“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” -Unknown

Since my last write up, I’ve dived deep within the realms of intrinsic psychology to study happiness. Why? It’s quite simple- for one, I’ve been in and out of circumstantial depression throughout my adolescence and immediate adulthood. I also happen to be someone who doesn’t shy away from the effort to make a change- as it’s helped me cope with life’s largest obstacles thrown my way so far; and they’ve been plenty. Molding one’s effort to make an effort helps fortify a persons resilience and adaptability to life’s greatest constant- change. There is no alternative argument to the same.

So, at the tender and not-so-young-anymore age of twenty-six, it’s taken years of patience, hurt, learning, compassion and understanding to build a dynamic equation to activate happiness at will.

THAT’S RIGHT! YOU READ IT CORRECTLY- ACTIVATE HAPPINESS! 

We’ve all heard the saying by Croseus in 6 century B.C., “No one who lives is happy.” Well, no one at the time, nor had at the time falling beyond this philosophical metric. While historical evidence suggests that times were rough and that our ancestors lived through an era of plague, disease and death- natural or otherwise- it’s important for us to understand that we’ve come a long way since 6 century B.C.- nearly two millennia! And yet, the tangent of evolutionary development of human beings has not changed much since we evolved into Homo sapiens due to constant distractions permeating areas of early personal development through all forms of media.

When something’s off about a situation, we know it is- but we rarely know the root cause. We devise our own justifications around circumstantial elements that contribute to hindering the equilibrium of a situation otherwise sensed- because that’s how it helps us understand it- and cope. This slippery concept is used as a proxy for all sorts of other concepts, from pleasure and joy to plenitude and contentment- to help us move through the entirety of our lives.

Being happy in the moment, Samuel Johnson said, could be achieved only when drunk. For Jean-Jacques Rousseau, happiness was to lie in a boat, drifting aimlessly, feeling like a God (not exactly the picture of productivity). There are other definitions of happiness, too, but they are neither less nor more plausible but those of Rousseau or Johnson.

But what if we knew the chemical makeup of happiness? Fortunately, we do. And I’ll be happy to share it with you (see what I did there?).

D-O-S-E

There are four major chemicals in the brain that influence our happiness (DOSE):

  1. Dopamine
  2. Oxytocin
  3. Serotonin
  4. Endorphins.

And like working within a team, each one has a specific role to play in happiness. Before moving to the recipe to activate them, let’s take a minute to understand what each one does.

Dopamine is usually described at THE happiness drug. However, this is a huge misconception devised by malformed clerics who preach the same message to the world over endless repetitions. Dopamine is actually a chemical that is activate in ‘anticipation’ of happiness- like a good trailer before the beginning of a great movie. Know the difference.

Oxytocin is known as the ‘cuddle hormone’ and is activated naturally in the body as a stimulus when close to another person. When there’s a chemical bond established between two people, oxytocin is activated wherein expressive emotions (millennial translation- PDA) begin to arise. It can also be triggered through social bonding, like eye contact and attentiveness. This helps strengthen existing bonds and relationships.

Serotonin which is widely understood to control your greater mood. If you’re in a good mood, you’ve got serotonin to thank. And if you’re in a bad mood, you’ve got serotonin to blame. And while you may think that the temperamental flux of this chemical is caused due to external factors, you’re not entirely right, as more than 80 per cent of serotonin exists in your stomach. This, dear reader, is the pure definition of being ‘hangry‘; and while the opposite requires you to relentlessly eat, also explains the unfathomable weight gain most corporate mavericks experience throughout their days in the cubicle.

Lastly, endorphins- the last dose of the DOSE hormones. They’ve responsible for masking pain or discomfort, which explains they’re association with the “fight or flight” mechanic. When it comes to designing happiness, endorphins help you “power through.” What else helps you make it through that last leg of a marathon, or the few concluding pages of your dissertation that you’ve been working on, or even that presentation that you’ve been working on all weekend for Monday (Sunday for some of us) morning?

