What are the key ingredients to be successful?
I’m sure you’d love to know as much as I do.
Well, who better to ask than Arnold Schwarzenegger — Mr. Universe at the age of 20, 7-time Mr. Olympia, Hollywood legend and two-term Governor of California.
Luckily, you don’t need to run to the gym and build 22-inch biceps or start working on a fake Austrian accent. Here are the ultimate 5 steps if you want to be successful like Schwarzenegger!
1. Find your vision and follow it
That’s step one according to Schwarzenegger. Set out what you’re after, what your goal is and chase it. If you lack a vision, you’ll just be drifting around feeling lost and unhappy.
Schwarzenegger illustrates this with his own rocky start, growing up in the aftermath of the Second World War in Austria, which lost the war alongside with Germany. He wanted to escape and find a better life, but didn’t have a clue where to begin.
One day, he watched a documentary in school about America. That was it — that was his dream destination. But the big question remained: how would he get there in times when no one had money to travel?
Then a moment came that changed his life.
He got his hands on a bodybuilding magazine and met a guy called Reg Park on the cover.
“I read the article as fast as I could, learning about how he grew up in Leeds in England, poor. And how he trained five hours a day, every single day and trained and trained and trained so then he finally became Mr. Great Britain. And then became Mr. Universe, and then he won a second Mr. Universe title and a third Mr. Universe title and then all of a sudden he landed in Rome in Cinecitta doing Hercules movies.
And as I read, I became more and more certain I had that vision very clearly laid out. To be a champion on that same stage where he won the Mr. Universe, and then to move to America, then get into movies.
From that moment on, everything that I did, no matter how hard I had to work or how much I had to struggle, it didn’t matter ’cause I knew what the purpose was and I found my passion.
Always discover your vision and the rest will follow.”
2. Never think small, think big
When determining your vision and goals, don’t be afraid to be ambitious.
As Schwarzenegger puts it: “My second rule is never ever think small. You have to go and shoot for the stars. I didn’t just think about being in movies, no I wanted to be a movie star. I wanted to have above the title billing. I wanted to become the highest paid entertainer, I basically wanted to be another John Wayne. What’s wrong with that? Never think small, think big.”
3. Ignore the naysayers
Okay, so you’ve laid down your vision for the future. You’ve set the bar high and see it big.
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Naturally you’ll meet people that will tell you it’ll never happen, that you might just forget about your unrealistic dreams.
It has happened to Schwarzenegger too, when he got into bodybuilding and wanted to become a movie star: “When I met those agents and managers, their reaction was, oh Arnold, that is so funny. You want to be what, a leading man? Oh come on, I mean look first of all let’s start with your body. You’re gigantic, you’re like a monster. And then your accent, oh it gives me the chills just listening to your German bullshit, come on now. Have you ever seen an international movie star with a German accent? It doesn’t happen, forget about that. And then your name, what is it, Schwartzen, Schnitzel or something like that? People are gonna storm the theater and the movie houses because Schwartzenschnitzel is starring in a movie. Oh yeah, I can see that already. Imagine that, everywhere I turned they said no, it won’t happen, it’s not gonna happen and forget about it.”
Luckily he didn’t listen. On the contrary, it pushed him even more. He started taking acting classes, English classes, accent removal classes, you name it.
And then it happened — he got a small part in a TV show. One small part led to another and finally he got the big break as Conan the Barbarian.
“And you know what was so interesting about it was the director said that at the press conference if we wouldn’t have had Schwarzenegger with those muscles we would have had to build one. And then when I did Terminator, James Cameron said the I’ll be back line became one of the most famous movie lines in history because of Arnold’s crazy accent because he sounded like a machine!
So as you see, everything that the naysayers said was a liability became an asset. Ignore the naysayers.”
4. Work your ass off
The fourth rule may not be the most fun one, but it’s indispensable: work your ass off.
“You never want to fail because you didn’t work hard enough. And it doesn’t matter in what area you’re in. No pain, no gain.”
If you think you’re working hard, keep in mind Arnold’s schedule when he arrived to the US: “I trained five hours a day every day and I was managing a construction business and I was a bricklayer and I went to college also. And I took acting classes from eight o’clock at night to 12 o’clock midnight, every day I did that.
Work your butt off, that’s what I always believe no matter what you do, work, work, work.”
5. Don’t just take, give something back
It’s okay to be focused on your personal development, but don’t forget about people around you.
Aim for the stars and share your success with others.
As Schwarzenegger puts it: “Tear down that mirror that makes you always look at yourself and you will be able to look beyond that mirror and you will see the millions and millions of people that need your help.
And this is why I try to take every opportunity that occurred to give something back. I started training Special Olympians, I started after school programs for the most vulnerable children, for inner-city children to make them be able to say no to drugs, no to gangs, and no to violence. We all can create change whether it is in our neighborhood or in our local schools ’cause the bottom line is it is up to us.
Have a vision, think big, ignore the naysayers, work your ass off, and give back and change the world. Because if not us, who? If not now, when?”
Hungry for more? Check out Goalcast’s other motivational videos!
And drop us your experiences and opinion in the comments below!
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