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Your own life comes first and the valuing of other people only has to do with what sort of value they provide you. That doesn't mean things like a career or romantic love could not be equal in value.

I agree with both of these sentences. I've shown you how Rand does not agree with the second sentence. If you think she does, please show me a reference.

The idea still remains that the ability to feel profound love is strongly connected to self-esteem, and self-esteem can only be realized through productive work. Do you disagree with anything in post #20?

I think one should be able to support oneself, and self esteem comes from that. How one supports oneself is fairly irrelevant, provided it is legal (assuming all things legal are moral, and I know this is not necessarily the case, but for the sake of argument). I think someone working for $10 an hour at a retail store who hates their job is just as capable of feeling profound love as a Wall Street banker. Maybe more so, in some cases.

I already answered post #20.

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I agree with both of these sentences. I've shown you how Rand does not agree with the second sentence. If you think she does, please show me a reference.

It may be better for me to use an example than argue the specific word choice. To put your own life first, as the standard of value, means that you must put your own values and goals above anyone else's values and goals. A career, your long-range goal of your productive work ("I'm a novelist who currently works as a waiter," "I'm a chef who currently works as a cashier at a local gas station"), is a means of sustaining your life. Career here is the end that comes first, another person could not be more important than *your* productivity. Sometimes, other people can have a profound impact on your goals in life - like in the case of Dagny and Hank. The trade of value may not be similarly material, but it would probably consist of the exchange of ideas. If that happens, the other person is likely to become inseparable from your career goals, and you would feel love because of the degree of value they provide to your life. That is what I mean about how love can be equal in importance to a career as such. If you have a strong passion for your work, your career, imagine what sort of love you could feel if the other person was capable of helping you work towards that passion.

I think one should be able to support oneself, and self esteem comes from that. How one supports oneself is fairly irrelevant, provided it is legal (assuming all things legal are moral, and I know this is not necessarily the case, but for the sake of argument). I think someone working for $10 an hour at a retail store who hates their job is just as capable of feeling profound love as a Wall Street banker. Maybe more so, in some cases.

How does one support oneself? Through productive work. Writing a novel in your spare time on your days off from working at Applebees, a job you really don't like, is still productive work, too. Note having a job isn't the same as a career, so sometimes it is necessary to have a job you do not like, but a proper goal for anyone with self-esteem would be working towards being able to eventually do the job they want. I have not suggested that any certain jobs are necessarily more productive for one's own life, nor does the quote you referenced. Low-paying jobs like those provided by retail stores are usually just a means to an end for a person who has long-range goals of say becoming an engineer or becoming a doctor. The work of those people is essentially about what they do to achieve their goals as an engineer or a doctor, not about loving whatever your current job as an employee is. The person who says "I hate this job but I'll stick at it anyway until I retire" is *probably* not very productive. It is also an outlook that I'm sure plenty of Wall Street bankers have. Would you think such a person has high self-esteem?

Edited by Eiuol
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You could be working at a job you hate because you initially liked it, but have no immediate plans to leave because you're not sure where you want to go from here. You can derive self esteem from other aspects of your life in the meantime. At the same time, you are perfectly capable of feeling profound love for another person and falling in love with that person.

I no longer believe that a person's primary enjoyment in life must derive from their career. I believe the enjoyment you give and receive from a romantic partner is much more important.

I'm sure it is great when your career and your love are connected in some way like Dagny and Hank, but it is not necessary.

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You could be working at a job you hate because you initially liked it, but have no immediate plans to leave because you're not sure where you want to go from here. You can derive self esteem from other aspects of your life in the meantime. At the same time, you are perfectly capable of feeling profound love for another person and falling in love with that person.

Right, that fits in with what I said.

I no longer believe that a person's primary enjoyment in life must derive from their career. I believe the enjoyment you give and receive from a romantic partner is much more important.

Why?

