Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Blueprint for Success


Arnold is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He won Mr. Olympia seven times. For a few years, in the mid-80’s, he was the highest paid movie star in Hollywood. He was a two time Governor of California.

Some of his most impressive success came through business. His net worth is around $400 million dollars. Most of his money was made through real estate and investments.

I am a big fan of Arnold. As a little boy I would watch the muscled hero shoot bad guys, rescue damsels in distress and save the day.

His greatest lesson is how he become successful not only as an actor and politician but as a businessman. His life has been an inspiration. There is a lot of things we can learn from his life.

He has a great video where he talks about his “Six Rules for Success.” I believe you can succeed by following this formula.

Lesson 1: Trust Yourself

Whatever you plan on becoming you need to trust yourself. Allowing others to define you is a waste of time. Instead define your goal and pursue it.

Arnold grew up in the small village of Thal, Austria. His father was a police officer. He wanted to Arnold to join the military.

Arnold says, “What is most important is that you have to dig deep down, and ask yourself, who you want to be? Not what, but who?”

Arnold wanted to be a bodybuilding champion. To do this he left Austria and came to America. He was 25 years old. He only had an impressive physique, $35 in his pocket a gym bag full of clothes.

His English was bad and he took a job as a part-time brick layer to make ends meet.

He continued, “I’m not talking about what your parents or teachers want you to be, but you. I ‘m talking about figuring out for yourself what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people. Trust yourself no matter what anyone thinks.”

Lesson 2: Break the Rules

For you to start pursing your dream, you need to be ready to step outside your comfort zone and do something different.

When Arnold transitioned from a bodybuilding icon to a movie start he faced huge obstacles. He was too big. His last name was too long. No one could understand because of his accent. In time, his liabilities became his assets because he wouldn’t quit.

Arnold said, “It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well-behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe.”

He says, “What is the point of being on this earth if you all want to do is to be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?”

To be successful you have to be willing to break the rules.

Lesson 3: Don’t be Afraid to Fail

Arnold is very successful but he had a lot of failures along the way. He lost countless bodybuilding contents. He was in some truly awful movies.

He made a lot of mistakes as the Governor of California. He had a bad divorce from Maria Shriver.

Arnold’s confidence and belief in himself allowed him to take risks that made him successful.

Arnold said, “You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that is the right thing to do and success will come. So don’t be afraid to fail.”

You learn from failure. You will never be successful without failure.

Lesson 4: Don’t Listen to the Naysayers

There comes a point in anything you do where people will tell you that something is impossible. Don’t them stop you.

Arnold said, “As a matter of fact, I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because when I do it that means I’m going to the first one that done it. So pay no attention to the people who say it can’t be done.”

By visualizing what you want is one secret to his success. Your brain believes it’s true and give you the confidence you need to succeed.

Lesson 5: Work Your Butt Off

Success is hard work. Arnold would work out for three hours a day, attend business classes at night school and had a part-time job. He slept only 6 hours a night but his hunger for success made him work hard.

Arnold said, “But when you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone else is out there at the same working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that. If you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard work.”

Arnold’s motto, “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.”

Lesson 6: Give Back

Arnold last rule is about giving back. He believes that no matter who you become in life, you must find a way to give back to your community. Helping other people brings immense satisfaction and joy to your life.

Arnold said, “Let me tell you something, reaching out and helping people will bring you more satisfaction than anything else you have ever done.”

Helping others makes you go outside yourself and makes a difference in someone’s life. It can give your life a sense of meaning and fulfillment.

The Mindset of a Champion

Arnold declares that winning in life is really a mindset. A positive mindset can produce success. Arnold says that his mind allows him to get up early and stay late.

The mindset of a champion allowed him to move outside his comfort zone, to visualize what he wanted and to work hard to make it come true.

Arnold developed the “whatever-it-takes” attitude that him to become successful in three different careers: bodybuilder, actor and politician.

Arnold said,”You can develop hunger by creating a goal for yourself, a short-term goal and a long-term goal, and you must go after it. If you do not see it and believe it, then who else will?”

Here is a link to a great video about how Arnold become successful: