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ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER On How To Change The Trajectory of Your Life! ”I was unhappy with reality…” | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER On How To Change The Trajectory of Your Life! ”I was unhappy with reality…”".
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Failure to make us learn, failure to make us stronger, pain makes us stronger. Everyone in the world knows Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been an A-lister and governor. One of the most famous U-O-V's on Earth for most of his life. We've entered your mind. That's what it feels like. If you don't know where you want to go or who you want to be, you eventually just float around and you eventually crash. I promised the people that they're number one, but I promised my wife that they're gonna be number one. So this is the lemma. Before we jump into this episode, I'd like to invite you to join this community to hear more interviews that will help you become happier, healthier and more healed. All I want you to do is click on the subscribe button. I love your support. It's incredible to see all your comments and we're just getting started. I can't wait to go on this journey with you. Thank you so much for subscribing. It means the world to me. The best-selling author and host. The number one health and wellness podcast. On purpose with Jay Shetty. I feel like we've entered your mind. That's what it feels like when you enter this room. Like all these aspects of yourself. I was wondering what's your earliest childhood memory that you think defines the person you are today.
Arnold Schwarzenegger'S Life Journey And Success Principles
Growing Up With Strict Parents In A War Torn Austria (01:06)
I heard somewhere you mentioned your father made you earn your breakfast and I was thinking, what does that feel like? What does that feel like? I really don't know exactly what it was that gave me the drive, forgive me the ability to visualize my goals and all that. But I think it was a combination of things of growing up after the Second World War in 1947. I was born and to grow up with no food, starvation and famine and my mother going around. What they call hamstering, which means begging at various different farmers for food, social food for the children. All of that I think had an impact and a strict upbringing. My father was very strict. We were hit many times and punished for not doing the things the way they thought we should do things. We had to earn breakfast like you said. We had to do push-ups and sit-ups and compete knee-bands and all this stuff running around the house in order to be allowed to have breakfast. I think all of that contributed. Also, I think having the military around, the British military that was because they occupied that area of Austria. They came always around with their tanks and with the big trucks and everything. I think that gave me the first destination of becoming a tank driver myself and I went into the Austrian army. Ever since then, I have had a fascination with big cars, big trucks, big tanks and stuff like that. I now have the tank that drove in the military. I now have over here in Los Angeles. It's at the Melody Ranch where they have a lot of various different military vehicles and they do the upkeep and the drive-in once a month, especially with after school kids that are staying in school in the afternoon and so on. We have a lot of fun with that. Do you still drive it? Yeah, I drive it every month. Absolutely. I really enjoy it. That's why I have hummus, the big military trucks and cars and SUVs and the Ashkash and all of this. It's a certain crazy and it never leaves you. I didn't know boys their toys. Yeah, absolutely. You said somewhere as well that you felt like your father was maybe struggling with some post-traumatic stress disorder. He had that energy that came through onto you guys. Well, my father was a very complicated guy. Obviously, I never really got to know him that well. By the time I left, it was like I was 18 years old. I went in a military, then I moved to Munich, then I moved to Munich to America. So it really was not home. I wish the day I could have a conversation with him because I'm much smarter now. I'm much more interested in various different issues like that. It would make someone tick, would make someone happy and suffer, whatever. So in those days, we didn't talk about any of that. So it's it's it's it's but he was complicated because he was a victim of the Second World War, meaning that he was dragged into the war, became a soldier, a Nazi officer, was shattered in starting grad, or Leningrad, I should say, and he was buried under rubble of buildings that they collapsed on top of him for three days. And then he had back surgeries. And then he was shipped back home to Austria. And that actually probably would save him because he got out of Russia just on time before the whole thing collapsed. And so it created a certain kind of thing he had malaria. So he was suffering from malaria. He was suffering from shrapnel, moving around in his body. He was depressed. Obviously, that they lost the war in the first place. So that must have had an impact on all this man, because everyone around me when I grew up was kind of drinking. And so the people only drink when they're really unhappy, you know, all you drink are gods of wine. Like I sometimes do but not to get drunk, but say like they did. So there was a lot of drinking going on, a lot of violence going on hitting the kids, not just my dad hitting me old my brother, but the neighbor hit his kids and the other neighbor hit him. I mean as a matter of fact, a regular kind of a parent teachers day will be when the parents come into the classroom. They will go up to the teacher, they talk for a few minutes, and then they go go to the kid in the classroom and snack them. Where every parent was just a wildest kind of a thing. I mean, that's insane. It would be great for comedy the day. I think, you know, because now I have to laugh about it, because people are all kind of like laughing about it, because we knew like when my dad came in, you know, he then had this look, you know, first he talked to the teacher, then all of a sudden was this look towards me. Then he would just come over and boom, we snark here, then we walk out, and then some old lady would come in with a walking cane, and she was the grandmother of one of the kids that was sitting next to me. And she would go to the teacher, then she would walk over with her cane, and she'd take a cane and snack the kid over the head of the cane. And so this was normal. So you know, so this, I was saying, it was such a different way of upbringing than maybe you had or that the kids have the day or that my kids had, you know, where there was always love and affection for them. Yes, there was discipline, but it was all done in a measured way and not with hitting and stuff like that. So it's it's it's it's, but I think all of this had an impact. Yeah. On my, the way of viewed the world and my drive to get out of there, out of Austria and to come to America, and to get in the body building and all those kind of things. What was the most intense part of your involvement in the military? What was the most intense experience you had there?
Lessons Learned From Joining The Military (07:24)
Obviously there was this experience at home and at school, as you just said, but I think that the military, even though when I went through it, it was really tough. But I have to say that when I look back at it, I recommend it very strongly for any, any young man or woman as fast as that goes to go through that because you learn how to be tough. You get up at five in the morning, you run for an hour, then you do your basic training, you know, crawling and all force and with the gun in your hand and shooting and learning how to drive motorcycles and cars and trucks and tanks. You learn about leadership, but you also learn simple things like how the iron you shirt, how to sew on buttons, how the iron your pants, how the brush your shoes, how the clean your shoes, clean belt buckles and ores. So become kind of self-sufficient and it gives you, I think, a certain amount of confidence that I don't need to be baby by anybody. I can take care, I can cook, which you learned in the basic foods. As a matter of fact, we made scrambled eggs on top of the tank because the back of the motor will be so hot. So we just put the eggs on top and just scrambled it there and ate it off the tank dirty as it was. So you feel kind of like, I can handle food, I can handle ironing my own stuff, I can handle washing my own stuff, I don't need anybody to do this kind of stupid choice, I can do it myself and I feel good doing it myself. So there's a lot of things like that that you learn in the army. It just gives you a certain base where you don't get afraid of anything. You feel like I've gone through all kinds of hell now with the military and they make sure of that. And so I think that's really terrific. But I remember the word times, they were really tough, like for instance, if you make a mistake, they will have you open up the hatch underneath your seat, where the driver's seat is of the tank. And you open up the hatch and it falls out. And then they have you crawl out of that hole and then drive, then crawl under the tank in a mud and with your uniform on it, everything. And then you have to climb up the back of the tank, up the deterrent, down the turn, back to your driver's seat and then out that hole again. And they do that like 50 times. So by the time you do it, it's like hours later and you literally collapse. You're so exhausted for more this stuff. So there's punishments like that that were really, really tough. So I would not wish that done anybody to be honest with you. I mean, I could handle it, but I think I could handle it because it was 18 years old. And you're very, very tough when you're 18. You can't handle it just about anything, the endurance and the strength. And I was in the middle of my weightlifting and bodybuilding career. So I was also strong, but it was strong world. So to me, it was all kind of, it was good, but it was tough. Yeah, what was your first, I know that you've talked about how you wanted to get out of Austria, you wanted to get away.
