In this post I am going to write about the lessons of Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the most successful people in recent times. Born in Austria, he started at a young age with weights, achieving the title of Mister Universe at the age of 20 and winning the Mister Olympia competition 7 times in the 70s.
In the 80s, already settled in the United States, he devoted himself to cinema. His first film was “Conan the Barbarian” in 1982. In 1984 he was the protagonist of “Terminator” which catapulted his film career. After a successful film career, he made the leap into politics at the beginning of the 21st century. In 2003 he was elected governor of the state of California, being reelected in 2007 and ending his term in 2011. He has also been very successful as an entrepreneur and businessman. It is estimated that currently has a fortune of more than 400 million dollars.
Without a doubt, a terribly successful person in different personal and professional fields and who has developed incredible leadership in many facets of his life. In different interviews, Schwarzenegger highlights the main lessons to be successful:
- Have a vision. Schwarzenegger affirms that “the first rule of success is to have a dream, a vision. If you don’t have a purpose or a goal, you will end up wandering and going nowhere”. He adds that “I couldn’t wait to leave Austria because I couldn’t imagine being a farmer or working in a factory and, although my parents wanted me to stay there and have a normal life, it was their dream, not mine: I felt that I was born to do something special and unique“. “I stumbled upon my dream when at the age of 11 I saw a documentary about the United States at school and shortly after I passed a store where I saw Reg Park on the cover of a magazine, that he was 3 times Mister Olympia and got to star in Hercules on the big screen and then it was clear to me: I wanted to become a bodybuilding champion like him. I wanted to star in movies and be rich and famous. It was a liberating feeling knowing what I wanted to do”.
- Don’t listen to negative people. Arnold affirms that “Everything I have achieved in my life has been despite the negativity of the people. When someone says no, I listen to yes. When someone says that it is impossible, I hear that it is possible because I believe in it with all my might“. One of the great inspirers of Schwarzenegger was Nelson Mandela who said that everything is impossible until someone does it. Arnold bets not to listen to negative people. And he adds, “when I wanted to be an actor, they told me where I was going with that big body and that German accent, but in Conan my body was decisive and in Terminator my accent too. What was an obstacle became an advantage“.
- The value of effort. Schwarzenegger is clearly committed to effort as a necessary requirement for success. He states that “There is no magic pill. Everything is based on hard work. A day has 24 hours and we often sleep an average of 6. You have 18 hours and if you organize yourself well with all your obligations there is enough time for everything. You have to decide how you want to go through life”. He also adds that, “I became good friends with Muhammad Ali in the 70s and once while in the gym someone asked him how many sit-ups he did and his answer was that he did not know for sure because he only started counting when it hurts. This is hard work“.
- Who said B plan? “I hate having a B plan. When you doubt your possibilities, it is very dangerous because you start to think in the wrong way. Every second you spend thinking about B plan is energy you take from A plan. People like having a B plan because they are afraid of failing. But the reality is you don’t have to be afraid of failure because there is nothing wrong with failing“. Arnold continues, adding that “Failure makes you improve and there is no one who has not failed in some aspect of their life. We all fail, and nothing happens. What is not acceptable is to fail and not get up because it is an attitude of losers. If you fail, get up as many times as necessary”.
- Today better than yesterday. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what your goal is. The important thing is to start now. I simply ask you to be better today than you were yesterday. It’s simple and it’s the key to a healthier future. If you completed 5,000 steps yesterday, walk 5,001 today. If you ate one piece of fruit or vegetables yesterday, eat two tomorrow. If you did a push-up for the first time today, do two tomorrow”.
5 ideas, 5 lessons from a very successful person, from a great personal brand like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I end with a quote of him that perfectly sums up his philosophy: “You can have results or excuses, but not both”.