Lately, I’ve been inspired by three individuals who looked at problems in different ways and changed how their peers thought about that problem.
Takeru Kobayashi, professional eater
Question he answered: How can I eat hot dogs faster?
Takeru Kobayashi is a Japanese professional eater who ate 50 hot dogs in 10 minutes at the July 4th Nathan’s Coney Island competition smashing the 25.5 hot dog record. He looked at the problem in a new light, training at home in Japan with fish dogs (they don’t have hot dogs where he comes from) and experimenting with techniques. Kobayashi is now recognised for “the shake” movement and dunking buns in water to create more edible dough balls.
Before him, no one had considered eating hot dogs on Coney Island, NY a sporting event worthy of serious training; but he was obsessed and his record proved how looking at a problem in a new light with serious thought and creativity can set new records. Nowadays people frequently eat over 50 dogs at the competition.
Listen to a podcast interviewing Kobayashi here.
Jonathon Livinston Seagull, Seagull
Question he answered: How can I fly better?
Absolute legend. Jonathan is a fictional Seagull in his namesake book. He’s obsessed with being the best flyer in history; quite difficult given his large clunky wingspan and a social network is preoccupied with stealing fish heads from sailors. But Johnathan continues to experiment, and comes up with techniques to overcome social anxiety and outcast status with his obsession to be the best flyer.
Michael Alan Singer, Author & Entrepreneur
Question he answered: How can I be a spiritually aware businessman?
Author of The Untethered Soul, this guy may seem like a yogi a la Guru Singh, but on top of his spiritual awareness he built a software program digitising medical records that was sold to Web MD. What??? Spiritual evangelist AND cutting edge entrepreneur (hey, it was a few years ago — digitising paper records was bleeding edge)?? Then he gets prosecuted for securities fraud, and the department of Justice eventually drops all charges. He writes a book about the experience which becomes a best seller, The Surrender Experiment.
Singer shares so many aspects of his life with the world through business, his thoughts on the concept of self, meaning in life etc — I’m grateful he’s made the effort. Very inspiring as a self aware leader.