People spend their entire lives trying to establish themselves as the best at what they do. Whether it is in business, athletics, or medicine, the goal of any career should be to become the best at your trade or craft. Most people never get the chance to come close to that, but Arnold Schwarzenegger had the opportunity to realize his dream at the age of 20 and go on to lead a truly one of a kind career.
Before I continue, I will admit that I am biased. I have always looked up to Arnie for inspiration in my athletic career, and I personally admire his journey. On top of all of that, he has been active in giving back to his community and to his fans, especially in terms of social media interactions, which makes him a role model for people everywhere.
At the age of 20, Arnold won the Mr. Universe title while serving in the Austrian Army. This story alone is unbelievable, as he managed to gain support from the commanding officers after going AWOL to compete in a junior bodybuilding competition. He then went on to start multiple successful businesses and become Mr. Olympia seven times. He turned his bodybuilding fame into a lucrative career in the entertainment industry, where he is well respected as an actor. Finally, he ran for, was elected to be, and served as the Governor of California for eight years. Now, we can see Mr. Schwarzenegger returning to the silver screen.
Looking at this journey shows a mastery of several totally different careers. Governor Schwarzenegger was able to achieve this because he understands how to work hard, work smart and set his sights on a goal. Fortunately for the rest of us, the 'Governator' described “Life's Six Rules,” which anyone can use to find success, during his commencement speech at USC in 2006.
1. Trust Yourself
There are ad campaigns and self-help books everywhere telling you that you need to believe in yourself, but too often, we ignore this. Trusting yourself and your instincts is essential to getting your dreams off of the ground. If you are not 100 percent committed to your plan, you won't achieve it. It's your plan; you should be the one figuring out what it's going to take to get there.
2. Break Some Rules
Arnold went AWOL from the military so he could achieve his dream. He was thrown into military prison for his actions, but they paid off. Now, you probably shouldn't do anything to land yourself in jail, but the idea is still important. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box and outside of the norm. It doesn't matter if you're doing something weird – who's going to be the one laughing in the end when you're sitting in success?
3. Don't Be Afraid To Fail
Being afraid to fail is understandable. The thought of having nothing and having wasted your time is something that paralyzes people from ever starting to pursue their goals. Thinking about the fact that you could have missed a life-changing opportunity is just as scary. Consider this – you are in your twenties right now. If you start something and fail, you're still in your twenties. You still have time to become extremely successful.
4. Ignore The Naysayers
Generation-Y is different from the generations of our parents. We don't like to see each other succeed. Everyone will try to argue this, but overall, you aren't happy to see other people do great things. This is where all of the negative thoughts stem from. People will immediately put down any idea that seems unlikely; ignore them, and do what you want.
5. Work Like Hell
The huge handicap that most Gen-Y kids face is procrastination. The work ethic for our age group simply isn't there. People are more worried about the appearance of doing work than actually doing it. Put down your cell phone and concentrate on your goals. You should treat your goals and priorities as if they are requirements of your nine-to-five job, or even more than that. Mr. Schwarzenegger can tell you, if you are sleeping for more than six hours a day, you need to sleep faster.
6. Give Something Back
Never forget where you came from. Becoming successful is everyone's dream, but we need to remember that there are people who aren't as fortunate. Make sure that you improve the world around you and the lives of those you meet. If Arnold can find time to do this, so can you.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's six rules helped to carry him through a life of continued success, although, not left unmarked by struggle. Emulating his mindset and work ethic will not only help you get shredded in the gym, but it will, more importantly, help you find success and end up right where you have been aiming for.
Photo credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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