ACTIVATION

A healthy mix of the DOSE chemicals help you maintain happiness that further aids insatiable productivity getting you even closer to success than you’ve ever been. We have the ability to control how we feel and what we do during the day. Most of us are employed under the devise of corporate sustenance, educational commitment or entrepreneurship that will take an average of 10 hours of your activate day. But what about the rest? It’s entirely up to us as to how we choose to spend the next 6 hours awake while maintaining a healthy sleep cycle of 8 hours.

By designing daily experiences that activate these chemicals, you can increase your happiness, productivity and unparalleled personal growth.

WAKE UP EARLY

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While this seems like an easy one, it’s not. For all you smart-asses out there, I don’t mean waking up 15 minutes before you actually do (though, if need be, start with that). Wake up early in the morning- preferably before sunrise. Waking up early does three things for you- firstly, it gives you more time in the day. Isn’t that amazing? You have a whole new amount of time to do whatever you want to do. Initially, I used waking up early to rack up my score on FIFA (LOL). I actually woke up early every day to play on my playstation before work. This was amazing! And yet, slightly short-lived as I soon came to the realization that I could so much more with this time. Secondly, it helps you clear your gut- true story. It easily helps you go to the loo immediate and without any external factors required to propagate the same (coffee?). Thirdly, absolute and complete mindfulness; you are in control. You- dear reader- get to decide how you choose to use this time that you have, and however you choose to use it, it will define your pace for the rest of the day as it activates positive serotonin that you need to take heed of your day’s tasks ahead.

EXERCISE

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#triathleteinmotion everyone. Just saying. If you haven’t looked me up on Instagram as yet, do it. I wake up early every morning to meditate and well, sweat it out. I believe that my morning psyche is fine-tuned when I exercise. My body is so adept to this beautiful metric that if I don’t, I fall short of energy that I need to get through the day. A healthy dose of exercise gets my heart rate running and further helps me activate dopamine- a healthy requirement to look forward to the day (for those of you who complain about long days at the office, you need this to do your tasks faster, and more accurately; ergo helping you get out of the office earlier than said time). Go for a walk, skip, run, box, or simply go lift that goddamn iron- lord knows you need it!

EAT WHOLE FOODS

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More than a healthy body, you need a healthy mind. And while most of us running between tasks and meetings, it’s important that you fuel yourself correctly. An unleaded car engine won’t work on diesel- you’ll kill it. The same goes with your brain. If you think French fries and avocado on toast aren’t as damaging to your body ergo you blissfully consume the same, it is not good for your mind. Your neural receptors hit a dead end when you do the same. You miss that spark- that utterly beautiful idea that sets things in motion, or even the clarity of thought to fly through your work goes missing, as eating unhealthily f**ks up your levels of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Be careful, and take heed of these words.

REFLECT ON EVENTS OF THE DAY, EVERYDAY

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A consumerist society has taught us how to scrutinize relentlessly through our days alive. Find a bad service at a restaurant? Write about it on Yelp/ Zomato. A company just sold you a shitty product? Take to a social platform and complain away. Your associate just gave you a piece of work, throw them under the bus as far as their evening plans are concerned and ask for a re-work on the same.

WE’RE MADE TO COMPLAIN ALL THE TIME.

And it doesn’t stop there. We constantly judge the way others do things as we have a better idea of how to go about the same. There’s really no surprise why lawyers are paid so much to do what they do- it’s because their entire professional lives revolve around scrutinizing work, processes, documents at hand! And while most of us can’t quite help this adjunct stimulus, there are ways to work around it. At the end of every day, try going over the good things that happened to you through the course of the same. Why? You trick your brain to scanning for the positives- which is a healthy change from what it’s usually used to doing. This creates an element of appreciation and contentment that certain tasks were completed, successfully (or are in the interim- and moving forward). You need not thank me, thank oxytocin and endorphins. 

