Three Ways That Psilocybin Truffles Can Help you Become a Great Leader

Committed and driven individuals that strive to carry their teams down the path to success. That is what makes a great leader. But it is of widespread belief that leaders are not born this way. They are moulded by their experiences. Much like riding a bike, or overcoming your fear of public speaking, the skills that underpin great leadership can be learnt.

So how do you become this? The traits that define great leadership are often cultivated through years of strategic training. Which makes you think, isn’t there a quicker way? This time-frame is too long when your team needs a great leader now.

Yet more and more business leaders, creatives and entrepreneurs are tapping in to a refined technique that is turning personal development inside-out. They are using psilocybin truffles to get ahead of the game. Through positive intention and a little magic, this not-so-secret sacred medicine is allowing professionals to become their best self. This article will show you three ways that psilocybin truffles can help you become an outstanding leader.

1. Psilocybin Truffles Can Make You More Present
Psilocybin truffles are a psychedelic substance. They are sold in smart shops in Amsterdam, and have been continuously linked to partying in the Dutch capital. But the psychoactive component in these truffles – psilocybin – has been used by indigineous tribespeople for millennia.

Due to its legal status in many Western nations, the history of research into psilocybin is complex. However, there has been some major breakthroughs in the past fifteen years. Psilocybin has proven to be a miracle cure for depression, which has facilitated an explosion in scientific interest.

What science has found is that truffles can influence the activity in the Default Mode Network (DMN). The DMN is found in everyone, and is considered to be the brain’s mind wandering hub. When your DMN is active, it’s likely that you are unfocused or day-dreaming. Conversely, when you are 100% committed to the task at hand, the DMN is deactivated.

Having an overactive DMN can cause problems, especially as a leader in the workplace. When your DMN is overactive, your mind is wandering constantly. You may not be able to give your attention to others, and they may feel a lack of care on your part. Truffles can help you with this, though. Researchers at Imperial College London gathered volunteers that took psilocybin in their research facility. The volunteers had their brains scanned before and after their psilocybin experience. The researchers observed that the connections between the DMN re-wired in volunteers that took psilocybin. This subsequently made the DMN less active in these volunteers.

By using truffles, you can take back control of your wandering mind, and ultimately become more present in every moment. Tapping in to every moment with mindful awareness is key in cultivating better working relationships with your team, which ultimately affords a better leadership style.

2. Psilocybin Helps You Leave Your Ego At The Door
As Forbes and Harvard Business Review has put it, the ego is the enemy of good leadership. Many CEOs and entrepreneurs are now recognising this, pioneering a completely different leadership approach: servant leadership.

Servant leadership is not a new idea, however. Coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970’s, servant leadership ultimately aims to put the team first; as a leader, your main purpose is to maximise the potential of your team members by helping them grow. Bruised egos are no place for this style of leadership, where your complete focus is on the benefit of the team, rather than the benefit of the self.

Sameer Dholakia, an established tech CEO in San Francisco, has adopted this servant leadership style. Dholakia has received immense praise from Glassdoor and Comparably, whilst becoming the most highly rated CEO in 2017. Meeting the people that run the business takes up 50% of his schedule, and contributes to a healthy and happy work environment.

What supposedly helps the most is ending every meeting asking if there is anything that he can personally do to help. This creates an open and honest work environment that facilitates great and insightful new ideas.

So where do psilocybin truffles fit into all of this? Sometimes using truffles will take you to a state of ego-death. And what is ego death? In short, it’s the shedding of the self. A feeling that there is no ‘you’, and a deep sense of connection with every other sentient being. If this seems completely alien, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s inexplicable, and often only relevant to the person that experiences this.

The fundamental quality of this state is the emphasis of the importance of others, rather than a more egocentric world. Truffle induced ego death can prevent your ego from getting in the way. By focussing more on others, and less on yourself, servant leadership can easily be adopted, and your project will grow alongside the team members that you seek to support.

3. Psilocybin Truffles Can Provide new Perspectives and Heightened Empathy
Another trait that defines a great leader is empathy. Think about it: have you ever had a boss that would never understand other people’s point of view? An insensitive and inconsiderate leader is one that won’t go very far.

