It's been some time since I've posted anything like this, but I always enjoy reading motivational content so here's to hoping maybe you will too. I don't remember what internet rabbit-hole took me to this video, but when I watched it, something "clicked". It's a clip from Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2009 commencement speech to USC. He says, "People always ask me, what's the secret to success?" His response is the following "six rules of life".
I'm too young to remember the Govenator in his prime, but inferring from the above picture, he was a tough competitor, winning Mr. Universe at only 20 years old, Schwarzenegger is one of the most recognizable figures in the history of bodybuilding.
1 - Trust Yourself
I can't tell you the number of times I've doubted myself only to have my worst suspicions actualized. As cliche as it sounds, it's true. When you honestly believe in yourself and your abilities, the outcome will be much more favorable.
2 - Break The Rules
"They're more like guidelines" is the famous line from Pirates of the Caribbean. Society lays down "the rules" and it's decision how to play. Arnold isn't condoning breaking the law, just "the rules". E.g. Steve Jobs was a notorious rebel. In his youth he played practical jokes with his buddy "Woz" and flew a pirate flag over the Macintosh section of Apple's campus. In his own now notorious commencement speech (considered one of the greatest) to Stanford University, Jobs elaborates on his personal rule breaking philosophy. Again, I agree with Arnold, If you play everything by the rules, you're not playing your own game.
3 - Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
If you agree with rule #1, the fear of failure shouldn't bother you. But for many of us, fear thwarts our efforts before we even try. Michael Jordan credits much of his success to his willingness to "take the shot". He's frequently quoted for saying, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." If you're afraid to fail, it just doesn't work.
4 - Ignore The Naysayers
Rappers call them "haters". Arnold says "naysayers", they're the same. In Pursuit of Happiness Will Smith's character says, "People can't do something themselves, they want to tell you, you can't do it. You got a dream? You've got to protect it." Even better is possessing the ability to turn the negativity into motivation. Every insult, doubt, proclamation of the impossible from others is an opportunity.
5 - Work Your Butt Off
Arnold's most important rule. You mean it's hard? Typical Austrian or German work ethic, but it's essential. It's like that line, "the harder I work, the luckier I get". Sometimes our idols make it look easy, but most people never see what goes on behind the scenes. We don't see the workouts, rehearsals, rejections, we only ever see results. Arnold says, "when you feel it burning, it's growing". Especially in weightlifting, you must be willing to "work your butt off".
6 - Give Something Back
I'm a huge fan of this last one. It's not only about success for yourself. Being able to help others is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling feelings. It's why community service feels so good, why the greatest teachers love what they do, why success means nothing without someone to share it with.
There you have it, Arnold Schwarzenegger's 6 rules for life. Hope you found this inspiring or useful, as I said, I love this stuff and if you did too, consider subscribing or sharing with a friend! If any of these resonate with you, I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments below.