Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about “personal responsibility” at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of this video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about personal responsibility – personal responsibility, taking responsibility over your own life. So this is kind of a classic harsh Patrick message.

But think back in your life, just look at your life – what are the repeating patterns that happen in your life? If you just take a second right now, what are those repeating patterns that seem to happen over and over and over again? And now think to yourself, what do all those different situations have in common? They have you in common. They have you in common. No matter what situation you look at in your life, you are always part of the problem and part of the solution. You’re both. You’re both. Your reality, the person that you are, just like the person that I am, we impact our surroundings. Our lives are a function of our own decisions.

Now, of course there are things that happen outside of our control that can happen in our lives and a lot of that just is random or whatever else. But let me tell you, the vast majority of circumstances in your life are there because of a series of good decisions you’ve made in the past or a series of bad decisions you’ve made in the past, and usually it’s a combination of both. No one is 100% making bad decisions or 100% making good decisions. Nobody is on either side of that extreme. We’re all in the middle somewhere where we’re making some good choices, some bad choices. But what I encourage you to do is to be more aware. Be a little harsh with yourself and say, “What role am I playing in this reality?”

And I’ve got two examples for you. One, a friend of mine, his brother, he constantly loses his jobs. The guy is actually pretty good at getting jobs. He goes out, he interviews – the guy gets jobs. He gets hired. But he gets fired constantly within two, three months, four months. He just constantly loses his job. And if you talk to him, he always has a reason: This guy was crazy, he was unreasonable, or that situation happened. He always has a story of it was never his fault. Of course it was his fault. Of course it was his fault. The roles he’s playing consistently play out the same way. They consistently play out exactly the same way and he has a very big part in that eventuality that repeats itself over and over and over again in his life.

He’s part of the problem. He’s not 100% of the problem. I’m not saying that 100% of the problem is his, but he plays a part and it’s a percentage, somewhere between 0 and 100, and I would say in his case it’s over 50%, is his fault. That’s what you have control over. You only have control over yourself. If you want to change the patterns in your life, you have to change your own behavior and start adjusting things. This is an effort that goes your entire life. It’s an effort that I’m in and you’re already in it yourself. We all do this naturally, but try and cultivate awareness and be more conscious of these relationships.

There’s a guy that I know—this is the second example—and his girlfriend cheated on him, and that is also a repeating pattern in his life. Now, look, cheating is wrong. What she did is wrong. No one’s going to condone cheating. I am certainly not condoning cheating. But at the end of the day, was he part of that problem? Of course. Of course he was. She cheated for a reason. And we don’t need to get into the specifics of what those reasons were just like the reasons of my buddy’s brother who loses his jobs. It’s not relevant. But the point is, of course he was part of the problem. Inevitably, she wasn’t fulfilled in the relationship and she ended up going somewhere else, and it’s not the first time it has happened. It’s not the first time it has happened.

So these are repeating patterns, and he needs to take a good look at himself in the mirror and say, “What role do I play?” And it’s a tricky thing because we’re friends. I mean, I kind of have an idea of what probably the problem was, but of course I can’t sit there and tell him that, just like maybe there are people in your life who recognize patterns that you have or people in my life that recognize patterns that I have.

Now, I’m very harsh with myself in this way. Like I really want to be aware and know kind of what role I’m playing. So I’ve got plenty of issues in my life but I think I may be slightly more conscious of these things than some other people, but that’s what this video is about, is encouraging you to also be more conscious about these relationships. What role are you playing? In the negative circumstances in your life, the things that you don’t like about your life, what part of it is on you and what can you change? Because, see, that’s where you can make improvements, if you ask yourself why. Why is this happening? What role am I playing in this reality? As soon as you do that, that’s when you can make changes.

Tony Robbins talks about the day you make the decision, and that is a metaphor in a sense but it’s true in all cases that once you have an awareness and once you’re like, “Yes, I am playing a role,” that’s the moment that you can start to change course and you can start to make adjustments so that maybe that situation won’t happen as often in the future. So think to yourself, what are those patterns? What are the repeating patterns in your life? The only thing those patterns have in common is you, so be more aware of that and ask yourself those questions so you can start to make change, just like I have patterns in my life and I’m always trying to ask myself, “What role do I play? What part of this is my own fault?” so then I can make changes.

That’s what taking responsibility is all about. That’s what personal responsibility is all about, is to say, “This is on me. My life is in my control. The things that happen that are good in my life, those are my victories. The things that happen that are bad in my life, some percentage of that is my own fault.” An awareness of that, you can start to take personal responsibility and make those changes and improve your life, and I hope that you do just as I do for myself.

Thanks so much for watching this video. As always, my name is Patrick, reminding you to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.