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  • Francisco Mahfuz

E40. You're Not Your Story with Chris Duffin



Below is an AI-generated transcript and therefore it may contain errors.


Francisco Mahfuz 0:00

Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story powers.com and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show.


Welcome to the story powers podcast, the show about the power of stories, the people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host, keynote speaker and storytelling coach Francisco first. My guest today is Chris Duffin. Now I've had some heavyweights on this show, but no one's fits that description as literally as Chris does. He's an inspirational speaker, and best selling author of the ego and the dragon, a story of strength and reinvention. But Chris is also the only man in history to squat and deadlift 1000 pounds, which makes him arguably one of the strongest men in the world. It's not often I talk to someone who could genuinely kill me with his bare hands. So I'm a little relieved that I'm recording this one remotely. Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Duffin. Chris, welcome to the show.


Chris Duffin 1:48

Thank you. And you wouldn't have to worry about that.


Francisco Mahfuz 1:53

Well, you know, as we as we were starting your, we were trying to get the cameras to work and your camera zoomed in on you. And trust me, you're big enough as it is. So I that didn't do anything for my level of tranquillity to give people an idea of what type of book he wrote and what type of stories you're telling him there. I would love for you to just pick one or two that you think give a clear flavour of the type of craziness that's in there.


Chris Duffin 2:28

Okay. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, it's great to understand first, you know, it's, it's not just an autobiography and stories, like, if you're working through it, like every chapter is this, driving people through this process of kind of their own internal self reflection and towards this, this piece that then helps arrive at some goal setting. But yeah, it's, it's an interesting ride. So the book opens, actually, I think the first chapter is about me at six years old. And we're living in the Northern California wilderness. And when I say that, I mean, not in a home, we've got beams Lashed to the trees, up in the trees. And that's where our bedding is because we're just out in the wilderness, living on a creek, and I'm six years old, and at the time, I'm being taught how to capture live rattlesnakes, and handle them and kill them. Because that is the environment that I live in. So you know, sitting there, imagine six years old, you're, you've got a stick that you're teasing a rattlesnake with getting it to strike and then reach it out, capture it behind the head with the branches on that skid stick and picking it up. And you're sitting there with this cold slithery snake just wrapping around your arm and those you got the eyes just kind of staring up into you. And you know, just how to hold it, you know, how you know all these things, to at six years old, you're learning to, to manage fear to manage these things. Because if you let that take over, you're done. And but at the same time, you can't be careless. And this is a you know, it's about learning not to be reckless learning, but it's it's just how do you end up in that environment? It's a pretty crazy ride. So there's stories of, you know, drug trafficking and serial killer and also it's a good ride. It's a good ride.


Francisco Mahfuz 4:25

Yeah, you mentioned that one now and I this is the type of thing that that I think to most people just sounds completely completely alien. Now there's this snakes I can kind of get not being Sikhs and being taught that but you know, I have I've known a lot of people who grew up in a farm and you know, this animals are a natural part of, of their daily life. But there's this particular story where I think it was your stepfather that was always drinking with some guy that was also up in the mountain and you always went with him and At one day, your your stepfather said you couldn't go anymore. And you didn't really know what was going on. And and then a few, you know, he went a few more times. And then one day you had to stay at home because the police was coming to pick up this guy who had killed someone.


Chris Duffin 5:15

Yeah, it will, when you're when you're living on the fringes of society, as we as we were my parents want didn't want to be really be part of kind of this, this normal world, right? You're gonna run into people that are literally hiding, for you know, those reasons as well. And a lot of times you're surrounded by kind of, you know, some unsavoury characters or things happening around you that fall outside of the norm, without a doubt


Francisco Mahfuz 5:41

that that was probably not even the only murder in the story. No, it was that that guy had killed one person. That was that was not the real dangerous. Yeah, yep. So one of the things that I really liked about how you how you laid out the book and how you You told those stories, is that I think right at the beginning, the you you say something you deal with what's perhaps an objection that a lot of people are going to have reading this type of stories, which I think what you said was that, no doubt, your story is going to be very different than my story. But this is not about leaving in the woods, it's about feeling like an outsider. Because obviously, you guys were up in the mountain, and the receipt is next to, and you were not part of a lot of, of everything else that was going on around you. But apart from saying stuff like that, you mostly let the stories do the talking. It's not like a little anecdote, and then you going on about it for 20 pages, it's almost the opposite. Like if anything, your your thoughts and your insights on it, are almost an afterthought to the stories. And I can imagine you had there was a temptation at some point, or someone maybe suggested you should make this into more of a how to book instead of what you did. So why did you go down that the road you you went down?


