Fri, 2 August 2019
When we're young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here's your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph. Yes, hello there. Good morning to you. Good morning to you and welcome to an episode of a Join Up Dots called "Think like a freak?" Yes. Is it a good thing to think like a freak. Think in ways that other people don't? Or should we be following the herd? Well, Join Up Dots. I've learned many things. Oh, yes, I have. And through the process of doing my podcast, I found that more often than not other podcasters are making it too hard for themselves because they're just following suit from what other people do. And I love the fact of thinking outside the box and trying to do things differently, to get different results. Because honestly, if you go for what everybody else tells you, then, you're going to get what everybody else gets. And that's not what you want. If you look at all the Uber successful people out there, all the inventors, all the explorers, all the creative folk, they've all done things differently. And more often than not at the beginning, they would have been told you can't do it like that. You can't do it like it that. Well, in today's episode, I'm going to teach you how to think like a freak with a few hot dogs, and a story of a Japanese guy called Kobe, And he did something quite remarkable. A few years back, and he's still doing it quite remarkably today. And quite honestly, you look at him, and you look at his results and you think, "How did it happen?" How did it happen? Well, he did things his own way. He thought like a freak, and he found a way of beating all the competition. And that's what I want to prove to you today. So sit back and listen to another story, yes, another story teaching you about Kobe and the hot dog eating contest. Now, today's story is about a Japanese college student who did something remarkable in the kind of unremarkable field now I didn't even know you could do this kind of stuff. But he took on the sort of challenge that most of us wouldn't dream about or even want to. And absolutely smashed it. Now, in the autumn of 2000 a young man who will be come to known as Kobe. Because he's got a very hard name to pronounce. Was studying economics, Youkagi University, i assume that is in Japan. And he lived with his girlfriend Kumi. So it's Kobe and Kumi, and they lit the apartment by candles since they could no longer afford the electricity bill. And neither of them came from a family of significant means Kobe's father was a disciple at a Buddhist temples giving tours about his history, and they were behind on the rent as well. So things weren't good. Now his girlfriend Kumi heard about a contest that paid five grand to the winner. Without telling Kobi, she sent in a postcard to sign him up. It was a televised eating competition. Now, this was on the surface a stupid thing to do. Because Kobe wasn't gluttonous in the least. He is a small bloke, he had a slight build and stood barely five foot eight. He did however, have a strong stomach and a good appetite. As a child, he always cleaned his plate and sometimes the sisters plates too, and it also believe that size could be overrated. Now one of his childhood heroes was a great sumo champion, who was known as the wolf who was relatively light but compensated with superior technique. He overcome the big fatties by doing things in a different way, which is what the story is all about. Now, Kobi reluctantly agreed to enter the contest and he's only chance to was that out think the competition, because these guys had been over eating for years and years and years, so they were used to it. Now at university, he'd been learning about game theory, and now it came in handy. The contest would have four stages boiled potatoes, followed by a seafood bowl, Mongolian mutton BBQ and noodles. Now only the top finishes from each stage would advanced. So Kobi studied earlier multistage eating contest, and he saw that most competitors went so hard in the early rounds. That even if they did advance they were too exhausted and stuffed to do well in the final so it was a compete waste of time. So his strategy was to conserve energy and stomach capacity by eating just enough at each stage to qualify for the next. Now this isn't rocket science, of course. But then these competitors weren't rocket scientists either. They've been doing what they've seen other people do for years and years and years. Now in the final round, Kobe, who had done very well by keeping this technique up, channelled his boyhood Sumo hero and wolfed down enough noodles to win the 5000 Prize and the lights went back on in Kobe's and Kumi's his apartment there was lovemaking under fluorescent strips or whatever they were doing. It was good time in Kobe and Kumi life. Now there was more money to be made in Japanese eating contest. But Kobe having taste amateur success was eager to go pro. So he said his sights on the Super Bowl of competitive eating as a sport is known, the Nathan's famous fourth ofJuly international hot dog eating contest. Now for some four decades. This apparently has been held at Coney Island in New York City, and the New York Times and others had written the contest all the way back to 1916. So it's been going for years and years and years, and it routinely draws more than 1 million viewers on ESPN who wants to see a line of Americans shoving hotdogs down their throat as quickly as possible. Now, the rules are simple. A contestant has to eat as many hot dogs and buns known as HDB as they can in 12 minutes and any HDB or portion thereoff already in the eaters mouth when the final bell rang would count towards his total as long as he swallowed it eventually. Now an eater could be disqualified however, if during the contest a significant amount of HDB that had gone into his mouth