Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about peak experiences and achieving your true potential 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 peak experiences and what makes them feel like peak experiences. And the truth is, it’s the struggle that leads to the peak experiences that makes them feel so substantial and so significant in our lives.
And I have to look at my own life as an example. The first time I went to Dubai to speak—I was there for seven days—I was pinching myself every day. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed so crazy and so substantial in my life. It was such an overwhelming…truthfully, it really was an emotional experience for me to be there because I was like, “This is unbelievable.”
Why was that? Because I knew how hard it was to get there. I knew how hard that struggle. I knew the years. It didn’t just happen. It didn’t just come together. It was years in the making. And it’s not that that particular trip was years in the making, but I never would have gotten the opportunity to go had I not done all those hundreds of little things along the way to position myself for an opportunity like that.
And I just recently got back from Moscow—I was there for the first time to speak—same thing. I was there and I remember I was out in Red Square by the Kremlin, and I was like, “This is insane that I have come here to do what I do, to do what I love to do.” Why was it so substantial? Why was it so overwhelming for me? Because of the struggle I went through to get that far.
Here’s the thing. If you get something for free, it’s not worth anything. You don’t attribute any value to—my mother used to say this and I hated her for it. I hated when she said that. She didn’t want to give me anything, and she always said if we get it for free it won’t be worth anything to you. You won’t value it. And I hated her for it because I lived in a—
My parents bought a house in a nice neighborhood but frankly we probably couldn’t quite afford it, so we were always struggling to be in that neighborhood. And I had some friends that had a lot of money and they always got the best of everything, and I didn’t have those things. And I wanted those things. And even when she had the money, she was like, “We’re not going to give it to you because you won’t value it.” It’s true. It’s true. I hated her for it but it’s true.
The struggle is the victory. Without the struggle, there is no victory. In other words, if I didn’t put the work in ahead of time and all of a sudden someone just came out to me and was like, “Hey, you’re going to go Dubai and speak for a group of people out there,” and I hadn’t put any of the effort in along the way or maybe some tiny fraction of what actually took place over the six, seven, eight years that led up to that opportunity, it would have been like rollercoaster ride. It would have been like rollercoaster ride. It means nothing. You forget about it two minutes after you’re off.
It’s fun. It’s super-fun. You have a great time. It’s exciting. Everything’s cool. But the second it’s over, it’s over. You don’t even think about it. It doesn’t have the same kind of psychological impact, or impact on your psychology I should say, because there was no struggle that led up to it.
The struggle is essential for peak experiences. If you don’t struggle to get something, you’re never going to experience that crazy overwhelming emotional experience of achieving the victory that you’ve worked so hard for. That feeling is extraordinary, and I’m sure you’ve probably had it in your life, but some people more than others. Some people never stretch for that unattainable goal. Some people never take the risks to really try to become what they’re capable of becoming.
A saying that I say many times in my life is, “Become what you have the potential to be.” And the interesting thing about that is that your potential is a moving target, because every time you stretch, every time you try to get something else—something else unattainable, something else beyond your comfort zone—you grow, which actually pushes your potential even further up. In other words, you’re capable of becoming even that much more. The more you stretch, the bigger your potential becomes.
It’s an extraordinarily satisfying feeling, but you have to go through that struggle. You have to be willing to and actually crave it, knowing that if you go through it there are going to be rewards on the other side. Peak experiences in your life require a struggle to achieve them. That’s what makes them a peak experience.
So I encourage you to think about whatever that goal is, whatever that dream. Why do people call them dreams? Because then there’s no responsibility attached to it because it’s a dream. It doesn’t need to be real. It can be real. You can fight for that dream and make that dream into a goal, and then that goal into a reality. And if you do, you will experience those peak experiences where you can sit back and just—I mean, the feeling is extraordinary when you achieve something that you’ve truly fought for. So live your life that way. It’ll change the outcome, I promise.
Thank for watching this video. 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.