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Story. Action. Hope.

Stories about hope and ways to share hope

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Patrick Henry Hughes

“Of course they understand that there are things that I physically cannot do, but perhaps try other things before completely giving up. Learn from the mistakes, don’t dwell on the mistakes, but learn from them and perhaps try to find a way to do better in case a similar opportunity should arrive. Life is truly a blessing and we should all try to live every day to the fullest or as I like to say it, like the last day of summer vacation. I am Patrick Henry Hughes, musician and motivational speaker and I Share Hope.” — Patrick Henry Hughes

Patrick is a remarkable young man who was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk.  Additionally, two steel rods were surgically attached to Patrick’s spine to correct scoliosis.

Despite circumstances that may seem overwhelming, Patrick has overcome these physical issues to excel as a musician, student, performer and public speaker.  Patrick started playing the piano at the age of only nine months and also plays the trumpet and sings. He even participated in the University of Louisville Marching Band for five seasons with help from his father, Patrick John Hughes, who tirelessly maneuvered his wheel chair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band. Patrick was usually a straight ‘A’ student, having received only 3 ‘B’s’ during his entire primary/secondary educational experience and graduated from U of L magna cum laude.  Patrick is a Spanish language major and speaks Spanish fluently.


 

 


29: Patrick Henry Hughes – The clear vision of blind #hope – #isharehope

“Of course they understand that there are things that I physically cannot do, but perhaps try other things before completely giving up. Learn from the mistakes, don’t dwell on the mistakes, but learn from them and perhaps try to find a way to do better in case a similar opportunity should arrive. Life is truly a blessing and we should all try to live every day to the fullest or as I like to say it, like the last day of summer vacation. I am Patrick Henry Hughes, musician and motivational speaker and I Share Hope.”Patrick Hughes

Intro:

Welcome to I Share Hope! The podcast where world leaders share their real stories of hope and how you can use actionable hope to start changing your life today and now here’s your host, Chris Williams.

Chris Williams:

Patrick Hughes is a remarkable young man who has millions and millions of hits on YouTube videos. He is a virtuoso pianist, vocalist, trumpet player, been in multiple marching bands. He has been featured on ESPN, ABC-TV, Oprah, CBS-TV, The Ellen Show, Extreme Make Over Home Edition, FOX-TV, CSTV, NBC-TV, The Today Show, Million Dollar Round Table, The Grand Ole Opry, People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Star Magazine, and many, many others. I’m stopping because this is really amazing and long.

Patrick is doing a lot, but he was born without eyes and without the ability to straighten his limbs. He had two steel rods surgically attached to Patrick’s spine to help him stay straight. I’m going to put so many of these links on the show notes page on isharehope.com so you can see exactly what this guy is doing. You can listen to his music, you can listen to his story and so many of these amazing interviews.

Patrick, thank you for your time. I know you’re busy. Thanks for sharing hope with us today. Tell me more about you. What are you doing today?

Patrick Hughes: 

Well, first of all, it’s so great to be with you all today. I am Patrick Henry Hughes from Louisville, Kentucky. Right now as an occupation, my father and I travel the country and do motivational speaking. We’ve been very blessed to not only travel to different parts of the country, but also different parts of the world and share our story and also play some piano intermittently during our stories. Sort of inspirational type songs to hopefully allow people to see that it doesn’t matter who they are or where they’re coming from. They can do pretty much anything they set their mind to.

Of course, not only do I do this, but I have many hobbies as well. I love to listen to all genres of music, probably my favorite being country. I love to swim, I love to eat pretty much anything except for corn nuts, eggnog, cream of wheat and sardines.But probably my favorite thing of all times to do, I really enjoy watching television game shows, both old and new either on TV or through the internet. I actually have a big dream of hosting one.

Chris Williams: 

Oh fun, you want to host a game show – man that’s a good idea. I’ve never thought of doing that.