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Ragnar, I agree that one's major enjoyment doesn't have to come from ones job/career. As a matter of fact, I'll go so far as to say that if you are in a romantic relationship/married/committed/etc., I expect the relationship to be important, i.e., if it's my birthday (unless it's an emergency) I expect my partner to remember and be there. One of the things that has always bothered me about Atlas Shrugged was Rearden's total oblivion to his anniversary. Now, at that point in the story, he hasn't figured out what Lillian's up to. She's just his wife whom he's no longer in love with. As far as I am concerned, a wife has every right to celebrate an anniversary and expect her husband to be there. If that's too much effort, there's no relationship. Period. Also, Rearden seemed to have lost interest in Lillian right after their marriage, yet he does'nt know what went wrong. That kind of makes my point. If you are in a relationship, it has to be important enough for you to get to know to other person and work out any snags. Spending 16 hours a day at the office won't accomplish that.

Also, if a productive career is the be-all and end-all, how to you explain Frank O'Connor, who worked (most but apparently not all the time) but can hardly be said to have a career (painting came rather late and wasn't a profitable career for him; more like a hobby.)

Edited by claire
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Yes exactly, that's why Rand had an affair with Branden. I think it's a possibility that she was disillusioned with her own love life, and that's why she thought it was so unimportant. If you look at her life, she never really did find the type of partner she wrote about. That's why I think love should be more important than work. I couldn't be really happy in life without a long term romantic partner, a career would never be enough. I could be happy with a profound love, even if my career never went the way I wanted. Rand wrote about not sacrificing your career to loved ones, but I would argue that it is more important to not sacrifice a loved one (a chosen loved one, mind you) to your career.

Ragnar, I agree that one's major enjoyment doesn't have to come from ones job/career. As a matter of fact, I'll go so far as to say that if you are in a romantic relationship/married/committed/etc., I expect the relationship to be important, i.e., if it's my birthday (unless it's an emergency) I expect my partner to remember and be there. One of the things that has always bothered me about Atlas Shrugged was Rearden's total oblivion to his anniversary. Now, at that point in the story, he hasn't figured out what Lillian's up to. She's just his wife whom he's no longer in love with. As far as I am concerned, a wife has every right to celebrate an anniversary and expect her husband to be there. If that's too much effort, there's no relationship. Period. Also, Rearden seemed to have lost interest in Lillian right after their marriage, yet he does'nt know what went wrong. That kind of makes my point. If you are in a relationship, it has to be important enough for you to get to know to other person and work out any snags. Spending 16 hours a day at the office won't accomplish that.

Also, if a productive career is the be-all and end-all, how to you explain Frank O'Connor, who worked (most but apparently not all the time) but can hardly be said to have a career (painting came rather late and wasn't a profitable career for him; more like a hobby.)

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That's why I think love should be more important than work.

Why should you love at all? (That's not a sarcastic remark, I'm asking, just in case it seemed otherwise) This is an important question.

Why couldn't you be really happy without a long-term romantic partner?

What I would say is that you would not be able to really love someone until you have at least somewhat established what you want to do in life, becoming a really long-range and goal-oriented thinker. The more established, the better. That's why a career would come first, not that a career must be ABOVE love on a hierarchy of value, the two values can be equal. I think you are equivocating career with a job. The two are not the same. Being productive and having a career (I assume you agree with how I defined it earlier) isn't just about how much money you make.

Edited by Eiuol
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Because being in love makes me happy, and isn't that really what it's all about? My point is that despite your best efforts, you can end up going through life without ever really finding that career you are passionate about. Why wait to fall in love just because you are not thrilled with your career? I would rather focus on finding a great love than a great career. I don't think you need one to have the other.

Why should you love at all? (That's not a sarcastic remark, I'm asking, just in case it seemed otherwise) This is an important question.

Why couldn't you be really happy without a long-term romantic partner?

