Success Through Patience and Persistance

 Monday is the day when I write a blog about some extraordinary person. As you may know one of my daily “spiritual exercises” is to explore the lives of those who have changed the world through their sense of vision and their willingness to transcend extreme obstacles. I usually research three people per day; one in the morning, the afternoon and late in the evening just before I finish writing and mentoring my students for the day and go off to meditate.

Today I’m writing about Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger.

Though I do not watch football, everyone in my small town seems to and without much struggle I can link Joseph Campbell’s idea of the hero to Rudy.


Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger.grew up in Joliet, Illinois dreaming of playing college football at the University of Notre Dame. Though he achieved some success with his local high school team (Joliet Catholic), he lacked the grades and money necessary to attend Notre Dame, as well as the talent and physical stature to play football for a any major intercollegiate program. The thing that he did have was patience and persistance. In the end he fulfilled his dream.


The limitations of human potential are unknown and yet when it comes to thinking creatively and innovatively we are our own worst enemies.

Often is a lack of patience that creates obstacles to our creativity and innovative thinking.  The value of persistence should never be underestimated. Often we have epiphanies, intuitions and “out of the box” ideas which we unfortunately ignore or discard.  It  is often these very ideas that might bring us the solutions to future creative challenges. The difference between success and failure is not the potential at hand but the lost potential from impatience and an unwillingness to persist in spite of perceived challenges.

Multiple studies have shown that with patience and persistence creative thinkers could generate many more ideas for problem solving than they had estimated themselves.

This is a pattern that exists not just among geniuses and visionaries. It could be  used  to help a charitable organization increase donations; to help professional comedians generate  punch lines for a sketch comedy scene and help copywriters generate advertising slogans for a product.

Though many of us seek instant gratification it may be more important to hold off on experiencing that gratification if one wishes to maximize creativity and innovative thinking. Concerning the creative process, studies have shown that ideas generated while being persistent even when doing so was not comfortable tended to be more creative than ideas generated initially. Not only did participants underestimate their ability to generate powerful ideas while persisting, they underestimated their ability to generate highly creative ideas at all.

It is easy to understand why we so often underestimate the benefits of persistence.  It’s because creative challenges feel difficult. Often we feel stuck, a bit out of control, unsure, and even frustrated as we seek a solution. We think we might have the right idea, find it doesn’t work, get frustrated and think about quitting…yet we persist.

“Am I even getting anywhere” we ask ourselves.

Many of the great inventors have said “Creative ideas take time.”

Here are the steps within a basic process for developing the most creative and innovative ideas.

  1. There is an initial period of thinking deeply about problem,
  2. Different ways to frame the problem are considered,
  3. Different possible solution paths are considered.
  4. The best is chosen



This process has its limitations in thinking creatively in solving complex and extreme problem. Here additional steps must be taken to get the best solution

  1. A “master mind group” is formed of other experts who bring a wide range of ideas into the process.
  2. Through Collective and Collaborative Intelligence the most creative and innovative solutions are isolated
  3. Through Design Thinking*, the best solutions are drawn from these; “the best” meaning the most effective.

Here is a film about Rudy’s journey.



Click below to observe a nine minute video interview Lewis  did with the Award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes on why  people suffer:



Lewis Harrison is the author of sixteen books including

“Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times” a book of  concerned with personal development, human potential, stress reduction and business excellence.


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I have been contacted by many people who have studied with me over the last four decades. Many have an interest in my current ideas on  personal development and human potential. These notes are being organized into a series of books titled the”Teachings of Lewis Harrison” of which Volume One is “Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times.


based on the positive response to this first Volume in the series I have organized a free course from my 20,000 plus pages of notes on:


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