Consider this instead: a leader who listens and understands. This is the fundamental trait of a great leader, and one which empathy encompasses.

Empathy is the ability to understand and consider other people’s feelings and experiences. People high in empathy can see the perspective of others very clearly, and psilocybin can provide this much needed perspective.

Psilocybin has the capacity to change the connections in your brain, and therefore change the way you think. Many people that experience a psilocybin trip are stunned by the things that the truffles show them, and often cite this as the catalyst that radically changes their perspective.

Brian, a 50-year old scientist and natural skeptic, participated in one of the first psilocybin studies at Johns Hopkins University. After his participation in the study, Brian’s attitude towards life changed. Brian told Time magazine, “It became absolutely obvious that perspective determines your experience with reality and that maybe being able to take more perspectives than one will give you a more rich and probably more true version of what reality is.” Maria Estevez, another study participant, reported more tolerance and forgiveness towards others, with her friends corroborating this insight.

It is this change in perspective that can help you become a better leader. Being able to understand others perspectives and needs will make your team feel validated. This validation ultimately leads to a healthier and happier workplace, a necessary foundation for more productivity and success.

Tying it all together
So there are the three traits that will lead you on the way to becoming a greater leader. These characteristics live in harmonious interdependence: if you become more present, then you may be more receptive to others needs, ultimately treading the path towards a better leadership style that is more focussed on the team rather than the self. Cultivating these characteristics can benefit both yourself and your team in a profound and unprecedented manner.

To gain these traits, however, psilocybin truffles need to be used with caution. They are powerful tools. Moreover, intention that underpins the use of truffles is hugely beneficial and can’t be overstated. If you wish to cultivate these traits through truffles, then it’s important to consciously acknowledge this.

On top of this, having a space to be able to discuss your truffle experiences with others is of great importance. This can help you evaluate what you’ve learnt, and provide an even deeper insight. Hopefully, through the first hand experience of psilocybin truffles, you can take the same steps as other successful entrepreneurs and finally become an outstanding leader.

Age is just a number – Psilocybin and the road to change

There are some things you can’t change. Your age, for example. Sure, some people can (attempt to) hide it, but how old you are is an inescapable fact of life.

There are some things you can change, however. External factors, like your lifestyle or your diet, can be adjusted. But these rarely have large effects on who you are as a person, especially as you get older.

Personal development is challenging, no matter how old you are. But there’s no doubt that age can take its toll. Years of the same routine can ingrain toxic habits and thought patterns deeper and deeper, making them incredibly hard to reverse. But evidence from modern science is showing us that there is no age limit on the road to change.

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In 2006, researchers at Johns Hopkins University were looking for participants for a groundbreaking new study. Psilocybin, the key ingredient in magic mushrooms and truffles, had been thrust into the scientific spotlight. With clearing from the ethical council, the researchers had permission to investigate how psilocybin would affect hallucinogen-naive individuals. As psilocybin has been a backbone of spiritual practices in many indigenous cultures, the researchers thought they could finally elucidate the ethereal; does psilocybin facilitate mystical experiences?

Unsurprisingly, there was a huge amount of interest. 136 volunteers were whittled down to 54, with 36 of these ultimately deemed suitable to participate. After months of screening and check-ups, the volunteers would finally sit in a comfortable room, with suitable music, and be taken through a psilocybin trip. Trained clinicians were present, acting as guides to help the volunteers through a potentially bumpy ride.

If you didn’t know, psilocybin has a cascading effect on the outer layer of the brain (the cortex). It acts on the one of the main neurotransmitter systems – the serotonergic system. Much like a key fits a lock, serotonin molecules bind to their respective receptors in this system. This molecular binding unlocks processes involving learning, memory and cognition. Due to psilocybin having the same chemical shape as serotonin, it can be thought of as a master key, able to open the doors of perception.

Since the 1960’s, magic mushrooms and LSD (another serotonergic psychedelic) have been iconic symbols of the counterculture movement. Rather than being used for introspection, self-reflection and personal growth, they have been misconceived as party drugs, which led to their stigmatisation (and criminalised status) in 1971. However, as said before, these plants have been regarded as sacred, and used in spiritual practices for millennia. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University wanted to highlight the mushrooms sacred healing properties.