What I would say is that you would not be able to really love someone until you have pretty much established what you want to do in life, becoming a really long-range and goal-oriented thinker. That's why a career would come first, not that a career must be ABOVE love on a hierarchy of value, the two values can be equal. I think you are equivocating career with a job. The two are not the same. Being productive and having a career (I assume you agree with how I defined it earlier) isn't just about how much money you make.

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Why wait to fall in love just because you are not thrilled with your career?

I don't think Ayn Rand is saying that you should.

IIRC Francisco and Dagny fell in love long before they got where they were.

Roark and Dominique met when Roark was working in a granite quarry.

They did, however, have their values set straight.

I would rather focus on finding a great love than a great career. I don't think you need one to have the other.

What then would you like your lover to love about you?

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Ragnar - EXACTLY. That's what it takes to build a relationship. Also, you make a great point I had not thought of before: Rand thought work came first. So that's what she did. Ergo - her relationships (romantic and otherwise suffered severely!) In her books, she kind of describes relationships as "kind of happening." In all of her major fictions, lightening strikes immediately between two people who do not know each other. I think she kind of expected it to be like that. She repeatedly said how much value she put in the "right" look. Nothing about how to sustain a relationship. Sadly for her, she paid the price.

EIOUL - No disagreement. Those are your priorities, but we're not (thankfully) made one size fits all. For others (perfectly rational people), a different approach might work. The happiest and most successful couple I ever knew. They split responsibility right down the middle (kind of the old fashioned approach). He works and she takes care of house and kiddies. They totally and absolutely respected each others territory (i.e., the husband never ever would agree to a social engagement before checking with the wife because that was HER forte.) They love and respect each other, they know what to expect, and their marriage is a huge success. Hey, it may not work for everyone, but it works for them. Actually, I think I can see why it does work, since these two don't have the usual competition/arguments people have when both work. I'm not saying this will work for all, but for some, it works great. Actually, it worked fine Rand/O'Connor. She worked, he took care of the house.

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Where did you get that impression? As far as love and friendship is concerned, love (I assume you mean the romantic kind) is by definition above friendship and unchosen family.

I've never heard it suggested in any of Rand's writing that career should come *first*, above love. A career is a central and integrated set of goals relating to the productive work you do. That does not mean it comes first in a hierarchy of value, other values can be equally important. I agree that it really doesn't matter what career the other person has, still, wouldn't career goals that coincide only further increase the level of shared value? To use a fictional example, Dagny and Hank had differing careers, though success in their respective careers only benefited the other. Dagny provided the trains and railroad system, Hank provided the metal for the rails so the railroad could run trains at higher speed. Such a trade of value only further enhanced the love the two felt for each other. Neither career nor love is thought of as more important, the two values can be equally important and beneficial.

When Dominique asked Roark to give up architecture for her, he told her he wouldn't. That may be where the OP is coming from.

However, what Dominique was asking simply could not be done. Roark could not be the man he was if he gave up on the career he wanted, for the reason she had in mind. He would then be a coward, and what was extraordinary about himself, and her, would die. As desirable as it was--an ache in every muscle to say yes, seize her, and submerge himself in the reward his life deserved--he knew his identity, and hers made it impossible.

I don't think the application of this to making romantic evaluations of others is warranted, or has a precedent in the novels.

Mindy

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Just in case it has not already been said here, one doesn't and cannot derive self-esteem from love.

(Believing I could gain the one from the other, was one of my own personal errors.What I had, was neither.)

Love is the expression - the greatest one - of self worth, not a cause.

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...and this I think puts Rand's answers in the Playboy interview, into perspective. Love may come and go, but the 'I', remains. This ego builds steadily (if not linearly) throughout life, with one's productivity, principles, and thinking.

So her comment about this being the highest value, above love and anyone else, is logical, rational, and humanly practical.

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...and this I think puts Rand's answers in the Playboy interview, into perspective. Love may come and go, but the 'I', remains. This ego builds steadily (if not linearly) throughout life, with one's productivity, principles, and thinking.

So her comment about this being the highest value, above love and anyone else, is logical, rational, and humanly practical.

