I have always been a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not because he was Mr. Universe. Not because he was the Terminator. Not because he was the Govenator of California, but because of the hard work and sacrifice he put into anything he did. Having come to America from his small hometown in Austria, Arnold achieved the impossible by combining his hard-work, dedication and charisma.
I was lucky enough to come across a commencement speech he made for the graduating class of USC, where he laid out his 6 rules of success. See Dr. Schwarzenegger’s 6 rules of success below and apply them to your life today:
Rule #1 – Trust Yourself
Arnold knew at an early age that he wanted to become a body building champion and go to America. Even with opposition from his family, his passion kept him working toward his goal. His burning desire to dream big and be different lead him to successes that were thought as absurd and impossible.
Arnold tells us to dig deep down and find out ‘who’ you want to be instead of ‘what’ you want to be. Don’t let outside pressures make you conform to the norm. Figure out what truly makes you happy and what is inside your heart. What are you passionate about? What makes you tick?
Rule #2 – Break the Rules
Don’t break the law, but break the rules. Arnold asserts that it is impossible to original without breaking the rules. He makes it clear that we need to think outside the box to achieve the impossible. As Arnold was pursuing a career in acting, he was continually told that his muscle-bound body and accent was not what Hollywood was looking for, but he was never discouraged by this.
Arnold never listened to the ‘rules’ set by others. He was confident that by working as hard as he did in bodybuilding, he would be able to get to where he wanted to be. As we all know, he had his big break and got into mainstream Hollywood and the rest is history. By ignoring the ‘rules’ set by others, Arnold was able to pave his own path to success outside the box.
Rule #3 – Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Anything that Arnold attempted, he was willing to fail at. Not all of his movies were success. He’s had many movies that flopped. He tells us that we can’t let the fear of failure keep us from making decisions. We need to know that we won’t always win. We need to push and triumph over our fears because it’s what needs to be done and the success will come. “Don’t be afraid to fail.”
Rule #4 – Don’t Listen to the Naysayer
There are always people that will tell us ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ People who tell us that what we’re attempting has ‘never been done before.’ Arnold clearly tells us that such negativity is not to be listened to. In fact, whenever Arnold hears that something ‘can’t be done,’ he’s sees it as an opportunity to become the first one to achieve it. “Don’t take no for an answer” and follow your heart.
Rule #5 – Work Your Butt Off
The most important rule of all, Arnold teaches us that working hard is a requirement to success. We never want to fail because we didn’t work hard enough. Arnold gives us an example of one of his heroes, Muhammad Ali who was asked ‘how many sit-ups he did,’ to which he answered that he didn’t start counting until it started hurting. “No pain, no gain.”
We need to have fun in life, but we also need to know that while we’re having fun, there is always someone working hard, getting better, getting smarter, getting stronger, getting faster. “If you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work.” Without hard work, none of Arnold’s rules of success will work.
Rule #6 – Give Something Back
Whatever path we take, Arnold suggests for us to give back. Give back to your community, your state and to your country. Reaching out and helping others, Arnold says, will bring us more satisfaction that anything else. “Playing a game of chess with an 8 year old kit in the intercity is more fun for me than walking down the red carpet for a movie premiere.”
If you’re interested in watching the full commencement speech by Arnold (about 25 min long) click on the video below to get it from the man himself:
What do you think of Arnold’s 6 rules of success? Do you strongly believe in any or all the rules?
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