Chris Duffin 7:04

You know, I think it's, it's really important, at least for me, I don't want to tell people or get to this point of like, where I'm telling people how to live how to, like, it's more of a process of guiding in my opinion. And so the storytelling piece was, was really important, and just talking through how those things impacted me. And I didn't need to spend pages walking through the details of that. Interestingly enough, it is a best seller in like those self improvement and human psychology set, you know, areas as well. But we all have to arrive at our own, you know, personal truths, our own our own values. And I thought the story was a great framework for that. And that's why I've, I've wanted to write that book for decades, but I didn't really feel it had an ending, and I really needed to kind of live that through my life to, to pull that to a greater conclusion. And, and, and I had, we had reached that around, you know, the time of writing this book. Obviously, our stories always continued to go on. But I was able to draw the pieces that I, I felt necessary to have some impact on people's own lives in their, their own businesses, their entrepreneurial visions, their family, all these sorts of things, to really draw some big change and be able to articulate that, in this story.


Francisco Mahfuz 8:29

I find it interesting that you say that sort of ironically, that this is this is a best seller in the sort of self help type of category, even though you're not telling people what to do and how to do their lives. But I guess that the only reason we can say that that's in any way ironic, is because we've we've lost touch of that way of teaching people that way of showing people a different way of doing things, which is essentially just sharing a story. It's become more about telling people then showing people and, again, this is what I do on a day to day basis. Now, we just try and convince people that this is not the right you know that your approach is the right approach, you know, show if you want to talk or to the story with something to make sure that the point is clear. By all means do that, but let the story do the talking. You know, don't don't preach. I


Chris Duffin 9:26

often use this tactic actually in the business world I'm coaching a leader on it right now is so many people they get lost in like trying to be this this great leader that can stand up in front and motivate everybody and articulate this vision, this strategy, this plan. And a lot of times like organisational behaviour and change comes from these one on one interactions of telling these stories to people and it's telling the story of where we're going to be as a company right? Or what it's going to look like what it's gonna feel like to this individual, and helping and in that story weaving in their role, their environment into this and that continual one on one. And that's how you really like, get people engaged and understanding and buying in and being part of this change is these, these little micro stories that you can walk around and tell all the time and people like, they think it's laying out this big strategy on paper, it's the series of meetings and all this other, like business jargon and stuff that you can learn and, you know, variety of different, you know, leadership and organisational behaviour books. And I try to get across the point, it's, it's not that it's actually just the small micro communications and weaving the stories to, to an individual level. And that's why you've got to go out, you can't just go paint one picture in front of a big, you know, a couple 100 people because they're that story, those people aren't all going to be able to connect with themselves.


Francisco Mahfuz 11:04

And this is another part of stories like yours, that I think I know the answer, I have a pretty good feeling about about what you might say, but I wanted to hear from you. Isn't there a risk that when someone who, who, who looks like you, who has done the things you've done and who has a story that is very far from the ordinary, at least from the experience we've had, isn't that a risk that to a lot of people, both the story in you become very difficult to relate to?


Chris Duffin 11:39

I think that there is without a doubt on the outfront. Right? So that's that's perception. Like I look like a large and intimidating individual actually, I'm down like 50 pounds right now from


Francisco Mahfuz 11:50

please, you are larger and you don't look like what you are.


Chris Duffin 11:56

And that's that's perception, right, you're gonna walk in, you're gonna have some of that immediate impact on people. But that's where, you know, the being able to paint those, you know, paint those pictures can really help people on that individual level. Because you get to people around, if you've done amazing, you've done all this stuff, it's just so over the top people can't connect to it. And so, in my book, same thing, that's what I try to relate this back to, to everything, these pieces that we all deal with you were talking about the introduction to the book, you know, where I'm sitting up on this, this rock with my childhood friend, and we're, we're looking at the towns in the distance, and seeing the lights and going I wonder what that's like what they have in those homes, you know, what amazing gadgets and what that life is like, as we're living in the hills with no connection to it, most people have no connection to like what that experience is, but I frame it up front with about that discussion about being an outsider and how that affects your ability to potentially connect to people and, and so those are the things understand that that's the commonality and the common themes, that you're going to be able to broach with someone else and get them into that. And then you can create a story that really brings that out, they may not be able to connect to that story personally. But they can experience the story in the storytelling and understand the theme, the theme that they can connect with in those in those aspects. So when I talk about, you know, achieving and go you know, throwing yourself into areas of that you're not an expert, this unknown to be able to learn and chase this gap to when you're scared of something to go, I'm all in and, and I you know, I can talk about the stories about the things that I've accomplished. It's like okay, i i press Yeah, you built like world class, you know, companies and worked in aerospace and on you know, all the like, lifted 1000 pounds, all this stuff. But you can relate that back going to anyone you know, could be someone going back to school, because they've been afraid of, I want to go get my bachelor's degree, but I'm afraid of you know, live, you know, stepping away from my work environment and what the risk is going to be for my family. You can start taking these stories and weaving back into these very relatable pieces to people, the same theme can all you know, it can be about this difficult conversation I want to have with my sister that you know, she's she's doing something in her life or you know, it's impacting me in a way that's causing my gut to turn up. I don't want to approach it and saying no, that's the signal for you that go and have that conversation. And that's your opportunity become you know, the stronger version of yourself the better and be able to approach like, take those signals and do those things because it's It doesn't matter, the level that you take it to. They're all things that we can deal with and work with on a daily basis in the world. And so it's being able to take those themes of the stories and tie that back in examples to things that everybody can deal with. But I understand your Yeah, what you're saying,