came back out. Yes, known in the sport as a reversal of fortune. Now condiments were allowed, but no serious competitor would bother. Beverages were also allowed any kind in unlimited quantity, and in 2001 when Kobe decided to enter, the record stood now get this right at a mind boggling 25 and an eighth HDB in 12 minutes 25. Now at home in Japan, he practised a course. And he had a hard time finding regulation hot dogs. So he used sausages made from minced fish, and instead of buns, he cut up loaves of bread. Now for months, he trained in obscurity. And he arrived at Coney Island in obscurity as well. Nobody knew him. A year earlier the top three four finishers were all Japanese. The rabbit, he held the world record, but this newcomer was not considered a threat. So at some point, he was a high school student. They just laughed at him. One contestant mocked him "Your legs are thinner than my arms." Now. How did he do? How do you think that Kobe did? Well in his very first Coney Island contest. He smoked a field and set a new world record. How many hot dogs and buns would you guess? Yeah, right. The record remember was 25 and an eighth. So what you're going to go with? What you're gonna go with 27. 28 that'd be pretty good. That'd be more than a 10% gain over the old record. Now if you wanted to make a really aggressive guess you might suppose a 20% gain go for 30. But, this little guy with the skinny legs, he ate 50. That's more than four hot dogs and buns per minute, for 12 straight minutes. This slender, 23 year old Kobe full name because we give him his full name because he's done so well Kobayashi had essentially doubled the world record. Now just think about that margin of victory. The Coney Island hotdog contest isn't you know, as famous as the 100 metres run. But his feet in perspective is truly astonishing. This is like getting Usain Bolt to run his race, which was 9.58 seconds at the moment. And he would be taking it down to 4.87 seconds. Running of roughly 46 miles per hour. So he's taken that to like Greyhound or Cheetah standard. Now it's never going to happen. But Kobe did that. Now in his equivalent race he did that. And how did he do that? Well, all of us should be thinking outside the box and doing things a little differently. If we want to get the best results. And sometimes it's copying other people and other times it's doing our own thing. But more often than not, people will just follow suit on what other people do. So our hero Kobayashi. He had just demolished the world record eating hot dogs or hdb's, as we know, them. By eating over 50 in 12 straight minutes. So how did he do it? And how did he win again the following year, and the next four years to pushing the record to 53 and three quarter HDB. Now no past champion at one more than three times much less six in a row. But it wasn't just the winning or the margin of victory that set him apart. The typical competitive eater looked as if he could gobble down Kobayashi himself. He was the kind of man famous in his fraternity house for consuming two entire pizzas and a six pack at one sitting. Meanwhile, our hero was softly spoken, playful and analytical. He was a little guy but he became an international superstar. And in Japan, the enthusiasm for eating contest cooled after a schoolboy choked to death imitating his heroes. Now, it's not good, but Kobe actually found plenty of competition elsewhere setting records in hamburgers, Twinkies, lobster rolls, fish tacos, and more. And a rare defeat came in a one on one TV event in roughly 2.5 minutes. Kobeyshe ate 31 bunless hot dogs, but he's opponent ate 50 . The opponent was a half tonne Kodiak bear. Now, you can see this guy is doing rather well for himself. And initially, his dominance a Coney Island was perplexing, some rivals thought he was cheating. Perhaps he took a muscle relaxant or some other foreign substance to quell the gag reflex. How can he get so many hot dogs right down his mouth. Now it was rumoured to have even swallowed stones to expand his stomach. And there were even whispers yes whispers that Kobayashi represented a Japanese Government plot to humiliate the Americans at a contest held on Independence Day, no less. The conspiracy theories were bound. And they even went so far to actually say that Japanese doctors had surgically implanted a second stomach. Now, none of these charges seem to be true. So how did he? How was he so much better, but everyone else? And this is the lesson that we've been leading up to over the last two days. This is what I want you to start thinking. Now. Scientists met with him on several occasions to try to answer that question. And the first meeting took place one summer evening in New York over dinner in a very small restaurant. And our hero ate daintily, just a small green salad, english Breakfast tea, a bit of duck breast with no sauce. It was hard to imagine, that he was the same guy that was shoving hot dogs in his mouth time and time again. Now, this is how he did it. What he did first of all, was he observed that most Coney Island eaters used a similar strategy, which was not really much of a strategy at all, it was essentially a sped up version of how the average person eats a hot dog at a backyard barbecue. What he noticed was they would pick it up, cram it in their mouth as much as possible the dog and the bun, chew from end to end and then glug some water to wash it down. Now, looking at that he wondered if there was a better way, where it seems to me there's a better way. Now nowhere was it written for instance, that a dog must be eaten end to end. This is just how everybody's always done it. He's first experiment was simple. What would happen if he broke the dog and been in half before eating? Now, this he found afforded more options for chewing and loading, ie shoving it in his mouth. And it also his