Arnold’s First Impressions Of America (10:49)
But what was your first glimpse of America? What was your first experience of the United States that you had? The first experience was I was competing in Florida in Miami. So to me, Miami was the first experience really, arriving in New York, changing planes, and then flying to Miami. I came from London to New York, and then from New York to Miami. That to me was the first experience, the high rises, the beautiful hotels, the water, the boats, everyone had a boat there, the service of Jesus. Can you believe that? I mean, everyone, they have an apartment at the canal, at the waterway, and then they have a boat. And they were just all cruising around. We were invited. We bodybuilders that were competing in the competition. We were invited and boat rides. There was just one body bullet that had a boat, first like 10 people. So we were going around and we saw how much fun they had. You know how well people lived, how happy they were. To me, there was like a really interesting experience. Unlike the experience when I came to California, because I felt like, okay, I'm coming to California, and I'm going to see all the things that made me want to come here. Muscle Beach. But the Muscle Beach by that time was closed. You know, they closed in the 60s. And so there was no Muscle Beach per se. Then, Gord's gym was not as big as I thought it's going to be. The buildings, when you look around out here, we are in Venice right now. It's still the day. Very low buildings compared to the high rises in New York. So I thought that there would be high rises. He also Los Angeles, high rises. And then when my friends took me to Hollywood, they tried to convince me. This is Hollywood. I mean, look at this. And I looked around and that just couldn't see anything, right? So I thought there would be studios left and right of Hollywood, Boulevard. There would be studios. There would be Paramount Studios. There would be Sony. And then there would be, you know, Columbia, Disney, Warner Brothers. And all of the studios would be lined up left and right with hotels and luxury, you know. And I got down to Hollywood, Boulevard. And it was like a bunch of homeless people running around and weirdos and drug addicts and hippies. And that's what I saw and there's an, an, an tourist, you know, so I said myself, this is Hollywood. He said, well, you know, you've to understand, this is daytime at night. It really lights up. And then I said, well, why don't you bring me here at night when it really lights up? So I knew they took me at night. And it was also very disappointing. It was a few lights and a few billboards. But you know, I just, I came from London. Right. So I've been at that point. I've been several times to London because I was competing in bodybuilding in London. And I started my bodybuilding career there. So I so pick a Tilly Square and I saw lights. I mean, I saw action. It was like staggering. That really blew me away. Yeah. You know, and then driving on this double deck of buses and the, and the transportation with the subway or the tube or whatever they call on the ground. They were in the corner of England. And, and all of this to me, the airport, the Heathrow airport, nor is that really blew me away. But when I came to America, when I came to Los Angeles, I had a vision like it would be like that. But it wasn't. And so I was very, very disappointed in the beginning until I got used to it. And then until I understood that this is earthquake country, that you don't build high rises, you know, because they would collapse later on as time went on, they figured out the technology to put them on rollers or on major tires. I mean, so they, they moved so they don't collapse. But I mean, I learned to understand all of that later on. But the first thing was a shock to me in a negative way. But then, I mean, I got used to Los Angeles. And then I got used to the gym and used to the members and the kindness of the American people and the sweetness of the bodybuilders, you know, that would invite me on Thanksgiving when I didn't even know what Thanksgiving was. And they would invite me a stranger like me to the home for Thanksgiving dinner. Or they would come and show up at my apartment with silverware, because I didn't have any. Yeah. With dishes, with blankets, pillowcases, bed sheets. And I remember this one girl gave me like a radio, a wooden radio for my aunt today, we're next to the bed, which I still have next to my bed today. Wow. So, you know, because I wanted to keep that because it was like, it was, it symbolizes whenever I look at that radio, it symbolizes the generosity of the American people and how it was kind of like included when they moved over here and all of that. So, there was, there was a lot of interesting lessons that I've learned right away when they came over here. You know, the difference between cultures and all that between Austrians and Germans and British and the Americans and all that. Yeah, I think a lot of what you just said about first coming to Hollywood, I think it's very common when people got a Hollywood Boulevard and have a very glamorous view of what it might be, but it, but it isn't. And what you were reminding me of just now is just this idea of how everyone has like dreams and visions of what something might be. And then when you experience it, you get a sense of how you view it through your own eyes. And for me, though, what I'm, what I'm fascinated by is who was your, who was your first ever bodybuilding coach?
How Did Arnold’s Bodybuilding Journey Start? (17:05)
And do you remember your first ever tournament? How did it go? Yeah, no, I've, there was a fellow by the name of Qud Manur who was Mr. Austria. Now, if you imagine, when you're like 14 years old, like I was in 15, and Mr. Austria was like, oh, it's a big star. Yeah, he came out to that lake where I grew up. It was like a lake where there was an weekend, like three, 4,000 people around that lake lying in the grass and the blankets and then swimming in that lake. And it was kind of a muddy kind of a lake. And he came out there and he looked like God. He was very good friends with the swimming coach. The guy that kind of took care of everything, they're the lake. And they were working out. And they were inviting me to work out with them. So to do me, that was kind of the first experience where someone kind of dragged me in and inspired me. And I said, oh my God, can you imagine looking like that? And he, if you wanted it or not, happened to be very good. Because he said to me, says, well, I don't, in five years, you could look like me. And I was saying, I was visualizing right away. Oh my God, can you believe that if I could look like that? And I missed the Austria. And I said, that was like major. And it just felt like this is almost kind of my new dad. He was 32 years old. And he became kind of like a mentor. He invited me then. First of all, he invited, I realized that they invited always these athletes out there, like shot putters and javelins throwers and weightlifters and boxes, bodybuilders. I mean, all kinds of athletes, they all work out together and have a good time. And big kids were kind of like hanging out with them. And every so often, we will work out with them. So we got, I got my real early inspiration that way. And then I went down to the club to the weightlifting club. I started working out and started really become religious about it. He was like, this was my new life. And I started having visions, very clear visions of being a Mr. Austria. Then there were pictures of the Mr. Europe contest. So I visualized myself being in the Mr. Europe contest and winning. And then I saw pictures of Reg Park, which is a British bodybuilder who then subsequently laid on moved to South Africa, married a South African woman, but the name of Mirian, and they created a family in South Africa. So that way became kind of my idol. And there's so pictures of him winning Mr. Universe in London. And so that was my new vision. So I started really creating through this guy's vision. And there, but that that vision was so vivid, so clear that I felt like all I had to do now is just follow through with the work. So let me now find out what needs to be done. And so I read about Reg Park, how did he train? He trained like four or five hours a day. And he didn't send so many sets, so many reps. And this is the exercises he did, did the bench press, the incline press, the bed, the curl, the shoulders, presses, and the distance. And I just wrote everything down. And I started following his routine. And that was absolutely convinced that I will be another Reg Park. And so that's how I really developed. And the first rule that I always talk about the success is you got to have a very clear vision of where you want to go. Because if you don't have that, you're just floating around. And so, you know, I was very fortunate that they created that vision. I was very fortunate that there was not this site kind of things going on. We didn't have a phone in our house. We didn't have a television in our house. At that time, there were no iPhones, there were no iPads. There was no computer. There was just really you had all the time in the world to think and to really just sit quietly and to just visualize. And I always say that I feel sorry for kids today, they're spending hours and hours on that iPhone or an iPad or computer. And they don't give themselves their chance to just settle back and to just figure out what do they want to do or who do they want to be. And so this is why I think that I made that kind of the rule number one is you know, visualize. And I always compare it to that you can have the best airplane in the world with the most advanced pilot. But if he doesn't know where to go, he's just going to fly around and really crashes. And that's what happens to you in life. If you don't know where you want to go and who you want to be, you eventually just float around and you will eventually crash. And that's why a lot of people are unhappy. Or they dig drugs or they drink or the suicide raids. And I think a lot of it has to do because people really don't have as much of a purpose and the mission and the vision and all of the things, the things that drove me from the time I was like 15 years old, it was very clear which direction I want to go. Yeah, I love that you start the book with that rule of have a clear vision because when you hear about your childhood, it's not easy. It's tough. It's rough. It's harsh. There's so many internal challenges at home. There's external challenges. There's limitations that you're in a country that's obviously just survived a world war. It almost looks like there is no space to have vision. Like someone could argue that Arnold, like, I mean, how are you having a vision in this space? I think what's really interesting is sometimes we feel helpless because of where we're born, where we're from our parenting structure, our surroundings. Some people struggle to have a vision because they say, well, how can I have a vision? Look where I am. And then some other people, they can't have a vision because when they see someone like Reg Park or Mr. Austria in your example, what they see is, oh, envy. I wish I had that. Like, oh, why does he have that? Or maybe, you know, I should have that. So I think we live in these two worlds where we either feel helpless or sometimes we feel envious and egotistical about visions. How did you allow yourself or how did you develop that ability that even though around you, there wasn't that much success.