STICK BY YOUR DECISIONS

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Decide people, decide. The small things in life such as making a decision on things is really not as easy as we make it to be. And for that, we have no one but ourselves to blame. It is but hypocritical of us to move through life making decisions but not standing by them. If you need help making decisions, be a sport and scan through this article that I wrote not too long ago-

(link)

Decisions help us stay committed. And commitment is an anchor. Anchors help us work well in a schedule. When there’s no anchor to anything that we do, we lose focus- the primary cause to feeling defeated and thus intimidated by not-so-magnanimous external focus that shift as away from the path to process we so desire. In conclusion, decision-making factors ALL of the D-O-S-E chemicals required to maintaining a sustainable state of happiness (and eventually, contentment).

 

TMI? I’m glad. It’s about time we moved away from blurting out small blabs to define complex processes. Take heed of the information above, as it’s critical that you understand the same, to find absolute happiness in whatever you sought to do.

 

Thanks for reading my blog! See you later on another episode of #60SECONDMOTIVATION

#6SM

 

References:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3048751/happy-employees-are-12-more-productive-at-work

https://jeevsahni.com/2017/06/12/first-blog-post/

 

 

 

 

“I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” -Walt Whitman

 

It’s incredible what the mind can do- human or otherwise.

We’ve gone from mapping the stars to discovering them; where once we thought we were the center of the universe, we’re now readying up for interplanetary voyages. IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES…

…and yet, here lies the problem.

Whatever we’ve wished to gain, we do so by sacrificing a part of who we are- be that happiness, time, people and relationships. So based on the above, and the very little life experience that I’ve had, I’ve decided to write about how each on of us could do better to turn our lives around!

1. Detach yourself from the negative

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Didn’t grasp that? I’m happy to break it down for you:

We’re afraid of detachment. 

The term ‘detachment’ here cannot be used lightly; it refers to animate,inaminate and psychological objects within a lifetime. Some examples to the same are old watches given to you by someone from your family, your first currency note, a watch, memories, etc. However, the thing that differentiates how we treat each one of these objects is how much value  we associate with it. This value stems from an emotional construct- one that is felt every time there’s a concourse of actions made to/towards the object.

Growing up, I was taught by my parents, who learned from their parents, to never let go of the things that have ‘value’. But what they failed to mention was that there’s always a condition- more items, more value; more value, more clutter. And I don’t mean just things lying around, I mean mental clutter. it’s when these things start to hold negative connotations- run, Forest, run!

2. Establish a difference between regret and patience

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For those of you new to the concept of intrinsic psychology, there’s a very fine line between success and un-success (because failure is when you’ve give up). That thin line is merely the difference between regret and patience. The moment you start to question why you’re doing something, remember why you started in the first place. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. It’s a cliché because it’s true.

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” Eric Thomas

In the plethora of motivational speakers out there, I find that Eric Thomas is whom I connect with the most. He’s language is street, and his epithets are a work of art. In one of his talks, he defines pain as a temporary feeling; that it doesn’t matter how much it hurts, except to remind of you how much more it would hurt if you were to give up now. Why stop now, when you’ve put in all this effort?

3. Always solve for one variable at a time

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During my GMAT study, I learned an incredulous life lesson- when you’re reading a wordy, complex question, solve for one variable at a time. Forget how good you are at multitasking, because frankly you’re not.  All you’re doing is focusing on one variable in shorter spurts of time. Take the time that you need to work on that one area.

“When climbing up the highest mountain, remember to smell the flowers on your way up.  -unknown

So here they are! These points are the visors to your life, and are extremely valuable when it comes to pushing yourself through the hardest of times. Remember-don’t let it go, and keep on keeping on.

 

#6SM 

#triathleteinmotion

It’s been a while since I last went on vacation with my mom- eight years to be precise. And between university, work, travel and other worldly commitments from both ends, we ended up postponing our holiday to, ‘another time.’