I'd still rather give up a little bit of the "I" if it means keeping the love, rather than lose the love entirely. This is provided you think the love is worth it, of course, and sometimes it is. Sometimes you lose it anyway despite being willing to give up something of lesser value.

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I'd still rather give up a little bit of the "I" if it means keeping the love, rather than lose the love entirely. This is provided you think the love is worth it, of course, and sometimes it is. Sometimes you lose it anyway despite being willing to give up something of lesser value.

I think you are missing a crucial understanding of self-esteem here and its relation to love. Do you agree with what whYNOT said? "Love is the expression - the greatest one - of self-worth, not a cause."

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I'd still rather give up a little bit of the "I" if it means keeping the love, rather than lose the love entirely. This is provided you think the love is worth it, of course, and sometimes it is. Sometimes you lose it anyway despite being willing to give up something of lesser value.

Ragnar,

I haven't had time to read everything here, so may be repeating what others have said.

You believe it seems that being in love necessitates surrender of your self.

That there's a kind of trade-off between the two.

And, possibly, that your loved one requires/demands that. (?)

It is a common perception, but it is fundamentally flawed.

Without a fully conscious ego, one has reduced focus, thought, 'worthiness,' introspection, feeling, and ultimately, awareness of the loved one.. How can such a person love deeply?

The powerful emotions that love releases, bring about a sense of unity and comingling, that is very potent. Two individuals seem to become one - but with a little time usually react and recoil against it.

Each lover should not only preserve their individuality, but it should actually be enhanced by one another - in my experience and long consideration, only two persons of fairly high (and roughly equal) self-esteem can aspire to love. Do you seriously think that those emotions will be lesser in this case?

Anyhow, I can't prove this, but it's a conviction that I sincerely hold, and believe it applies universally.

Also, if anyone appears to want you to suspend your 'I' in the name of love, be very wary...

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It's not really about someone else asking me to give up certain values, it's more about what I am finding myself attracted to vs. what my ideal mate should be if I followed Objectivism exclusively. Personally, Objectivism just doesn't work for me when it comes to love.

I don't really feel like talking about it further, and I don't think I'll respond to this thread again. I'm starting down the road to happiness and leaving Objectivism behind to do it. Disagree with that all you want, I've already figured it out for myself and I'm done here.

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It's not really about someone else asking me to give up certain values, it's more about what I am finding myself attracted to vs. what my ideal mate should be if I followed Objectivism exclusively. Personally, Objectivism just doesn't work for me when it comes to love.

I don't really feel like talking about it further, and I don't think I'll respond to this thread again. I'm starting down the road to happiness and leaving Objectivism behind to do it. Disagree with that all you want, I've already figured it out for myself and I'm done here.

Um, well ... yes, OK.

Glad to be of any assistance.

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Tolle is just a lot of vague gibberish, which doesn't bother people who don't think, which is of course what Tolle advocates: not thinking.

For Tolle, thinking is the source of all the pain and suffering in the world, and the ego, which is charachter, personality, values, etc., is an evil illusion which causes negative emotions. For Tolle, "going beyond the ego" means going beyond valueing, thinking and judging, which also means going beyond things like logic and identity.

I think Tolle is evil. He's like Yoda telling Anakin not to value Padme so he won't care about her death (which I think makes him turn to the dark side).

Being emotionally steady, having an appropriate emotional reaction, having confidence and self-esteem, are not the result of "going beyond the mind"; just the opposite. They're the result of good thinking.

It is of course possible that someone is insecure, cares too much about his status or what his family thinks, has a trauma, a victim-mentality, whatever--something Tolle calls a "painbody"--but that should be solved by introspection, rational thinking and judging, and taking action to fix it--not by not thinking, not valueing, and being illogical.

Now, chilling out is of course very important when chatting to a girl, but you don't have to go transcending your ego for that. I think you should know your own value by a rational standard (which includes your personal identity, your judgement about it, what you think you deserve, what kind of person you will spend your time wtih, not having an irrational standard for your performence...), and then talk to the girl.

