Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story - by Arnold Schwarzenegger

So for me work just meant discovery and fun. If I heard somebody complaining, "Oh, I work so hard, I put in ten- and twelve-hour days," I would crucify him. "What the fuck are you talking about, when the day is twenty-four hours? What else did you do?" Everything I did could have been my hobby. It was my hobby, in a way. I was passionate about all of it. My definition of living is to have excitement always; that's the difference between living and existing.

I felt like there was no reason I shouldn't be able to play both sides: my very outrageous side, wearing motorcycle boots and leather, and my conservative side, with the elegant suit and tie and British wing-tip shoes. I wanted to feel comfortable in both worlds.

People were always talking about how few performers there are at the top of the ladder, but I was always convinced there was room for one more. I felt that, because there was so little room, people got intimidated and felt more comfortable staying on the bottom of the ladder. But, in fact, the more people that think that, the more crowded the bottom of the ladder becomes! Don't go where it's crowded. Go where it's empty. Even though it's harder to get there, that's where you belong and where there's less competition.

From the bodybuilding days on, I learned that everything is reps and mileage. The more miles you ski, the better a skier you become; the more reps you do, the better your body. I'm a big believer in hard work, grinding it out, and not stopping until it's done.

You can overthink anything. There are always negatives. The more you know, the less you tend to do something. If I had known everything about real estate, movies, and bodybuilding, I wouldn't have gone into them. I felt the same about marriage; I might not have done it if I'd known everything I'd have to go through. The hell with that!

I still had my old discipline of setting concrete goals each New Year's Day.

Arnold's Rules

  • Turn your liabilities into assets.

  • When someone tells you no, you should hear yes.

  • Never follow the crowd. Go where it's empty. It's easier to stand out when you aim straight for the top.

  • No matter what you do in life, selling is part of it.

  • Never let pride get in your way.

  • Don't overthink.

  • Forget plan B. To test yourself and grow, you have to operate without a safety net. If you're anxious, instead of making fallback plans, think about the worst that can happen if you fail. How bad would it be? You quickly find out it's really nothing.

  • You can use outrageous humor to settle a score.

  • The day has twenty-four hours.

  • Reps, reps, reps.

  • Don't blame your parents. They've done their best for you, and if they've left you with problems, those problems are now yours to solve.

  • Change takes big balls.

  • Take care of your body and your mind.

  • Stay hungry. Be hungry for success, hungry to make your mark, hungry to be seen and to be heard and to have an effect. And as you move up and become successful, make sure also to be hungry for helping others. Don't rest on your laurels. Live a risky life and a spicy life and like Eleanor Roosevelt said, every day do something that scares you.