Francisco Mahfuz 15:19

I don't feel that. But I put myself in a position of some people that might, I think, as you saying, You calling these themes identified, think of it more, as, you know, what's the what's the core emotion of the story, what's, you know, the, the emotional tone of the story. So if it's a story about being both feet, not belonging, it might be a story about just being afraid of doing something might be a story about some goal that proves something to you. So to me, to you, that might have been 1000 pound deadlift, whereas to me, that might be something very different might be, I don't know, speaking in front of 5000 people. So you know, whatever it is, I think some people, if they don't, if they don't have the chance to experience the story, and pay attention to it and listen to it carefully, sometimes all they see is the external, the external part of the story, which is, you know, living in the woods, or, you know, lifting these incredibly heavy weights behind that there is a genuine human emotion that anyone there most people can relate to. And I think that's the, perhaps that's the challenge of the storyteller is to get that, get that core that theme across, even if the you know, the outer casing seems completely foreign to most people. Yeah, I


Chris Duffin 16:36

think that's a really great way to put that Francisco is the the the emotion and maybe that's where I'm driving that when I say theme or, but yeah, like getting that connection to that piece so that people have that, that field that you're going for. And can can connect to that.


Francisco Mahfuz 16:54

So the other thing I wanted to to ask about, because you said earlier that, you know you've been meaning to write the stories for a long time. So the book the book came out not that long ago, right.


Unknown Speaker 17:04

So a few years ago, like two years ago,


Francisco Mahfuz 17:06

so what I want them to understand this, you've done a lot in business. And obviously your the stories have had a very big impact on you. But how much do anyone working with you, particularly in the early part of your career? How much did any of the how much they know this stuff? Like were these stories, stories you already use to communicate to people when you were much younger? Or or did justice come with time,


Chris Duffin 17:32

it came with time being able to really talk about it, honestly. So when I when I started opening up and telling the stories, people were quite surprised that had known me through my life going Oh, my God, I had no idea. I always knew that there was something different like this, you know, with your background, but you never talked about it. And, and so it's really been an incredible process of, of hearing that and now I've been hearing it personally, because there's actually a documentary and process around this, where that producers going around and interviewing all these people for my for throughout my life. And that will be interesting to hear. And that hearing the stories that the the the feedback, the impressions and all this stuff is, is it's been pretty wild experience in realising just how much I actually really held held a lot of that back during, during most of my life, honestly, yeah,


Francisco Mahfuz 18:35

because this is what I find. This is what I find sometimes difficult to to understand in particularly in cases like yours, because you've, you've done a lot of leadership type of roles, and you're involved with turning businesses around. And you must have temporary must have hampered your communication to some degree, that all of this personal experience you had, you perhaps didn't feel comfortable to let that come through. So when you when you were speaking to people, a lot of what you're bringing to the table, they could only see the results of that. And never the the origin of that. So yeah, to me, it feels like well, if you couldn't use those experiences, then it feels like it would have been a lot harder for you to, to communicate with people because you know, you're holding a lot of that back.


Chris Duffin 19:23

It's been very interesting because I've been able to actually see that in practice because through the course of my career, a lot of people have ended up following me, you know, from organisation to organisation and, and now I've got four different companies that that I own and, and some of the people in the the core company Kabuki strength, which is a pretty large like in its field. It's a globally recognised brand. And I've got some people on staff and they came to work with me after like I'd made this transition to entrepreneurship and started up the companies and this one individually is my engineering manager came to us To, to work for and had been in similar roles for me in the past for over like the last 15 years. And he starts working with me. And then I hear from these asking a couple of the other staffers, he's like, What did you do to Chris, he's like, he's so like, there's so much more emotion other things like, you know, in the past, I was very much this almost robotic, like I was very authentic, but I never wore any sort of emotion on things. And, and so that has actually some positives and negatives with it from a leadership perspective. So, you know, being this person with literally showing no emotions, trying to hide some of this, and I think that was part of like, trying to hide some of my stories and things that I, where I came from, you know, people always knew exactly who and what they were going to get, versus a little bit more of, you know, the ebb and flow of my life and how things feel and wearing, you know, essentially wearing a little bit more of myself on my sleeve to be visible, to be vulnerable to be able to share these experiences and how they affect me and because they're, some of this is pretty powerful, traumatic pieces, and I in it, if I share these things, and I walk through, it can be a very emotional piece, for me. And so, so it's just, it's interesting seeing that, that change, and not all of it is necessarily positive. Which is maybe not what you would expect. But the bigger piece is the significant amount of more buy in, people like in my organisations are incredibly, they're here for a mission. Like the there's, there's values for the organisation and things that we're actually trying to accomplish in the world to make it better. And there's a reason behind that. And, and people are on, that's what they're here for, not for a job, not to work for a good leader not to, like it is here to be part of this. And that's the part of, you know, wearing those things on my sleeve of why we do the things and why we walk in the world the way that we do.


