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Go Find Your Four Leaf Clover!

St. Patrick's day has significant meaning to me. Not only is St. Patrick's day a major holiday observed around the globe, a great time to drink and party, but it also is the day my parents tied the knot. On March 17th, 1990, Eileen and Don Crochet decided to take their love affair to the next step. For many that means moving in together, for others it means getting a dog or a pet, but for this soon to be family it meant the joining of two souls under the house of God to make a new family. My Dad did get lucky by finding my mom and I am lucky to have been born in their household. St. Patrick's day and the Irish traditions always have held a strong place in our home.

Growing up as a kid, my friends and I would always try to find a four-leaf clover in the yard and at school. This seemed to be the thing to do in the spring, at least that is when I was not studying or at baseball practice. My search, along with every other kid, believed in the ole Irish folklore that "If one finds a four-leaf clover on St. Patrick's day then all year that person will have good luck."

Now I learned later on in life from a very special man, Paul Standard, Head Varsity Football Coach at St. Pius X, that luck simply put is when preparation meets opportunity. The ones who are lucky are the ones who were prepared. Coach Mike Houston, former Head Football Coach at The Citadel, put it this way; "Your will to prepare to win must be greater than your will to win." Bottom line is... preparation is the key to "getting lucky".

Now, Saint Patrick's Day, known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on the 17th of March, two days after the ides of March. It is said that this day marks the traditional death date of Saint Patrick. Many say "one can find the luck of the Irish" or "on this day you'll discover the gold at the end of the rainbow", but I want to separate the fiction from reality. Getting lucky is not a fictional unachievable thing. Yes, it takes time, energy, effort, and the occasional "luck", but if you prepare properly, have a game plan, and are persistent... then eventually your "luck" will come to fruition and the leprechaun can go take his pot of baloney somewhere else.

Achieving your dreams is not something just in the fairy tales. Many American's already have found their four-leaf clover. If you put in the work now and never give up... eventually your persistence will pay off. According to the Small Business Association of America, "there are over 29.6 million small businesses that employ over 57.9 million Americans". Sounds like to me that there are 29.6 million people who have gotten "lucky". Or how about this fact? According to the NCAA only 6% of high school athletes will play college sports and only 1% of that 6% will play Division I sports. As being part of the 1%, I can already tell you that not only am I blessed to have played Division I football, but this dream of mine was not just given to me or did I somehow luckily find it. My will to prepare to achieve this dream was greater than just the will to do it. I spent thousands of hours training on the field since I was seven years old and hundreds of hours in the weight room. This preparation gave me the ability to seize the moment when the opportunity presented itself. I was prepared and that is why I was able to get over six Division I football offers. Hard work pays off as long as the person working never gives up, works at it every day and is persistent.

Another example I can relate to getting "lucky" is publishing my book. Yes, I am a published author and I have already sold over 1,000 copies of my book; however, this did not just happen by chance. I had a vision and every day I worked my butt off to try to get 1% closer to attaining it. Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." "Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." I could have complained and felt sorry for myself thinking that my dream of publishing a book could never come to fruition; however, I was motivated and doing it for a much bigger purpose than myself.

During the most stressful of times... I was diagnosed with PTSD, general anxiety disorder, and was working a 9am-5pm job for a large corporation, but this did not stop me. It motivated me. Every day I came home and spent 4 - 5 hours a night writing. I did this for 18 months! There were many lows and many times I felt like quitting, but I trusted the process. I knew that God has got my back and no matter what as long as I stuck with it and kept writing one page at a time... eventually I will have a novel that is worth reading.

My dad told me the other day... "Joe don't try to be successful. Success is the measure of what other people measure you by. Joe, you need to set independent self-goals and strive to accomplish them. Accomplishment is much greater than a since of false pride from others." My dad is right. Don't do things to please others... do things to please yourself. The biggest example of false success is in Corporate America. You will never get lucky working for the machine. In a large corporation, no one is going to care about you and your job promotion at the end of the day. The company is going to continue to do business with or without you. So, enjoy that title now because eventually the company will do layoffs or will audit its personnel and do budget cuts. The biggest mistake a person can do is put all of his or her eggs in one basket. If you don't have multiple streams of income than what do you do when your one revenue stream dries up?

I hope this is a wakeup call for you. Every day you should be working on something aside from your job to better you spiritually, mentally, physically emotionally, and financially. If you do this than your "luck" will never run out. I don't want to discourage you as a reader from continuing to work for your well-paying job because that is one heck of an accomplishment. I just don't want you to jump on the boat without a life vest in case that boat sinks. I want to urge you as my reader to keep God in your life, set a goal, and work every day trying to accomplish it.

So what are you waiting for?!?... Go out, get dirty and go find your four-leaf clover. Everyone deserves to find atleast one!