Pat Croce on the invincibility of vulnerability

When we create our stories each week, one of the most agonizing decisions is what to call people. How do you distill a life—in the case of our storytellers, an otherworldly life—into the three or four words of a title scroll?

We were lucky enough to spend part of an afternoon with Pat Croce this week, and honestly, we weren’t quite sure what to expect.

Motivational speaker, entrepreneur, best-selling author, former owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, founder of the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum, and legendary optimist, Pat has been out of the spotlight for a couple of years now.

When we heard about his recent gift to his alma mater West Chester University of PA and their WCU Center for Contemplative Studies we were a little surprised. The guy with a self-professed inability to sit still? We had to know more.

What we found was the same energy and passion that we had always loved about Pat, but tempered from a year and a half of intense study in the practice of mindfulness. What we found was a being at peace, but characteristically committed to his path. What we found was a gift. Pat told us of his gift of a “satori” that set him on his path, and for us, the gift was Pat himself.

I still remember the day he left the 76ers–I was heartbroken. AI could be traded, Larry could go off to chase another ring, but Pat, Pat seemed irreplaceable. In many ways, he still does.

Life is crazy and unexpected, but isn’t that the beauty of it? Here, Pat tells us of how his perception of fear and living courageously has changed over these last couple of years.

And wait for it, 3MS fans–that “V” word pops up again at the end.

Pat Croce is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time — a titan in sports, business, and wellness. But it was never enough – he chased, he achieved, yet he was not fulfilled.

In the second part of our talk, hear Pat credit his meditation practice for laying the foundation for a spiritual awakening that cracked him wide open.

By having the courage to examine his motivations for the first time in his life, Pat’s discovered the path to true peace. Still, he fears reverting back to the “knucklehead” he once was.

When our brightest men bare themselves open like this, it is sacred ground.

Follow Pat’s wisdom on Twitter @pat_croce

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