Six Lessons From Twelve Episodes of Unleashing Your Great Work | UYGW12

This week, I’m creating the 12th episode of “Unleashing Your Great Work”. A dozen episodes are out there in the world, entertaining DOZENS of people.

Over the past 12 episodes, I’ve learned some things about great work. When I put the podcast together, I already had a lot of ideas about what great work is, how it works, what it looks like and how it feels. But I’ve been excited by how much I’ve learned from the guests.

For example:

◊ Even for the greatest among us, claiming your work as “Great Work” is HARD (Mike Ganino, episode 11)

◊ Great work is more like a best friend than a soulmate (Linda Ugelow, Episode 7)

◊ We all need reminders to STOP WORKING, because Great Work seems to go hand-in-hand with overworking (Alyssa Adams, Episode 3)

◊ Great Work needs to be enjoyable… otherwise, what’s the point? (Trish Blain, episode 5)

◊ Having a podcast is FUN! (All the episodes!)

Ready to hear the six lessons I’ve learned over the past 12 episodes?

Let’s do it…

About the Host:

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, author and coach changing our perspective on the world of work. It IS possible to do Great Work– launch a successful business, make a scientific discovery, raise a tight-knit family, or manage a global remote team– without sacrificing your health, happiness and relationships.

Amanda is the Author of the forthcoming book, Great Work: Do What Matter Most Without Sacrificing Everything Else, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk has received more than a million views and has been featured on TED’s Ideas blog and Ted Shorts.

Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.

Sponsored By The Aligned Time Journal

The Unleashing Your Great Work podcast is sponsored by the Aligned Time Journal! The Aligned Time Journal is here to answer the question “But HOW?” How can we figure out what our Great Work is? How can we get started, stay with it, and finish our Great Work so it can go out in the world and have an impact? 

Click here to learn more, and try it out for yourself!

For more information about the Unleashing YOUR Great Work podcast or to learn more about Dr. Amanda Crowell, check out my website: amandacrowell.com

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Transcript
Dr Amanda Crowell:

I'm such an old person. I like to talk about

Dr Amanda Crowell:

the weather and discuss how unbelievable it is that time

Dr Amanda Crowell:

passes so quickly. So let's do a little bit of that together,

Dr Amanda Crowell:

shall we? This week, I'm creating the 12th episode of

Dr Amanda Crowell:

unleashing your great work. A dozen episodes are out there in

Dr Amanda Crowell:

the world, entertaining dozens of people. Actually, according

Dr Amanda Crowell:

to my statistics, I have 400 listeners, that's not nothing. I

Dr Amanda Crowell:

have to tell you. Overall, having a podcast has been a

Dr Amanda Crowell:

really fun experience. And I've become somewhat of an

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evangelist, to all my blogger friends out there who don't want

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to do video, podcasting is a truly great middle ground, it

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gives people a chance to really know you without having to do

Dr Amanda Crowell:

your makeup, which is when when, and maybe most importantly, over

Dr Amanda Crowell:

the past 12 episodes, I've learned some things about great

Dr Amanda Crowell:

work. When I put the podcast together, I already had a lot of

Dr Amanda Crowell:

ideas about what great work is, how it works, what it looks like

Dr Amanda Crowell:

and how it feels. But I've been excited by how much I've learned

Dr Amanda Crowell:

from the guests. Today, I'd like to share six lessons I've

Dr Amanda Crowell:

learned over the past 12 episodes of unleashing your

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great work. Let's do it. The first one is it turns out that

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great work is hard to claim. Even the greatest people among

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us mere mortals stop a little when they're asked what is your

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great work? And they wonder, is it great work? Am I doing great

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work? I'm sure I could be doing more of it. But is what I'm

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doing even great. Am i Great. So many of my guests have

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explicitly said this to me, usually just before we get

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started, some of them have said that preparing for their

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interview really like threw them for a loop and made them stop

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and consider who they were, what they wanted for their life. And

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these are people that I admire, who I would go to the mattresses

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over like declaring that their work is great work. And I think

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it was thinking about this, that allowed our conversations to go

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so deeply so quickly. And for that I'm really grateful. But

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here's what I have to say to them and to you. And in my

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moments of vulnerability to myself as well. We are already

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doing great work we are. Our job is to do more of it, which is to

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say, to do more of what excites us. And it comes from our

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experiences and our insights, to do it in community with people

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who value what we value. And to leave our world a little better

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than we found it. Of course, we can do more of that every last

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one of us could do more. And every last one of us is

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absolutely doing some of that now, which is actually a great

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segue to the second thing I've learned about great work doing

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this podcast. And that's that great work has movement. Great

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work, because it keeps us on our evolving edge changes. It was

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great work in the beginning. And it's great work now. And yet.

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It's different. Its shifts and changes over time. And sometimes

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it shifts and changes radically. Take Mike Canino from Episode

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11, for example. He was a restaurant executive turned

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speaker turned coach. Alyssa from Episode Three was a

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bureaucrat running an integrative health clinic at the

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VA. And then she turned to private practice therapist. And

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then she turned into an intuitive business coach. Trish

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from Episode Five ran a green energy store for 30 years before

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doing the coaching and speaking and launching a movement that

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she's doing now, Linda, you glow from Episode Seven was a farmer.

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And yet none of these experiences were irrelevant.

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Each and every one of those experiences are brought forward

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into who we are now currently showing up in our great work.