I was unhappy with reality…” How To Create Your Own Happiness (23:58)
There was more stress, but you saw Mr. Austria and were able to do that. Have you ever figured out what that was compared to everyone else you grew up around? I just can tell you I was very unhappy. Yeah. I was unhappy with the reality of what was around me, you know, the tough parents and the lack of food and others had stakes. We didn't have the money for that. As a matter of fact, we never ate meat during the week. Now the day they would say, oh, this is really good because you were vegan. I was like, it was more because of a lack of money. So we didn't have anything. So everywhere I looked. So I think to me, the only way really was in order to be happy is to create my own world and to visualize. That's why people sometimes read a lot because they want to escape into another story or the day they watch movies to go and to see another, to escape into another story and all this stuff. For me, that wasn't available. In the first movie I was always like when it was like nine or 10 years old. It wasn't the common thing in the village where I grew up to go to movies. And I remember there was this collapsible kind of a seat. I just fell right down on a floor because I didn't even heard of a collapse. It was like, you have to fold it down. I folded it down, then waited a little bit and then of course it's been back up again. And I went right down on the floor. So because of that world, that negative world, I had to kind of create my own world. So I was just always daydreaming of wonderful things. So I developed that art and it put a smile on my face. So clearly when I then saw Mr. Austria or Mr. Universe and I saw this guy and so photographs of it and read about it in the magazines, I created my vision and I saw in that vision myself being up on that stage. And I saw myself, people screaming around me and screaming, "Ah, no, no, no." And all this crazy stuff, it was all insane, crazy stuff. The stuff that I never shared in those days with anybody is that they would have put me in a mental institution. I just remember that I was sitting in a classroom in school. I was like 13 years old, 14 years old. The teacher will be where you are now in front of me teaching. And I would just slowly look off to the side, out the window. They saw the screen trees. And then I was in there saying things. And I had a smile. It just was wonderful stuff to this all. And I was in a chalk landed on my forehead. So the teacher threw a chalk at me kind of saying, "Hey, I'm here. I'm getting paid to teach you, to teach this class of 30. Why are you looking out the window?" Now, I couldn't even articulate that this what you're teaching here doesn't really blow up my skirt. It's not like kind of something that I'm interested in. But I'm interested in is what I just saw when I looked out there. And I saw myself on that stage in London at the Mr. Universe contest. And it says things like that. So I think that with me, visualizing became a normal thing. And I never really knew that I had really a very special ability to visualize and to connect the dots. To say to myself, "Well, if I can see it, then it must be a reality." And I can make it a reality. So for me, the vision became a reality. So it was only then a matter of following through with the work to get there. And this is why in the book, one of the things I talk about is work you ass off. Because every single time when I had a vision about anything, I had to work my ass off. But it was pleasure. See, that is the great thing. When you go to work and you know exactly why you're working, then it becomes fun. A challenge. And detaining sometimes. And when you read that 78% of the American people hate their jobs, now think about that. I mean, that must be so depressing that you go, let's say you're working in some car plant and you do like, you know, kind of the same work, putting a window in your car. Over and over, you know, 50 times a day, every day, all year long for 30 years. I mean, it is tough. And so this is why it's so important that we really have a clear vision so that you know where to go and that wherever it is, if it is to become a great auto mechanic, or if it is to become a great teacher or politician or a high tech engineer, whenever it is, but have a vision and then you go after that and you shoot for that. Because now every step of the way is going to be great. You know, when you pick a doctor, I want to be a doctor. I want to be a surgeon. The kid says to himself at the age of 15. Well, from that point on, he knows. All the classes he has to take already in high school. And then when he goes to college, you know, which university do you go? What kind of classes is it take? And then how long will it take him? And all of this stuff. So there is a reason for going to school rather than, oh, my parents told me that I have to go to college and you just go to fulfill this application. But there's no goal. Yeah, that's what happens to a majority of kids today that don't have to go. And that's why they end up being one of the 78% that unhappy with their jobs. And they wish they could change jobs. But then it's too late because now you've created a family and you have to pay for, you know, you rent for the apartment and you have to put food on the table. You have to provide money for the kids and for your wife and for the family and all this stuff. So it's really tough. So that's why so many people are really always looking for an answer or searching for an answer. How can I improve my life? How can I make it a little bit better and all this stuff? And this is why I did the book and it'll be useful. I'm glad that you put it in that order though because I think for everyone who's listening and watching, a lot of people will say, I do work hard. I'm working my ass off. I'm working my socks off. I'm like doing everything I can. But I think what's really important is that in the book, you start with have a clear vision.
Setting Goals Give You A Purpose (31:16)
Yeah. And I agree. I think there are a lot of people that are working really, really hard. And it's almost like if that hard work was channeled toward a clear vision, as you say, then that hard work pays off. Because otherwise, a lot of people just working hard, getting stressed, putting on pressure, but there isn't that vision. Have you found what was the greatest sacrifice you ever made in your life, do you think? And what was the reward that you gained from it? What was the biggest sacrifice? That is really the question. Is it really a sacrifice? Because you love it. Exactly. To me, it's also a real question is the word discipline. Because I tell you, I felt many times that I'm not a disciplined person. But people always insist, they say, Oh, it must take so much discipline every day to get up. And every day you were in a gym, it's every in the morning and you worked at the 9th, 30 in the morning. And then you went to college after that. And then you went there, and you worked in construction. I was like looking forward to getting up in the morning and looking forward driving to the gym and working out two and a half hours and then going down to the beach and taking a run in the deep sand and getting some cardio work done and all of a sudden, I said, I was looking forward to it. It was not like, Oh my God, I have to do another workout. Yes, you do that when, for instance, sometimes people go to the gym and the doctor says, you know, you should go to the gym and you should workout because otherwise, you know, I see some problems coming up high cholesterol and body fat and this and that. And you're going to go and wipe out, you know, 10 years younger than you want to. If there's ever the right time to wipe out. But I mean, in any case, so that person you can see in the gym is there and they're just, they do their reps and they do their sets and they're not really into it. You can see there's no life in the eyes. You know what I'm saying? Where there's like, I really they grab the weight and it's two outsets and you get the pump and they feel good. They put the weights down and get the next heavier weight and they're doing the set. And so that's really fun. But that person is kind of like a vegetable in a way. They just cruise around in the gym. They sit down the life cycle and they just pedal away. And when you say to them, it's just why do you workout? There's no answer. Then eventually they say, well, to be honest, we did the doctor told me that I should get in shape. That's better for my health to bring my blood pressure down and my cholesterol down and my body fat down and all this. So they're not really. So I say to them, what was I said, you know, what you should do is you should just pick a goal that you can chase. They would say like, what? I said, well, how much do you weigh? I'm weighing 190 pounds. Then one of the I want to lower my body fat body weight. I said, well, why don't you pick a corn like that? You want to go down to 170. And there in this now March, and by August, when you go to the beach, you're gonna have a slimmer waist, less body fat and you look leaner and you can be proud of your body. I said, pick that goal. Oh, that's a good idea. I said, write it down. And then write down the sets you have to do to get you there. And the amount of reps you have to do and the amount of life cycle that you have to run and regular basically and running the gift to do right off this down. And then you market off every day you market off. That's what I did. To me, there was really that feedback that I see a line being crossed. That means one was set was done. It was a satisfying kind of a thing. The line was crossed off. The next line was crossed off. And so I tell people that and then they say, oh my god, this is, yeah, I'm gonna do that. That's such a great idea. Then they come back to me like a few months later. And they say, this worked. It was unbelievable. It worked. It was fantastic. And it really gave me a purpose. She said, that's what it's a, it's important to have a purpose made through things, have a clear vision, what you're doing. Because then you don't have to look at it kind of like I have to be really disciplined to do that. Or I have to make certain sacrifices to do that. Because then it just drags you in the dead direction and you just do the work. And I said, this is what I think is always said, but clearly there were sacrifices. Like from let me just give you one example. What do you think it's like when you go and you run for governor and you promise the people that you are going to be my number one priority. Now you win. Now you have to do the work. But now you come home and your kids are crying on the dinner table when you come home. And daddy, didn't come to my recital Monday. Daddy, didn't come to my football practice on Tuesday. Daddy, you promised me, did you come into the school or did you take me to school? You didn't this week. So that is devastating. When the kids are crying and complaining and you say to yourself, you know, I promised the people that they're number one, but I also promised my family. I promised my wife, when we had the first child, that they're going to be number one. So this is the lemma. Now you're not a lemma. And now you have to make certain sacrifices. And I had to make certain sacrifices when it comes to spending time with my family, where my wife had to pick up the slacks and she had to do the extra work. So there were sacrifices made that were painful sometimes. When you see your kids crying, that's painful. And then you know, it's your fault. But that's the situation you're in. And you put yourself in this situation. You had a choice to run for governor or not to run for governor. If I would have continued with my movie business, those kids were in heaven because they were in the movie in May makeup trailer. They were watching me getting made up as the Terminator or finding of those kind of movies. They were in my motor home and they were doing their homework in the afternoon there. They brought their friends with them. So that was fun. Now all of a sudden they go up to Sacramento and everyone is running around with a suit and with a tie. And they come to me and says, Dad, what is this? What did you do? Why are you having this job? They were like 11, 12 years old. And they said, why do you have this job now? I say, everyone has a suit and a tie. Everyone looks really serious. And they all attack you. They say bad things about you. I say, why this is the way it's politics. I say, as soon as you run, first you have like a 80% popularity. And then as soon as you run, this year you'd popularity goes down to 50% because 50% of the other side, the other party. So you run as a Republican, say it's 50% with the Democrats, they hate you or they don't like you. And then the Republicans like you. But they don't even like you because they say, yeah, he's doing to social and liberal. So he said, my campaign manager always says, this is Arnold. 