Francisco Mahfuz 22:16

Yeah, so perhaps trying to stretch the story metaphor over a future many things. But they've, they've bought into whatever story you decided as the story of your company. And this is something you know, when I talk to, when I talk to people in corporations, the one thing that they don't necessarily understand this. It's very different to be part of anything, but particularly a company with very spend a lot of your time. And if you don't, if there is no story, or the story that the company tells us, kind of boring, or it's not. That doesn't have any higher calling. It's like, oh, we want to be the leaders in our market. Like, who cares? Like, it's like, the leader in your market? Who cares about that? You're never going to wake up excited about being in Idaho or whatever. I mean, a software company that is now the leader in our space. Okay, great. And does that fill you with what, I don't know? Pride? Maybe?


Chris Duffin 23:17

Yeah. And it times, or even if it is, it becomes cliche, it's just like this thing we say. And it's, you know, this, these words on the wall, but nobody feels it, nobody lives it is part of their day to day nobody's walking that walk really, it's words on a wall, right? The negatives are, maybe I'm not as good one on one with, you know, my leadership abilities and things if I'm a little bit wearing a little bit more of that emotion on my on my skin where people can feel the ups and downs of this. But at the same time, I don't have to do as much of that. I don't have to be that person present in it that, you know, the perfect capacity all the time. I'm actually not even in an operating role in any of my companies. I'm not the CEO. I'm not in those positions. I wasn't before.


Francisco Mahfuz 24:12

So you're just you're just a pretty face. Now.


Chris Duffin 24:14

I'm just a pretty face. Well, I missed that part, too. But I call myself like chief visionary officer,


Francisco Mahfuz 24:23

which is a pretty which is a pretty cool job title. Yeah.


Chris Duffin 24:27

But, but the thing is, at the other side, I don't need to be because people are so passionate, they live in brief, what we do and you know, if the job needs done, they're working, nobody asks somebody to come in, you know, and work crazy hours or work through the weekend on a project or just like just be so passionate or engaged about what we're doing and having so much ownership to make sure and following through and, and working through, you know, difficult and challenging issues as a team when maybe they're, you know, at odds on how to get to the end goal together. Even though they agree on, you know, they're, we're all trying to get the same thing. And, you know, it becomes less political, it becomes less, you know, these other things just fall away. And you have so much passion like I said, it's literally people live in breathe it. So like, the things that we that we really value it in Kabuki kind of bleed over into this, like continuous improvement type feeling this, trying to always be this better version of yourself. And the it's crazy people will come into the company and like their employees will walk up and say, hey, you know, I see your, your smoking cigarettes, you know, I'll give you $100 If in six weeks, you know, you can not smoke for six weeks. And like, though, like, Hey, we've got employee gym on site. And they'll form teams and get new people into it. Like, it just, it literally bleeds across to everybody's personal life's and you talk to your talk to the employees, and they're like coming to work here has been the best thing I've ever done in my life, I'm in so much better place because it's like, that piece of the culture is is without without any, like management leaders like nope, nobody's pushing any of this that is just the reality of who the team is. And it just bleeds into everybody's life's across all aspects.


Francisco Mahfuz 26:21

There is a that there's a frickin amazing.


Chris Duffin 26:23

I mean it when you actually see it in practice, like it is just mind blowing, like to see the impact on people. Sorry, I'm cutting you off, but I just know that


Francisco Mahfuz 26:34

it was because you said something I wanted to jump in with there was a Steve Jobs quote, that was that when for exactly what it was. But when people are excited about the work they're doing, they don't have to be told to do things they don't have to be pushed to do anything because the vision pose them something I wondered, when I when I read the book is you know, you at some point, you do say that you wouldn't necessarily want other people to have the, the childhood you had or to have had some of these experiences, particularly the the harsher ones. But at the same time, you know, I'm reading through this stuff. And the impression I got was that, so your life was pretty much in technicolour and a lot of people's lives, I struggled not to think that a lot of people's lives are a child of this uniform grey with the occasional spots of colour. And and there is this resistance against, you know, taking more risks and living a life that's perhaps not always down the middle of the road. And there was this passage when you I think you remember exactly what happened but you go to live in with your grandparents, right? So you got to live with their grandparents and either home in it's not the longest chapter, they said there wasn't a great deal happening. It was just in a normal life for a bit. Yep. In, in. So


Chris Duffin 28:04

I think that was kind of an interlude or something. I don't think we call it I call that a chapter in the book. Yeah.


