Sometimes the true story of a hero is more crazy than the folk tales.
Top of the mornin’ to ya! In a few days, the world will be celebrating the most gangster of holidays, that’s right, Saint Patrick’s Day. While most of the world will grab a green beer (or ten) while watching a parade in the freezing cold, they will never know the true story of one of the world’s best entrepreneurs of all time, and of course, I am talking about Maewyn Succat aka Saint Patrick.
So grab your children as I tell you a wee story: I have learned a lot in life from creating my own non for profit, becoming a bestselling author, and creating my own coffee roasting business. I have learned it is a lot of hard work and you fail more than you succeed. This blog post will show you seven ways to achieve success in your life, with your family, at work. I will share what I have learned from studying the life of Saint Patrick. I will not bother citing the facts, just know I got most of them from the book he wrote before he died called The Confessio; pick it up.
1: When life slaps you in the face, slap it back
This life has a way of coming up behind us and kicking us in the back of the kneecap to knock us off balance as it sucker punches us on our way down. That is just life, that’s science. When life -knocks us down we have two choices: Choice one – stay down and hope people feel sorry for us. I call this “playing the victim.” I bet you can think of at least 10 people right now off the top of your head who play the victim. Choice two – we can get up and swing back, you can even shin kick life followed by an uppercut, I call that “the Irish way.” With choice two, you end up using your obstacles as opportunities. That is how you overcome anything in business or in your personal life.
Life lesson from Patrick: This young thug was born in Britain (not Ireland). I know crazy right? Mind blown. He was born 385 A.D.
One sunny afternoon at the age of 16 he was playing with his little buddies, most likely he was playing red rover red rover send Billy over or some other popular 5th-century game. He looked out to the sea to see a bunch of pirate ships coming his way. As he turned around to run like Usain Bolt, he found himself face to face with a group of Irish Pirates who had already landed. After these pirates killed a bunch of people they decided it would be profitable to take a bunch of young people captive. Patty boy was among this group of kidnapped capital. To make a long story short, he was sold into slavery to a rich Druid chief who beat, tortured and worked him for six years. However, young Patrick took this horrible backhand across the face that life dealt him and made the best of it. He remembered the stories that his dad told him about the Gospel (his dad was a church deacon) and he decided to dedicate his life to God as he was serving his master as a slave. This choice and his lifestyle influenced his captors so much that they all called him “the holy boy.”
2: Listen to your heart (not the Swedish pop duo Roxette’s song)
In business as well as in life you will often have an inner feeling or desire about different opportunities, I call it a step out in faith moment. In these moments you have to trust something other than yourself. You may have a dream or a desire or a passion to do something, and that something may be risky. This is what we learn from Saint Patrick, “Go do it, don’t be a punk.” When your heart tells you to go, you go. Not making a move is for cowards and if you are reading this post you are not a coward. I am giving you permission right now to go do that thing that is in your heart to do. Today is the day.
Life lesson from Patrick: This is maybe my favorite part of the real-life story of Saint Patrick. One night Patrick was sleeping and he heard a voice that he says was God (I would bet a million Irish pounds [that was their money up until 2002 before it became the Euro] that the voice sounded just like Morgan Freeman).
This voice told him, “Get up, your boat is waiting to take you back to Britain.” So this dude who is a straight G in my book for doing this got up and snuck out to escape his place of enslavement to travel by foot over 200 miles through the woods in the dark, in the frost to find a boat that would take him home to Britain. Talk about trusting in your dreams! I am sure he was taking a chance of being caught and killed if found by his captor. After he reached the shoreline he happened to find a boat that was full of Irish Wolfhounds that was being shipped to Britain. Young 22-year-old Patrick asked the captain if he could hitch a ride home, he explained to him how he was kidnapped six years ago by pirates and sold into slavery. He pulled at the big rough seafarer’s heartstrings so the captain had no choice but to say, “No, get lost kid.” I bet you didn’t see that coming, my little gentle reader. So Patrick started to head back, probably thinking, “if I can return maybe my captor will have mercy on me and not kill me.” As he was just about to re-enter to woods, a hand grabbed his shoulder and said: “Come back boy, the captain changed his mind.”
