Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about the benefits of kindness 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 parallel worlds and how the world you live in is a reflection of yourself, and it’s true for everybody. Everybody’s world is a reflection of themselves, and those worlds are not necessarily the same. There are no realities in this world, there are only perceptions, and your perception is influenced and people even react to you based on how you act yourself.
I remember when I was much younger and still living in Vancouver, Canada, which is where I grew up, and one day I got on the bus—and I got on the bus the same time every day, so I got to know the bus driver and I was friendly to him and he was friendly back. And I remember one day in particular I just didn’t have any money on me. So I totally forgot, I ran out my door and I didn’t have any money. And so I said to the bus driver, I was like, “Dude, I’m really sorry. I don’t have any cash. I totally forgot. Can I get you the bus fare tomorrow?” He’s like, “Don’t even worry about it. Just get on the bus, don’t even worry.” He was super-nice to me. And so because of that I was more aware and appreciative of the bus driver. I’m like, “Man, he was really nice to me, I can’t believe. I was embarrassed almost.”
And the bus was very full, so I was standing near the front of the bus, and two stops later some guy got on the bus and he was rude and mean to the bus driver, and the bus driver was rude and mean back to the guy. And that’s when it kind of struck me. I was like, “Wow, this is really interesting. The guy who had just been really nice to me, did something really generous to me, was now being rude to this other guy.”
The world is a reflection of yourself. If you’re mean to people, people get that vibe right away. Even if you don’t even say anything, they can feel it. Have you ever walked up to someone or met someone and it feels like there arrows coming out of them? They’re just completely repelling other people. And then comparing that to meeting someone else where as soon as you meet them you feel this warmth and welcoming, that’s your subconscious mind reacting to hundreds or thousands of tiny subtle subcommunications, little things about how they’re holding themselves or the look in their eye or their face, the way they use their hands, the tonality of their voice. You notice these things without even realizing it.
Even a baby can distinguish between a frowning face and a smiling face, and it’s seven months. A baby will use the facial expression on your face as a social cue of how they should be acting themselves at seven months. So we’re hardwired to do this. You react differently to someone who has negative repellent energy than you do to someone who has positive welcoming energy. So the world is a reflection of yourself.
This happened just the other to me that I was in a shopping mall in like the food court and there was this big lineup at a place that sells Thai food. It’s a great place called Coriander. It’s in downtown San Francisco. Anyway, it was rush and everyone was like wanting to get it faster and faster, and there was this one guy in particular behind the counter and you could tell he was a little agitated by everyone rushing. And it was a very busy time. It was like 6:30 in this evening, so it was very busy. And you could tell, he was not angry, but you could tell he was probably tired or exhausted.
And I didn’t do anything intentionally, I didn’t really plan it out, but when I got to the front of the line and he was there, I noticed that he was wearing a really nice watch. And I like watches, and so I just was like, “Hey, what kind of watch is that?” and he told me what. I don’t even remember what it was, but I said to him, I was like, “It’s a nice watch.” I didn’t make a big deal of it at all, but I had complimented him and treated him as a human being rather than just a vehicle of getting food on the plate and me paying for it and getting out. So in other words, his job was basically…he was just like a machine practically. He could have been a robot to most of these people. But just because he happened to be wearing a watch and I’m interested in watches, I asked him what kind of watch it was, so all of a sudden his humanity came out. And you could tell that he was happy that I had complimented him on his watch.
And what does he do? He immediately starts…like he treated me nicer. He said, “I’m going to give you a little bit more.” The curry, the yellow curry chicken, was just about out. There was still enough that he could have easily given me what was at the bottom of the dish, but he’s like, “I’ll give you the new one.” And I had just seen him just like three or four people before me, he had switched out another one, and what he did was he switched it out and then he took the leftovers of what was left and he put it on top of the new. He didn’t do that with me. He took the old—and there was enough for me. It was enough that I needed. And he put it aside and he put the new one in and he served me out of the new one entirely and gave it to me, and he said to me, he’s like, “I’ll just give you the fresh one.” And he gave it to me, and then he put what was left from the old one top of the new one after he had served me.
The point is he was nice. He was nice to me. He went out of his way to be nice to me. Why? Because I was nice to him. And there’s no genius behind this. It had just happened by luck because I noticed his watch. But this happens all the time. And so I encourage you to have an awareness of this. When you’re kind to people, they’re going to be kinder back.
Even referring to people by name, people hear their own name—they do studies on this stuff, guys. People react way differently when you say, “Hey, how are you doing, Patrick?”—my name is Patrick—rather than just, “Hey, how are you doing?” The person who’s hearing it doesn’t even notice consciously the difference, but subconsciously they notice it and they react differently. The world is a reflection of yourself. Be positive. Be kind.
I have a friend of mine, his name’s Rod Brown and he owns a business. He’s done very well in his life. He’s got many employees. And he told me once that in the hiring process, he said, “Kindness counts.” He said to me, he’s like more than anything else, more than the specific skills that they have or their experience or anything else, is people who are kind. Even this, they study like people who lose their jobs, 85% of people who lose their jobs lose their jobs because they didn’t get along with other people in the group. Only 15% of people lose their jobs because of a lack of skills or capability. Eighty-five percent lose their jobs because they didn’t get along with people. Why? Because the world is a reflection of themselves. So if those people are negative, it projects negativity into the whole group.
So imagine there are negative people in the world and they live in a horrible world that I’ve never seen. I’ve never seen that world. Meanwhile, I’ve just always kind of been… I’m not a super-kind person but I’ve always kind of been kind to people, and I have unbelievable things that happen to me all the time. People do nice things. They go out of their way to do nice things for me and I’m super-grateful for that.
But at the end of the day, it’s a function of how I interact with the world. There are parallel worlds and it’s your choice which world you want to live in. If you’re positive, you’re going to live in a better world. And if you’re negative—I notice it even when I’m having a bad day—it seems like the whole world is bad when I’m having a bad day. You notice what you want to notice. If you’re in a better mood and you interact with the world in a positive way, the world’s going to interact with you positively back. Human beings, they’ll be nicer to you. They’ll notice that you’re kind, so be kind. It’ll make a huge difference.
My name is Patrick. Thanks so much for watching this video, and remember to always 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.