“The obstacles we encounter in life are not meant to stop us, but rather to help us realize who we are and what we can become. So never give up!” – Dr. Seuss
In today’s world, it seems like everyone has a reason for quitting everything from school to sports and even work. But if you want something bad enough, you should never give up on your dream. The obstacles we encounter in life are not meant to stop us but rather to help us realize who we are and who we can become. This is the message that our podcast guest, Rudy Ruetigger, wants to share with everyone.
Rudy has been a leading figure in football. His epic story will forever be known as one of the greatest moments in sports history.
We sat down to discuss the story of making the 1993 award-winning film 'Rudy'. He also shares why he believes inspiration is more powerful than motivation. Lastly, Rudy gives his insights on why quitting on your dream is never an option.
Who Is Rudy Ruettiger?
Rudy is the son of an oil refinery worker and the third of fourteen children. Growing up, he knew what his lifelong dream was — attending Notre Dame University to play football for its Fighting Irish team. Armed with a strong determination that would not let go, Rudy knew he had what it took to make it happen.
In 1993, TRISTAR Productions immortalized his life story with the blockbuster film 'Rudy'. The acclaimed movie was about a dreamer who never gives up on what he wants most in life: to play football for Notre Dame. It also includes one of the most iconic moments where Notre Dame fans cheered his name “RU-DY,” “RU-DY,” as he sacked the opponent’s quarterback to a roar of cheers from both sides. It only lasted 27 seconds, but the stadium was electrified with such an incredible moment in college football history. He was carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates.
Today, Rudy is one of the most popular motivational speakers entertaining corporate audiences worldwide with a unique, passionate, and heartfelt communication style. His speeches have inspired hope in people all over this country who are tired from working hard but not getting ahead because they haven’t found their “dream.” He reminds people that they can accomplish anything if they work for it.
The story of Rudy Ruettiger is a remarkable tale that will be remembered for all time. It is an excellent reminder of the power of never giving up, and that’s the message he wants to inspire us with today.
The Making Of A Great Story
Many of you might know Rudy from the 1993 movie of the same title. It depicts his true story as a high school student who struggles with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. He then attends Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, on a football scholarship without ever playing for the team. They say that he was too small to make the cut. Ultimately, the movie ended with Rudy successfully sacking the opponent’s quarterback and winning for his team.
Rudy was 100% involved in the creation of the film. It was he who went after the concept and looked for the right people. He says that finding the right team was the real challenge. Also, the process reminded him of the most crucial ingredient that makes a great story.
“You meet a lot of people along the way that string on a good idea but don’t believe in it. So it’s you who has to be the passionate one about such beliefs. It’s kind of like a guy who goes to an island and says, ‘This is where I want to live.’ Then, he never turns back or doesn’t go back to where he came from.” – Rudy Ruttieger
This statement might capture Rudy’s sentiment about the “There’s no excuse in life” attitude. However, he also believes that other things are crucial to making one’s life a success story.
“I’m still chasing that one moment that I really want, and I still wonder if it is going to come. I don’t know, but I’m going to give it time, give it patience and see where it goes. Also, it’s great if you can have people around you that understand your journey and will encourage and empower you.” – Rudy Ruttieger
How about you? Do you have a dream of achieving big things in life? If so, what are you willing to do to make it happen? If you’re like Rudy, you’ll know that obstacles will be a part of the process. These facts don’t mean you should stop, but they actually make the journey more meaningful and your story greater than you could imagine.
Inspiration Vs. Motivation
Some people might think that inspiration and motivation are two similar things. However, Rudy believes they are not the same. Motivation is an internal feeling, whereas inspiration comes from external sources such as a positive person or event in your life. Referring to how he’s known as a motivational speaker, Rudy explains,
“I hate that word, ‘motivational speaking.’ I can’t motivate the guy next door, but I can inspire. … Motivation to me is just words. A lot of guys regurgitate motivation, but do they do it? Are they doing it?” – Rudy Ruttieger
On the other hand, Rudy believes that it’s the inspiration that puts people to work. It’s what keeps people moving to reach their goals. And the thing is, you don’t need to talk to a speaker to get inspired. Sometimes, people who went through a great deal are enough to put someone into action. Rudy shares,
“I just talked to a former green beret, and he inspires me every time. I talked to him because of his PTSD, and he never speaks about motivating me. It’s always about what he went through, how he dealt with it that inspires me.” – Rudy Ruttieger
With inspiration, you get the strength, determination, and motivation to never give up. It’s the spark that lights a fire in your belly to keep going no matter what obstacles you may come across the way. This belief could have also been the inspiration for his Rudy Ruettiger app. His subscribers can get a positive message every day to put some work into reaching their goals in life.
Why Never Quitting Matters
Obstacles are inevitable, but never quitting is what matters the most. Rudy didn’t let a little thing like his size stop him from achieving his dreams of playing football. He ignored obstacles and worked harder than ever before until he was finally given an opportunity that changed everything for him. For him, it’s really about patience and timing.
“There’s a chance that you could become that person you always wanted to be. It’s never too late. You might have to adjust and change and reevaluate how you want to do that.” – Rudy Ruttieger
The most significant obstacle is the one we put up ourselves and consider a permanent hindrance to our path. However, there’s always another way around these obstacles if we’re willing to stop and think creatively. As Rudy explains,
“People give up too soon. They let their attitude and their upbringing put their dreams on to the side. Everyone needs to know that it’s not where you start; it’s where you end up that matters. Most CEOs in this country have attention deficit disorder. Some are dyslexic. But these guys are the visionaries.” – Rudy Ruttieger
But what exactly are the reasons why people give up so easily? Some might be due to the lack of mentors or people to show them the way. And in other cases, they may be hesitant because they’re afraid their endeavor won’t work.
To never give up is one thing, but owning your failures and learning lessons from them is another. So even if you do fail, it’s not the end because from that failure will come a new idea.
“People achieve their dreams because they learn wisdom from their mistakes. Success is not about winning in all your endeavors always. You could go bankrupt three times and be very successful. So when people ask you, ‘Are you going bankrupt?’ Tell them, ‘Yeah. I just learned what not to do, and that was an expensive mistake.’” – Rudy Ruttieger
In reality, setbacks come not because of our actions but as a part of life. Difficult times happen to all people in some form or another. While we can’t prevent them, we can learn how to cope with difficult situations better than last time.
Remember, we must never give up on achieving our dreams — even if we have to take a few detours and learn from our mistakes.
Reach Beyond With Rudy Ruttieger
We all have dreams. Whether they are big or small, it’s important to keep pursuing them even when the going gets tough. This episode with Rudy reminds us that not quitting is always worth it!
If your dream is to start your own business, get into an Ivy League school, travel more often, or meet someone special — whatever it is you want for yourself and your life — don’t lose hope! You can always take detours to achieve those goals but never give up on what really matters most to you.
I am rooting for you, my friend. Cheers!