hands do some of the work that would otherwise occupy his mouth. Now this manoeuvre would come to be known as the Solomon method after the biblical King Solomon, who settled a maternity dispute by threatening to slice a baby into two pieces. Yeah, getting a bit serious here. It's eating a bloody hot dog, nothing more than that anyway. Now, Kobeashye now questioned another conventional practice eating the dog and bun together. Now it wasn't surprising that everyone did this, the dogs nested there, it's in there, comfortably held in the bun. And when we eat for pleasure, we kind of eat the two together, it's a combination of taste. But he wasn't eating for pleasure. Now chewing a dog and bun together he discovered created a density conflict, there was too much kind of stuff in his mouth. And so what he did instead was he started removing the dog from the bun. Now he fed himself a handful of bunless dogs, broken in half, followed by around the buns. It was like a one man factory working towards a kind of specialisation, that had made economists hearts beat faster since the days of Adam Smith. So he's totally changing the way things are done. Now as easily as he was able to swallow the hotdog, you imagine big sort of sausage thing sliding down your throat. Liked a train dolphin, he's very good at doing that. What he struggled with was the bun. Now the bun, was kind of doughyy and just filled up his mouth very difficult to swallow. So what he started to do was while he was feeding the sausages, or the hot dog, dow his throat, he would get the band, and he would squeeze it in to the water. He would squeeze the bun into the water, make it all sort of soggy. So then, when he squeezed most of the excess water out and shoved it in his mouth, this would actually slide down easier. Now the brilliant thing about this was when he didn't have to stop to have a drink at the end other competitors, because he was always getting his liquid at the same go. Now, he also spiked the water with vegetable oil to see if that would help swallowing now, that didn't really work. But he's experimentation was endless. And he videotaped the training sessions, and recorded all these data in a spreadsheet, hunting for inefficiencies and lost milliseconds. Now, do we do this in our life? Do we look at how we're doing? Do we look at where we can save time? Of course we don't. But he did. And that's why you're going to do it, you're going to think like a freak. Now what he also did was experimented with pace. Was it better to go hard, the first four minutes, ease off during the middle four and sprint towards the end? Or maintain a steady pace through out, he tried everything. And he found a fast start was the best way of doing it, he found that getting a lot of sleep was especially important. So was weight training, strong muscles aided in eating and helping him and he did everything he could to change what they were doing for years and years and years to find a better way. And when he put it all together, he found that he's physical preparations could produce an elevated mental state to in ordinary cases, he said,"eating so much for 10 minutes, the last two minutes are the toughest moments and you worry. But if you get great concentration, then it's enjoyable, you feel pain and suffering. However, as you feel it, you feel more excited. And that's when the highness is upon you. " So let's think about that. Right? So we now know how he's done that. And he knows that the end of his journey was the hardest. That was the bit way when he really had to push through and get it over the finishing line. So the reason we've been talking about that story was look at your own life, are you just replicating what everybody else is doing? Because if that's the case, you only going to get the same results? Why don't you look at things, break it down and think to yourself, maybe I can do this quicker? Maybe there's a better way of doing this? Why am I doing this? Now in Join Up Dots land? There's a lot of stuff that podcasters tell me "are you doing this are you doing that are you posting on Instagram" Are you do talk to any of it can't be bothered, and I don't see the point in it. But what I do, I do very, very well. And that brings about the biggest results. And the more you do, what brings about the biggest results, the more successful you will be. So start thinking like a freak, you've got a lifetime of thinking inside the box once you die. So start thinking outside the box, and like Kobeayshe. And I suppose in a very small way, like myself, you can create huge success in your life by doing things your own way. And believe me, there is nothing better than having a line of people going "How you doing this? How you doing this? And you just smile at them, and shove another hot dog in your mouth. It's rude to speak with your mouthful after all. Go out and do your own thing. And to summarise it all/ I suppose number one, watch and observe how others do stuff. Just watch. Just watch closely. And then try to find the small improvements trying to do the things, which will just bring a small incremental gain. The kind of things that the other people haven't spotted because they're just following suit from everybody else. And then ignore everyone else when somebody comes along "Says you can't do that. You can't do that. "Go. I'm a freak. I'm a freak. And I'm proud of it. And then test test test to find even more improvements in that process. And little by little you will think like a freak, and you will have a great time doing it too. Until next time. Thank you so much for listening to Join Up Dots. If anybody needs any help in any regard. Drop us a line you know where to get us. Join Up firstname.lastname@example.org or Join Up dots.com You can find us in both places. And we will see you on the episode. Look out for yourselves. Cheers. Bye bye.