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The Heart of HDC, Part 1: Try New Things

Houston Dinner Club is a chance to try new things.

If you look at the homepage for Houston Dinner Club, you will see that we plan sophisticated dining experiences in a relaxed environment for you to connect with others. We want to build community, give our guests and members a chance to try something new, and celebrate Houston’s dining scene.

These things all sound great on paper, but to truly understand what Houston Dinner Club is about would also require understanding why Houston Dinner Club exists and the heart of what we are creating. Of course, explaining the “what” of Houston Dinner Club is easier than explaining the “why.” The short answer is that all the things that HDC stands for and looks to create can lead to personal growth and make us better people, friends, employees, and neighbors. Trying new things, meeting new people, and belonging to a community is good for us. We will focus on each of these things in a three-part series; today, we will talk about the importance of trying new things.

At HDC events, people often tell me that they “had driven past this restaurant 100 times but never stopped in” or “never knew this place existed” even though they live a mile away. We humans are creatures of habit, and we often stick to our daily routines. Our routines, however, include more than our regular rotation of restaurants and favorite foods – it also includes how we spend our free time and who we hang out with. Trying new things is, at times, uncomfortable and we can become fearful with questions like “what if I don’t know anyone? Will I look stupid? What if I hate it?”

One beautiful part of trying something new is it helps us confront those fears and reduce those negative thoughts. The more you put yourself out there, the more you set yourself up for success. According to psychologist Rich Walker, “People who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones than people who have fewer experiences.” You may doubt yourself and wonder what may happen, but what is the BEST thing that could happen? This applies to so many things in life, whether it be your career, your hobbies, or your relationships. You might find a new restaurant you love or meet new friends! After all, even your favorite places, foods, and people were new to you at some point.

Another reason why trying something new is important is that it can broaden our horizons and give us a chance to learn something new – both about the experience and about ourselves. By switching things up, we can become more motivated, inspired, and well-rounded. It also gives us something to talk about with others, which can lead to improved communication and make us feel more interesting and confident. Life is too short to spend it waiting on life to happen to you. If you are willing to put yourself out there, you may be surprised how much fun you have.

All of this ties back into personal growth and health. This is more than just living for the moment. In an article for CNN, cognitive psychologist Gary Marcus pointed out the following:

As Aristotle realized, there is a difference between the pleasures of the moment (hedonia), and the satisfaction that comes from constantly developing and living one’s life to the fullest (eudaimonia). In recent years, scientists have finally begun to study eudaimonia. Research suggests that the greater sense of purpose and personal growth associated with eudaimonia correlates with lower cortisol levels, better immune function, and more efficient sleep.

Aren’t those things we could all get behind?

At HDC, we curate new dinner experiences for our members and guests and create a welcoming, fun and friendly environment, because we understand that going to a dinner event with people you don’t know might seem intimidating. By taking a chance and trying something new, like a dinner event with us, you can reduce that fear of the unknown, create a new wonderful memory, and learn more about yourself in the process.

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