The average age of participant in the study was 46. Typically, the ability to cultivate new traits and to engage in personal growth is stunted by the age of 30. Your personality stabilises, with core traits stagnating from then on.

Many of the participants showed ingrained personality changes following the mushroom session. Amazingly, these changes persisted until at least 14 months after the trip itself, when a follow-up test was conducted. Nearly all of the participants ranked the trip as one of the top five most spiritually significant experiences in their life, with some ranking it as the most. This meant that for some volunteers, the time spent on psilocybin in a room of clinical psychologists was more spiritually significant than the birth of their own child.

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Life is a complex phenomena. You never know what it will throw at you, and you never know how you’ll react. These volunteers undoubtedly had no idea that this study would change their life, and ultimately change who they are. 62 years old at the time, Maria Estevez participated in the study to gain some spiritual and personal insights. She released a book about her experiences, and had this to say about her encounters with psilocybin:

“Driving home from Baltimore after my mandatory follow-up the next day, I became aware of a blaze of inspiration and communication too strong to be dismissed. One message was, “Once the door is opened, it will never again be completely closed.” I was delighted with every aspect of this revelation and the personal transformation it promised.”

It’s a rarity to see such a dramatic shift in both personality and outlook on life. Psilocybin has the capacity to do this, however, through one specific means – neuroplasticity.

As we grow and develop, our brains are inherently malleable. Fundamentally, there is a process (dubbed Hebbian learning) that allows useful connections between brain cells to strengthen, and useless ones to weaken. This can be achieved through the coordination of specific neural pathways signalling together. In short: what fires together, wires together.

The brain is in its most plastic state at a very young age. Every new experience we have as a child influences these neuronal connections, ultimately moulding our minds. We are subjected to many experiences, and, as a result, are a product of them.

But when our brains reach a certain level of maturity, this plastic state fades. Experiences are no longer as groundbreaking as they once were, which is one of the reasons why personalities tend to stagnate. Habits become ingrained, and thought patterns remain rigid.

Psilocybin, however, can induce a completely different brain state. Under the influence of psilocybin, new doors are opened. Researchers in Italy and London visualised how neuronal pathways form that allow brain regions to communicate in a way that has never been seen in waking consciousness.

Essentially, psilocybin can catapult your mind back to a child-like state. It is in this state that experiences carry so much gravity. Your ability to learn about yourself and grow is immensely amplified, as well as the capacity to change. To be in this state, to look at the world with child-like wonder again is, to say the least, eye-opening.

It’s no wonder, then, that so many are awe-struck by the journey that psilocybin takes them on. Nick Fernandez, who participated in a psilocybin study due to his severe anxiety, said it “was the single most transformative experience of my life”.

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Ever since the the original study conducted by Johns Hopkins university in 2006, there has been an explosion of interest into psilocybin’s benefits. People that have undertaken these clinically guided trips have become more connected to others, more spiritually aware, and more compassionate and kind. These personality changes have been seen in participants well into their 60’s. On top of this, it’s being tipped as a miracle cure for treatment-resistant depression and PTSD, anxiety, existential distress in cancer patients, and substance addiction (to name just a few).

What must be stressed is the diversity of volunteers that are in these experiments. Some are old and some are young. Some have clinical issues while some seek spirituality. Some intend to self-reflect, and some merely want to contribute to modern science. Whatever the intention, it is clear that all the participants have been affected and touched by their psilocybin encounters.

For many it allowed them to get out of a depressive rut; the plastic state that psilocybin induces can help to relinquish the control that negative thought patterns had over their lives. For others, a titanic shift in internal thought led to a titanic shift in the way they behaved externally (for some, this manifested in the cessation of smoking or drinking alcohol).

Although you can’t change your age, it is increasingly clear that you can change your mind. Doors that have been seemingly shut for years can once again be opened with psilocybin.

The key to optimizing your mind: How truffles can help cultivate passion, creativity and empathy

As an entrepreneur, you strive to be the best version of yourself everyday. To be efficient and aware, to have groundbreaking insights into brand new innovations, and to work harmoniously with others. These form a solid foundation for success in your professional (and personal) life.