Francisco Mahfuz 28:09

And what I was, what I was thinking, there's a whole bunch of ideas mixing together, but I was thinking that when you when you work with anyone sort of a one to one type of thing, don't you sometimes get the impression that a lot of people, that's what that's all they want, or that's all they're comfortable with. It's you know, living in, in Idaho with the grandparents and all the other stuff that you know, has had a lot of value into building you into who you are. People are just never willing to go to those extremes. It's


Chris Duffin 28:41

human nature to try to sink comfort, right? Unfortunately, this is what I've learned in my life, right is that this is this is basic human physiology. And, you know, I start with, you know, telling it as a story as it relates to like training, but our mind, everything, our emotional resilience, all these things of a same way. We are human beings, and we adapt to stress, we become more resilient. That's the process of building strength, right? So I use the words strengthen resilience kind of interchangeably. And so everybody knows, like, if you break your arm and put it in a cast, what's going to happen, the process of atrophy starts happening you take that cast off three months later and your arms you know, small and withered up. It's basically the process that starts leading towards I'm over speaking a little bit but bringing example to it, like the the lack of actually having stress and adaptation in life starts leading towards the process of atrophy and death. And so this thing that we're always seeking and trying to find is, is the opposite of where we need to be almost and it's all a you know, appointment. That's actually what that interlude or chapter was all He was also articulating that you also do need to have rest and recovery. And it's this balance between those two. So like, if you're doing a CrossFit workout seven, you know, twice a day, seven days a week, you're gonna fall apart, you're gonna have bad knees, you're just not going to recover your sleeps gonna go to crap your job and your life, we're going to start like a getting impact. So it's, it's all this, this balance, but we need to be able to have that and it's in all aspects of our life. So the same thing comes with mental and emotional resilience. And certainly, that's why we need to continue this process of challenging ourselves, to be able to find those things in life that scare us a little bit, but excite us at the same at the same time, where you get that, that feeling in your gut, and it starts twisting a little bit up on you. And I think we all have this experience as we grow up, because some of these things are biological in nature, and they force you to do this, you know, as you're, as you're entering your teen years, and you start like, you know, making this transition away towards independence in a way of being cared for, that's by it was forcing you into these things, this, now this drive to, you know, find a partner. And so you're sitting there, imagine, you're at a bar with your old school, Chris, your friends, you know, and you're in your, you know, you're in your early 20s. And there's this, you know, person across the way and you're like God, I really want to, and if we find comfort, the comfort thing is just to sit there, but at some point, there's this, this, you know, those biological drives force us to go past that to go chase the like, wow, it's scary, this person might reject me, the, you know, the, you know, it might be painful it might be but you still, you still got that drive to chase it. And then this is that process of how we go about, you know, finding a partner, and then a child and kind of going for these big things in life that are scary, and exciting and hugely changing. But once we get through these, these natural drives and things, there's no nowhere else after that. And that's where we start seeing a lot of this kind of levelling out in people's lives over time. And it's like the coast into this, I'm happy working my job Monday through Friday, it's like I dread, you know, Sunday I dread I've got to go to work Monday, can't wait till the weekend, I'm like, and we roll into this, where we're lacking this challenge. And you know, this piece that's really driving us forward in life. And so that's where we, you've got to be purposeful, you've got to start actually seeking these things out, man, it could be, hey, you know, this other career opportunity or job that it's kind of scary, I don't know that I want to do. But when you feel like that, that fear, that mix of fear and excitement, that is telling you, that's the path to go, and maybe it's a maybe maybe you won't be successful on that path, it doesn't matter, it's the practice of staying in it. That is your mental workout, that's your emotional workout. That's the things that are driving you. This is why people push you to read and you know, all these other things, because they're all these things that are challenging yourself, to look at things from a different perspective or act in a different way that are going to continue to, to drive you to grow this is, so the opposite of death and atrophy is living. So to really live, that's where you've got to do is learn to be able to have this ability to take a step and move towards these things that caught the practice of living in fear like, because at the end of the day, you never know what's going to come at you, you know, on some random Tuesday, a car could come out and hit you take you know, completely change your life. A relative could die that you know how to eat, like you ever see, you know, people in your life where something happens, maybe it's a death, job loss, something major and they can't respond, they kind of lock down. And they're unable to deal with this because they haven't developed the resilience to do this. They haven't been challenged. You know, that's the danger in this right. And so, so anyway, this is my views on life if maybe it doesn't fit everybody. And that's that's fine. But I throw it out there for people to really feel and live and try to understand the the importance of connection of what it can have.


