Fighting comes in many forms. There is the rough and tumble, don’t-let-them-get-you-down kind of fighting. And then there is the keep the dream, stay focused, and take action kind of fighting.
The 1993 classic movie, Rudy, had a little bit of both. This is a true story about a young boy with a dream to play football for Notre Dame, who against many odds had the tenacity to stay the course, no matter what. He had family who didn’t believe in him, and in fact, did whatever they could to douse his dream with the reality of “things like that don’t happen to people like us.”
With barely any money to his name, he left home when he was supposed to work at the family steel mill and follow in the footsteps of all the men in his family. He left behind a fiancé and the memories of a best friend – the only person who ever believed he could achieve his dream -- who had just died in a tragic accident.
He knew it was now or never.
(Have you ever felt like it was now or never? Ever gotten the inner jolt that you knew you had to make a move that would save your soul and the trajectory of your life?)
When he arrived at Notre Dame, no one took Rudy very seriously. He had no money, poor grades, and he was barely 5’8”. Even with all he “didn’t have,” he not only kept alive his dream of playing football for Notre Dame, but he ignited that dream with inspired actions.
What does inspired action look like? It is an action that is directed by your higher self and puts you one step closer to your dream. Physically, it feels like a great rising in the belly and may even take your breath away. But once you exhale, you are full of energy. It may be an action that doesn’t make sense, intellectually, but you know in your gut that you have to do it and at the same time remain unattached to the outcome.
After four years of working as an assistant to maintain the grounds of the Notre Dame Football field, sleeping on a cot in the maintenance office because he couldn’t afford a place to stay, getting tutoring and help with his dyslexia, preparing the uniforms and locker rooms for the team, he finally achieved his dream!
Do you have a dream? Here are some steps that may help you create your trajectory along the way:
1. Act As If. If you want to be a singer, sing. If you want to be a teacher, find ways to teach. You need to feed your passion through action. When Rudy was a child, he practiced a Notre Dame Football coach’s speech every day, which included the words “Fight, fight, fight!”
2. Stay Focused. There will be twists and turns. Stay focused on what your dream will feel like, look like, smell like, etc.
3. Be of Service. There is no action too small for you to take to get you closer to your dream. If you want to be a designer, take the job as the showroom receptionist. If you want to run your own specialty boutique, find a job stocking the back room of a specialty boutique. Be willing to do anything to be in the environment that will feed your dream. Being of service to those around you will get you noticed and quite possibly take you many steps further toward your dream.
4. Be a Sponge. When you are in the environment that is feeding your dream, be a sponge and soak up any and all information that will help massage your dream into reality. Emulate the greatness around you. Become that which you want to be.
5. Celebrate. Celebrate the wins and celebrate the apparent losses. The losses are never really losses. Losses are just showing you the direction you don’t want to be headed in! In which case, turn around and get back on course!
Today, Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger is a motivational speaker inspiring others to go after their dreams with three simple words on his website: Yes You Can!
Paula G. Rosario
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