Dinner Party | Why It’s Your Responsibility To Show Up With New Stories

“I don’t need new stories. I just get new friends” – M. Fryia

Last week we promised a theme for every month, well it’s the first Tuesday of the month and time for a new theme. The focus for the next 30 days is on Preparedness and we’ll be attacking it from all sides, starting as always with Mindset. 

As his strength coach, I’ve asked the very best hockey player in the world what hand he shoots. I’ve sent a resume after a Churchill-esque amount of wine full of more spelling errors than properly spelled words. I’ve showed up to fights without a jock – in case you aren’t well versed at combat arts it’s a pretty important piece if you’ve even thought about procreating one day in the future. 

See what I’m getting at? 

Despite living and working in professional sports, an area of the world that requires maximal preparation – think of a 4-year Olympic cycle, or the 12 weeks leading up to a boxing title fight – I was often unprepared. I believed the action to be unimportant, an ‘I’ll figure it out when I get there’ mindset combined with some leftover childhood, ‘it’s cool not to try’ attitude was likely the culprit, and as a result, I suffered. Did I fail in those endeavors? No, not usually but it took me a lot longer to get where I wanted to go. 

That all changed with dinner parties.

I alternate between excitement and anxiety every time I’m invited out for dinner with a group. I love the camaraderie that comes with long tables full of people who are well-fed with glasses of wine in hand but also shift uncomfortably in my seat thinking about what we, and I, will discuss. After all, it’s just a dinner, and you should show up and see where the conversations go. Well, kind of… If you attend a dinner party, even if it’s with only a couple of your oldest friends, and don’t bring new stories or interesting ideas you owe the host an apology and best offer to put on the next dinner to make up for the blunder. 

I realize that this sounds ridiculous. After all, I just told you that we were going to discuss the importance of being prepared, but I can’t think of a better and easier example than dinner parties. 

Every time you’re asked to attend a dinner, you are being invited to join in an experience. You are not being asked to sit and eat. You can do that by yourself at home in your underwear with a cell phone in one hand and two-day-old pizza in the other. No. You are being asked to share and engage. Someone offered to cook for you or take you out, and in exchange, you owe them a level of stimulation and intrigue. 

Know what interests them, do some research, and ask intelligent questions. If you don’t what their opinions are then ready your own and be ready to discuss them at length, free of malice. Have interesting personal stories to tell, combine them with things you’ve read, watched, or heard. 

It doesn’t mean that you have to dominate the room, but it does mean that when you’re called on, you can contribute in a meaningful way. You’re prepared for your dinner companions.

This exercise comes from a chef I spoke with, and I love it because it teaches you a few invaluable lessons. Firstly, it better to be prepared. Remember that famous quote that your coach would repeat ad-nauseam, or perhaps it was laminated on a poster in a classroom. 

“It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared” – Whitney M. Young Jr.

Whitney wasn’t wrong. Seizing opportunity is intoxicating; it breeds confidence both in yourself and in others and helps create more opportunities. It might be more pertinent to change the quote to “It pays to be prepared…” as many great careers have started with unexpected breaks followed up by exceptional performances. 

Eminem is arguably the greatest rapper of all time, a kid from Detroit he got his start when one of Jimmy Iovine’s interns saw him rap battle. He brings Jimmy a cassette, Jimmy shows it to Dr. Dre, and they fly Eminem out. On the first day, on the first beat, sitting in Dr. Dre’s basement, Eminem starts spitting out lyrics to “My Name is”, the first single from The Slim Shady LP which has sold over 18 million copies world wild. 

The tricky thing about exceptional performances is that they don’t come innately, we do not rise to the occasion but sink to the level of our preparation. Eminem – Marshall Mathers – had been cutting his teeth in every possible scenario leading up to the opportunity, from rap battles to empty shows, he was prepared for the moment and now lives the life he wishes because of it. 

Being prepared also drives you to learn. If every time you show up to dinner, you commit to bringing something new, you have to do the learning new stuff part beforehand. This cycle is addicting. The more you learn, the more people enjoy being around you and speaking with you. That reinforces confidence and improves the likelihood that you will continue learning and growing. How we conduct ourselves in one area of our life carries over to all others. Preparation, like everything else, is about repetitions and like all things that require repetition it’s monotonous and I (we) often don’t enjoy doing it. So, change the game. We make it about dinner and others, and that action of bringing new stories to the dinner party can begin to alter and improve your life. 

If you want to learn how to be prepared, and in the process improve yourself start showing up to dinner parties with stories worth telling.

#102 – Mathew Maione | The Road Less Traveled – Hockey, Music, and Perseverance

Our guest this week is well on his way to becoming a true polymath. From playing hockey in the KHL to recording songs with Latvian rock legends, Matt Maione can do it all.  We have known Matt for several years and were super excited to have him on the podcast. His story is one of perseverance along the road less traveled, from playing at a small university in PEI to playing (and singing) at the KHL All-Star game there is a lesson or two in here for everyone!


