then act accordingly.

      It seems like the tougher the choice the most likely we are to choose MUST over should such as Aron in his horrific ordeal.

      Let me know how you “must” list go 🙂

  15. Hi Sylviane,

    I’m on the perfect time to read blogs today 😉

    Just before I come here, I’ve been to Donna’s place and she mentioned how “I should” can be a limiting belief. I never doubted about “I should” and I admit that I’ve been using it a lot than MUST.

    However everything was fine for me as I’m beating procrastination and achieving more than what I expected 🙂 Recently I’ve join with a new development project and I’m missing time to be even on my blog too. A voice with “I should” phrase keep nagging in my mind and I thought it’s just a reminder for me to catch up what I’ve missed. But I’m SHOCKED right now after reading yours and Donna’s post. I SHOULD never use should again to push myself? Oh no… I MUST never use it 😉

    Like Lisa implied, it’s really amazing how words can change our perspectives 🙂 You are an impressive teacher Sylviane. You know stuff well and grateful enough for helping us all the time with your generosity.

    Really thanks for letting us know about it and as always, something new to be applied in my life 😉 I MUST…

    Have a successful weekend ahead dear 🙂

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    1. You’re so cut Mayura and one must love your comment where you are so truthful always.

      Aha I guess the universe is attracting you to those posts with this specific”should” vs. “must” deal, and it’s trying to tell you something.

      I think that you are doing great in your progress and keep on going young man 🙂

      Have a wonderful week end!

  16. Hi Slyviane,

    I have heard about Aron’s story but not from his own presentation. Thanks for sharing!

    I totally agree with you that the ‘I MUST’ message is much more powerful. There are too many ‘I should’ people who are not quite ready to make any significant change to their lives. Often, the pain of remaining in the current situation has to be very nasty before one would change from ‘should’ to ‘must’.

    I find it helpful in using ‘painting a picture’ technique to assist a person to visualize what is POSSIBLE for the future. The shift from ‘should’ to ‘must’ happens when they are aware of that and that they have gathered encourage courage to step up.

    Thanks for sharing, Sylviane!

    Viola The Business Mum
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    1. Hi Viola,

      Nice to see you here again.

      You are so right. For most people it would take things to get pretty nasty for they decide to make drastic changes. They just live in that “artificial” comfort zone, such as a “job” or “ relationship” and there’s no moving forward for them, because they feel a sense of security, which as we know is a false sense of security.

      When you get in the type of situations such as Aron’s, then you have no choice but having to make a major decision.
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?My Profile

  17. Hi Sylviane,

    The first time I heard Aron’s story was on a news coverage and I must say, it really gave me the chills. Back then I was thinking, “I wonder if I could be brave enough to do that?” I think, when people are desperate enough, they gather the strength to do just about anything. We have no idea of the power and the strength already within us until we get tested. There’s only two options, either leaving things as they are, or make a change. “Wishing” doesn’t solve anything. “DOING” and putting some massive action behind will though.

    I associate “I Should” with wishing and “I Must” with DOING!

    Thanks for sharing your insights in this great post, Sylviane!

    All the best,

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    1. Hi Ilka,

      How nice to see you hear.

      Since I’m not too much a TV person I have to admit that I’ve missed Aron’s story when it happened, but I’ve discovered the whole story with the movie and it was so motivating to me.

      I could only imagine myself in such a situation and wonder what I would have done. But one thing I am pretty sure about is that I don’t think I’ll be able to do such thing without passing out. Once I had a tendon put back into place and I fainted. Then again once I fell from my bother motorcycle and when I got on my feet the pain made me faint. This guy never fainted cutting his hand off. How in the world?

      Like you said, we have some sort of power that only shows up when we really need it and we can only know what we’re made of when we have no other choice.

      Thanks for coming and for your input.
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Decision Making I Should Or I Must Which One Are You?My Profile

  18. Wow, that was one of the most inspiring post that I have ever read. To know that you have been trapped for 5 days in a rock and pretty much give up all hope of ever living again and all of a sudden you get VISION. The power of vision and how it can get you out of any situation if you can just see yourself coming out of it. It was no accident that Aron did what he did to break free. Sometimes you have to lay aside the what hinders you to get what lies before you. Thanks so much Sylviane for sharing this powerful story.
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    1. Hi Jerry, and nice meeting you here!

      I’m glad you enjoyed this. Aron’s story is a powerful one, indeed, and we can all bring home something from it.

      Thanks for coming and for your comment.
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