Francisco Mahfuz 34:11

I think the workout analogy is one that that it works really well to some extent. Because you're right, I mean, 100% of people need the rest and the recovery in talking about building muscle. That's what you do, after you've caused all the physical turns out to have but you have to have the physical stress. Yes, I'm resting and recovering. That's all you do. You actually have to go to the gym and try a bit hard. Sometimes you can just do the rest and recover and hope for a miracle and and I think that when it comes to to our personal lives, what a lot of people have gotten confused with this is how I feel is they think that being the being happy, is being comfortable, is you know things have to be Easy, I don't I think it's Musonda. The opposite is other things have to be easy is that you have to be up to them. So for example, this is a, this is perhaps a silly example, but one that to me, illustrates that very well. I almost only take cold showers, or freezing cold showers. So, you know, the other day we had, we had water shortage in the house or electricity shortage or whatever, and we didn't have hot water. I couldn't care less made no difference to me, because I not because I like cold water, but because I don't, I'm prepared not to need it. I love a hot shower occasionally, but I don't need it. Whereas to my wife, this was a tragedy. I mean, this is her, her life was miserable for the I think week it took to sort the problem out, because she, she has no capacity to overcome that type of obstacle. And and I think when I talk to friends of mine, about work things now, and a lot of things are changing with the way we work, right? Oh, yeah. And if you're, if the way you work, has to be the exact same way that it was five years ago, and has no room no given it, then you're you might be constantly terrified, and not in a good way, you're not scared of this exciting challenge coming your way, you're terrified because something changes you're done for. Whereas I think it's, it's not getting to a point that, you know, you're so good at this particular job that or you made so much money that things are now great, it's like, well, no, they will change, something will be thrown at me. But I can write you know, I can rise to the challenge. And I think that feeling of, of competency is is where perhaps a slightly better type of happiness is then this sort of, like contentment that a lot of people don't tend to settle for. And I think, you know, we'll bring them to a, if not an early grave, maybe I'm being dramatic, but at least to a less a less fulfilling life.


Chris Duffin 37:09

Those are perfect examples and great stories to tell around the exactly the point that I'm trying to articulate there. And, you know, it's go talk to anybody that's laying on their deathbed, right? And ask them about anything that they may have regretted about their life or what they've done and, and you'll find that it's exactly that, that they didn't challenge it didn't go after and do these things that they wanted to do that, that scared them. It's never been man, I'm so happy I found this this great, comfortable, easy life and just sat on the couch, watch my favourite shows and and wrote it out, right. And for me personally, like I, I can't imagine not having challenged and chased, you know, the dreams and crazy things that I wanted to in life. It sounds so cliche, because people say this all the time. But nobody, like a lot of people just don't step up and live it. They don't step up and do these sorts of things in their in their life. And it's you don't want to be in this position where you regret not doing something, we only have one life. That's the part that I was saying this sounds cliche, is you only have one life. And you do like this is it right now. And it's a shame, if you've got some ideas, some things that you know, to chase that, you know, to step up and do it. And if you fail, that's fine. Because that process is the process of living, and it's going to make you stronger and more resilient for the next piece behind that. Yeah, contentment and comfort are not the end goal, the process of chasing those things and living that life. That is that is. And that's why I use that workout analogy of the atrophy and, and death to resilience in life. Because now if we apply that we can say, hey, if we're not doing this, we're not really living. This is the human condition. And so that's really what I try to try to drive home, I think in my book, as well as leadership, all these aspects. And it's very, very common. You don't have to have had the experiences that I had to arrive at this conclusion to live in this manner. But that's why I felt that the book was a great avenue to express those stories. Because it's a great way to tell, tell this and articulate that in a manner that is going to be both inspiring and motivating for people.


