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10 Lessons We Can Learn From A Podcast With Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Champion BodyBuilder

Tim Ferriss, the man who experiments in lifestyle design and renowned for introducing the 4 hour work week to the world, started his own podcast only less than half a year ago. He managed to pull off the unexpected and was invited to visit Southern California to interview the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This podcast interview is just under 1.5 hours of pure gold, and gives you a chance to connect with Arnold through the interviewer’s incredible engagement ability.

Here are 10 lessons that open up answers on how one man can achieve so much in a short amount of time.

 

1. ‘My confidence came from my vision’

One advice you’ll find in many ‘self-development’ books without fail, is having a clear vision.

Tim mentioned about a very old photograph from the Junior Mr Europe contest, and noticed the confidence (even arrogance) on a young Arnold’s facial expression.

‘I wasn’t there to compete, I was there to WIN’

He had a clear vision, so he knew ‘why‘ training 5 hours a day, eating more food, doing 200 sit ups, plus the daily jobs in the military, was paramount and easier to persevere during the time in the trenches.

Arnold’s mind was set on being one step closer to winning Mr Universe, one day.

 

2. ‘That was my shot’

arnold schwarzeneggerGoing back to his first ever bodybuilding competition in 1965, the ‘impossible‘ was achieved by pushing through the barriers like there’s no tomorrow.

Sneaking out of the military camp (without a passport), to taking the cheapest train that stopped at every station…

‘There was this will(power) there, that no matter what it takes, even if I had to crawl to Germany…I had to be there”

He knew that was his calling, a once in a life time opportunity to stand on an international stage.

This was the beginning of his epic legacy.

 

3. ‘I felt that people were vulnerable’

The Art of Psychological Warfare. An interesting topic on how Arnold used it to his advantage to win over his competition in bodybuilding. By asking and commenting on their weak points, they would end up throwing themselves off by developing self-doubt.

Back then, he felt that any area of sport was not only a physical thing was also a mental thing which ended up being much more important.

His natural leadership skills and ‘success‘ comes down to being able to control any environment by exposing an individual’s vulnerability, and finding solutions instead of ‘beating around the bush‘.

He was curious about human psychology, the strengths and weaknesses of people and how to help build them up. One extreme example is mailing (fake) cow testicals to Politicians, for not being serious enough in life…

”10 years down the line we’ll look back at this day and laugh at it”.

 

4. ‘I never auditioned’

arnold schwarzenegger conan the barbarianReferring to his humbling beginnings as an up-an-coming actor. It was clear he wasn’t gunning for regular spots, since being the ‘blonde guy in California…looking athletic and cute‘ was the opposite to his monstrous figure and persona.

Instead, Arnold wanted to calve out a niche that would bring back the 50’s and 60’s muscle movies.

Despite the criticisms, the movie ‘Conan’ earned Schwarzenegger worldwide recognition.

 

5. ‘And of course, there were the neysayers’

Ah, ‘neysayers’. The famous word you may have heard from Arnold’s ‘6 rules of success speech‘ that people all over the world listen to for inspiration.

A lot of big Producers and Agents would say that he is too big and muscly and wouldn’t make it in the movies. Throughout his multiple successful careers, there were always doubters and it’s obvious how little Arnold paid attention to it.

 

6. ‘He believed in me’

Arnold Schwarzenegger TerminatorBoth directors, Bob Rafelson (Staying Hungry) and James Cameron (The Terminator) saw something in the newbie Austrian actor.

Arnold’s looks and personality had the potential to work on the camera, and without Mr Cameron’s compliment, the Terminator and the well recognised phrase…’I’ll be back’…wouldn’t exist today.

 

7. ‘I did not rely on my movie career to make a living’

Again coming back, Arnold witnessed over the years, many people who he met in the gym and acting classes were all ‘vulnerable‘ because they didn’t have much money and took up any offers to make a living.

He instead made a wise decision to invest in real estate with money earned from bodybuilding shows, seminars, and even courses through mail orders to start off investing in an apartment. That quickly led to trading other apartments, buildings, offices and, ultimately became a millionaire before his showbiz acting career.