...

I got angry because now Ecky Tolle is mentioned in two threats. Tolle is my painbody.

I'll summerize Tolle's philosophy by saying "being in the moment"/"Being present". Leave all the new agey bullshit out for a sec 'cause I don't beilive in that too.

When you are present your mind does not "stop working". It works all the time. You still rationlize your actions- (people who don't rationalize thier actions get insane).

Have you ever had that state were gold was comming out of your mouth and you don't know where it came from? When you just had that FLOW?

That flow does not come from liniar thinking. (liniar thinking = goal--> outcome)

In that state your faculties are focused in the moment, and your mind cycles through in about a milli-second a million things you can do- and gives you exactly what you need for the situation- and you have to TRUST that process and allow it to happen.

People who are not present are stuck at citisizing themselvs, anlyzing the situation, thinking 10 steps ahead, thinking on consequences, labeling....and getting STUCK IN THIER HEAD- resisting the situation and the reality right in front of them.

When you are in in the moment, one with the situation, you are not chasing the thoughts, you are not analyzing "what do I do now", "what does this little thing mean", "should I say this?" "what does this say about me?"

But the mind is just flouting and there is a flow of action because you COPLETELY TRUST YOURSELF to do and say the right thing.

If you are a rational and you already programed your mind *according to reality* with the right values for sucsess- you will do the right thing.

Thats why you can just sit their, with no nervousness and self consciousness, completly chill, not analyzing values, not trying to build a flase self image for youself, but focused on the good feeling you have inside your body and trusting yourself.

So there is a rational seintific base to it, at least the way I use it. Its not some blind faith in god. ;)

Edited by HolyLandMan
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Derek and HLM,

All one has to do is contrast "Ecky" Tolle's garbage, with one of Rand's most succinct (and quite unknown, I think) sayings:

"Your ideal as a thinker is to keep the Universe with you at all times."

The exact opposite to what Tolle preaches, is true - the more you think and focus, the more you see the larger scheme of things, (in fact actually care more about things too), and the more present you are in the moment.

Those great numbers of people who buy his books are going to find themselves up a blind alley one day, if they manage to follow his advice.

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I'll summerize Tolle's philosophy by saying "being in the moment"/"Being present". Leave all the new agey bullshit out for a sec 'cause I don't beilive in that too. When you are present your mind does not "stop working". It works all the time. You still rationlize your actions- (people who don't rationalize thier actions get insane).

...

So there is a rational seintific base to it, at least the way I use it. Its not some blind faith in god. ;)

If all that mostly means: Let your subconscious do most of the work without putting unnecesary impediments on yourself, I agree. But that is mostly psychological, I think, and trying to integrate that with vague new age concepts could have bad effects, or at least create a lot of confusion.

I do think you have to do "liniar thinking" for talking. I think you have to choose what you're going to talk about before your subconsious can pretty much take over, or if there is a specific outcome you want from the conversation, you should also keep that outcome in mind, to direct the subconscious. And then you'll also need access to a lot of previous, automatized knowledge and experience to have that good intution of knowing what to do and say; and you need to actually get in that mental state, which is hard.

Personally I would say a lot of nerdy, dumb shit (which isn't bad per se).

Soooo, I think that if you want to learn to properly use your mind for whatever reason, you should study the works of people who actually use it, and not to listen to some guru who's mental state is so horrible he wants to escape it, and who recyles a new age/pop psychology mix to disable the minds of his followers.

Edited by DerekN
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  • 2 weeks later...

If all that mostly means: Let your subconscious do most of the work without putting unnecesary impediments on yourself, I agree. But that is mostly psychological, I think, and trying to integrate that with vague new age concepts could have bad effects, or at least create a lot of confusion.