No more- said I, the defiant son, who chose to break that trend.

Parented by a single parent for most of my life, I’ve always looked for ways to tapping into my mother’s labyrinth mind for knowledge, life’s lessons and perspectives that I- in my mere twenty-six years of existence- have only barely been able to scratch the surface on. And I thought, what better way to do so other than take a road-trip?

This was the beginning of a great idea.

I had to be quick with the bookings- flights, car, and accommodation- as most of Dubai was ready to fly out that weekend on account of Eid.

This was done, and my mother and I embarked on a journey of a lifetime through the beautiful country of Georgia- with a road-trip spanning over 800 km and longer conversations.

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In the meanwhile, I also thought to myself that I would use this time to photograph my mother who was formerly a model in Mumbai (Bombay,to some).

As an ode to the bond that we share, here are the top 8 things I learned on vacation from my mother:

1. Hold on to the things that make you happy

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If you thought life was only and only about living up to society’s ostentatious standards- well, you’re half right. But that also means that you’re half not-so-right. While money is an enabler, it is but a consequence of your efforts- and not the other way around.

The church of  Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini contains the remains of 4,000 friars buried between 1500 and 1870, during which time the Roman Catholic Church permitted burial in and under churches. The underground crypt is divided into five chapels, lit only by dim natural light seeping in through cracks, and small fluorescent lamps. The crypt walls are decorated with the remains in elaborate fashion, making this crypt a macabre work of art. Around which, there’s a plaque that reads-

 “What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be.” -The Capuchin Monks

Agnostically speaking, this is the only time we know that we have – and that will ever be.

Don’t waste it. 

2. Allow yourself to shine even in the darkest of times

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Each of us have gone through our very own episodes of tribulations in life. And without a doubt, will go through more of them at varying levels of difficulty. But you are only as strong as your mindset. Don’t let a rainy day bring you down. I’ve never opened up about my upbringing and the struggles that mum faced when I was younger (maybe I’ll write about it sometime…). However, the one thing that kept the both of us going was our mindset.

“Practice makes permanent.”- Eric Thomas

You’re always stronger than you think you are, and all you to do is remind yourself of that.

3. Remember to solve for one variable at a time.

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I posit that a difficult situation is a bit like a Rubik’s cube. There’s always more than one solution available. When you have more than one difficult situation present, remember- Studying for the GMAT has taught me one of life’s most important lessons- solve for one variable at a time.

Don’t multitask. Forget it, it’s a bad idea.

The trick to multitasking is to actually break down your difficulties into buckets- and solve them individually. Do whatever you can to come to the solution, or the closest to one as possible, and then move onto the next. You may not like the solution- but you’ll have one. Solve for one variable at a time.

4. Let go of your pride if it means sacrificing ethics

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Working for an MNC (multi-national for you entrepreneurial mavericks out there) has taught me that you will always approach a fork in the road at some point in life; where you’re going to have to decide between doing what’s best and doing what’s right.

“Your subconscious will never lie. Ever.” -Original

If you find yourself starting to go astray from who you truly are, STOP. Take a minute and think to yourself- is it worth it? Your decision is the difference between a short win and a long win. Ultimately, what you’re actually trying to decide is who wins- the situation, or you.

5. Take a moment to embrace who you are right now

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Look at yourself, literally. Look into the mirror if you have to and intrinsically observe yourself. Study the shape of your face, the frown and worry lines (if any), your eyes, the way you smile, how you stand and how you walk. They are all a consequence of decisions that you may have made directly, or through others in your life so far.

“Never give up on anyone. And that includes not giving up on yourself.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

You may have some demons in the past that you haven’t put to rest. That’s OK. And even if you have, that’s amazing! You can’t move forward without appreciating how far you’ve come. 

6. Love who you are

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Seriously, I cannot stress this enough.

LOVE YOURSELF.

