A Lesson in Motivation from Arnold Schwarzenegger

By any measure, Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most successful people of all-time. From being named Mr. Universe, to becoming one of the most recognizable movie stars in the world, Arnold is a master of achieving what he sets out to accomplish.  In a recent interview Arnold laid out what it takes for him to be successful.

Get Clear on Your Goals

For Arnold, it all begins with a goal. A vision of what you want to do. For Arnold, he envisioned himself as the greatest body builder of all-time. He envisioned himself up on the stage. And envisioned himself lifting the trophy over-and-over-and-over again. Arnold recommends we sit down, take our time, and start to think about why do we want to achieve our goals.

Envision Your Success

According to Arnold, once you become clear on what it is you want it’s a good idea to post pictures of what success looks like around your house as a daily reminder to help you stay clear on your vision. According to Arnold, seeing these constant reminders of what you want will help you stay on track. When Arnold was chasing his dream of becoming Mr. Universe, he was constantly smiling. He said this was because he knew every curl he did and every weight he lifted got him one step closer to the goal he was chasing. That attitude kept him excited, and kept him going.

A Lesson in Motivation

Just after Arnold had won Mr. Olympia in 1975, film director Bob Rafelson approached Arnold about a starring role in the film, Stay Hungry. The only catch was Arnold needed to weigh 210 pounds. At the time, Arnold was weighing well over 245 pounds. But he wanted the role, so for the next few months, Arnold did everything he could to lose the weight and the day before they started filming, he weighed-in at 209 pounds. The entire time he was working out, Arnold says he visualized exactly what he wanted to look like.

Success Starts Small

According to Arnold, when he started into the world of weight lifting as a kid, he did not have very much confidence. It was not until he won his first little trophy for doing the best ‘clean and jerk’ lift that he began to believe in himself a bit. From there he won another little trophy. And his confidence built. This continued until Arnold was the most successful bodybuilder in the world.

According to Arnold, this approach of using little victories to add confidence until he ultimately achieved his biggest goals was the same approach he used all throughout his life.

The Importance of Deadlines

For Arnold, it was always important to have a deadline. Knowing he needed to be in top shape by a certain deadline always helped to streamline and sharpen Arnold’s effort. Arnold says he would never allow a deadline to arrive without knowing he did his best to be in the best shape he could be for his deadline. Having such deadline motivates one to keep on track, and lessens the chances of allowing your efforts and attention to drift aimlessly. It is this focus on achieving a specific goal by a specific date that has helped Arnold achieve so much.

How to Find the Time

According to Arnold, of the 24 hours in a day, there is more than enough time to prepare for the goals you want to achieve. For Arnold, this is especially true if what you want to achieve is learning something new, or reshaping your body. Finding one hour a day in which to devote toward these goals is totally doable, if you are dedicated to your goal. If you want to do something, you will make the time for it. Get up an hour earlier. And don’t waste a minute. For Arnold, there are no excuses. If you think you need eight hours, according to Arnold all you need to do is, ‘Just sleep a little faster.’

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