Patrick Hughes:

I think it would lots of fun, you know, seeing all of them at work. They seem like – all the hosts I’ve seen seem like they’re having a great time. You’re giving away cash and prizes and the contestants seem like they’d be lots of fun to interact with. It just seems like a great job.

Chris Williams:  

You can make the loser of the game show eat cream of wheat with sardines on top with little dressing of eggnog.

Patrick Hughes:

Sounds good.

Chris Williams:

Your worst nightmare right there on TV.

Patrick Hughes: 

Probably so.

Chris Williams:

All right. Man, let me jump in to questions of hope. So, we ask each host five questions about hope.

Question 1: What is your favorite quote about hope or your definition of hope?

Patrick Hughes:

Definition of hope, to me hope is for example, you’re in a scenario where it seems like all is lost and you literally – it basically just seems like nothing good is going to happen. But, you have a wish that something good will happen, that something better will happen and not only do you wish, but you feel it within your hear that something’s going to happen that will make the situation better and someone will be out there to support you and help you and you’ll be able to achieve something and make your situation better than it should be.

I think one of my favorite hope quotes of all time, I think you’ve mentioned that I was on Oprah and when I did her show, she would do the thing, she would talk to the audience in between commercials and things like that. Of course as some people may know, Oprah helped fund a school in Africa. It helped out some girls in a school in Africa as well. She was talking about how a lot of people were complaining that she was sending her money to this school in Africa when there are so many problems here in the United States that could be solved with this money.

Well first of all, it’s her money, she can do with it what she wants, but then she also pointed out that we have something in this country that they do not have and that is hope.

Chris Williams:

Wow. I was talking to my wife yesterday after another interview I got to do with another amazing guy like yourself and he said some things. We were just kind of talking through, she got to hear a little bit of the interview and we were making that comment that we often, in America, get to say hey just do something. Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and a lane of opportunity, go get it. A lot of people in America even here don’t feel like they have the capacity to do that. But all the more in some countries where the ease of getting a job or finding the next meal or having a roof over your head is not there and you’re right. We have a lot of blessing here and I think a lot of reasons to share that.

Patrick Hughes: 

That’s true. We should always count our blessings. That’s one of the things that I do whenever perhaps some times are a little frustrating for me. I think about the great things that have happened, but even to have that roof over your head and food on the table and a good family or whatever, there are probably millions of people in this world that would love to trade places with you in a heartbeat. No matter how bad you think you’ve got it, there’s always somebody in the world that has it worst.

Chris Williams:

Yes that’s true. Thanks for sharing your hope with those people today. We’re being listened to in over 30 countries at this point. Whenever you’re listening to this, there’s probably more by the time you get this episode out. But, there’s a lot of people listening and I’m glad that you’re willing to share some practical ways we can get there.

Question 2: Who has given you the most hope in your life?

Patrick Hughes:

My family, especially my parents, have given me a lot of hope. Of course, if they had given up on me like that, then I probably wouldn’t have a chance. They made sure that – for example, they had dreams for me as well, but when I was born without eyes and without the ability to walk, some of those dreams were buried. But, they always expected me, whatever the circumstance, to be the best person that I could be.

Of course they understand that there are things that I physically cannot do, but perhaps try other things before completely giving up. As the old expression goes, “no means no” or what have you. Probably the thing that’s given me the most hope and truly a big inspiration to me was a book that I first read about -book. It’s all about kind of that power of positive thinking and I use a lot of the little pieces of advice from the book to kind of help me in my life – thinking positively. For example, if there’s something that I hope will happen, perhaps writing down a little snippet about the event and reading it every day and of course always being grateful for what you have. Sometimes the little snippets that I write about things that I hope will occur, I’ll write things that have occurred, that perhaps might paved the way for that to happen and reflect on how grateful I am for all of those things that have already occurred.

Chris Williams:

You know, you said something a second ago that led into that book conversation there about if your parents didn’t just give up on you and say here’s all the things you can’t do, so let’s just quit, you didn’t say that either. So, what are the other things we can do?