Francisco Mahfuz 39:40

Yeah, there's something interesting you said at some point in the book where I think you compared the stories that the stories from your life and the experiences you had to old skins you'd shed and in how they no longer define who you are now and I thought that was a very interesting, I'm not sure if this is a paradox, but it's it's this contrast between what you just went and told a whole bunch of stories that make us understand you a lot more but but hopefully, ourselves as well and some truth about the world and about the human condition. But at the same time, you're saying, you're not the stories, that's not


Chris Duffin 40:25

me. And, you know, that's part of, that's part of why I never like, I decided to write the book and tell the stories to help articulate these messages. But for so long, that was a piece of why I didn't tell the stories, because those weren't, that wasn't me, I am the person I am right now and who I'm presenting in front of, of you, and who I've chosen to be, and how I choose to live in the world today. Right. And that stands on its own, those are past experiences and things that may have fed into this. But I am the living breathing version of who I choose to be in the world today, right now. And we get to make this decision every day of our life, right? Every moment of our life. And so, those when I tell this, what I tell the stories, it is literally like telling a story of some other thing and you know other other experience another person, it is not, it is not the the telling the story of who I am. And so this is a big disconnect. And we see this happen a lot. Because a lot of times if you ask a person who they are, they will tell you the story, they'll tell you the story of I'm this way, because my mom was an alcoholic, I am the person with a bad back that's going to be in pain for the rest of my life. Because xx xx I am this. And it's it. They're telling you a story of who I am because of what experience or what has happened to me. And that is not a definition of who you who you are. Those are things that had definitely could have an impact on moulding you. But you are your choices and actions around what you choose to do from those events. It's not what the event was. It's how you respond and the actions that you take. And that means you're in the driver's seat, and you're choosing the life that you that you want to live. So like the book is the eagle and the dragon, it's broken into two pieces. The first piece is this, you know about understanding in finding your strengths in this world and what you can you know what you can contribute the second half that the dragon is this purposeful, deciding who you're going to be in this world and walking that path, a purposeful reinvention of oneself. And that is, that is a really important powerful thing to understand. So like in reflecting on those, you know, my life, it really feels like lots of different life's in the past. Those are all different lifetimes than the world in the way and who I am right now.


Francisco Mahfuz 43:11

And I can help to mention that. I can understand why you broke the book in two parts and call them the ego and the dragon. But part of me wonders if you didn't call it ego on the dragon to get an excuse to to show your quota and a dragon


Chris Duffin 43:28

Yeah, I mean, it is literally because I had the this giant. So for the listeners. You know, if you look at my book, you'll see some of them. But I've got this, this one, two tattoos, but they basically cover my entire body. And the first half I had done around 20 years old when I was kind of leaving this crazy environment that I grown up and kind of forging, you know who I was. And then the second one is this giant, you know, or Boris dragon that encircles my whole upper body. And it's very prevalent because I I'm shirtless a lot like that's I do a lot of video and photo content. And


Francisco Mahfuz 44:08

what is the what is that Barenaked Ladies line? I have a tendency to losing my shirt.


Chris Duffin 44:13

Yeah. So I'm like, I want to look like a Viking King. We're gonna get this giant pastime but Well, I mean, that's what it looks like. But


Francisco Mahfuz 44:24

listen, I can totally relate to that. I don't look like you. But when I was living in I was living in London for about five years. And in London. Everybody has the heating turned up all the time at home. And then I remember one day, I think it was maybe a couple of years and I had to be living in this flat and my flatmate looks at me and says, There's something different about you. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something odd there's like haircut now. Glasses. No. Ah, you're wearing a shirt. You're wearing a shirt. Yes. So yeah, I feel you.


Chris Duffin 45:05

Yeah, the Eagles, the Eagles about soaring to whatever heights that you're capable of in life. And that's really where I was at that point. And then the second piece is this purposeful self invention, a reinvention of oneself. And this is when I was, you know, I was like it this very introspective period of my life where I was walking away from this amazingly successful career I had, I was walking away from my marriage, I was I was walking away from other certain friendships and relationships in my life, I was walking away from being a competitive athlete, where I was ranked number one in the, in the world, I was making all this because I was like, I'm really successful, but I'm still not doing and living the way that I want. And it was really, this piece of going, This is who and how I want to be in this world. And this is where the, the dragon, the ORA, Boris comes in this purposeful reinvention, this, the eating of the old and becoming the new, right. And so, you know, I ended up reforging because I wanted to have passion in all aspects of my life. And I wanted to not just be happy from you know, leading people and helping them you know, accomplish more in the work world that than they thought possible. But to be doing something that I had, could significantly impact the world, that I could create this team environment and culture around this to find passion, in my personal life and in, in relationships, to be able to, you know, I was living this great life had made a lot of money living in a house with a white picket fence and going these are all the things that I didn't think I'd be able to do when I was young, and I proven in the world that here I am, I'm successful. But was I, you know, that's, that's the end. So it took this big leap to enter the unknown in basically all aspects of my life, and I reformed my relationship, you know, new marriage reformed my relationship with how I interact in the physical strength, sport, world reformed, that, you know, my business, I'm still doing this, but now now I'm, I'm doing it in a way that is helping people live better and improving the quality of life, and changing lives around the globe.