But awareness and insight are often elusive. When we want to focus, our minds turn into a circus. Yet when we seek new ideas, our minds go blank. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.

There is growing anecdotal and scientific evidence, however, showing how you can optimise your mind. In this article, I want to show you how psychedelic truffles can help you maintain passion, develop more empathy, and become more creative.

Increased Empathy and Connectedness
Psilocybin is a powerful molecule found within psychedelic truffles. It mimics the effects of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for (among other things) mood, learning and memory. Psilocybin and serotonin have almost identical shapes, which allows the former to bins to the densely packed serotonin receptors in the outer layer of the brain. This then sends the mind into a completely different realm of thinking.

Without psilocybin, information is sent from one brain region to the next in a very predictable way. When you read a sign, electrochemical signals travel from the retina to the back of the brain via neurons, the brain cells that form the information highways in your brain. Visual processing occurs here, allowing you to interpret what you have seen. Once processing is done here, the signals can then get back on the neural highway and travel further into the brain.

But when psilocybin is present, there is a huge change. These once orderly highways are completely re-structured. Areas of the brain that were barely acquainted before, are now able to share a huge dialogue. Suddenly, it is possible to see the world from a completely different perspective.

The world is a manifestation of your mind, and this shift in perspective can benefit the way you interact with the world. Recent research has revealed that psilocybin users have a deeper sense of connectedness with others and their environment. Brian, a 50-year old scientist who participated in a psilocybin study at Johns Hopkins University, told Time magazine:

“It became absolutely obvious that perspective determines your experience with reality and that maybe being able to take more perspectives than one will give you a more rich and probably more true version of what reality is.”

Opening up your mind to a different way of thinking allows you to understand others more clearly. By doing this, psilocybin can help you develop an empathetic mind. Your personal and professional relationships will thrive as you cultivate a deeper sense of empathy. As Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, says, “empathy is everything in a business context…there was no way we could innovate without having a deeper sense of empathy.”

Psilocybin acts as a reset button which can make you more creative
It seems that this new perspective can profoundly change your mindset. The world may have seemed stale before, but taking your mind to a completely different place can make everything seem new and fresh again. This can be explained, again, by the restructuring of your neural pathways.

Negative thought processes and bad habits are often associated with predictable and rigid connections in the brain, but psilocybin can change this. By taking psilocybin, your brain turns into a more conscious state (dubbed the entropic state), which basically means that connections are more free and fluid than before. Researchers compare the use of psilocybin to pressing a reset button in your mind.

This reset button is so powerful that it has even shaken people out of treatment-resistant depression. In the study, patients have described actually feeling their brain structure being re-wired. Robin Carhart-Harris, lead author of the study, told Eurekalert “…one [patient] said he felt like his brain had been ‘defragged’ like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted’.”

With a fresh world to look at, your mind is now more intrigued. These new levels of curiosity can make the most successful entrepreneur. Andrew Bennett, CEO of Havas Creative Group, writes on Entrepeneur that curiosity is the key driver in promoting creativity. And it’s no surprise, then that psilocybin has been shown to boost creative thinking.

Researchers here in the Netherlands showed how psilocybin can make people more cognitively flexible. Volunteers that took part in the study were tested on measures of divergent thinking (the ability to come up with many original answers to one question) before and after they drank some truffle-infused tea at a retreat. The volunteers produced more original answers to questions such as “Think of as many different uses for a pen.” even seven days after using the truffles. These divergent thinking tests are a key marker for levels of creativity, and the truffles boosted the users creative intuition.

Like I said, resetting your perspective can radically change your mindset. If the world can be seen through a new lens, then that will influence the way you interact with it. As things seem new, you want to know more about them, and are able to develop a refined sense of curiosity. Personal and professional struggles can be reframed; in the study, the participants were now able to see more than just a pen. What was an issue before, can now be seen as a challenge, which makes it much easier to find a solution. New experiences and insights from using psilocybin can open up the mind to explore inexplicable ideas. The impossible then becomes possible.