That’s great advice because man, it’s easy to focus on what I can’t do and what I’m missing on and what happened in my past or what happened with a previous relationship or a job or whatever. It’s what can you do now and there’s always something there.

Patrick Hughes: 

That’s true. I never really thought of it when I actually said this, but there was actually one interview when I was asked to participate in the marching band when Dr. Greg Byrne, band director at the University of Louisville wanted me to be a member of the marching band and in the interview – it was just something that came naturally. I said, “How in the heck am I supposed to march?” NOT “I can’t march.” That’s always kind of the way I’ve tried to look at life, you know, not “I can’t do it”, but “how can we make it happen”.

Chris Williams:

Good perspective. Great perspective.

Patrick Hughes: 

Thank you.

Chris Williams: 

Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?

Kind of pain the picture and give us the background, some story, what’s going on there where you really had to lean on hope to get you through?

Patrick Hughes: 

You know I’ve never really had a hopeless situation as the case may be. I mean sure, like everybody I’ve had days where maybe an obstacle might seem a little too great or maybe there’s something I’m asked to do but I don’t want to do it. I’d rather be doing something else or whatever the case may be. But, crying and moaning and groaning about it is not going to change anything. So, either just have to do it and make the most of the situation. So do that, perhaps if something didn’t go my way for example, that I’d wished for, I’d written that little snippet about it but it didn’t go my way for example, you know, learn from the mistakes that I might have made in trying to gain, in trying to achieve that goal. Learn from the mistakes, don’t dwell on the mistakes, but learn from them and perhaps try to find a way to do better in case a similar opportunity should arise.

Chris Williams:

Patrick thanks for saying that the way you’re saying it. I’m noticing a trend here. So, I started this research project of interviewing people with hope purely for my own benefit because I was in a really hopeless time in my life. I am learning as I am asking these questions that I’m not the one who’s really, you know, not the one who’s really needing the hope that I thought I needed sometimes because most of the guest that we interview who you think, based on their bio, would say oh yeah there was my hopeless moment and that’s when I needed hope.

Just like you just did, most of these guests say, you know, I’ve never really had that hopeless moment. It blows me away because I think man, come on, really? I think the reason that you’re so hopeful and so good at sharing hope is you’re just not consumed and not going to just look inside yourself and say oh man it’s so bad and wallow in that. You just move on and you just fly in through it.

Patrick Hughes: 

That’s true. What some people fail to realize is sure, life throws you curves or whatever and sometimes there are challenges and obstacles in life you look at and you think, oh no how am I going to get through it, but what some fail to realize is that life is truly a blessing and we should all try to live every day to the fullest or as I like to say it, like the last day of summer vacation. I mean, seriously think about that last day when – go back to when you were in school and you had that one more day of summer vacation, basically you have one more day of freedom before you had to go to school and here come homework and here comes this math, it’s going to take that all away from you. So you try to cram in every little bit of fun that you can in that last 24 hours before that’s due to start.

In all honesty, that’s how we should live every day. Yesterday, that’s come and gone. There’s nothing we can do about it and we’re not always guaranteed tomorrow. The only thing we have right now guaranteed right in front of us is – and I know it might seem like a lot, but it’s really just a little bit 24-hour space that makes up today, so live it to the fullest and enjoy every moment.

Chris Williams:

Man, man thank you. Wow. That’s all so powerful.

Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?

Now Patrick, you got to help me out on this one because there’s probably some things you’re doing sharing hope that most of us aren’t doing like getting up on the stage all the time and speaking to large crowds. So, obviously applause to that for sharing hope, but how are you sharing hope in your everyday life when you’re just doing your thing?

Patrick Hughes:  

Basically, apart from the motivational speaking, one of the ways that I share hope is to always try to be the best that I can be at everything that I do. I mean sometimes, for example if I’m learning a tough classical piece or whatever, perhaps in college maybe I had a class where I was sorely tempted to just slam the book down, throw it aside and say I quit, you know? I really can’t do that, I don’t think, because that’s just not me.