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This has been a wonderful realization for me, because I've

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struggled at times to show up as my complete self because I know

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that I confuse people. I am 100% committed to school change. I

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have deep, wide and passionate opinions about education,

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teacher preparation, school change, the epidemic of Math

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Readiness, on and on it goes. And right alongside that I help

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accidental entrepreneurs to acknowledge they have a business

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and ease into the work of marketing and sales and I speak

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to colleges and corporations about great work and I'm trying

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to change our perception of the world of work and our place in

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it to a lot of people all that sounds really desperate. To me

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on the other hand,

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it feels like home. I have cared I do care I will always care

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about all of these things. And it works for me. Because great

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work isn't like a soulmate, where everything is on the line

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with this one commitment. And if you stray from this single

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commitment, You are betraying your great work. It's not like

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that. Instead, great work when it's done right is more like a

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best friend. Your job is to show up for your great work. Bring

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all your joy and your enthusiasm and your honest conversation.

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And when great work says I want to go do that random thing. You

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just update your damn LinkedIn, and you go do it. That, for me,

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at least is what makes it fun. Now, of course, it means that

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I'm struggling not to do a million things at once, which

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actually brings me to the next thing I've learned about doing

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great work. Great work really tends to involve overworking,

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and we all need reminders to stop. This reminds me of a

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moment in Ulisses interview in episode three, where she was

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telling a story of someone who came to work with her in private

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practice therapy, and asked her to help her be less tired. But

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she wanted to be less tired without stopping her 100 hour

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work week while still going to grad school and working out five

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times a week and only sleeping four hours a night. She wanted

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to do all of that, but also be less tired. So Alyssa said, so

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you want me to help you be a robot? And yes, yes, we do. This

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person with her ridiculous request is all of us. When you

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are doing great work, you need help refocusing on the

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competitive advantage of resilience. This has been a

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really calming and quite galvanizing, for me to realize

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how utterly widespread overworking in the name of great

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work is I yammer on about this all day, every day, and I still

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struggle with it. I handle it. I take I force myself to take

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breaks, I force myself to stop working. I refuse to work on

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weekends. And this is because I'm 100% convinced of my

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argument. And I've seen the way that taking these breaks and

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protecting my resilience changes the caliber and the speed of

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migrate work. But oh, it's hard. And it's nice to know, I'm not

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alone. And it makes me even more committed to helping myself and

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others figure out how to do great work without sacrificing

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everything else. Which brings us directly to the next lesson that

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I've learned. Great work must be enjoyable, or it immediately

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gets too serious. And that quickly gets old. When the work

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we are doing feels really serious like it matters, it's

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important and everyone needs to take it very seriously, we lose

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track of why we're doing it in the first place. This can cause

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us to subvert our work away from greatness towards guarantees,

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focusing on doing it right.

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Instead of following the call of great work. Trish Blaine says

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that we have to be driven by original desire, and prioritize

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what makes us feel alive. I think it keeps us from ruining

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our lives and sacrificing every good thing in the name of our

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great work. Either way, we win when we make sure that we're

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doing things in a way that we enjoy. And listen to the meta

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aspect of me saying that we all need to figure out how to not

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overcomplicate things and make everything so serious is an

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exact example of the next lesson. Great work often

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involves teaching what we ourselves needed to learn. So

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many of my guests have shared that their great work started

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out as something they personally struggled with. They struggled

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with speaking confidently and now they help others speak

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confidently. They felt unseen as a minority student at school.

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And so they've worked for decades, to bring the focus back

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to student voice. They struggled when they first learned how to

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manage teams. So they help others who are struggling with

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the same things. And it makes a lot of sense from where I sit.

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As I mentioned, I have worked for years in teacher

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preparation, teaching aspiring teachers about psychology. And

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I've noticed a huge difference and how effective teachers are

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based on whether they have a natural affinity for what

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they've learned. Because if you learn something quickly, and

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without any struggle, you're not usually a great teacher. This is

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because you have no idea what went into learning your craft.

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When you struggle on the other hand and you work at it. And you

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watch yourself overcome challenge. You can develop some

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really solid theories about what's likely to go wrong and

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how to get around those things. And it's that kind of knowledge,

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what we call pedagogical content. knowledge in the

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teacher prep field, or knowledge about what it takes to learn

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something. It's that knowledge that makes you a great coach, a

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great teacher and a better consultant and certainly a

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better manager. The final lesson that I've learned about having a

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podcast is that it's fun. You know, at first, when I was

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thinking about starting a podcast, all I could think about

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were the technical hurdles. I was consumed by thoughts like,

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how does a podcast get from my computer to the internet? And

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like, what is SEO for podcasts? And how do you get people to

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listen to a podcast? So I was sort of taken by surprise that

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it was so fun to do. The solo episodes like this one, are

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quite a lot like writing a blog, something I've loved doing for

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decades. But it has this added performative aspect of recording

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it, which I didn't think would delight me, but it does. And

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I've enjoyed adding like little bits and pieces two episodes to

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see how they work like a sound effect in the first episode, or

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doing voices in the episode on getting out of the box, and

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trying interesting elements that just aren't there in a written

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blog. Now, some of these elements like I think the

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retrospective on Jim Henson from the second episode, I think it

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really worked well. And there were other things that did not

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work. Like there were these law and order like Klungkung style

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chapter headers that I tried once, and they literally

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startled me when I listened to it so I took them out

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immediately. But even so was fun to play. All of this is to say

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here at the end of my dozen episode retrospective that I

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like having a podcast and I hope that you enjoy listening to it.


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