20% of the people hate their mother. So don't worry about someone hating you. It's just the way it is in politics. So anyway, so this is so you have to make sacrifices like that. Imagine a sacrifice you have to take when you come to this country. I mean, you know what it is like. You leave everything behind. My friends, my parents, my relatives, everything that was around me that was kind of like a sure thing. I had a job after the military that it could go to continue on the job that they did as a salesman. I had all of this left orders for uncertainty because there was no certainty coming to America. There was Joe Wieder that said, I'm going to help you. I find your apartment. I find your car. Yet there were some people that helped a lot. He is the one that gave me the airline ticket to come to America and all this stuff. Joe Wieder is the publisher of the muscle magazines. He has passed away in the meantime, but I mean, he was like the guru of bodybuilding. He created bodybuilding. The federation was created by his brother Ben Wieder and Joe had the endless amount of magazines and distribution company for weight equipment, for food supplements and all that. So he brought me here. So there was some help like this, but I mean, I walked away from all of this comfort to come to America. So yet there were major, major sacrifices like that, but I've really never looked at it in that way because I just said to myself, I want to go to America. I want to go and be there and work my way up to become the greatest bodybuilder of all times. And that's, we are talking about one of the other rules in the book, which is to shoot for big goals. It's just as much energy or as little energy as shooting for a little goal. This is just as much hustle when you have a little goal. Let's say if I would say, I want to be Mr. Austria. Well, that's as much working out than working out for Mr. Europe or Mr. Universe. So I mean, you might as well just continue on and just say, okay, or after now, the difference really is that you have to become a real professional. You have to know how to pose. You have to have to write 10. You have to take the right food supplements. If they eat the right food, you have to really fine tune. You have to get the definition. It's not just the size of the body. So the higher up you go, the more complicated it gets to win. But I say to myself, to me, to shoot for the goal of being a world champion, it's just as easy as shooting for goal of being Mr. Austria, being the Austrian champion. So I just went all out. And not only to win the world championships in bodybuilding, but to go beyond Reg Park, who won at that point, three Mr. Universe titles to go beyond that and say, I want to actually become the greatest bodybuilder of all time, all times that there was that that my goal. And so that's why I had to come to America where there is muscle beach, where there's gorgeous chimney, all the champions work out together, where there's Joe Wiener that they can be helpful and publish you and put you on the cover of his magazines and all of this to the promotion, the campaign, the training, the marketing of bodybuilding and all that. So to me, this was really the only way to go is to come to Los Angeles. And on top of it, Los Angeles is known for Hollywood. And this is my next career. So I always say to myself, there were Reg Park, I saw him in Hercules movies. So can you believe that this guy won Mr. Universe three times? And then he was discovered in Rome in Chinejita. And I saw him there and he said, Oh my God, you are Hercules. We're going to send you to acting classes, to acting school, and you're going to play Hercules. And then Steve Reeves did the same thing, who was another Mr. Universe from 1940 and 1950. Yeah, Steve Reeves from 1950, Reg Park 1951. So both of them became Hercules. Then there was many other bodybuilders that became, they did Hercules movies, authors, plaud the other movies and muscle movies and stuff like that. And the 60s said, but became very famous. But then inside, I said myself, if Reg Park could get into movies, maybe when I go to America, and I become the world's greatest bodybuilder, then they were asked me to go into movies. And so this was the idea. So to me, it was natural. Oh, I said myself, there's Hollywood in Los Angeles, there's Muscle Beach in Los Angeles, there's called Shim in Los Angeles, there's Chinejita here. This is perfect. I have to go there. That was the reason why I went here. Did you ever have a plan B? I never believed in plan B, because I felt kind of like one of the rules we have in there in my book is never listened to the naysayers. To me, I always felt kind of like every single dream of mine. Of course, I have to say the world rages dreams. So people said, this is stupid. What is the matter with you? That would never happen. I mean, your dream is to go to America. What do you think they're waiting for you over there? I mean, they've played your people over there. They've always 300 million population. They don't need anymore. And so that was the kind of saying, you would never make it to America. They didn't need you. So no, impossible. When I said, I want to be a world champion in body, but it was impossible. When I said, I want to get into movies, that was impossible. So it was always impossible. So I felt that we can go and defend ourselves from that and just not listen to the naysayers. But if I start having a plan B, then all of a sudden I'm becoming in a way a naysayer to myself. Wow. Yeah, true. So because that means now that I am saying, well, maybe this isn't working out. And if it's not working out, we should have a plan B. So to me, this is the most dangerous of all of the naysayers is me saying no, and it's impossible maybe to myself. So therefore, I felt the best way of handling that is, is not to have a safety net, and not to have a plan B, that I am at risk. And therefore, I have to be at all times on the edge, and attend. So I don't fall where I would need a safety net. Yeah, this is the way I dealt with that issue. Never have a plan B, always go for a go all out with my plan and really put 100% of effort into it in order to really achieve it. And I just always believed in my goals. I mean, I remember when I ran for governor, and people said, you're crazy. I mean, you know, this great Davis is going to take you out. And then if he doesn't push the Mondays, the lieutenant governor, there's all season politicians, you don't know anything about politics and blah, blah, blah. Why don't you run first for mayor? And why do you do this? No, I was very clear with my vision. I could see myself as the governor, because I felt that the people in California were very upset at the regular politicians. I mean, they were always talking about what they know, and how smart they are, and how they're going to fix things. In the meantime, we had a $30 billion deficit. In the meantime, we had blackouts. In the meantime, they were handing out driver's license to illegal immigrants, what they call undocumented immigrants. And everything that the people were against, and the people didn't like Indian gaming tribes were gambling and having gambling casinos, but not being taxes. So they were mad about that. So I would just tell people, if I become governor, I would change all that. And the workers compensation costs for businesses in California, I would cut that in half. That's why so many businesses left California, because of the costs of doing business. So I said, I would cut that in half. And so this exactly people bought in because I was talking believable. I mean, there was, I could put my hand in the fire for the people to do the things that I promised. Those things will be done. And I said, I would do most of those things before breakfast, the first event, I'm in office. So that always sounded good. So in any case, so, but the people bought in, and I remember that when President Bush and the guys called me from the White House, they said, he want the president to come out to campaign for you. I said, no, no, no, no. I said, because then it becomes kind of a political thing about the Republicans are helping each other. And then the great Davis is going to have out in a Bill Clinton and Al Gore and John Kerry and all of those guys. And that's exactly what happened. He had all those people come out, campaign for him. And I told all of my guys, no, don't come out. Because I wanted to be the David and not the Goliath. I want to be the underdog and kind of say, look, this is just between me and the voters. So that was my vision. Not that I apologize strategy vision, but I mean, that was my vision. I said, I have to be the person that is by himself, that is kind of crawling up there, and that is communicating with the voters. I don't need someone to speak for me or anything like that. Yes, if you and communications director nor herself, but I didn't need to have president Bush come out and speak for me, I didn't have to have the vice president come out to speak for anything like this. I wanted this to be between me and the thing. And it worked. People figured it out that I'm out there, that I'm promising them, and they bought into it and that and that one. And so this is why it is so important that did you have really a 100% belief in not having to go and say, my plan B, if this doesn't work, is I'm going to go back to movies. Whatever I unfold anyway. But let's first go all out and not have a plan B. This is the thing. And so I've never had a plan B. Yeah, no, it's really, really great clarity again of just determination that there's no other options. And I like what you said, or what really connected with me at least is this idea of how you can become your own naysayer. Right. They're having a plan B as you talking yourself out of why you should go all in. Or you're already already putting it on kind of shaky ground. Yes. Yeah, you're already saying it. You already say, well, if, wait a minute, if you say, if, that means there's a possibility in your mind, this could fail. And that is a dangerous road to go. Yeah, I think. I agree. Where did you go when a few moments ago, you were talking about how the kids are upset when your governor, obviously, public gets upset when someone's in a position of power.
Compromise Is Part Of Reaching Your Goals (49:50)
You've got all these people who rely on you personally and professionally. And you even said to yourself, like, I couldn't really talk about it. You can't really, no one can really understand that. What did you do at that time? Where did you go for connection and understanding and even getting to talk to yourself at that time? Well, you just have to find, you know, compromise. So what you then do is you just say, okay, I'm going to go and spend an extra day at home. So because it was the choice being in Los Angeles, a lot of days, or they've been Sacramento. So I spent four days a week in Sacramento and three days a week in Los Angeles. And I decided then to spend another day in Los Angeles and to go to this school recital or to go to some kind of a practice sessions of, you know, my kid playing football or baseball or something like that. And to go to those things, so to figure out a way, and it didn't take anything away from my public service, but it gave a little bit more time, face time for the kids. And you know, it really is absolutely crucial for the kids, not just to see their mom coming to school, but then he did that also, you know, and so that's exactly what it did. And I totally understood, I talked to my wife about it. But like I said, on the end, she was really the one that was the powerhouse in the family, because she spent, I would say 80% of the time with the kids. And I did 20%. Because I was stuck in Sacramento. And even though she worked, also as First Lady, and she was in Sacramento, but she spent much more time with the kids. And luckily, when you have a good partner, then you can do a lot of those things alone. I couldn't have done it. Yeah, definitely. And you mentioned, I think in the documentary too, that if there was an Oscar for divorces, then you should get one because of how even in that circumstance, you both have found a way to let the kindness be even the way you're speaking about your family today. Because it's kind of the most important thing is, it's one thing if you suffer through it. So another thing if you wife suffers through it. But the kids are really totally innocent by standards. So we had to kind of my wife and I were very good at working together. So the kids don't really feel a bump in the road. And things are smooth for them. And again, it's important. I mean, I saw it very clearly that it can be done. And we did it. And we were very happy with the outcome. We were very, very proud of our kids. I mean, they're extraordinary. Yeah, I had the fortune of interviewing Catherine probably a couple of years ago when her book came out. Yeah, yeah. So I got to have some interaction with her and Marie and I've had several interactions too. And Catherine is a carbon copy of Maria. And Maria is a carbon copy of Unis. Unis is a carbon copy of Rose Kennedy. So this is how it goes down. I mean, it's like they're like clones. And they're exactly, you know, exactly what you get from them. I mean, it's like, but Catherine, I mean, I'm so proud of her, of what the woman she has become. And so is with Christina with my other daughter. And the boys, it's just a lot of fun. I never thought that having kids will be that much fun. I said, I'm just, because I only, in the beginning, I always thought about, you know, the work that it would take, you know, to take them to school and to go to their recitals and the practices and to teach them and to have the swimming coach, and you know, if to just be part of everything, if you teach them, teach them, and if I'm just swimming to running to football to water skiing, snow skiing, you know, you have to just be on top of everything. And also having animals, because one of the most important things with kids is if you have the space that is, if you're in a little tiny apartment, then maybe a cat is good. But the man, normally, it's kind of like good many of dogs. Or when you have like, we have a miniature pony, we had horses, a donkey, in a lulu, the miniature donkey, we had pigs. Now I have a pig again, the kids are not there anymore, but they never stops. But I mean, so, because the kids grow up with these animals, and you teach them how to take care of them. This is extremely important, because they have to have a sense of responsibility. You can't just say, "Oh, I would like to have a rabbit," or "I would like to have a pig." Yeah, but you take care of it. So that's what they've learned. One of the lessons in your book is cell, cell, cell. And we just talked about it now, when you were talking about almost selling yourself to become governor, there's a certain promotion, marketing approach to galvanizing people to get behind you.
