Arnold Schwarzenegger was my hero for single handedly destroying the predator and saving John Connor when I was a kid.
As a teenager, I looked up to him for being the worlds greatest bodybuilder.
As a man, I greatly admire him for his mindset and determination.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is no doubt one of the most amazing success stories of the modern era. He exudes a level of charisma that very few people possess. A true self made man, Arnold took the realization of the American dream to a level few could ever have the determination to achieve.
Schwarzenegger is very candid with how other people can also achieve success and often displays a cocky and confident attitude mixed with self degrading humor in order to leave lasting impressions with the masses
He redefined himself several times over and achieved incredible levels of success in his many ventures.
Here are Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 rules for success.
So many young people are getting so much advice from their parents and from their teachers and from everyone. But what is most important is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourselves, who do you want to be? Not what, but who.
I’m not talking about what your parents and teachers want you to be, but you. I’m talking about figuring out for yourselves what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people.
I was lucky growing up because I did not have television or didn’t have telephones, I didn’t have the computers and the iPods. I didn’t have all these distractions. I spent a lot of time by myself, so I could figure out and listen to what is inside my heart and inside my head.
I recognized very quickly that inside my head and heart were a burning desire to leave my small village in Austria. I wanted to be part of something big, the United States of America, a powerful nation, the place where dreams can come true.
I knew when I came over here I could realize my dreams. And I decided that the best way for me to come to America was to become a bodybuilding champion, because I knew that was ticket the instant that I saw a magazine cover of my idol, Reg Park. He was Mr. Universe, he was starring in Hercules movies, he looked strong and powerful, he was so confident.
So when I found out how he got that way I became obsessed, and I went home and I said to my family, “I want to be a bodybuilding champion.”
Now, you can imagine how that went over in my home in Austria. My parents, they couldn’t believe it. They would have been just happy if I would have become a police officer like my father.
Something else burned inside me. I wanted to be different; I was determined to be unique. I was driven to think big and to dream big. Everyone else thought that I was crazy.
But I didn’t care. I wanted to be a bodybuilding champion and use that to come to America, and use that to go into the movies and make millions of dollars. So, of course, for extra motivation I read books on strongmen and on bodybuilding and looked at magazines. And one of the things I did was, I decorated my bedroom wall.
I hung up pictures of strongmen and bodybuilders and wrestlers and boxers and so on. And I was so excited about this great decoration that I took my mother to the bedroom and I showed her. She was absolutely in shock and tears started running down her eyes.
She called our house doctor and brought him in and explained to him, “There’s something wrong here.” She looked at the wall with the doctor and said, “Where did I go wrong? I mean, all of Arnold’s friends have pictures on the wall of girls, and Arnold has all these men. But it’s not just men, they’re half naked and they’re oiled up with baby oil. What is going on here? Where did I go wrong?”
The doctor shook his head and he said, “There’s nothing wrong. At this age you have idols and you go and have those — this is just quite normal.”
I wanted to become a champion. I was on a mission. So trust yourself, no matter how and what anyone else thinks.
Beak the rules
We have so many rules in life about everything. I say break the rules. Not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?
The only way that I ever got anyplace was by breaking some of the rules. After all, I remember that after I was finished with my bodybuilding career I wanted to get into acting and I wanted to be a star in films. You can imagine what was said when I went to meet all those agents. Everyone had the same line, that it can’t be done, the rules are different here. They said, “Look at your body. You have this huge monstrous body, overly developed. That doesn’t fit into the movies.
The agents also complained about my accent. They said, “No one ever became a star with an accent like that, especially not with a German accent.
And yes, I can imagine with your name, Arnold Schwartzenschnitzel, or whatever the name, is, on a billboard. Yeah, that’s going to draw a lot of tickets and sell a lot of tickets. Yeah, right.” So this is the kind of negative attitude they had.
But I didn’t listen to all this. Those were their rules, not my rules. I was convinced I could do it if I worked as hard as I did in bodybuilding, five hours a day. And I started getting to work, I started taking acting classes. I took English classes, took speech classes, dialogue classes. Accent removal classes I even took.
But let me tell you something, I broke through and started getting the first parts in TV; Streets of San Francisco, Lucille Ball hired me, I made Pumping Iron, Stay Hungry. And then I got the big break in Conan the Barbarian.
And there the director said, “If we wouldn’t have Schwarzenegger, we would have to build one.” Now, think about that. And then, when I did Terminator, “I’ll be back,” became one of the most famous lines in movie history, all because of my crazy accent.
Now, think about it. The things that the agents said would be totally a detriment and would make it impossible for me to get a job, all of a sudden became an asset for me, all of those things, my accent, my body and everything.
So it just shows to you, never listen to that you can’t do something.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
Anything I’ve ever attempted, I was always willing to fail. In the movie business, I remember, that you pick scripts. Many times you think this is a wining script, but then, of course, you find out later on, when you do the movie, that it didn’t work and the movie goes in the toilet.
Now, we have seen my movies; I mean, Red Sonja, Hercules in New York, Last Action Hero. Those movies went in the toilet. But that’s OK, because at the same time I made movies like Terminator and Conan and True Lies and Predator and Twins that went through the roof.
So you can’t always win, but don’t afraid of making decisions.
You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, and success will come.
Don’t listen to the naysayers.
How many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and it’s never been done before? Just imagine if Bill Gates had quit when people said it can’t be done.
I hear this all the time. As a matter of fact, I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it that means that I’m the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done.
I remember my mother-in-law, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, when she started Special Olympics in 1968 people said that it would not work. The experts, the doctors that specialized in mental disabilities said, “It can’t be done. You can’t bring people out of their institutions. You can’t make them participate in sports, in jumping and swimming and in running. They will hurt themselves, they will hurt each other, they will drown in the pool.”
Well, let me tell you something. Now, 40 years later, Special Olympics is one of the greatest organizations, in 164 countries, dedicated to people with mental disabilities.
If I would have listened to the naysayers I would still be in the Austrian Alps yodeling. I would never have come to America. I would have never met my wonderful wife Maria Shriver, I would have never had the wonderful four kids, I would have never done Terminator, and I wouldn’t be governor of the greatest state of the greatest country in the world.
I always listen to myself and say, “Yes, you can.”
Work your butt off.
You never want to fail because you didn’t work hard enough. I never wanted to lose a competition or lose an election because I didn’t work hard enough. I always believed leaving no stone unturned.
Mohammed Ali, one of my great heroes, had a great line in the ’70s when he was asked, “How many sit-ups do you do?” He said, “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.”
That’s what makes you a champion.
It is important to have fun in life, of course. But when you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that.
I you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work.
None of my rules, by the way, of success, will work unless you do. I’ve always figured out that there 24 hours a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left. Now, I know there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well, then, just sleep faster.
Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back, something back to your community, give something back to your state or to your country.
My father-in-law, Sargent Shriver — who is a great American, a truly great American who started the Peace Corps, the Job Corps, Legal Aid to the Poor — said at Yale University to the students at a commencement speech, “Tear down that mirror that makes you always look at yourself, and you will be able to look beyond that mirror and see the millions of people that need your help.”
And let me tell you something, reaching out and helping people will bring you more satisfaction than anything else you have ever done. As a matter of fact today, after having worked for Special Olympics and having started After School Programs, I’ve promoted fitness, and now with my job as governor, I can tell you, playing a game of chess with an eight-year-old kid in an inner city school is far more exciting for me than walking down another red carpet or a movie premiere.