Being financially independent allowed him to star in other genres like the comedy movie, ‘Twins’ with Danny DeVito.

 

8. ‘Franco would play the bad guy, and I would play the good guy’

arnold francoFranco Columbu was a dear close friend of Arnold’s who achieved many success stories in his own right. From powerlifting champion, boxing champion and bodybuilding champion, Mr Universe and Mr Olympic.

During the late 60s, the first business venture for Arnold was actually a bricklaying business, who he partnered with Franco and made a success through the pair’s savvy marketing and personalities.

Timely enough, the San Fernando earthquake in 1971 injected a lumpy cash-flow into the business. They were also training partners in Germany, and have remained in a very loyal relationship, even till today.

 

9. ‘I should keep the two apart’

Briefly mentioning about his upcoming movies, Tim was curious as to why at this day an age, Arnold doesn’t finance his own movies and become the sole owner.

Performing and investing is two completely different businesses, and Arnold believes everyone should play their strengths – that’s why he sticks with acting and allows other people who are better at the numbers to focus on finance.

 

10.‘Unless I have a passion for it’

The one exception when it comes to investing money in filming, is when it comes to projects that involve giving back. Like the ‘Brooklyn Castle’ documentary supporting after school programs to help children be smart (learn to play chess) and stay off the streets.

Having a real purpose, drives his decision making and we should take this lesson on board for future open loop opportunities.

 

Tim Ferriss & Arnold Schwarzenegger Interview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjbqVdJsr4w

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Daily Routine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBwD8n62wj0

In the words of the Governator – Who do you want to be?

From London, UK, Felix is fascinated by the relationship between the mind, body and business. A fitness coach and aspiring writer, Felix’s goal is to share his continuing journey on how to live a life with optimal health through training and nutrition without any dogmas attached.His passion also lies in exploring the mindset and ways to maximise productivity. Let’s connect: Strength Success

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Miller

    Jul 10, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Really motivational guy really motivational post.

    whats your take on setting a vision?

  2. Salifu Junior

    Mar 10, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Arnold has always been an inspiration. He is the typical all rounder with many talents but unlike many who fail to harness their talents together, he has been able to achieve what many could not.

  3. Pete

    Mar 10, 2015 at 4:19 am

    I listened to that podcast and loved it, especially the part about never auditioning. It’s a mindset that very few people would have but makes complete sense.

  4. Kai

    Feb 23, 2015 at 6:25 am

    I like the quote “I wasn’t there to compete, I was there to WIN”. That confidence from Arnold Schwarzenegger is unbelieveable. Thanks Felix for this summary. This post is really motivational. It’s impressive that Arnold did not only rely on his movie career, I guess that is what make him different.

  5. Jarod

    Feb 18, 2015 at 6:07 am

    This was quite a podcast. I recommend that people actually listen to it because Arnold’s storytelling and expressed natural confidence are only accessible to those that actually hear it or see it. But this was a great summary of the important takeaways.

  6. Garrett Barry

    Feb 14, 2015 at 6:29 am

    I found this post to be very motivational and inspiring. I find Arnold Schwarzenegger to be a great model of what having a clear vision and determination to achieve can get you. I particularly loved the lessons on passion and having clarity of what you want in life. Great read! – Garrett Barry

  7. Dan Western

    Feb 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Felix,

    Thanks for sharing this article!

    I’m a BIG fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his unique story is an incredibly inspirational one.

    I think the best lessons I’ve learnt from Arnie are when he said he always aimed straight for the top, and that he thrived on being different.

    Thanks again,

    Dan

  8. Aly Shah

    Feb 7, 2015 at 10:43 am

    11 lesson: Be focused which we can see in all the greats or you can say in all of the giants of industry, on whose shoulders rest of us stand to make a better future for not only our selves but also for our future. Arnold was focused on his goals from the days of his tank driving to become one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time plus excelling in almost every field he attempted to succeed in.

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2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

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3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

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