Have people been telling you that you can't do it? Have you been feeling like an underdog?
Last week, I talked about what I learned from Kevin Eastman who came into a mastermind that I was a part of and shared his knowledge and his truth bombs with us. Rudy Ruettiger or the real Rudy from the movie “Rudy” (not the actor) was also there to talk to us a little bit more about how he was able to do what he did, even when everyone told him that he couldn't and that so many things were against him.
Let me give you a little backstory.
When Rudy Ruettiger was young, he had two dreams. One was to go to Notre Dame school. The other was to play for the Notre Dame football team, the Fighting Irish.
Now the problem is that he weighed nothing and he was only five-foot-six, so he couldn't get a football scholarship. Also, he was dyslexic, so he didn't have high enough grades to be able to get into the school.
If you've seen the movie, great, you know what I'm talking about. But if you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. He was the underdog and eventually reached his dreams so the movie will inspire you to push harder, to persevere, and to be able to do something that maybe other people are telling you you can't do.
Even when Rudy tried to get his story made into a movie he was told “You can't do this. You know nothing about video production.” That's the truth. However, he was able to get the film made.
Now, he's a motivational speaker. He goes and talks about his experience and how he was able to do what he did.
The 5 Things I learnt from Rudy
Let me share with you the five things I see helped him to have the success he had.
First: Pester life until it gives in
Maybe you've heard about calling people over and over and over again until eventually…
Rudy applied to go to Notre Dame and got rejection letters. He continuously tried to play football at five-foot-six, which was like three inches shorter than me (as you can see in the photo above!).
His thing about “Pester life until it gives in” is 150% perseverance that he just went for, and he kept trying.
How many times have you given up without trying again? How many times has someone said “No”, and you just took it at face value, and you walked away? This is your solution!
This leads me to the second point.
Second: When someone says “No” to you, ask why it was a “No”
Ask what would have made the difference to get a “Yes”.
For Rudy? Sometimes the answer was “You’re five-foot-six” or “Your grades aren't high enough”, which are two very valid reasons for why you can't get into college and why you can't play on a football team.
But he continued to ask, “What made it a ‘No’?”
If you ask what made it a “No,” it gives you an idea of how you can make a little adjustment for next time. When we asked him, “How many times did you apply? How many no's did you get?’ He didn't want to answer that.
His key point was, “It's not the no's that you get. It's what you do with the answer of why you got a no.” Every time, he just made an adjustment and made an adjustment and made an adjustment, until eventually he was allowed to be part of the school. He was also allowed to be on the support team. They're the ones who play defense against the main team in practice.
(SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched the movie, go see it before reading. Otherwise, don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
In the last game of his senior year, they decided to dress him and let him play. He was able to sack the quarterback of the opposing team, which is not an easy feat to do. Again, he had a great fight in him and the desire to be relentless and bigger than he really was.
Third: Form strong relationships with people who want you to win
Sometimes, he was able to get ahead because of the relationships he had. A relationship helped him get in with Notre Dame. A relationship helped him get his story made into the film you can see today.
(Just a side note, one of my coaches said that he watches that movie every year in December, as a way of pumping himself up and getting ready for January.)
It’s important that you form strong relationships with people who want you to win. People who like you. People who are cheering for you because you never know when these relationships will help you to move forward.
Then cut the relationships with people who are negative. People that push you down. People who don't necessarily want you to succeed. People who are threatened by your success. People who are making fun of you because by cutting those negative people, you keep your mindset, and your attitude really strong.
Fourth: Your forward action can inspire others
Rudy was watching an interview with the late Kobe Bryant, and he saw in that interview, that Kobe Bryant thought of Rudy as one of his heroes, one of his inspirations, and he was telling people in this interview, “Watch this movie. This is great. Rudy's awesome.”
If you think of it, Kobe Bryant was much more famous than Rudy has ever been and a lot more successful at being a pro athlete than Rudy has ever been. You might be thinking that you're only inspiring people below you. But in this case, Rudy was inspiring people ahead of him. He actually got to meet Kobe Bryant before he saw this interview. Kobe had tears in his eyes at that meeting. Rudy said to us, “I couldn't believe I inspired Kobe with my story.”
I want to ask you right now, have you maybe stopped doing what you are meant to do because you don't think you're impacting enough people? Imagine the people that you're inspiring who could be ahead of you, who could be behind you, who could be beside you.
Just know that your forward motion, whether it is successful or not, can inspire others. You don't know who you will inspire with your forward action. Keep going. Keep doing.
Fifth: Do you participate or do you just spectate?
This is based on a video he showed from this gentleman named Justin. He has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. They were in a stadium and he was invited to cross the 50-yard line. The trouble was Justin’s wheelchair was not allowed on the field, and he would have a very hard time trying to walk it.
Justin got out of his wheelchair and since he can't walk, he crawled. He crawled across the ground. He was falling over. It was a very hard situation for him. He got tired but he never gave up. He did it and he did it himself.
The key learning from that is, do you participate or do you just spectate? Justin had the chance to do this, but no one would have thought he was going to do it. They thought he would just spectate and watch every single other person do it. But he said, “No, I was never going to miss out on that opportunity.”
How many times do we miss out on opportunities because…
How many times as a woman have you felt, “Oh, I can't do that because I'm a woman” or “They're not welcoming women to do this.” Has that happened to you?
Do you participate or do you spectate? Do you jump into things you want to be doing? When you do jump in, do you continue to persevere like Rudy did to reach your goals and to have the results you want? If you have a dream, are you going for it or are you sitting back?
Bonus: Do you listen to people who are also participating?
This is a side note around the “Do you participate or do you spectate?” This is a bonus from myself, not from Rudy.
I want to ask you, do you listen to people who are also participating? Or are you listening to the spectators?
If you're a coach, are you listening to other coaches who are doing well and maybe even beyond you? Or are you listening to people who don't do it?
How many people in your life are just spectating? But say,
Are spectators telling you what to do? Or are you surrounding yourself with other people who participate, other people who are living life and who are in the game. I don't know how many times somebody on the sidelines has wanted to tell me how to play my game. You're on the sidelines. You don't have the experience. You don't know how it feels.
I wanted to add that because I hope you not only participate in life, but surround yourself with other people who are participating, other people who are in the game. Then listen to others who are in the game too who can give you real feedback, real inspiration, and real strategy on how to do well.
These are the five different pieces of wisdom I learned from Rudy. I encourage you if you haven't seen the movie, go watch it.
If you want to participate and surround yourself with others who do too, then join one of my upcoming events: https://linktr.ee/dianerolston
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