3: Be a natural born hustler
In life, nothing is more effective than good old hustling. When you find out your interests and passions your next step is to hustle and make it happen. Success is 90% hustle and 10% Irish Luck. That statement is backed up by facts; my facts. If it is business, family or your relationships nothing is more effective than good old fashioned hustling.
Life lesson from Patrick: When Patrick got back to Britain he decided his dream was to serve God with his entire life. That was his life goal, he had passion for it.
So he hustled. He found out what he needed to do to achieve this dream and he made it happen. He went into the monastery, which is a big word for a religious community, and studied for 12 years. He lost 6 years of his life to slavery and now he gave up 12 years of his life to achieve his dreams and desires. How many years are you willing to give up to achieve your dreams? This makes Patrick one of the greatest hustlers of all time. As a matter of fact, I am now going to dub him the Captain of Hustlers. Another interesting fact is this: when he ended up changing his actual name to Patrick, he was made a bishop and he spent 20 years running his own church in Britain. Things were great, he had his career and he was living out his dream. Until one day he had another dream and realized there was more to accomplish in life.
4: You need to have vision like Whoa!
Just like Black Rob said in his song, “You see something ill it’s whoa, money ain’t a problem you see my doe is like whoa.” You see, you need to have a plan, a vision, of where you want to go in life. You have to actually sit down and write down your plan for your life, your plan for business or your job, your plan for your family. You write that down then write down how you plan on getting to that vision. I live my life by this simple saying, “if you don’t plan, then plan to fail.” My dream for everyone reading this is for you to get a vision for your job, family, and life that is like whoa!
Life lesson from Patrick: At an old age Patty boy was just getting started. The average life expectancy in Pat’s time was about 25-30 years old.
At age 48, when most would just retire or finish out their life Patrick decided to change the world, proving to all of us that age does not matter. You may be 16 or 108, it’s not too late. At age 48 he had another dream. This time it was a dream of the Irish people on the shoreline begging the “Holy Boy” from youth to come back. Patrick took this as another sign from God to go back and preach the Gospel to an entire nation. This is an important fact to know: all of Ireland was considered barbaric and unreachable by the other Christians. So Patrick was assigned with what seemed to be an impossible task since there were no Christians in Ireland. Patrick had to design a vision, write out a plan of action and execute his plan if he wanted to be successful. And for the record, his success was like whoa!
5) Rise and Grind is the only way to shine
If you want to be successful in any area of life you have to put in the work. You have to take your information that you hustled to get, take your vision and take your plan of how you are going to accomplish your vision and then as the fake Don King lookalike from Rocky V said, “Put some hustle behind that muscle.” So many of us have a plan and a vision but then we sit back and wait magically for success to come to us. But not Patrick, not me and not you. We will put in that work. What is grinding? I am glad you asked, grinding is the task of doing something over and over again to obtain a goal (that’s the Colby Sutter definition). I had a wise man by the name of Jason Humphrey once ask me, “Colby, how do you define hustle and grind?” I told him hustle is getting all the information you can about whatever you want to accomplish, finding out the what, the how, the why and any obstacles that may come in your way. Then the grind is the actual physical part, doing the task at hand. That’s life changing information I just gave you and now you know my secret. Boom, knowledge (drop imaginary mic here).
Life lesson from Patrick: Patrick had an amazing work ethic and he was just a plain genius. He went to Ireland with the goal to spread the Gospel to a lost nation.
