Arnold Schwarzenegger is a well known success story and he has explained his formula for success many times. In his autobiography, Total Recall, is not only his life but also his success formula explained.
Total Recall is an entertaining book and it is easy to read. But the most important message in the book is that anyone can become successful. The Schwarzenegger success formula can be summarized in a few simple sentences.
First create a vision of who you want to be. Then you start living into the vision as if it were already true. Note that it should be a big goal, something that is so exciting that you jump out of bed in the morning in order to start working on getting closer to your goal.
There are two important things you need to know as well. First, you need mentors who can tell you what is the best way of reaching your goal. If you have to find out everything yourself, it will take too much time and you will get started on the wrong path far too often. Secondly, you need to take massive action or to use one of Schwarzenegger’s expressions, work your ass off. Make sure that you do something every day that gets you closer to your goal.
Regardless of what you want to achieve in life, one skill is always required, selling. Schwarzenegger was very well aware of this already when he was into bodybuilding. He become the man who changed bodybuilding from being perceived as an activity for men with psychological problems to a mainstream activity. He was quite clearly not the best actor from technical point of view. But he knew his strengths and weaknesses as an actor and focused on his strengths. He had the right body for action movies and could deliver witty one-liners. His films had very basic stories but plenty of action with some jokes thrown in. He spent a lot of time on promoting his films, both in the US and abroad. The films may not have been especially sophisticated but he had built up a fan club that made the films commercially successful. Needless to say, if you are in politics, you have to be able to sell your views and visions.
Note that as actor Schwarzenegger focused on his strengths and did not worry about his weaknesses, an important strategy for all high achievers. It simply takes far too long time to try to get rid of your weaknesses and typically you only become average anyway. For success, you need to be extraordinary, not average. Thus, know your strengths and weaknesses, make the most of your strengths and find solutions for your weaknesses.
In his autobiography, Schwarzenegger also lists ten principles that are necessary for success. Three of the most important are:
- Forget plan B
- The day has 24 hours
- Reps, reps, reps
If you want to become successful, you have to look forward and not worry about all that can go wrong. It is not easy to become a success, there will be plenty of setbacks. If you have a plan B, you will most likely take the easy way out after a few setbacks. Stay focused on your goal, persistence is always needed if you want to achieve something worth mentioning.
Everyone has 24 hours a day, how you use those 24 hours will determine your success. You need to spend as much time as possible every day working on getting closer to your goal. Success seldom depends on talent or luck, instead hard work (reps, reps, reps) is a much more likely to make you successful. You simply have to be prepared to put in much more work than the average person.
For more about Schwarzenegger’s success formula, read his autobiography, Total Recall.