The Windshield is Bigger Than the Rearview Mirror


Rudy Ruettiger, the real guy from the movie Rudy, had a dream to play football for Notre Dame. The problem was that he wasn’t big enough, strong enough, or smart enough to get into Notre Dame, much less play football. But his dream did come true. There are two reasons his dream came true; First off, he never allowed the thought to leave his mind. Second, he worked very hard toward his dream.

Then Rudy had another dream. To make a movie about his experience. Making a movie is no easy feat. When I interviewed Rudy at Zig Ziglar’s studio, he told me that he dreamt about making the movie every day. All day. And that is the key. You must put the picture in your mind and never allow it to leave.

Remember, that the reaching of the dream comes as a result of seeing it in your mind first, and nourishing that vision every day. Think it. Ink it. Write it. Draw it. Talk about it. Find people to help you. If it’s a worthy dream, don’t abandon it. If it’s something you want simply for your ego, let it go.

Not only did Rudy not abandon the dream, he worked toward that dream every day. He endured many disappointments and faced many discouragements. He worked hard for his dream.

Now that he has done the hard work, he has a lucrative career as a public speaker. I would like to note that Rudy’s dream of making a movie was both personal and impersonal. The film Rudy is not only one of the most inspirational movies ever made, but it is one of the most watched sports movies in history.

When I was about 12 years old, I was flipping through a magazine and came across a picture of people roller-skating down the bike path at Venice Beach, CA. As I gazed at the picture, I began to daydream about what it would be like to go to California.

Of course that sounds strange today as I might fly to California for a meeting. In fact, I flew to California just to introduce Michael Gerber for his 80th birthday party. You have no idea what is in your future. Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller-Williams, the largest residential real estate company in the country, says, “you’re less than five years away from your biggest dreams and goals.”

Think about where you were five years ago. Have you come a long way? If so, how did that happen? I bet you had to work hard to accomplish what you accomplished. If you’re stuck, you can look back and see some things you should have done.

If you’re worse off than five years ago, perhaps there was an event in your life that caused it. Maybe you did something to cause that event. Maybe it was unavoidable. Someone once mused, “There’s a reason the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror.”

It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, or where you are now, you’re less than five years away from your biggest dreams and goals, as Gary said. It doesn’t matter what kind of difficulties you’ve had. In fact, isn’t it true that we grow more through difficulties and trials than we do successes? It’s true.

The question is whether you will create a meaningful dream, whether you’ll nourish it, and whether you’ll do the hard work to get there. Rudy worked hard to reach his dream. Zig worked hard to reach his dream. Motivational speaker Darren Hardy maintains that success is found through true grit.

Follow this success formula to reach your dream:

  1. Have a compelling picture of the future. (That comes through prayer, dreaming, and thinking.)
  2. Believe that you can achieve it. (Stories of others who have been successful will help you.)
  3. Surround yourself with people that have already done what you want to do. (This is the greatest life lesson I could ever share with you.)
  4. Take massive action every day. (More on this in an upcoming chapter.)
  5. Track your results.

About Author

Howard Partridge
President of Phenomenal Products, Inc.

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