The Art of Selling To Achieve Your Dreams (54:53)
And I think the word sales and selling has a lot of people have a negative connotation or a difficulty with selling, because it almost feels like there has to be something fake about it. I've always found that if you're proud of what you're selling, if you really believe in it, then it's easier to sell it. But generally, people have a challenge with the word "cell." But you say one of your lessons is cell, cell, cell. So walk us through how you were able to... I mean, obviously, even all the movies, the franchises you've created, it requires promotion, it requires selling. And of course, they were highly entertaining, but tell us what you learned about how to sell effectively, but also authentically. The first one, I think you're totally right, that the word "selling" sometimes comes off sleazy. So that's why I can call it promotion or communicating, or whatever you call it. And the point of it is that you can have the best product in the world. But if no one knows about it, what's the point of the product? I mean, I like to know, for instance, if there is someone out there that does a heart surgery or valve replacement without having to have open-heart surgery. But if I don't know, I would just go to the hospital and say, "I want to have an open-heart surgery and I want to get the valve replaced." But if I know, because they promoted it well, I can go now and call that expert and then go, "So this is why I think it's so important." So to me, I learned the art of selling way back when I was 15 years old, when I was in trade school, and when I was working for this lumberyard kind of construction company, hardware store, it was like a combination of things. We were taught how to sell the merchandise. And then sometimes we were able to follow the guy that is the boss. And he one time said to me, "Is Arnold, why don't you help me here?" And he would talk to the customer. And I realized quickly that there was something art going on that always had his attention focused on the wife. This is couple. They wanted to have some tiles for the bathroom and for the kitchen. And he first talked to him and how much money does he want to spend and all of that, what colors. You know, he always said, and he was like, he ended up only talking to the woman. So he said, "So what did you learn?" I said, "Well, I learned that you were really very clear about all the advantages and disadvantages of the various different tiles and the various different colors." He says, "Yeah, that's right. But it's one-dimensional, but what else?" I said, "I don't know." He says, "Did you see how I shifted and my attention went from the husband to the wife?" I said, "Yeah, what was that all about?" And I says, "Well, I realized that he had really no interest in the tiles and what color should be, what type, real tiles or fake tiles or what. It was her vision. And it was her desire to have new tiles. And he just went along with it because he's the husband. He's the provider of the family. He makes the money. She didn't make the money. But she had a very clear vision of what she wanted. So I shifted my focus because I realized that she's the customer, not him. And you got to go and be able to reach the customer. And this is why I started talking to him more. Then he just out of curries, he said, "So what do you think? Should I deliver it on Thursday?" He says, "Yeah, whenever. He will just always say, "Well, whatever." And he says, "Friday is better because Friday, my husband is at home in the afternoon, so he can help be carrying all this stuff up to the second floor and blah, blah." So she was much more precise. So that's why he spent most of his time with that. So those are the things that I've learned when I was selling and how important it is to actually let the people know that you have this product. I went right after that. A few years later, I went to Munich and I, after the military, served there as a trainer in a bodybuilding gym. And we had like I remember 280 members. And there was another gym in Munich that had 500 members. And that guy, his name was Reinhard Smolana. He was Mr. Europe. And I was at this point, not Mr. Europe. Yeah, there was Junia, Mr. Europe, but not Mr. Europe, not yet. And that didn't compete in any other international competitions. So I was training really hard, Mr. M. itself, if I could go to the Mr. Universe contest and I've competed and it do really well, I could maybe outdo him. And so this is what I did. I trained really hard for months. And then in September, was the Mr. Universe, end of September, Mr. Universe contest. And I happened to play second, which they called runner up. So this was, my goal at that point was to be in the top six, because I was 19 years old. Here was second place winner. So when I came back from London to Munich, I ran around on a construction site with just a bathing shoes on, like a lunatic. And everyone was dressed up in their suits and everything. And they said, what is this guy doing? That was walking on on a construction site and greeting people and all this stuff, hoping that some press will show up because this is crazy guy running around in the cold weather with just a bait little bathing suit. And sure enough, newspaper showed up, a photographer showed up, and they asked me after this, why are you running on? Like then, I said, well, I want to make sure that my gymnasium, Universal gym is in a newspaper. I said, okay, well, let's take a good shot. Why don't you take this saw with the help of this guy with the construction site doing some cutting of the wood and stuff. And then we would create some pictures that are really funny. And they put it in the newspaper the next day and they said, what's next? I just came back from Mr. Universe was run up in the Mr. Universe contest, which makes him the biggest title holder in Germany. So I made it clear that they know that. Not that the Mr. Europe is bigger, but the second then the Mr. Universe is the biggest title holder. So there was like, I was not that story was in the paper. And we had within no time, we had beaten him with the gymnasium membership and had over 500. And his was lower. I remember him calling. Some of the I worked out to myself in his gym because we worked out together because it's much better when you have a good training partner that is a champion himself. And we were laughing about it. So then, just to show you how important promotion is. So then he started secretly posting posters all over the city on construction sites. No, some of the gym, we train you, you become a champion, more energy, healthier body. This, this and that, and all this stuff. So when I saw the posters, I said, I'm going to go and create posters myself for the gym. So we created posters. And then we went, I followed him with the car. And he was going at 10 o'clock at night on Friday, putting the posters up there. And then after you put the poster with the glue, he then left. And then I put my poster on top of his wet glue because I came right after him. I didn't wait until he tries. Went after him, include my poster on top of him. And so this was kind of like the poster war amongst the gym owners. It was hilarious. But it was all, it was all about selling memberships because I knew that my salary comes and it's getting paid from those monies that are coming in from the members. And so I wanted to be able to buy food supplements. I wanted to be able to buy myself good food and the trips to those very different competitions. And notice it was very important that our membership goes up that we are very successful. But it's all about selling. And so when I came to America, there was in my blood now selling and communicating and promoting. So when I did my, I remember my book promotion, Arnold Education of a Body Builder, Simon and Chustle wanted to have it, you know, some 100,000 copies. So I said, well, I want to have it on the bestseller list. I don't know, nobody, Berlin Magazine was ever on the bestseller list. Forget about that. I said, well, I said, let's give it a shot. How many cities do we go and promote the book? And he says, well, here's six cities, I suggest. And so I said to him, I said, why don't we go to 30 cities? You're crazy. So he was laughing. But then I put together a schedule and for 30 cities in 30 days. And I was crisscrossing America. I was going from 90 degree temperature in Miami up to Minnesota. There was like in the below zero. So it was literally like 100 degree temperature differences in the same day. So this is how much I crisscrossed this country. And it was absolutely fantastic. We won the bestseller list. We sold, you know, 250,000 hot covers or whatever it was. And it was like a total smash as a bodybuilding and fitness book. And so this is again, over and over again, I've seen that not just the willpower to succeed, but to be able to sell and to communicate and to be out and actually talk about it. You know, I think it's important to let people know you don't have to force the issue into the heart cell where you talk about all the time, buy my book and buy it. This is the only way you're going to stay healthy and all this stuff. You don't have to do that. You just in an indirect way. But the key thing is that when people walk away from the interview, they didn't know about it. And this is also very important. Like, for instance, when we were doing Johnny Carson show, you know, I was learning at that time about bridging, you know, where you bridge from a specific subject that someone asks you to then what you want to talk about. It's an art, you know, and so my friend was vice president of nationwide insurance. And he told me about it. He said that he has taken many seminars about the, you know, promotion because insurance business is very important. They did promote and did you communicate and publicize and all this. And so I asked him about it. And he told me, he says, well, bridging is one of the most important things. So he taught me about that. And of course, there was a Johnny Carson show promoting Conan the preparing just to give you an example. Johnny Carson was, he says, so honor, this is really unbelievable. He says, how long have you been working out? Really, this doesn't, why did you start working out? So I said to myself, okay, if I answer this question in a thorough way, he wouldn't sell one ticket to go to see Conan. So I said, I got to go and bridge. And so what it did was, I answered very briefly, because you have to, otherwise it sounds stupid if you talk about something else. But I would say, Johnny, the very good question is that it was 15. But I tell you, at 15, I did not know that one time it is absolutely essential to have this kind of a body. It is imagine Conan the barbarian, the way Frank Frasetta painted Conan the barbarian with the muscles and with the determination of his stuff. And there was no one around to do this character. That's why they've never filmed Conan. I said, now here I come, Mr. Universe body. And now I do Conan the barbarian. And it is now believable, because people when they see me handle the sword and killing all these people, I say it's believable because they see the muscles. So I said, nothing my wildest dreams with 15 did I think that one day those muscles will be so important in the movies and stuff like that. And so I sold now, I answered this question, I said, I would 15, but I sold Conan the barbarian, you know, the muscles and the fight scenes. And then we'd add on, I said, there was just one scene that the camera that punched out the camera and blah, blah, blah. So you didn't just spice it up. And so this is what, you know, selling and communicating is all about. I was very fortunate that my head was in that so much because when I was governor, that is the most important thing to communicate to the people because otherwise how do you get there both? Yeah, right? Yeah. So you need the people, you need to go and say, here's why we need infrastructure. We need to rebuild our roads. We need to build extra freeways, extra highways, extra tunnels and bridges and on-ramps and off-ramps. I say, why? Because you want to go to your kids school and watch them play football. You don't want to be late two hours. I say, how many people get stuck in traffic? They won't be raising their hands. I say, well, let's eliminate it. Let's terminate this problem. Let's build my roads. Vote yes, I'm proposition 1A. So I explained it to them not just talking about infrastructure, which politicians normally do, but people don't know what infrastructure is. I cannot expect them to know what infrastructure is. Is it the electric lines, the power lines? Is it the plumbing? Is it the sewage? Is it the building freemace? Is it building high-speed rail? What is infrastructure? Well, all of this is infrastructure, but then suddenly I have to explain it to people by saying, do you ever get stuck in traffic? Of course, everyone does. So then you say, well, let's build more freeways. Let's go and vote for this so they don't get stuck in traffic. So then they know, ah, it moves the traffic faster because we get stuck in traffic. So this is why communicating, communicating, communicating, selling, selling, selling. This is what it's about. Oh, those are great stories, great examples. Yeah, I love those. I hope everyone is listening and watching and latch on and get some insights for their own challenges. Those are great. And I love that you're going all the way from governor through to the gym and the story of you running around in your swimsuit is brilliant. There was one story actually that aligns with that selling point that Will Smith tells of meeting you.
