Sunday, November 4, 2012

Arnold's rules for success by Jerry Brainum

It would be hard to argue that Arnold Schwarzenegger has had a very successful life thus far.Yes, he's had a few bumps in the road, such as the disclosure that he had a child out of wedlock.But as he has done with most other problems in his life, Arnold appears to have accepted this "mistake," as he puts it, and moved on. In his recently published autobiography, Total Recall, Arnold recounts his life in exhaustive detail. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book, however, is the chapter called "Arnold's Rules." This chapter is a synopsis of how Arnold became successful. What are these rules, and are they applicable to all of us? The rules are as follows:

1) Turn your liabilities into assets-Arnold mentions how he used what would normally be barriers to success in the film world, namely his size and accent, and instead turned them in unique traits that aided his climb to the top in the film business.
2) When someone tells you no, you should hear yes-I can testify that this is the very essence of Arnold's success. No matter what the odds were against him, Arnold turned a deaf ear. He was like the real-life version of the Terminator: an unstoppable force that would not rest until it got what it wanted.
3) Never follow the crowd, go where it's empty-By this he means, become a non-conformist. Don't do what everyone else does. Do what you want to do (within reason).
4) No matter what you do in life, selling is part of it-We are always selling ourselves, one way or the other. When we meet a prospective romantic partner, we are in a definite sales mode. Arnold's philosophy is that we have to sell ourselves to succeed, and cannot passively wait for success to come to us.
5) Never let pride get in your way-the anecdote that Arnold relates in the book for this doesn't make sense. So I guess in that respect, he didn't let pride get in his way!
6) Don't overthink-Arnold thinks that many people with extensive knowledge overanalyze things, and thus talk themselves out of possibly lucrative opportunities.He suggests that if something appears promising, it's better to just forge ahead and not think too deeply about it. Such a plan can either prove very successful, or lead to utter disaster.
7) Forget Plan B-This is similar to the previous rule. Just do it, and don't worry about it. Don't even think about alternative ideas. Again, this is either sage advice, or a recipe for disaster. In actuality, Arnold often consulted with knowledgeable people in fields that he was interested in before proceeding.
8) You can use outrageous humor to settle a score- One wonders if he has tried this yet with his wife.
9) The day has 24 hours- Arnold says that you should not waste your time on unproductive activity. He then goes on the mention how he trained 5 hours a day, attended school, worked at construction, all of which would have precluded getting any sleep.
10) Reps, reps, reps- Arnold confirms the notion that becoming a master at any task requires constant practice. The usual statement in this regard is that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at anything.
11) Don't blame your parents- Arnold discusses in the book the stern discipline that was imparted on him by his father. He considers that an asset, since he turned it into a lifelong drive to succeed.
12) Change takes big balls-True success requires a large element of risk.
13) Take care of your body and your mind.
14)  Stay hungry-When you've achieved success in one endeavor, move on to another. Never be satisfied, but always seek even more success in several fields.

I would add one more rule:

15) Never fool around with the hired help.

©,2012 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited

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