I’ve got kind of a stick-to-it attitude where no matter how hard the obstacle may seem, I just got to work my way through it as best as I can. As a matter of fact, a little message I sometimes like to share especially in our speaking engagements, a little acronym that I’ve created for if I’m faced with a goal or a challenge that I don’t know how I’m going to get through and that acronym is actually the first three letters of my name – PAT.

P is for Passion, Patience and Perseverance. In order to achieve a goal, you’ve got to have a passion for that goal and be patient because it might take a while for your goal to work. Why not work right now when you expect it? So, always persevere and keep trying and never give up.

A is Ability and Attitude. Use the abilities you know you have and always keep that positive attitude. A positive attitude is probably going to help you most in achieving your goals. You keep thinking it’s not going to happen, this is not going to happen, I give up or whatever then that’s right. It’s not going to happen. You’ve give up, it’s too late. But, as long as you think positively and think oh I know it, it’s going to happen, it will happen maybe not now but someday, and then perhaps it will.

T is Trust. Trust in yourself. You will achieve your goal eventually.

Chris Williams:

I’m going to write that down in the show notes as well. You’re making me take notes pretty fast here.

Patrick Hughes:  

If I need to slow down let me know.

Chris Williams: 

Thanks so much for all of this. This is really, really great. Usable information, it really is.

Question 5: How should I share hope today?

I’m growing in hope and I’m learning to share it every day and there’s a lot of people listening doing the same thing. What I do next? When I get done talking to you, I’ve got the rest of the day in front of me. What should I do?

Patrick Hughes: 

Well first of all, always keep that positive attitude. Pretty much always wear a smile no matter what the situation is. Maybe even try to laugh every day. Even if you’re not listening to something that’s funny, just laugh at random and have that good, exciting attitude. Also, this ain’t just for you but for everybody, you know, perhaps share hope with somebody you don’t really even think of.

For example, when you’re going to work, you’re in the elevator, there’s always that person that’s on the elevator with you, but you’re doing your thing, they’re probably doing their thing so you never really intended to strike a conversation with them. Strike up that conversation, talk to them, ask them how they’re doing, tell them have a good day or whatever. See someone on the street, say hello, how are you doing, you know, have a good day or whatever. Reach out and give someone a big hug. I’m a hugger. I always enjoy giving away hugs whenever possible. Actually, someone once told me that in order to live a happy, healthy lifestyle, the average person needs a minimum of 10 hugs per day.

Of course, you do all these things, hello, how are you, have a good day, the hug or whatever and you’ll probably get some that will blow you off and big deal, whatever, who cares, but you never know. If you keep doing those things, you might just find somebody out there to whom that greeting or that hug or whatever really means the world to. They needed that more than anything.

Do it like you mean it too. Don’t just go through the motions and do it because you feel you have to, but truly mean the greeting, truly mean the hug. Truly mean the positive attitude and be a hope for the world.

Chris Williams:

Very practical. Very actionable. Love it. Smiles, hugs, going out of your way just a little bit for somebody else. When I do that, the smile I get back – usually you get a smile back or a positive response, it gives me such a great feeling and more hope. It makes the cycle go around some more.

Patrick Hughes: 

That’s true.

Chris Williams:

All right sir, how can we follow you? Twitter, Facebook, websites? How do we get in touch with you and see what you’re doing?

Patrick Hughes:

Well my website is www.patrickhenryhughes.com where you can also get my email in case you want to send an email or perhaps ask me and dad do some speaking for you, we’ve really enjoyed doing that. I’m also on Facebook, you can like myFacebook page. I have two CDs available that you can purchase through my website and also a book that my father and I collaborated on called I Am Potential, 8 Lessons on Living, Loving and Reaching Your Dreams which can be purchased either through my website or wherever books are sold. The book has been made into a movie which is going to premier on Louisville on July 9th and the trailer, the movie is titled the same as the book, I Am Potential. The trailer is available onYouTube or on the I Am Potential movie Facebook page if you want to view it. Of course, I have many videos for interviews or perhaps speaking engagements that are available to view on YouTube as well.