I do think you have to do "liniar thinking" for talking. I think you have to choose what you're going to talk about before your subconsious can pretty much take over, or if there is a specific outcome you want from the conversation, you should also keep that outcome in mind, to direct the subconscious. And then you'll also need access to a lot of previous, automatized knowledge and experience to have that good intution of knowing what to do and say; and you need to actually get in that mental state, which is hard.

Personally I would say a lot of nerdy, dumb shit (which isn't bad per se).

Soooo, I think that if you want to learn to properly use your mind for whatever reason, you should study the works of people who actually use it, and not to listen to some guru who's mental state is so horrible he wants to escape it, and who recyles a new age/pop psychology mix to disable the minds of his followers.

The ablity to shift through a set of ideas and either accept them or reject them is a strength and a skill. You don't have to take EVERYTHING the guy says and accept it blindly.

Think for yourself.

BUT I will tell you this: There are great things you can take from his teachings,

And people who try to live up to mental images and complete themselfs by things, are much weaker than people who don't. Stright up.

Are you a NEEDY compulsive thinker trying to "complete yourself" by owning things or getting a relationship? Most guys do, and thats why they suck. They are so identified with this stupied sense of self and & ego-sturcture that they got, that they can't even admit that to themselfs and improve, and they live in constant *irrational* fear of people's opinions.

Getting to this mental flow state is SO FUCKING EASY that its not even funny. I'm in that state all the time,

'cause the trust I have in my mind- to give me the right thing to say and do when I need it, is not a beilive- but an UNDERSTANDING.

Being good with women and with people in general is not something you DO. Its something YOU ARE.

Of course you should have a goal in mind.

But because your sub-concious does not accept TRYING, thinking liniarlly (goal=>outcome) KILLS YOUR FLOW. it just kills your vibe.

BTW this is knowladge from countless sources- including hypnosis seminars (Trust me I know damn good how the mind works), social-dynamics expersts and my personal experience.

Holylandman.

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Are you a NEEDY compulsive thinker trying to "complete yourself" by owning things or getting a relationship? Most guys do, and thats why they suck. They are so identified with this stupied sense of self and & ego-sturcture that they got, that they can't even admit that to themselfs and improve, and they live in constant *irrational* fear of people's opinions.

Getting to this mental flow state is SO FUCKING EASY that its not even funny. I'm in that state all the time,

'cause the trust I have in my mind- to give me the right thing to say and do when I need it, is not a beilive- but an UNDERSTANDING.

Being good with women and with people in general is not something you DO. Its something YOU ARE.

Of course you should have a goal in mind.

But because your sub-concious does not accept TRYING, thinking liniarlly (goal=>outcome) KILLS YOUR FLOW. it just kills your vibe.

BTW this is knowladge from countless sources- including hypnosis seminars (Trust me I know damn good how the mind works), social-dynamics expersts and my personal experience.

Holylandman.

Well, perhaps you should be less flowy and pay more attention to spelling and the like. Just doing whatever feels right does not at all help you accomplish any goal in the long-run. Perhaps the reason that getting in a "flow state" is easy is because it involves defocussing your mind (and of course for many people that would be easier than focusing it).

Also, having a strong sense of self, who you are, what you believe, what you value, etc. is not a bad thing at all, and it is very different than trying to "complete" oneself through possessions or relationships. The latter in fact denotes a fairly weak sense of self. There is something to be said for focusing on the other person when you are talking to them, and "getting out of your head" in the sense that you aren't having a continuous internal monologue to the detriment of your listening abilities, but this is just another example of the importance of focus: if you are focused on your conversation, and listening and understanding what the other person is saying, then you will do pretty well in the conversation. If you aren't focused on it (like you are constantly thinking inside your head about what you are going to say, neglecting to listen to them and what they are saying) then you'll do badly at it. Objectivism doesn't say that you need to constantly be what people think of as "rational"- Spock-like calculating machine, without sense of humor or emotion. That would be profoundly irrational in a social situation, particularly a romantic one. Objectivism just says that mental focus is good, and that you should focus on what it is you are doing (as well as why you are doing it).

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