The Entrepreneurial Secret?
Many bloggers, scientists and creatives are crediting their success to psilocybin. More and more stories are being posted about how microdosing (using tiny amounts that don’t cross the perceptual threshold) has helped them on their path to innovation. Many more talk about how they use psilocybin more often to explore themselves and new ideas. Author and angel investor Tim Ferriss uses moderate doses every 6-8 weeks. By doing so, it allows the brain to maintain this fluid state. Research has shown that the structural re-organisation caused by psilocybin doesn’t last forever.

As well as frequency of use, it’s also important to know where and how to use psilocybin. Truffle experiences can be tumultuous and difficult to process. Being in a setting where you can be guided through the experience is hugely beneficial. It also allows you to articulate what questions you might want to explore during the experience, which grounds it in positive intention.

It is this positive intention that can help you develop a more optimised mind. Creativity and empathy can be cultivated, leading to more innovation and ideas in your field, and a deeper sense of connection between yourself and the world around you.

Microdosing – A Journey into the Unknown

“How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?”


– Plato, The Allegory of the Cave

An expansive and ever-shifting distortion of human perception? Colours blending and inanimate objects moving? These might be some of the images that come to mind when you think of psychedelics. But there is a movement that is growing, and it doesn’t involve overwhelming hallucinations or transcendental insights.

Microdosing, as described originally by James Fadiman in his book “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide”, is the practice of taking a “sub-perceptual” amount of psychedelic drugs (usually LSD, or psilocybin) every 3-4 days. Sub-perceptual is, of course, a very individualistic guideline, but generally means that the effects are so minute that they barely cross one’s perceptual threshold (around 1/10 of a normal dose). In other words, if you start experiencing visual effects, you’ve probably taken too much.

The interest in microdosing has exploded in the past decade. After Fadiman released this guide, he urged users to send him reports about their experiences. This was ten years ago, and the reports are not only flooding to Fadiman, but also online: a website has been setup dedicated to the safe and standardised practice of microdosing, and there are over 46,000 reddit users following the microdosing subreddit, with posts being uploaded daily. It’s also being lauded by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, who say that using small amounts of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) has helped them ‘hack their creativity and productivity’.

Despite the anecdotal evidence mounting, there is an issue here. Without the controlled study of psychedelics using these sub-perceptual doses, it is hard to truly ascertain the positive and negative effects of microdosing. Bureaucratic and legal barriers prevent a large number of researchers from gaining access to psychoactive drugs. Most notably however, here in the Netherlands, psilocybin containing truffles have a decriminalised status, and are distributed commercially, which gives psychedelic researchers a clear advantage in the study of psilocybin (the psychoactive component in psychedelic mushrooms).

Microdosing – A Creativity Hack?

Recently, one of the first studies investigating the effects of microdosing was conducted by Luisa Prochazkova and others at Leiden University. Anecdotal evidence from microdoser’s online led the researchers to investigate how it would affect two domains: fluid intelligence and creativity. The researchers argue that creativity is comprised of two subcomponents: convergent thinking and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking is the ability to focus and identify a primary solution to a well-defined problem; one problem, one solution. Divergent thinking, however, requires cognitive flexibility to come up with as many original and abstract ideas as possible; one problem, many solutions.

So what did they do in the study? The researchers used the Picture Concept Task to assess convergent thinking, and the Alternative Uses Task to assess divergent thinking. The Picture Concept Task involved a 3×3 grid of pictures, and the volunteers had to choose one picture from each row that they thought all had a common association (for example, a bathtub, a hose and a sink all distribute water); therefore they had to converge to a fixed solution. On the other hand, the Alternate Uses Task gave the volunteers five minutes to come up with as many uses for a pen or a towel, with extra points for originality of the answer, giving them an opportunity to think outside the box. Fluid intelligence (the ability to reason and solve novel problems) was assessed through the Raven’s Progressive Matrices: there were 12 questions, in the form of a grid of pictures, with one on the bottom right missing. The volunteers had to choose (from six pictures below) which was missing from the grid.

The researchers weren’t running around the streets asking people to microdose in the name of science though. They were recruited during a microdosing event curated by the Psychedelic Society of the Netherlands (PSN). These willing volunteers were tested both before they microdosed and 90 minutes after they ingested around 0.33mg of psychedelic truffles, which were provided by the PSN and sent to a lab afterwards for analysis.