 
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Thanks to Karen and Anne for bringing us into this world and keeping us alive long enough to screw it up ourselves.

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Biosteel Sports Nutrition is Toronto based company, and a leader in high-performance sports drinks for professional athletes and everyday champions alike.

A product created out of necessity and is trusted by athletes like Connor McDavid, Brooke Henderson, Rosie MacLennan, and Andrew Wiggins. They have a full line of products, including their signature High-Performance Sports Drink and Advanced Recovery Formula Protein plus a brand new rooster of Biosteel Green Powder.

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We care about food…a lot, and after having truLOCAL on the podcast we were stoked to throw a couple of their Ontario raised steaks on the BBQ. We loved them and couldn’t wait to try the rest of their amazing products and wanted to give you a chance to try them too.

To celebrate our new partnership head over to truLOCAL.ca and use the code word CHAMPIONSHIP10 for $25 dollars off a regular box! We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


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Champ Community

Hear what other Champions have been saying about the Podcast
  • I’m a fan of information and value. There are only a few podcasts I rock with that are worth the time, JRE with Joe Rogan, Championship Lifestyle, Think Space with Joss Biggins, Gary Vee Audio with Gary Vee etc. We should be auditing everything, audit the BS out of your podcasts and your ear. I’m rocking with this podcast pretty much every day”
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  • The Stretch Therapist said “what a great time – informal, raw and just an all around good time.”
     

BB #58 – Fixed vs. Growth Mindset | Creating a Winning Mindset

This week’s #biosteelbreakdown is focused on an idea and concept that is important regardless of your goals, in the gym or in the kitchen your attitude and mindset is the single greatest indicator of whether or not you have success. Fixed vs. Growth Mindset is the idea that our skills and abilities are set versus malleable, this idea has huge ramifications on how we learn and execute our ideas.

If you have a question of your own tweet at @champ_lifetstyle or @biosteelsports and we will do our best to answer them in a future episode.

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 A Quick Thank  You…

Today’s podcast is brought to you by a company that takes up significant shelf space in our kitchen and one we have been using for years. Biosteel Sports Nutrition is a Toronto based company, and a leader in high-performance sports drinks for professional athletes and everyday champions alike.

A product created out of necessity and is trusted by athletes like Connor McDavid, Brooke Henderson, Rosie MacLennan, and Andrew Wiggins. They have a full line of products, including their signature High-Performance Sports Drink and Advanced Recovery Formula Protein plus a brand new rooster of Biosteel Green Powder.

Living like a champion requires championship nutrition and there’s no one we trust more.

Enter Promo Code – ChampLifestyle for 15% off your next purchase at Biosteel

#92 – Snow Day Podcast | Lessons From Old Presidents

With the city of Toronto covered in snow we were unable to get our guest on this week, so instead recorded a special snow day podcast, focusing on lessons from old presidents. We read a Chapter from Ryan Holiday’s book “The Obstacle is the Way” and briefly discuss it afterward. We hope you enjoy this unconventional episode.


 
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This Podcast is Brought To You By

Our Mothers

Thanks to Karen and Anne for bringing us into this world and keeping us alive long enough to screw it up ourselves.

Biosteel Sports Nutrition

Biosteel Sports Nutrition is Toronto based company, and a leader in high-performance sports drinks for professional athletes and everyday champions alike.

A product created out of necessity and is trusted by athletes like Connor McDavid, Brooke Henderson, Rosie MacLennan, and Andrew Wiggins. They have a full line of products, including their signature High-Performance Sports Drink and Advanced Recovery Formula Protein plus a brand new rooster of Biosteel Green Powder.

Living like a champion requires championship nutrition and there’s no one we trust more.

Enter Promo Code – ChampLifestyle at www.biosteel.com for 15% Off the Next Order

truLOCAL

We care about food…a lot, and after having truLOCAL on the podcast we were stoked to throw a couple of their Ontario raised steaks on the BBQ. We loved them and couldn’t wait to try the rest of their amazing products and wanted to give you a chance to try them too.

To celebrate our new partnership head over to truLOCAL.ca and use the code word CHAMPIONSHIP10 for $25 dollars off a regular box! We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


Show Notes

  • Coming Soon 

Champ Community

Hear what other Champions have been saying about the Podcast
  • I’m a fan of information and value. There are only a few podcasts I rock with that are worth the time, JRE with Joe Rogan, Championship Lifestyle, Think Space with Joss Biggins, Gary Vee Audio with Gary Vee etc. We should be auditing everything, audit the BS out of your podcasts and your ear. I’m rocking with this podcast pretty much every day”
  • Paulwall2837 said “Genuinely get excited to listen! Great topics and great flow, Adrian and Sylvia definitely know how to keep you interested!”
  • The Stretch Therapist said “what a great time – informal, raw and just an all around good time.”
     