Whoever you are, you’re incredible in your own unique way. Your a product of incredible human and emotional construct second to none. If you’re suffering from depression or can’t quite find the motivation to break out of the cycle that you’re stuck in- read. Find the self help section in the library/ book store and pick up a book. You are never too old to learn something new. And the best part about it is, it doesn’t have to be as expensive as going to university.

7. Live to live, not to survive

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This may be similar to point 1., but it has it’s own takeaway meaning. Live your life to not form regrets. If you fear something, know that it will consume you- partially, or wholly.

Do it anyway.

We’ve all seen videos and read articles about what dying people regret not doing the most. Isn’t it funny how most (if not all) of their points fall along the lines of not living to their fullest? You’ve got a job that pays, and you have a few loans; and yet, there’s that vacation to Barbados you’ve been looking forward to all year long. You feel that you could save a month’s worth of loan money if you just didn’t go? Do it anyway. You’ll still have your job, once you’re back and the loan would still be there. Trust yourself to make a decision- and stick with it.

8. Don’t be afraid of starting over

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Guilty, as charged. -Role Models, 2008.

While a lot of my friends from school, university and other walks of life have move on in life to becoming vice-presidents, senior managers, equity partners and even getting married (MAN DOWN!), I’ve had to start over in life a couple of times now- re-started my career when it took a nose dive; re-boosted my investments when I went flat out broke and couldn’t afford a day’s worth of food- the list goes on! But the one thing that I do not regret doing- is trying my hand out at each of them. I’m not one to brag, but I’ve made a career out of proving people wrong- and I intend on keeping it that way. And sure, I’ve been wrong dozens of times! But I’ve never EVER been afraid to say, I’ve failed, and that it’s time to get back up.

You can do it. The hardest part is admitting it to yourself. Don’t bother about explaining it away to anyone else- because you don’t owe people an explanation (unless you’re cash locked with their money- in which case, pacify, mitigate and move forward until it’s settled). Once you’ve accepted where you are, it’s time to rise and grind

So here are my learnings- and I hope that I’ve added some value to your time here!

 

For more pictures, type #FollowTheHat on Instagram.

Take it easy, slick. See you on the next post!

#60secondmotivation

We’ve been there, we’ve all been there; pick up your phone to watch a video on youtube, and suddenly you realize that you’ve been doing it for over an hour; like that picture on Instagram? You’ve spent two hours just scrolling through your feed; find that meme funny? it’s 3 am now, you’ve got to be at work by 9.

Stop murdering your time alive! 

For most of us on the planet (unless you’re meta-human in which case, carry on being badass), this is our only factually known time alive. Every second we lose is time that we are never going to get back.

TIME = CURRENCY 

where  TIME = n( MONEY)

 

Use your time wisely, because either way, it’s not coming back.

5 TRICKS TO BE BETTER AT TIME MANAGEMENT:

  1. Schedule your happiness: don’t let this go! If being a beach bum makes you happy (I know it does me!) then do it. Without fail- at least once a week, make sure you visit your happy place! And make sure you absorb it all
  2. Keep a journal: What? Paper? No, thank you. It’s not convenient. This is 2017 and with Trump using his veto power (read: executive order) to slap down all of Obama’s previously initiated environmental policy (read: Executive Order 13653), saving the environment has not been more important than now. Keep notes on your phone. List three things that make you happy! (read about it here: https://jeevsahni.com/2017/06/12/first-blog-post/)
  3. Exercise: I cannot stress on this point enough- EXERCISE. Even if it’s for 10 minutes a day (you’re welcome, smokers!) do it. And do more of it. Coming from a former fat kid and chain smoker myself, this is a picker upper.
  4. Meditate: Now, while twin-heart meditation and tantric yoga are actually incredible, I’m not going to ask you to do the same. Start with breathing. Focus on your breath for 5 minutes a day. That is all. Notice the effect it has on your thought patterns.
  5. Call, don’t text: It’s really quite simple. You miss someone? Call them, don’t text them! Who’s asking you to spend money? Download Imo, Viber, Skype or WhatsApp- or simply Facebook video or FaceTime them, Emotions are felt, not read.