The main component within the truffles (psilocybin) is a compound that binds to the 5-HT2A receptors in the brain, due to its very similar shape to the neurotransmitter serotonin. The serotonergic system is responsible for modulating many things, including, but not limited to, mood-regulation, cognition, learning and memory. We know that a large of quantity of psilocybin can drastically change these psychological attributes, but can a microdose have any effect?

In short, yes and no. The researchers found that after microdosing truffles, the volunteers were able to come up with significantly more original ideas (average 16.7) than before (average 12.36) on the alternate uses task, and could give more correct answers on the picture concept task (average 7.59) than before a microdose (average 6.56). However, fluid intelligence was not significantly affected

So these anecdotal claims of hacking your creativity may be right – it seems that microdosing can heighten one’s ability to problem-solve and think outside the box, but unfortunately doesn’t make you smarter. Aldous Huxley famously said, after retrospectively dwelling on his time tripping on mescaline in ‘The Doors of Perception’, that he saw the world for what it really was. He concluded that the brain acts as a sensory gate, filtering out unnecessary information, and categorising all new information based on previous experiences. Your perception of the world is the product of the information your brain lets in.

This function is useful; we would go crazy if our minds allowed the almost infinite amount of sensory stimuli into our psyche, but it can be costly. As our brains seek to predict the world correctly and act accordingly, we naturally fall into bad habits and become stuck in behavioural ruts (are you constantly checking your phone for no reason?). If high doses of psychedelic drugs allow us to completely un-hinge this sensory gate, and see the world in its unfiltered state, then low doses may leave the gate slightly ajar, which might explain how people can see a pen for more than just a tool to write Prochazkova’s research.

Another study conducted at Macquarie University in Sydney combined the surge of interest in microdosing with the power of the internet, to recruit volunteers around the world who were self-administering small doses of psychedelic drugs as part of their daily routine. These volunteers were tested over six weeks (on both dose days and no-dose days) on a variety of psychological parameters, including attention, mood, absorption, stress and wellbeing.

In the short term, the volunteers scored to be (among other things) more productive and more focused on their dose days compared to baseline, with these effects remaining significantly above baseline on the no-dose days. Other dimensions, such as happiness, creativity and connectedness, increased on dose days, but these effects quickly returned back to normal in the succeeding no-dose days. In the longer term, there was a significant drop in depression, stress and the propensity to mind-wander, and there was an increase in the intensity of absorption – a trait characterised by deep and focused attention within subjective experiences, such as being engaged in music or art.

It is important to note three things as a cautionary tale. Firstly, this study was not conducted purely on psilocybin. Around 47% reported to use psilocybin, whereas 48% reported to use LSD (another substance acting on the serotonergic system), so it is difficult to compare this with Prochazkova’s results. Secondly, both of these studies use experienced microdosers as participants, which immediately biases the sample, leading to the findings becoming less generalisable to the wider population. Finally, uncontrolled conditions in both these studies makes it impossible to gain an experiment that has a placebo condition. Who knows if the effects seen in these studies are just a product of microdosers expecting to feel more positive?

On the horizon, however, is prospective research conducted by the Beckley foundation that is going to be a first in the science of psychedelics – a blind study on microdosing – where volunteers are not aware of whether they have taken a psychoactive substance or a placebo. This would finally provide more conclusive scientific evidence about the effects of microdosing on a myriad of cognitive, psychological and wellbeing factors, without all these caveats mentioned that underpin and discredit previous research.  

It seems times are changing. The next few years investigating psychedelics looks promising to say the least. More knowledge of the benefits of psychedelics may allow society to grow and progress together with the research, with more and more people deciding to (as Huxley would put it) leave their sensory gate slightly ajar, and let in a little bit more of the world in front of us.

The best par about psilocybin therapy is the fact that we are using nature's gifts to heal.

Psilocybin: Meet Your New Therapist

How Psilocybin Therapy is Changing the Game

There is a revolution happening in the mental health industry. While everyone seems to be over-worked, over-stressed, and on the verge of quitting, something magical is starting to happen globally. In light of current dissatisfaction, people are being illuminated to one simple fact: It doesn’t have to be this way.

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