He did this by first meeting with all the kings, chiefs of tribes, leaders, and anyone else in charge of the masses. He knew if he could convert leaders the rest would follow. This strategy played a big role in his success, but he also would put in the work. He was a grinder. He would live with each tribe for months doing life with them. He worked with them, ate with them and built a team of leaders to follow him around as he would go to new tribes. He created new leaders to help do more work for him so he could reach more people. Before you know it, Patrick was traveling with a posse of roughneck Irish gangsters doing life with every person he came into contact with. This is how he influenced change among the masses.
6) Haters gonna hate:
As the great Biggie Smalls said, “If you don’t know, now you know.” In life, whenever you start chasing after a dream, whenever you stop dancing and start making money moves (it’s a song and I’m sure most of you don’t know that line) people are going to start hating. People will doubt you and tell you that you will fail, they will tell you to give up or don’t start. I have a few words for you to tell those people but being a pastor I can’t tell you what they are, other than say, “Haters back off!” (side note: that is one of my favorite Netflix shows). People who hate produce doubt and doubt produces fear. You cannot let fear decide any of your actions in life. Fear is the enemy, say that with me, look at little Timmy next to you and say it, “FEAR IS THE ENEMY.” I choose to live my life by surrounding myself with people who will throw gasoline on my dreams, not water (that is some free advice for you; actually it is not free please send me 100 dollars for that advice, thank you).
Life lesson from Patrick: This part of the story is where old Patty boy receives OG status in my book. He was making such an impact in Ireland people started to hate on him, threating him with jail and murder.
In his book, he writes one of the most gangster things I ever read and now I want to quote it for you, “Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promise of heaven. Did I come to Ireland without the help of God because I chose to? It was God who brought me here. I am bound by the Holy Spirit so that I can’t even see my own family. Is it my own doing that I feel blessed mercy toward the very people who once enslaved me and killed so many male and female servants from my father’s household? I am a freeborn man by the measure of this world but I sold my noble birth to serve others. I am not ashamed of this nor do I regret it. I am a slave of Christ for a foreign people for the sake of the indescribable glory of life everlasting which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Patrick actually went to visit his old slave master to pay him for running away. The very rich slave owner got word of this and out of having so much pride and hate because “haters gonna hate” he ended up taking all his possessions and put them inside his mansion. He then lit his mansion on fire to burn them all up. To top it off he must have been cold that day because he ended up throwing himself into the fire because he could not face the embarrassing fact that his former slave has become more successful than he. This proves once again that hatred and jealousy kills. Keep your eyes in your own lane and just make moves as you ignore all the haters around you.
7) Legend status: (follow these steps and you will not only succeed you will create a legacy)
“If you follow these rules you will have made bread to break up, if not 24 years on the wake-up, slug hit your temple, watch your frame shake up.” Sorry – Biggie Smalls lyrics again – I couldn’t resist. But if you do follow these steps you will succeed at anything you do in life, you will achieve results. You just need to define for yourself the meaning of success. What is it for you? For Patrick, it was to share the Gospel to a lost nation, and he got results.
Life lesson from Patrick: Listen to these stats from Saint Patrick’s life: he is credited for planting 700 churches, creating numerous schools, ordaining 5,000 people into priesthood, and converting and baptizing over 120,000 people himself.
He is credited with converting an entire nation to Christianity. Some say he raised people from the dead and others say he drove all the snakes out of Ireland (I think snakes is a metaphor for chasing all the Paganism out of Ireland) but either way his stats speak for themselves and prove this man was a legend among legends and we can learn a lot from his life.
Everyone from Catholics to non-Catholics to Atheists to puppy dog lovers celebrate Saint Patrick’s day, but most do not know the true story of this man’s life. So, before you pick up your green beer (maybe pour a little out for my homie Patrick, if you crazy kids still do that) and wear your green shirt to watch a parade of random strangers, please take a second and just reflect on this man’s amazing life. Take a second and think how you may be able to apply some of his principles to your life.
Saint Patrick died March 17th 461
My mom died March 17th, 2002 (This is in memory of my hero who inspired life-changing freedom in my life; my mom who is a legend in my world)