If you’re going to watch videos or write memes, learn something from them. Remember, that while money can be multiplied many many times over, we only have this one life to do what we want to. So use it well!

Thank you for checking out the post!

See you here again tomorrow.

We live in a world where pointing out flaws has become the very crux of reward. Going into the cinema to watch a movie, the ending was a little drab; headed out to a restaurant to try some sushi; you didn’t like the taste of the maki rolls that put you off of the whole experience; being approached by a salesman on the latest credit card deals; the interests are too high.

It even disseminates into our careers where all we ever do is point out flaws. It’s no wonder that lawyers earn exorbitantly- they go through years of training to point out flaws which is exactly what they get paid to do!

What exactly are we benchmarking these remarks against? 

Turns out that we’re always on the lookout of ‘the average’. It is a contagion that has pulled its way into every bit and corner of our lives- giving us the gall and audacity to challenge every single element of life on how far away it lies from the average.

I’d like to illustrate the same with the image below (an exercise I learned from reading this book called The Happiness Advantage)

Look at this graph:

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It could mean absolutely anything but in this case it is not pinned to meaning anything in particular- so let it pertain to whatever you’d like it to illustrate.

As one does, we plot the data on the line that falls between the x-axis  and y-axis. We see that all the correct data collects around the line.

The red dot right there is an error. We know it’s a problem because it’s on the line and is screwing up our data.

But what if it could mean more than just an error? 

What if that red dot defines a new average for the denizens of modern times? Even science has brought about a way to change the way we question:

Q: What is the time it takes a class to learn math?

Science Q: What is the average time it takes a class to learn math?

We’ve now structured a whole class full of children with completely different levels of learning ability to only fall on the average- and not on their own capacity to learn!

“If we keep seeking average, we will only get average.”- original

Remember that our lives are how we intend them to be. We are the masters of our fate and while it’s not our fault if we’re born the way we are- we cannot hold anyone or anything else responsible for how we turn out by the time we’re ready to leave this life.

It’s about time we took control of the trajectory in which we move, and move with purpose. 

How do we do this? 

Answer: Schedule your happiness.

In July 2010 Burt’s Bees, a personal-care products company, was undergoing enormous change as it began a global expansion into 19 new countries. In this kind of high-pressure situation, many leaders pester their deputies with frequent meetings or flood their in-boxes with urgent demands. In doing so, managers jack up everyone’s anxiety level, which activates the portion of the brain that processes threats—the amygdala—and steals resources from the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for effective problem solving.

Burt’s Bees’s then-CEO, John Replogle, took a different tack. Each day, he’d send out an e-mail praising a team member for work related to the global rollout. He’d interrupt his own presentations on the launch to remind his managers to talk with their teams about the company’s values. He asked me to facilitate a three-hour session with employees on happiness in the midst of the expansion effort. As one member of the senior team told me a year later, Replogle’s emphasis on fostering positive leadership kept his managers engaged and cohesive as they successfully made the transition to a global company.

Happiness makes a difference.

In fact, people who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. I call this the “happiness advantage”—every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive.

Develop new habits

Train your brain to functioning positively in the face of trying times. Keep a little notepad and a pen with you (moleskin for you fancy folk). Every twelve hours, jot down at least three good things that have happened to you on that day; they don’t have to be work related, but can be; they don’t have to be anything significant.

For example:

Stress is an inevitable part of work. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try this exercise: Make a list of the stresses you’re under. Place them into two groups—the ones you can control (like a project or your in-box) and those you can’t (the stock market, housing prices). Choose one stress that you can control and come up with a small, concrete step you can take to reduce it. In this way you can nudge your brain back to a positive—and productive—mind-set. It’s clear that increasing your happiness improves your chances of success.

Thanks for checking in! I’ll see you on the next post!