Identifying Opportunities To Maximize Success (01:10:08)
And he said that he walked into a room and it was you, Sylvester Stallone and John Claude Van Damme, and you were the three that inspired him to go international. So he said that when he spoke to you three, you all said to him that the market in the USA is huge, but until you become a global superstar, you're not really a superstar. Right. And so in the same ways, you were saying you were going around the 30 cities of the US, you've done a lot of world touring as well for the movies. Well, I explained to him that when I got in the movies and talking about Conan the Barbarian was my first big international movie. Again, the studio says we're going to send you to Cannes, the film festivals, then we're going to go and send you to London and maybe the Rome and definitely to Japan. So I said, well, why are we only going to four places? They said, well, this is where the big markets are. Germany, but the Germans always come to England, maybe to the press chung gets in England. So the Germans are taking care of then we have the Japanese, we go to Japan and you're going to do a big promotion there and then America. This is the three big markets. So I said, okay, if this is the three big markets, I said, when I look at the globe today, I see I see so many other potential markets. I say, you don't want to build those. Yeah, you don't want to create those. So I told Will Smith, I said the story. I said, I told them, I said, I'm going to go to France. I'm going to go to England to Germany to Holland to Finland to Sweden to Norway. I want to go all over the place. I want to go to the Middle East. I want to go to Africa. I want to go to Australia. I want to go all over the place. I said, they said, you're nuts. I said, because I was thinking about two things. One is to promote the movie and the other one is, I have to promote myself because most people know me as a bodybuilder, not as an actor. So this is a good opportunity for me to go around the world for the next month and to promote myself as, well, I know I'm doing movies. And this is my first big movie. It's Conan the Barbarian. So it was a great opportunity. So I told him that I said, so I slowly started building an international market. And the studios were extremely pleased because every one of my movies started to get bigger and bigger internationally. So it used to be that one third was in the National Park's office and two thirds was domestic. Then with me, it started going to be 50/50. So 50% domestic, 50% international. And eventually it became one third domestic and two thirds international. So imagine how much more money they did added because of that. And so this was a tremendous process. I said to him, I said, don't ever assume that everyone would know about the movie. I said, you got to go there. You got to show your face. The people, the journalists like to shake your hand. They like to sit down on a round table with all of their mics sticking out. The 10 leading radio programs of that country, they sit there on the table. You're the 11th person that sits there. And now you're telling them stories about the movie. I said, and they go back to their radio stations. I have an exclusive interview with Will Smith. And he's coming up with this movie. It is hot. He looks fantastic. Great actor. And he said, hey, how can it hurt? But do it. Just promote yourself internationally and go from country to country. And he said, thank you for this really great advice. Because if the studio would have said that to me, I would have to say why did you want to use me? But you saying it, I buy in. I believe it. And he has been thankful ever since because of that. Yeah, it's great advice. It's great advice. It's, you know, you've got to always let people know that there's nothing sleazy about the marketing. And there's so many actors always feel like it's beneath them to go out and sell the movie. And I tell them, I said, look, no matter what you do, if you're a painter and you paint great paintings, or if you're a musician, and you want to promote an album, or if you're a movie actor and you promote the movie, I said, you have to do that. Because it's the only way people who know about it. The more you do, and the better you do it, and to actually say the right things about the movie that is snappy, that really makes people curious, when it goes, that's where it's all about. It's an art by itself. Not just the acting is an art, but the selling is an art as well. Yeah. What I love about what you're saying, it's, you know, for me as well, I only moved to LA five years ago, and I feel like I can be quite audacious and, you know, driven as well. And so when I'm listening to you, what I always find it's interesting because the most successful people in the world, they have this audacity in that they already see it as reality. And everyone else, because it's so audacious, people are trying to catch up, or they can't really see it, they can't figure it out. And you almost have to have that trust that you know where it can go and how big it can get. Having actually achieved all your goals, becoming the biggest bodybuilder of all time, going further, becoming this huge movie star, you know, you just said that you had to go to educate people at one point, that you even were a movie star.
How Does It Feel To Be So Accomplished? (01:15:32)
I think you've been good at redefining yourself and re-educating people about who you are from bodybuilding to movies to obviously governor of California. How does it feel to have lived out so many of your visions that you saw so clearly is that young man in Austria, how does that actually feel? Well, to be honest with you, I always say to people, I would never switch my life with anyone's life, no matter who it is. Because I think that I am the most privileged person in the world. I mean, it's like to be able to live this many types of lives, to live the life of an athlete, of an amateur, of a professional, to really get the inside scoop because when you get the inside scoop of one profession, of one sport, you pretty much, because you hang out with the top football players, with Joe Nameth, and all of those guys in the 70s, I mean, with George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. So you get to know really the inside of all sports, basically. And I think to learn everything about sports, to then learn everything about entertainment, to be now with the greatest of the greatest, I mean, imagine that I still met people like Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and all of those guys, the guy that trained me in comedy was Bill Milton Burrell. And you know, all these old-timer guys, Jimmy Stewart, I mean, the list goes on Lucille Ball, the list goes on and on and on to meet all of these people, to work with them, to do photo shoots with them, to go to parties with them, to be a dinner with them, a charity event, events with them. I mean, it's really staggering to have this kind of experience. And then to travel around the world and to meet all these political leaders from Gorbachev and, you know, every president in the United States, who Ronald Reagan, the Jimmy Carter, the George Bush, and to everyone that the list goes on and on, and then all those guys, all the way Nixon, I mean, everyone I met and talked to and hung out with and learned from Mandela. So it is like, I mean, who has the privilege to do that and to travel around the Middle East and to do the things that people say you can't do, like to go from an Arab country to Israel or from Israel there, I hop back and forth all over the place, from Iraq to Jordan to Israel to Kuwait, I mean, everywhere and, you know, visiting the American soldiers over there and to be there. I mean, it's staggering this kind of life. And then to go into the political arena and then to figure out what makes really a city or a state or country run and tick and what kind of players do you need and how do you negotiate with all of these people and how do you bring Democrats and Republicans together and how do you come up with your own vision of how things should work because very quickly, you know, I was our hardcore Republican, but very quickly, I realized that that's not where the action is. The action is not with one party, that America is Democrats and Republicans declined to state independence together. And so that's the team. And as a team together, we can do great things. But if you start splitting the team, you start falling apart. It's like any football team or basketball team. So I said to myself, the action is honored, bringing them together. Don't insult the Democrats. Don't insult anybody. Bring them together. And let's be a public servant rather than a party servant. And so that was my new theme. I was so proud of myself. Maybe 5,000 other politicians have talked about this, but I mean, Obama said there's a blue state, no, a red state. There's only the United States, but there's a bogus lines really. I mean, it sounds good, but I mean, the reality is different. So you really have to show leadership quality. And you really have to kind of make an effort to bring both of them together and to be not afraid to say to the Democrats as a Republican, I need your help. But together, we can solve this problem. I cannot do a long health care reform as a Republican. I need the Democrats. I need everybody. And so this is the kind of things of building infrastructure, doing anything in this state. It was our best work we did together. So I cannot give any party a credit. I have to give credit to the politicians and to the people. And the people really enjoyed that when Democrats and Republicans got together and campaigned together for propositions to vote for the certain propositions and all of that. So I think, I was very, very privileged to be able to do all of those things and to have millions of people listen to you and vote for you. And that, of course, goes to another chapter and another subject in a book, which is, you know, give something back to the community, you know, because we are not self-made people.