Avoiding Outrage | Why You Need People To Disagree

We are living in a complicated time, perhaps not physically but indeed emotionally and societally. Definitions are ever-changing, opinions are always on display in all manner of public forums, and it would seem that outrage is on the rise. The gigantic information highway sitting snugly in our pocket, or beside us on the couch has eliminated the late dinner disagreements on which actor starred in a 1970’s movie, which pitcher threw the first no-hitter, and how many publishers rejected Stephen King’s first novel – 30 it was the random fact of the day yesterday. 

If you want to avoid heated arguments never discuss religion, politics, or whether the toilet paper roll should go over or under

– Weird Al 

This is not an article about politics, or religion, or gender, or toilet paper. I’m not interested in having those discussions publicly because I don’t believe I have spent enough time personally reflecting on them and any opinion I would have would be, in the words of Mark Twain, “gotten second-hand and without examination.” 

I am however interested in discussing arguments, the act of disagreeing without becoming enraged at the other party and being willing to examine and reflect the opposite viewpoint as it relates to your own. Having access to millions of pieces of information in the form of the internet has made us eternal ‘fact-checkers,’ hammering out a few letters on a touch screen and moments later we have the information in hand. It is a wonderful and terrible thing. We have all this information, but we’ve also outsourced all of our thinking to external parties. When a topic or disagreement pops up that we are unsure of we hop on the information highway, find someone who has similar viewpoints to what we believe are our own and we now know exactly how we think. 

The person or group that we choose to get our information from is likely famous or prominent in that space, after all, to stand out from the masses online you have to be. The popularity also comes with a divide in opinion, people both love and hate your work in equal parts and because it’s such a vast place there are a lot of people. You, the information seeker, now have a decision to make, who to ally yourself with, in this war of opinions and once you make your choice, it’s for life. You are expected to live and die by that opinion, fight vehemently for it at all times and become outraged at anyone who disagrees because how could they! At least that’s the narrative being shoved your way. 

And it’s complete bullshit. 

We should be celebrating the opportunity to have a discussion with someone who disagrees, it’s a chance to have the validity of our argument examined and probed for weakness and perhaps if it’s too porous taken down altogether, and that’s fine! 

When I first started martial arts at the ripe old age of 18, I had just received the first real beating of my life and was painfully aware of how ill-prepared I was to defend myself. The first gym I joined was a traditional Korean-style dojang – training hall – that looked like it had been plucked from the 1970s and transplanted into 2000s Sault Ste Marie. We started the first class by bowing in, stretching then practicing Katas – movement forms – for the better part of an hour. We did the same thing on the second day, and third, and fourth, and fifth. You get the idea. After a month I was no better prepared at defending myself than on that first day, but I also had no idea because I hadn’t been tested either. Personally, that was a huge problem, what if I ended up getting in another street fight? Getting beat up twice in short succession would be really tough on an 18-year-old ego.

So I left. I found somewhere with a more experiential learning style. Where I improved my proficiency by competing in a safe-ish version of combat.

I think about combat as a language, different styles of fighting are different ways of speaking, and when you compete in them, you have a discussion, or argument depending on the form of competition or training. When I step on the mat to roll in jiu-jitsu I want my partner to disagree with me, I want them to oppose with every fibre in their body and to try as hard a possible to prove me wrong. I want them to have bad intentions and try to embarrass me. I’m going to do the same.

We do this through a series of physical moves, each attempting to predict what the other will do. If their argument is stronger than mine, they will achieve a set of advantages, leaving me with fewer and fewer options until, eventually,  they win. 

Then we’ll go again. I get a chance to argue my case to see if maybe it was a lucky exchange or I was unfocused. I can change parts of the argument slightly to see if it creates a better reaction, better solidifies my point or if the same outcome prevails. This process will continue several times a practice, hundreds of times a month and thousands a year. In some instances, my arguments will be dominant, and I can double down on them, in other situations they may fail over and over again, and I will be forced to abandon them or retreat and completely rework the ideas or even adopt the arguments of my partner because they have been shown to be superior time and time again. 

We will hurtle ourselves into the exchange with ferocity but remain as emotionless as possible and afterward embrace and thank each other.  Those two ideas are fundamental to progress. I must remain calm despite the hostility. Emotional reactions make it difficult to think and react quickly and efficiently, and the result is floundering and a poor representation of my thoughts. Afterward, I must be grateful because they have chosen to expose themselves in the same manner, to be equally vulnerable and challenging. Without my partner, I would never know if my ideas were legitimate, if they would hold up in a real-life situation. 

“A man who sees the world at 50 the same as at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life”

– Muhammad Ai

We should aim for the same level of openness in all of our exchanges, having someone disagree is not a personal assault on character but an opportunity to refine your argument. Notice where it fails, where it holds firm, go back and spend real time thinking about the idea, exploring both sides in your mind. Needle for areas you can exploit and improve your understanding of why those areas still have merit and never be afraid to have your opinion changed. Changing our mind is a natural human right, it’s a display of strength, not weakness.