Arnold Schwarzenegger On Success At Life

By Jamie McSloy / February 4, 2018
arnold schwarzenegger featured image

Check this video out:

This is a great video.

It’s a great video because if you’re going to emulate someone’s behaviour, then you want to pick a person worth emulating.

I’m not a fan of the whole “motivation guru” thing, because it all amounts to a bunch of people telling you to be you whilst also being something different. Often, the people selling you on being yourself and something different aren’t either of those things.

Like the motivation guru who tells you to be a leader of men whilst seemingly having no real friends and spending far too much time on Twitter.

Or the romance guru who seems to have all the answers for dating and relationship advice, but is suspiciously single and bemoaning of the dating market all the time.

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Most motivational gurus aren’t very good at anything, so they sell purely emotional good-feels to people who are down and out.

On the one hand, I recommend you don’t do that and instead help people out of the holes they’re in as opposed to simply shouting “You go girl!” down into the chasm.

On the other hand, I recommend you instead take advice from people who’ve done exceptional things if you want to be exceptional.

Take Arnold

Arnold is a multi-time super-successful person. He didn’t do it by selling motivation, despite being a motivational guy.

He’s a motivational guy because he pushed himself to his limits and showed everyone that the unattainable was attainable. Then he proceeded to use the same discipline to win at a bunch of other unrelated stuff too.

If you watch/listen to the video, then you don’t really need my commentary (good example of taking advice direct from the )

Have a Specific Attainable Goal

Arnold’s goals were very physical success oriented, so you’ll have to flip them. The point is that you have a specific goal and you keep it in mind at all times. This can’t be a goal that’s based on luck (like finding gold) but on work.

Also, it doesn’t matter why you have the goal you do. The example he used in the video – that you might not care about being a bodybuilder but you might care about getting the best girls – is a good one.

Sometimes, you want to do things for stupid reasons. That doesn’t matter. You might want to make a million dollars so that you can give it to charity, or you might want to make a million dollars so you can blow it all on hookers and coke. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, so long as it’s effective at getting you the desired result.

Future Pacing & Delayed Gratification

From studying successful folks, I’ve found there’s one absolute key ingredient to outrageous success.

It’s not Modafinil or waking up at 4am or starting a blog so you can laugh at people with real jobs.

It is mastering delayed gratification.

Arnold states to take enjoyment from every step you take because it gets you closer to your goal.

Now… this doesn’t mean that you have to actually enjoy everything. There are probably times when Arnold was injured or in pain. It’s not a literal “enjoy each moment” kind of experience like a yoga guru or Buddhist monk might teach you.

More it’s a case of mastering delayed gratification. You want something so the displeasure it takes to achieve it causes positive emotions because you’re contributing to the goal.

That’s a subtle thing, but it’s important.

Delayed gratification is one of the biggest mental skills you can develop. Forget what you want in the moment; delay it for the bigger win.

Forget Motivation

Motivation is an emotional term. You want to eradicate it. This is a theme that runs through Arnold’s mindset whenever I hear him speak.

Whilst it might be motivating to hear him speak in terms of visualisations and goals, there’s a deeper root to his success.

If he needed to do stuff, he just did it.

Needed to gain weight? Ok.

Needed to lose weight? No problem.

Want to run for Governer of California? What does it take? I’ll do it.

There’s no real motivation involved. More like “recognise the problem, and do what it takes.”

It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy the process or not. It needs to be done if you want to achieve the goal.


Procrastination is your enemy. You have a limited time on this Earth and it doesn’t matter whether you have a two-month plan or a ten-year one, your time will run out.

If you don’t have any urgency, then you must make urgency for yourself. Set deadlines and create battles in your head that you’ll win.

It’s always better to race towards a goal because a) you get more time to bask in the glory, and b) you can do more stuff.

If you wait six months and then start working on your goal, all you’ve achieved is wasting six months. If you start towards your goal now, you’ll finish six months early and you can either move on to something else or spend an extra six months of your life with whatever benefit you’ve earned.

Final Thoughts

Not really any final thoughts today. Watch the video. Make notes. Start working on your goals.

Do not rely on outside motivation. Set a clear path for yourself that’ll make you better off, and then start doing it. Keep going until you finish.