We are not self-made people…” We Are Made By The People That Shape Us (01:21:14)
And I talk about this at Great Langston, the book, because it, you know, people so many times call me a self-made man. I know what you're talking about, but I always meant to make clear at the same time, I'm not a self-made man. I was created by my mother and my father. I was created by my teachers, by my coaches, by my bodybuilding champions that they were my idols. And Joe Wieder, they brought me to America, Eric Morris, who was my acting coach, Chuck Nicholson, the recommended acting coach. So all of this people had a tremendous amount. My wife did help me in every step of the way, you know, with the kids. My kids were really helpful in my career. So I am a product of all of that. And so I think it's important that we being recognized that we have gotten the help that we therefore give help back. So that's why you have to ask yourself the question. Okay, now if everyone helped me to be where I am, how can I not go out and help whom? Who can I help? What can I help them with? And I talk about it in a book that my father-in-law, Sergeant Shriver, had this great line at the university speech at Yale, where he said, "Don't look always in a mirror. Don't look at yourself." You know, destroy that mirror. You will be able to look beyond that mirror. And then you will see the millions of people that need your help. And so this is what it's all about, is to not just look at yourself or be self-consumed. Yes, you can be. But don't forget ever that there's a lot of people out there that need your help. And even though when people say, "Well, what can I do? I'm a nobody. I don't have any money." That's bogus. It's an excuse right off the top that I don't want to do anything. Because when you see Hawaii burning down to the ground, there's a lot of things that everyone can do. But just taking some food and bringing it to those poor folks, bringing some clothing, going out and going through some fundraising, and bringing a few dollars to them. Whatever it is, you can do something. Or to go into some inner city school and to help with an after school program and to help kids learn how to read, especially since in America now, we have so many students that were English is the second language. You know, to help them to learn English and all this stuff. So there is an endless amount of things. I just always felt that I have to be all out. I remember when Rudy Giuliani called me, when he was mayor of New York, he said, "Oh my God." They know that buildings came down. They would be creating a twin tower fund. Can you send a million dollars? I said, "Yeah, you got it tomorrow." In two seconds, they didn't even think about it. You know, it's what you do when we needed masks. When COVID broke out in Los Angeles, the hospitals didn't have any masks. So I immediately put in a million dollars towards a fund that we put together to raise $8 million and then to get masks from all over the world, especially from Asian countries. And so we can supply them with masks and gowns and gloves and with mandolators and stuff like that. It was a company called FlexPort that was within days. Got us the masks, even if the government said there are no masks around, we can get any masks. So you know, this is things like that. There's many things. The earthquake of this is that you go out and you reach out and that's why I'm involved in after school programs. That's why I was involved in Special Olympics and being a train and a coach for Special Olympians to help them with winning medals and becoming champions and all of the stuff. So that's what life is all about to receive and to give. Well said, Arnold. Well said. And yeah, definitely more notes in the book for anyone who wants to dive into some of those stories. But Arnold, we end every episode with a final five. So these are a fast five where you have to answer each question in one word or one sentence maximum.
Arnold Schwarzenegger on Final Five (01:25:32)
So these are your final five. The first question is what is the best advice you've ever heard or received? Believe in yourself. Second question, what is the worst advice you've ever heard or received? It can't be done. Good answers. Question number three, you've mastered so many things in your life.
Continuous Growth And Goal Setting
Every Accomplishment Leads To The Discovery Of Your Next Goal (01:25:55)
What are you currently trying to master? Bring all of my talents together into one. The show business, fitness and the politics all in one and make that be my new kind of vision and drive to help the world. Wow. Okay, I'm going to scrap the final. What does that look like? That's fascinating. What does that look like right now in your mind as you develop it? You can use more than one center. I want to be out there and help with environmental issues, because I learned about that doing my governorship. I want to be out there and help with health care issues, with aging issues, with fitness issues, with entertaining issues and because it's important to entertain people. So all of those kind of things. So I have to what's like an institute where we deal with a lot of those various different issues and policies to make it a better world. And I have my environmental conference in Vienna every year where the world comes together, 80, 90 countries come together. And we talk about the environment and how to make this a fast or free world and reduce pollution. So we don't have 7 million people die every year because of pollution. Beautiful. I can't wait to see the impact you have in that space. Question number four has two parts to it. What is your biggest personal success and what is your biggest personal failure? Well, I think that my biggest personal success is to be able to do the things that I wanted to do, that I visualize them and turn them into reality. And I think my biggest failure obviously is my marriage thing that from a personal point of view and from a professional point of view, I've had many movies going to toilet. I've lost bodybuilding competitions and powerlifting competitions and all that stuff. So I had my plenty of failures. It's always important to bring that up because people should know that you never will be able to go through life without failures. Failures make us learn. Failures make us stronger. Pain makes us stronger. So I think all of that is good. Yeah, let's address both of those because it's so true. Like on the outside, like you said, people can say, so privileged. You met the president, you did this, you did that. You've, you know, all the wins. You know, when I'm looking around this room, like everything's iconically, you know, nothing's unrecognizable across the whole world. It's all recognizable. But the, did you ever feel the pressure when things started to go well of like, God, the next movie's got to be bigger and the next movie's got to be bigger? Did you feel that? Or did you just kind of, you were just loving it so much that you just kept building? And if it went wrong that it didn't hurt you that much? You know, I never really felt that much pressure probably about anything, to be honest with you, because I knew what I wanted. And I never really fell for this thing of what did the people expect me to do. So I just, I create my vision. And when everyone says it's impossible, I go after the inventions. It's like I go all out 100% and it gives me joy. And it is what is great about it is that every time that you accomplish something really big, you see and become aware of other things that are new challenges that you didn't even think about. Yes. I mean, did I ever think about that I will fight for the environment? No. But because of the governorship, you notice, this is like the thing I talk about in the book, about Hillary, the times Mount Everest and the Zapda. And obviously this is another pig to be climbed, right? And you say, that's the next one. So there's the same thing. I go and win the governorship. I go in there. I start working on the governorship and all the different policies. And I'm meeting all these scientists and experts and talk about, they talk about in how many people die here because of pollution. And we can do something about it. And that dive into that, it's a new peak. Oh my God. No one has really explored that forget the 19% of renewables. We have to have 50% renewables. Forget about the reducing greenhouse gases by 5%. We have to produce about 25%. And we have to do it by 2020. And so you said big goals. So this is the new peak that you're climbing and you go all out for that. Then when you get there, then you see another peak beyond that. So this is what is fun and this makes my life rich. You know, that is always something new and different. And I tell you that I also learned when I, for instance, listen to you because you come from a totally different world, right? So this gives a different spin on things. So when a listener does this, I say, "Oh, that's an interesting way of looking at it." And so I think we have to learn from one another. And so I think that you and I, we have a lot in common anyway because otherwise you wouldn't be sitting here. Yeah, it does. I mean, to think about it here, it's not just that I want to be having one of the most popular podcasts, but you have to be a curious son of a bitch to go and to be really good in what you do. And this is what I noticed about your podcast. You're really curious, a natural curiosity. I think that is, you have to have it. You have to have curiosity. It shows in your eyes. It shows in everything when you ask the question on all this. It's like when you see journalists, which I hate, you know, they have a piece of paper and you say, "Okay, very interesting." He says, "Now let me ask you another question. You wonder what I'm saying, this is there." And then how do you feel that they read it off the paper? And then when you answer, they don't even look at you in the eyes. They look at the paper for the next question. Right? So I didn't detect any of that from you. I mean, every question came without looking at anything because you're curious. And I think I was just one of the mentioned. