The most inspiring book I’ve ever read was Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Naturally, when he released Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, this time with much more years of experience and a lifetime of accomplishments, I was beyond excited to get into it.
However, when compared to his first, Total Recall could only be described as one thing: a let down.
It doesn’t have the same physical insights, and it doesn’t delve deep into the mind of a champion.
There is less adrenaline pumping and his hunger for success doesn’t seep through the pages like it did the first time.
Still, there are some noteworthy insights once you get beyond the hogey smoking, ego stoking, and beard stroking:
A complete faith in oneself and a belief in one’s abilities is the critical factor to overcoming any challenge, whether it is an acting gig, buying up pieces of LALA land, or even becoming the first Governator in history.
He tried to be humble when talking about his past mistakes, such as fathering a child with the nanny, and a foray into the world of anabolic steroids, but he fails at this. He is simply not a humble dude, and similar to Lance Armstrong’s coming out podcast, he struggles to talk about himself in a less than spectacular way.
No one likes to say that they made mistakes, especially when deep down they know they also put in more work than the humans that are going to critique them could possibly imagine.
Finishing the book became less than exciting, but when Arnold laid out his 10 rules for life as the finale, I couldn’t help but lean in. This is the part where the man becomes myth, the set of principles and habits that drove him to the apex of industry. This powerful part of the book, does not let down.
10 RULES BY ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
2. Don’t overthink.
3. Forget Plan “B.”
4. You can use outrageous humor to settle a score.
5. A day has 24 hours.
Perhaps beyond any other claim to fame, Arnold is interesting because of how he was able to accomplish so much in the U.S. in such a short time. Of course, much of it is accredited to his drive and unmatched belief in himself. However, in many of his speeches today, he insists that much of it was due to the fact that took advantage of every single hour of every single day. He says that a day has 24 hours, and within those hours, you can train/learn/become anything.
6. Reps, reps, reps.
There are no shortcuts. It took hundreds and even thousands of repetitions for me to learn to hit a great three-quarters back pose, deliver a punchline, dance the tango in ‘True Lies,’ paint a beautiful birthday card, and say ‘I’ll be back’ just the right way. … No matter what you do in life, it’s either reps or mileage. – Arnold
7. Don’t blame your parents.
8. Big change takes cajones.
9. Take care of your body and your mind.
10. Stay hungry.
In order to do more and more, you have to keep that fire lit. You have to embody a mindset that is never satisfied, relentless, and always hungry.
You’ll have plenty of time to rest when you’re in the grave. Live a risky life and a spicy life and like Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘Every day do something that scares you.’ – Arnold