Arnold has six rules for success, and guess what… they’re probably a lot different than the ones you learned in school or practice at work.
Arnold is an anomaly. He grew up in a small Austrian town with the expectations of his family that he would follow in the footsteps of his father. Arnold, however, had other plans.
Arnold is a maverick, an outlaw.
While in the Austrian Army, Arnold infamously decided to sneak out and pursue his dream of winning the Mr. Europe bodybuilding competition in Stuttgart, Germany. After making the great escape and winning the competition, Arnold was welcomed back with a stay in solitary confinement.
Arnold knew the risks and the punishment, but more importantly–he understood the rewards.
What was it about Arnold that propelled him to become the best bodybuilder in the world? What made it possible for an Austrian with a strange accent to become a famous Hollywood actor and eventual Governator of California?
Arnold credits his “Six Rules.”
Arnold’s Six Rules: Lessons From The “Austrian Oak”
Follow these rules and success will follow you.
1. TRUST YOURSELF
You’ve got to have a vision of what you—not your mother or father—want to do. I knew when I was a kid that I wanted to be a world champion in bodybuilding. I wanted to be the greatest bodybuilder—not just win one competition, but be the greatest bodybuilder of all time.
My parents wanted a different vision for me. They wanted me to be a police officer like my father, to marry a girl named Heidi, and to have a bunch of children, like the von Trapp family in “The Sound of Music.” I wanted to get out of Austria, to come to America, to be a champion. I had total trust and confidence in that decision and I went after it.
Have trust in yourself, craft your own vision, and go after it. Once you have a strong enough vision, you can work like hell to achieve it.”
2. BREAK SOME RULES
Franco Columbu stood 5-foot-5. Everyone told him he would never be a world champion. The rules said that only tall and big guys win Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, and all the big titles. But Franco broke the rules. He became the monster slayer. He won the Mr. Universe three times. He won Mr. World. He even won the Olympia twice!
I did the same thing. People said I could not become an actor. The rules said that actors with accents could not be leading men. I broke that rule. I didn’t care if no one in history had ever done it. I took acting classes, accent-removal lessons, and English lessons. I worked hard, and I became a leading man.
3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL
When you fail, you can always get back up. You have to take risks. Without taking risks, you can never break a record. If you have a 400-pound bench press and want to bench 420, but you are afraid to fail, then you’ll never even try the 420. Relax! Don’t be afraid.
A failure is someone who falls and never gets back up. A winner falls, gets up, dusts himself off, and keeps moving. Don’t be afraid to fail! Everyone around the world fails. Don’t be afraid to attack that goal.
4. IGNORE THE NAYSAYERS
If I had listened to these people, I would still be in Austria, up in the Alps, yodeling. When I was 15 years old and told people I wanted to be a champion bodybuilder, right away they told me it wouldn’t happen. “It’s impossible,” they said. “It’s an American sport. In Austria, you can be a ski, cycling, or maybe track and field champion, but you cannot be a bodybuilding champion.”
You know something? I didn’t listen to them. I moved to America. I became a bodybuilding champion. The rest is history.
When I ran for governor of California, they said, “No, you can’t. You have to first run for mayor, city council, state senator, and then maybe for governor.” I said to hell with all that. I felt passionate about public service and giving something back. I wanted to run for governor, I ran, and two months later I was governor.
5. WORK LIKE HELL
I hate when people say, “I don’t have enough time to work out.” That’s crazy to me. You have 24 hours in a day. Sleep six hours, and you have 18 hours left. Do your job, which probably takes 8-10 hours, and you have at least 10 hours left. You’re telling me you can’t work out in that time?
Read a book, pay attention to your family, spend time with your friends, and save 30-45 minutes to work out every day. That’s a minimum! I promise you can find or make the time.
A day lasts 24 hours, so don’t limit your working hours to certain portions of it. Work like hell. Work your butt off. No one has ever been successful without working hard. There are no shortcuts. Work like hell and you’re going to make it.
6. GIVE SOMETHING BACK
We are not where we are today without any help. We all get help along the way. We’ve never done it by ourselves. Everything I have done—show business, politics, money I made, success in business and bodybuilding, my foundation, environmental organizations—it’s always with a lot of help from a lot of people.
Since they helped me, I should now help others! This is why I have after-school programs, why I help with Special Olympics, and why I care about environmental issues. I want to clean up the environment and create a green-energy future so our world is a better place than when we inherited it.
We have to help people. There are millions of children who need help, who come from families that don’t have enough money or don’t read well. Help them learn to read! Encourage people to exercise! Join an organization where you can give a kid a hug, hang a medal around their neck and say, “You’re a winner! We believe in you. We love you. We care for you.”
Do something for your community, your state, your country. Give something back.
Applying The Rules To Your Life
Arnold didn’t wait for permission. He didn’t wait for the entirety of a plan before taking action. Arnold was a visionary, a believer, and perhaps most importantly– a doer. When Arnold is gone, he’ll have left a legacy, a clear and unmistakable mark on the world. It’s a legacy that’s inspired thousands of people to pursue fitness and relentlessly follow their dreams.
How will you apply the six rules to your own life?