Arnold Schwarzenegger has always been a hero of mine, not just for his success as an athlete but for everything he has achieved. He is the epitome of growth mindset. When Arnie sets his mind to something, you can be sure he will achieve it.
I wondered if Arnold possesses certain qualities, habits, or mindset techniques we could learn from? What are his principles for success – and what can we take from them?
Here are 5 lessons from Arnie we can all use.
Carve your own path
Arnold never did things the easy way. If he had a goal, he went after it – regardless of what was popular or on trend at the time. Bodybuilding was not mainstream back then (he made it so!). His own agent laughed at him when he wanted to make it big in Hollywood. Some people ridiculed him when he announced he was running for governor of California.
The lesson? Don’t listen to detractors. Be your own biggest fan.
Start the day early
Arnie famously got up at 5am during his bodybuilding years, and I bet he’s still an early riser. You don’t necessarily need to get up that early, but it’s worth taking advantage of the morning. You can get a lot done!
The lesson? Use the first 30-60 minutes of your day wisely.
Can you imagine how different popular culture would be if Arnie had only wanted to “do a bodybuilding show” or “have a walk-on part in a film”? Nope – when this guy has a goal, he goes for the win. Did you know that he lost a bodybuilding competition early in his career, and credits that with changing his mindset?
The lesson? Develop a winner’s mindset and see how much further you go.
Practice makes perfect
Arnold certainly did not have things handed to him on a plate. He grew up in an abusive household. He arrived in the USA barely speaking English. Arnold didn’t have mentors – he sought out his own idols, and copied what they did. He had a keen eye for the “clues” of success. And he outworked everyone else.
The lesson? Hard work will get you far.
Don’t see failures
It’s not like Arnie had the Midas touch. He has had lots of “failures” in his life, from movie flops to PR disasters. But he doesn’t see things as career-ending failures. He gets back up again and carries on.
The lesson? Nothing is as bad as it first appears – keep going.
Recap of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life achievements
Politician: 38th governor of California from 2003-2011
Athlete: won Mr Olympia bodybuilding title 7 times
Actor: Hollywood star in several genres
Businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, author…
My favourite motivational Arnie quotes
“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.”
“I learned something from all those years of training and competing. I learned something from all those sets and reps when I didn’t think I could lift another ounce of weight. What I learned is that we are always stronger than we know.”
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
“Don’t go where it’s crowded. Go where it’s empty. Even though it’s harder to get there, that’s where you belong and where there’s less competition.”
“Dreams are for the dreamers. Goals are for achievers.”
Who’s your idol? I’d love to know.
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