Francisco Mahfuz 47:20

So what you're saying is, if I get a gigantic oroboros dragon tattoo, I can go to my wife and say, I need more passion in all aspects of my body. Right? She might agree to that scene that I've been trying for years, baby, she's committed to this thing. Just one thing I wanted to throw on something we were talking about before we got this diverted on your shirtlessness into twos, which was, we were talking about how the stories you were telling that they were in you anymore. And and I think there's a very important difference there that a lot of people don't get is I don't tell a story, or shouldn't have a story. To explain, or to justify me, the story has to have a purpose. And that purpose is not shouldn't be a self serving one. So I'm trying to make it easier for you to know me, or I'm trying to show you something I believe I've learned in the best way to do that is to do it through a story. And it's not what I'm sorry, I'm an asshole. But let me tell you the story about my childhood and then you understand why I'm an asshole. That's that's not the purpose. Absolutely.


Chris Duffin 48:36

And that's what I was trying. Trying to articulate is that difference when people are telling a story. They're telling you how the, it's their environment is who they are. Versus I chose to write my book and tell my stories as a way to articulate it. Like it is time and I can use this to articulate these messages and philosophies that I hope to share. Right. And it's been incredibly powerful. I mean, my book The the response. I mean, I can't tell you how many people that have emailed me found ways to get it, you know, call our company like all these like that have not committed suicide, founded their own business went back to school, like did like I'll sound egotistical if I actually repeat like, what some of these what some people have reached out to me to say but it's it's been incredibly powerful. And I'm really thankful that I I finally did step up and and commit because there's a big piece of being okay with, you know, sharing some of the, you know, the stories and pieces in this book, and I'm I'm so glad that I did because it allowed me to have this impact. Because, you know, my companies they affect the physical nature of this philosophy that I espouse. And I can't touch on those, they don't touch on those mental and emotional pieces and that's what the book was was for and so, like seeing that I'm so thankful that I that I did share those stories and articulate and use that, use that as a platform to articulate those messages and philosophies.


Francisco Mahfuz 50:09

So any more lifting records in the horizon, or you're done with that


Chris Duffin 50:14

I that that portion of my life is, has moved on. So that's kind of what the documentary is actually about. It followed through the completion of the 1000 pound squat for reps and kind of covers a little bit of the book, but also, the reasoning behind I'm not pushing myself in that world anymore, but still pushing myself in in other areas. So you'll have to see that when it comes out should be on Netflix, and pretty much hopefully a lot of other


Francisco Mahfuz 50:42

places. Cool. Is it? Is it going to be called Daigo in the dragon as well?


Chris Duffin 50:45

I think it is. I believe that's what the producer is gonna go with. But I'm not No actually. No, I think Sorry, I'm wrong. I was tying it to him wearing my grand goal the shirt with the shirtless Viking grand goals I think is is is what what he's gonna go with.


Francisco Mahfuz 51:03

Well, I I very much. Watch that when it comes out. And yeah, this was this is this is a pleasure. I know you reached out for speaker while back and I I didn't know exactly what we were going to talk about. But I actually had about 10 other things here. I didn't come anywhere near close to touching so. So yeah, I'm very, very glad we've done this. Alright. And now other than the other than the book, who is called, which is called the ego and the dragon and it can be found pretty much anywhere books are found in the documentary that will come out if people want to find out more about you where I mean, there's plenty of places but where do you want them to go first? Yeah.


Chris Duffin 51:44

And easy point. There's not a whole lot on my personal website Chris Duffin calm. But it links to all my businesses. There's a link to the actually there's a free download of the audio book through that link. So it's got basically all the avenues to find me all the social media. So it's pretty easy, Chris Duffin calm and your social media handle is pretty good. It Yes, mad scientist Duffin is usually what I go by, you can just type my name into any social platform, I'll probably be the first thing that pops up. So I don't really get too particular about spelling all that stuff out. But yes, I'm known as the mad scientist for some reason, you know, a little crazy. But I just have strength, right? Yes, yes. Sorry, that scientist of strength, and that's on Instagram. So the two platforms that I am on a lot, but the two ones that actually interact with people on his Instagram and in LinkedIn. So


Francisco Mahfuz 52:41

basically, it's a very easy is a very easy divide. Do you want to see Chris with our shirt on Instagram? Chris has a shirt on LinkedIn. Perfect. Okay, fantastic. Well, thank you very much for your time again, Chris. This was a pleasure.


Chris Duffin 52:57

It was great time. Thank


Francisco Mahfuz 52:57

you. Alright, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time.


I hope you enjoy the show. And if you did, I'd love for you to subscribe and leave us a review or a rating on the Apple podcasts app. It's very easy. You open the app and find this show and scroll down a little and when you see the stars tap. I'd really appreciate it and it does help other people find this. And if you'd like to get in touch or find out more about what I do, reach out to me on LinkedIn or visit my website story powers.com



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