Chris Williams:

I’m going to put links to all of that on the show notes page also. So, we’ll make it super easy to find you Patrick because you’re worth finding that’s for sure. Patrick, thank you for your time and for sharing so much hope. Phenomenal guy. I really, really respect what you’re doing and I thank you, thank you for investing in me and so many others.

Patrick Hughes:

Thank you very much. It was great talking with you as well.

Chris Williams:

All right. I hope to talk to you again sometime. Thanks.

Patrick Hughes:

Sounds good. Thank you.

You’ve just listened to I Share Hope. If you’re ready to make a change, head to our website at isharehope.com and claim your free copy of the Top Ten Actions of Hope from World Leaders to use hope in your own life. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.

Chris Williams:

My nine-year-old son was the 4,183,xxx and some change viewer of a video of you on ESPN a couple of hours ago.

Patrick Hughes: 

Oh cool. Nice.

Chris Williams:

I was telling him, hey man you’re the number – blah, blah blah and he’s like “oh my goodness”.

Patrick Hughes:

Cool. Thank you very much.

Chris Williams:

That video is actually split a couple of places. There’s another version of the same video with like 2.8 million on it. I mean wow.

Patrick Hughes:

It’s pretty amazing.

Chris Williams: 

It is amazing.

Patrick Hughes: 

There might be some disruptions here because I got all these clocks that unfortunately some of them are on the right time. I think a couple of them are probably going to go off during the – I tried to keep them quiet, but I don’t think it worked out.

Chris Williams:

Are you a clock collector?

Patrick Hughes: 

Yes. I started out, my mother or my grandmother bought me one of those bird clocks for Christmas, every hour it makes a different bird sound. So naturally, I had to have one. So, I found all these other clocks, it did birds, but some do animals, some do instruments, some do cars, some do this and that.

Chris Williams:

That’s awesome. Well honestly, I really hope they make some noise because I would love to have some of those in the audio. That’s pretty fun.

When are you most nervous? Are you ever scared cruising out on the stage?

Patrick Hughes:

You know, sometimes the butterflies might get me. Perhaps if I feel a little nervous depending on who the crowd is that I’m speaking to but I generally try not to get nervous because a little philosophy that I sort of kept ever since I started this, don’t get nervous about doing badly because if you feel that way then you probably will do badly.

Chris Williams:

What’s your favorite piece of music if you’re going to listen to something to really get you pumped up and excited about what’s going on? What’s it going to be?

Patrick Hughes:

I listen to a lot of classical selections to kind of give myself hope, but recently because we just celebrated Easter and my church for Easter I was asked to learn a song called “He is Alive”. It’s been done by several artists. The version that I learned was by a guy named Don Francisco. It basically tells about the resurrection of Jesus through the eyes of the apostle Peter who have seen Jesus crucified and died and he started to feel guilty because he had actually promised Jesus that he would go with him at all cost even unto death. In the end denied that he knew Jesus’ name three times. But then when he eventually saw Jesus resurrected from the tomb and realized that everything’s fine, he’s alive and Peter is forgiven, then life is beautiful again

Chris Williams:

What is your favorite piece of music to play since you’re a very accomplished musician?

Patrick Hughes:

In all honesty, it’s a slower piece, but it’s from the opera Thais and it’s the meditation from that opera from the composer Jules Massenet. I’m not overly sure how to spell that name, but it’s a really great piece I feel because it’s kind of a calming, relaxing piece to chase away all those worries from your mind. It even has kind of a loud boisterous part sometime in the middle that represents the frustrations that one might feel in life. But then, there’s even a great part to towards the end of that frustrating mode where it slows down like you’re taking a deep breath and calmed down and relaxed once again. That’s how it ends in that calm, relaxed feeling.

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