In this episode, we have invited Rudy Ruettiger. Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger is the real-life inspiration for the iconic movie, RUDY. He carved his way into history books as perhaps the most inspiring graduate of Notre Dame University. Rudy rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to the pinnacles of success and achieved his first dream – to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish.
Today, Rudy is an award-winning motivational keynote speaker, author, and producer with over 25 years of experience speaking to corporations, universities, sports teams, and special events. In my talk with Rudy, he shares inspiring stories of hope, perseverance, beating the odds, and choosing courage over adversity—making a difference in his life and the lives of others.
[02:34] How important is adaptability to change in sports?
I was considered a dummy, and I graduated from high school third in my class in the bottom, but I had this burning desire, this inspiration, this feeling when I would watch Notre Dame football that’s where I should be because I saw my father’s eyes light up and get a new feeling about himself for Notre Dame. I said, “There’s something there.” I would love to give that feeling to my dad. Notre Dame lights him up every Sunday when he watches Notre Dame Highlights. Inside-out transformation changes people. When you put these internal feelings together, that’s when you had to change.
[08:25] What advice do you give to people who are afraid to try new things?
Who are you hanging around with? What movies are you watching? What books are you reading? You’re living in an illusion of fear. There’s nothing to fear but fear itself. And you have to eliminate that by moving forward and be willing to fail. Are you willing to fail? We learn from failures. But if you quit because you’re afraid to fail, then that’s it.
[18:11] The Importance of Preparation in Games and Movies
Notre Dame was an incredible journey. I learned a lot by moving forward by finding the answers. Playing football was just a contribution part of my life to contribute to something great. You needed mentors around you to push forward and help you get there. But preparation was a key as well. If I didn’t train every day, I would never made that tackle. Be prepared every day like your dreams will come, just like the movie. I use the same model to get the movie made. As I played and got at Notre Dame, I prepared for that movie every day.
[19:46] What promise did God make to the world when He created you?
Believe in me, and you will be set free.
[15:57 – 16:01] “Hard work pays off. Good luck comes into your life through hard work.”
[08:49 – 08:57] “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself. And you have to eliminate that by moving forward and be willing to fail.”