Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can cover the topic of defeat and the opportunities for growth during times of struggle at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about learning and progress, and in what situations do we learn and progress.

Here’s the reality—it’s a very short video—we never learn in victory, we only learn in defeat. You never learn in victory, because when you’re victorious no one ever asks the question why. We just celebrate. You won. You’re victorious. You succeeded. So everyone just celebrates and what actually happens psychologically is we get an unrealistically high sense of self-confidence.

In other words, when things go your way, like even in the stock market or gambling, if you win a few times, people’s psychology immediately thinks that they somehow deserve the credit for it even though it’s just chance in that particular situation. Well, the same is true in life that when you succeed at something, people become overly confident and they don’t question themselves at all anymore. They think they’ve got it figured out. “Well, I succeed.” You don’t learn a thing.

You learn in defeat. You learn in failure, because when you fail that’s when you ask the question why. Why didn’t it work out? Why did I fail? Why did it not work? That is very, very powerful. That’s when you actually expand your thinking. That’s when you consider other options. That’s when you look at other possibilities. You ask the question why. People learn in defeat. Progress is rooted in failure, not success. When you succeed, you stop progressing in most cases.

When you succeed, you stop progressing in most cases.

The research supports this. If you want to progress, you need to fail. I’m not saying you should seek failure—you should try to succeed—but the bottom line is that many of the things you try may fail, and in my case I would say at least two-thirds of the things that I do fail. I’m constantly trying new things and many of them fail. And there were times in my life, there were like six, seven years where I made no money at all, I was struggling like crazy and I was frustrated, and truthfully, I was angry. I was angry, but I was learning and I was progressing. And the roots of my success today were in those failures. That’s where it started. It started with those defeats because that was the time when I started to ask the question why.

So whenever you have failure, when things that you try, they don’t work out, it didn’t work out the way you wanted – learn, and know that you’re learning, and know that that struggle and that emotional trauma of the whole thing is spurring innovation in your mind. Ask the question why and think about new possibilities, because the defeats that you have today are the genesis of the victories that you have tomorrow. You never learn in victory, you only learn in defeat.

So embrace defeat, embrace failure, because we need it. If we’re going to succeed in the future, it has to start there.

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.