A few years ago a friend of mine told me to read Arnold Schwarzenegger's biography(Total Recall). I knew Arnold was a nice guy, a movies star, politician, etc. But never really got interested in it, but i always loved reading the history of great people, so i decided to give it a try and this book changed my life. We all know that in todays society we lack good male role models and, in my opnion, Arnold is one of the best out there. I always try to emulate his mindset and try to be more like him. I grew up without a father to teach me a lot of things and to give me a "winner" and manly mindset, but this book really helped me to build my "manly self". Every once in a while i go back to this book and read something again. I Really recommend you guys to read it. Throughout the book he tell exactly how he minds work and even gives tips on things he did that made him who he is and at the end of the book he made a list of things you should do to change yourself and i really think it fits this board. Here are a few things of this list. Hope you guys like it.
1- Take care of your body and your mind. Some of the earliest advice that stuck in my head was Fredi Gerstl channeling Plato. “The Greeks started the Olympics, but they also gave us the great philosophers,” he would say. “You have to build the ultimate physical machine but also the ultimate of the mind.” Focusing on the body was no problem for me, and later on, I became really curious to develop my mind. I realized that the mind is a muscle and we should train it too. So I was determined to train my brain and get smart. I became like a sponge, absorbing everything around me. The world became my university, I developed such a need to learn and read and take it all in.
For people who are successful with their intelligence, the opposite applies. They need to exercise the body every day. Clint Eastwood exercises even when he’s directing and starring in a movie. Dmitri Medvedev worked endless hours when he was president of Russia, but he had a gym at home and worked out two hours each day. If world leaders have time to work out, so do you.
Many years after hearing it from Fredi Gerstl, I heard the same idea of balance from the Pope. I visited the Vatican with Maria and her parents in 1983 for a private audience with John Paul II. Sarge was talking spiritual talk because he was an expert in that. Eunice asked the Holy Father about what kids should do to become better people and he said, “Just pray. Just pray.”
I talked to him about his workouts. Just before we went, I’d read a magazine story that described how athletic the pope was and what good shape he was in. To him, besides religion, life was about taking care of both your mind and your body. So we talked about that. He was known for getting up at five in the morning and reading newspapers in six different languages and doing two hundred push-ups and three hundred sit-ups, all before breakfast and before his workday began. He was a skier too, and he skied even after he became pope.
And he was already in his sixties, twenty-seven years older than me. I said to myself, “If that guy can do it, I’ve got to get up even earlier!”
2- Stay hungry. Be hungry for success, hungry to make your mark, hungry to be seen and to be heard and to have an effect. And as you move up and become successful, make sure also to be hungry for helping others.
Don’t rest on your laurels. Too many former athletes spend their lives talking about how great they were twenty years ago. But someone like Ted Turner goes from running his father’s outdoor advertising business to founding CNN, to organizing the Goodwill Games, to raising bison and supplying bison meat, to having forty-seven honorary degrees. That’s what I call staying hungry. Bono starts as a musician, then buys others’ music, then works to combat AIDS and to create jobs. Anthony Quinn was not happy just being a movie star. He wanted to do more. He became a painter whose canvases sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Donald Trump turned his inheritance into a fortune ten times as big, then had a network TV show. Sarge traveled the world till he died, always hungry for new projects.
So many accomplished people just coast. They wish they could still be somebody and not just talk about the past. There is much more to life than being the greatest at one thing. We learn so much when we’re successful, so why not use what you’ve learned, use your connections and do more with them?
My father always told me, “Be useful. Do something.” He was right. If you have a talent or skill that makes you happy, use it to improve your neighborhood. And if you feel a desire to do more, then go all out. You’ll have plenty of time to rest when you’re in the grave. Live a risky life and a spicy life and like Eleanor Roosevelt said, every day do something that scares you.
We should all stay hungry!
3- The day has twenty-four hours. I once gave a talk in a University of California classroom, and afterward a student raised his hand and complained, “Governor, since the budget crisis hit us, my tuition has gone up twice. Now it’s too high. I need more financial aid.”
“I understand, it’s difficult,” I said. “But what do you mean, too high?”
“I mean now I have to work part-time.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“I have to study!”
So I said, “Let’s figure this out. How many hours do you go to class?”
“I’ve got two hours one day and three hours another day.”
“And how much studying do you have to do?”
“Well, each day, three hours.”
“Okay. So far I see six hours one day and seven hours the other day, counting your commute. What do you do with the rest of the time?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, the day is twenty-four hours. Have you ever thought about working more? Maybe even taking more classes? Rather than wasting your life away?”
The class was shocked to hear me say this. “I’m not wasting my life away!” said the student.
“Yes, you are. You’re talking about six hours a day. The day is twenty-four hours, so you have eighteen hours left. Maybe you need six hours for sleeping. So if your part-time job takes four hours, you still have time for dating and dancing and drinking and going out. Why are you complaining?”
I explained how as a student I’d trained five hours a day, gone to acting classes four hours a day, worked in construction several hours a day, and gone to college and done my homework. And I was not the only one. In my classes at Santa Monica College and at UCLA Extension there were people who were also working full-time jobs. It’s natural to hope for someone else to foot the bill. And government should be there to help if there is genuine need and provide education. But if government is not taking in enough revenue because of an economic slowdown, then everyone should chip in and sacrifice.
4- Don’t blame your parents. They’ve done their best for you, and if they’ve left you with problems, those problems are now yours to solve. Maybe your parents were too supportive and protective and now you feel needy and vulnerable in the world—don’t blame them for that. Or maybe they were too harsh.
I loved my father when I was little and wanted to be like him. I admired his uniform and his gun and the fact that he was a policeman. But then later on I hated the pressure he put on my brother and me. “You have to set an example in the village because you’re the children of the inspector,” he would say. We had to be the perfect kids, which of course we were not.
He was exacting, which was his nature. He was also brutal at times but I don’t think that was his fault. It was the war. If he had lived in a more normal way, he’d have been different.
So I’ve often wondered: What if he’d been warmer and nicer? Would I have left Austria? Probably not. And that is my great fear!
I became Arnold because of what he did to me. I recognized that I could channel my upbringing in a positive way rather than complain. I could use it to have a vision, set goals, find joy. His harshness drove me from home. It made me come to America, and work for success, and I’m happy it did. I don’t have to lick my wounds.
There’s a passage near the end of Conan the Barbarian that has always stuck with me. The lines are said not by Conan but by Thulsa Doom, the sorcerer who makes Conan as a young boy watch his father be devoured by dogs and who slaughters Conan’s mother before his eyes. As Conan is about to kill him and avenge his parents, Thulsa Doom says, “Who is your father if it is not me? Who gave you the will to live? I am the wellspring from which you flow.”
So it’s not always obvious what you should celebrate. Sometimes you have to appreciate the very people and circumstances that traumatized you. Today I hail the strictness of my father, and my whole upbringing, and the fact that I didn’t have anything that I wanted in Austria, because those were the very factors that made me hungry. Every time he hit me. Every time he said my weight training was garbage, that I should do something useful and go out and chop wood. Every time he disapproved of me or embarrassed me, it put fuel on the fire in my belly. It drove me and motivated me.