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. And it means a lot coming from you. And I am curious because I grew up as a fan who didn't. So that's one thing. But I think I'm even more curious because you chose to write a book about being useful and life lessons. And I think that that world is what I gravitate towards because I think learning from the greats is all we have. And I think when we ignore to learn from the greats, that's when we make we have to make our own mistakes for no reason. We can avoid so many. So no, I am very curious about you. And I think you're also a fantastic storyteller. So that helps. You get into so much detail and so many examples and everything. So it's brilliant. I tell you, it was really fun doing this book because I really had to kind of drill down and think about a lot of the things that comes natural for me to tell stories about because you each one of the rules, you want to be able, even the sub rules and the sub sub rules, you want to be able to tie it to a story. So the people can relate to it. Like I was talking about infrastructure. You can talk to people about infrastructure or you want, they can relate to it. But as soon as you tie it to getting stuck in traffic, making it to the recital in the school and you come late an hour because of the traffic and all this. Then they can relate to it. And the same is with any of the rules. I kind of had fun doing it. It was sometimes frustrating because you want to do in the 10 rules and then publish it and say, no, you can only do seven. Because his book kind of should only have 268 pages, not 350 pages and all of this crazy stuff he goes through. But it was a really, really great process and never met wildest dreams did I ever think that I would occupy this space at all. And it really happened just totally coincidentally where more and more people, when you finish with the governmentorship, I was asked to do public speaking engagements like expresidents and stuff like that. And so I'm traveling around, I think one time someone said, can you pump up our crowd? We have like a thousand real estate people. We want you to just pump them up. So you do a little bit of success story. And always ended the go for a wildfire. Every one of the public speaking engagements they've had since then, they want to go and have me talk about success. The rules to success and all of that stuff. So it's like something I didn't even think about because I always was a motivator. If it's a special Olympics or after school programs, what would we just, my buddies around in the gym that became my training partners? Because I always have this kind of energy. Come on, let's do a set. You can do another set. Well, wait a minute. You're stopping with 10 reps. Give me five more reps. Let it pain. Let it give pain. And you just pump, pump, pump. So I have this energy. So never thought that this would be used then for seminars and eventually for a book like this. It's like crazy. When life takes you. Yeah, it's fantastic. It's beautiful to see it through your eyes and through your lens and for us all to dream as well. And I have one final question for you. And actually, before I ask it, when you said we have a lot in common, that there's so many different parallels that I'll tell you later. Because when I was listening to you, I have a very different life, but so many similar lessons I've picked up along the way. And I think as humans, that's what brings us together. We may not have the same life story. We don't grow up in the same places. We don't have the same parents, but you pick up the same messages from the world and the same lessons from the world. So the fifth and final question I want to ask you is, if you could create one law that everyone in the world had to follow, what would it be? Well, that's an interesting question. Maybe you get our fossil fuels. That we have to use alternative energy. If it is nuclear, with producing energy itself, if it is for cars, electric or hydrogen, I just feel like if we have 7 million people die, it's a pollution. I think by having a law like that and eventually make it stick, I think that we could save those lives. And this is more than any of the wars that they've fought and any of the other disasters or anything like this, is so many people die because of pollution. So I mean, that's one thing. I mean, the more morning I call you and say, I have another law. Great. That's a great answer. We've never had that one though. We've never had that answer, so it's a brilliant answer. But you've been doing so much work in the plant-based space, you know, with the documentaries on game changes, like climate change now you're talking about, like it seems like this has been like an immersion for you. We know it's a crazy, here's another crazy one. Yeah, go ahead. My life is so insane. I believe it. Yeah, but I mean, it's like, I'm working with this guy, Jim Cameron. I do Terminator 1. We become friends. We're at the motorcycle together, we hang out together, and then he does, you know, Terminator 2, and he does other movies and the Titanic and other titles. But he is unenvironmentalist. But when we determinate it, I never knew that and he never talked about it. So then I become governor and now he goes and he says to me, he says, I only make it aware of that the power companies are still resisting the reverse metering. He says, reverse metering. What the hell are you talking about? He says, well, it's the thing, you know, when you produce energy from solar and you produce too much, you want to put it back on the grid. That's reverse metering and you get credit for it. So I walk away and I say, I'm just like, how does Jim Cameron knows? No, but reverse metering. And about that subject. You know, of course, it's very clear because he's a genius, right? And he just is with the knowledge and stuff like that. He's unbeatable. Yeah. So but true enough, I go into the office the next day in the governor's office and I said, look guys, I want to talk a little bit about reverse metering. I'm so glad you bring this up because foreign power companies are fighting us tooth and nail. They don't want to do reverse metering. But we want to pass a law to be telling the legislators to send us a bill so that you can sign it and blah, blah, blah. So this just gives you an example of what impact Jim Cameron had on me with issues that is way beyond, you know, movies and stuff like that. Then he goes and says to me, I said to him, I said, my doctor said to me, he says, I should get off meat. And they should only have once a week meat. And he says, boy, hello, where have you been? I mean, I've been vegan for five years. So I said, what? This is I've been being a five year. I mean, any meat for five years. You don't need meat to have a, and he goes crazy now. And he says, some of it we're doing the documentary right now. And I think, you know, I'm eating plant based food. So all of a sudden, he's the experts. Now I sit down with him, and he's telling me for hours about, you know, plant based food and how he can combine and create the right amino acids to create the right protein. And over his now, he can get strong. And here's, and now he lists the name of the athletes, boxes, wrestlers, weightlifters, UFC fighters, everything that are on plant based food. Think about that. So now I got into it. And I was part of this documentary, right? And now I eat like maybe once a week meat. So I would say 70%, at least a cut down my meat intake for health reasons. And it happens to be also for environmental reasons. As he explained, as he honored, what do you think with most of the pollution comes from more than from transportation comes from breeding life stock. Says, are you kidding me? And says, no, read up on it. He says, I sent you some stuff. So I'm reading up on it, sure enough, 28% of the pollution comes from breeding life stock. Says, if people wouldn't eat meat, he says, and wouldn't have the animals being kind of like the horse sale, kind of like the vegetable protein goes into the animal, then they eat it in the chest, then you eat the animal, you still get the plant based food. But through the animal now, it's bullshit. We can do better than that. That's cut out the meat. It's just amazing how I get exposed to various different things in my life and make me passionate about ways that I couldn't even ever have planned. This kind of relationships and this kind of knowledge you could never plan on. Yeah. And do you all have a meditation practice? Is that right?
Meditation And Clarity
Finding Clarity Through Meditation (01:41:25)
I used to. In the 70s, there was a time when I got out of bodybuilding and into show business. And there was all kinds of things happening in the mid 70s. So I was doing my last year of competition in 1975 in South Africa, Mr. Olympia. So I was training for that. I was finishing off my movie Stay Hungry with Barbara Efreson and Sally Fields and Jeff Bridges doing that. And I was at the same time going full class in the show business, taking acting classes and investing my money in real estate. So I was no matter which way I was turning, I was like scrambling. And at that point, I did not know much about how to isolate and just concentrate on one thing at the time. So I'm hanging out with this guy, this skinny rat down in the beach. He's a transcendental meditation teacher, but he never talked about it. So I said I said, yeah, I feel frantic. I mean, it's like everything is a little bit overwhelming for me. I'm doing this movie. I'm shooting the documentary pumping on. I'm going to the competition. I'm finishing off Stay Hungry. I'm trying to do real estate and become a millionaire. I'm all over the race. He says, let me talk to you a little bit. He very calmly talks to me about it. And he says, when I come up to Westwood and take some transcendental meditation, he says, I cannot be a teacher, even though I'm a teacher, I said, you're a teacher, transcendental. Yeah. He said, but I cannot be a teacher. He says, I'll rules where we need a friendship and definitely if there's someone else. He says, but don't worry. I said, yeah, be the right guy. So I go up there and I do the, I learn now about meditation. And as I got into it, I was then doing meditation like for months throughout the summer, that hectic summer. I mean, the summer was over. It wasn't that hectic anymore. So what I learned from meditation was you know, how to kind of like first of all rejuvenate the mind and to kind of disconnect the mind. But also what I learned was how to focus on one thing at the time and to just look at that with no peripheral vision so that nothing comes in, solve this. And then don't think about anything else and then go over here and solve this and then solve this because he said he can never do all of it in one time anyway. And as soon as you single out things, it becomes much more approachable and much more doable. He said to me, I remember he said, when he drive down and then a sport walk with your bike, he says, you will look sometimes on a busy day and it will be all packed. He says, it would look like he would not be able to go through this crowd because you're looking at the whole shot, the whole sport walk all the way down a mile, Venice. So it's overwhelming. He says, but if you go now with your bike slowly, you negotiate around the people and always then you will find spaces where you can go. We don't bump into anybody. He said, you're on the end of it and it was totally doable because he took one person at the time kind of by sticking around. And that's the way it is with everything. He says, if you just look at it one thing at the time, you will be able to solve any problem. And that's why he says you see people like the pope that has obviously his daily routine, the big daily routine. And this guy's to get up at five o'clock in the morning. They were got for an hour and a half, very calmly, get that out of the way. Then they read newspapers like Pope John Paul. I remember he told me he read newspapers in six different languages. So they read the newspapers. Then they get that done. Then they go and they go and have the first meeting. So this is how they step by step, they approach that the day. And he says, the people that get done the most, you can load them up with even more responsibilities because they're very organized and very systematic in their approach. And so I've learned that. So now I've never really been that frantic again. But if I would become frantic, I would go right back into the meditation because I know now how to do it. That's fantastic. Oh no, everyone has been listening or watching the book is called Be Useful, Seven Tools for Life. You can grab it right now. We're going to put the link in the comments and the captions so that you can order it right away. As you can tell, Arnold's a phenomenal storyteller inside of it, a lesson's stories. And one of the things I definitely have in common with Arnold that I appreciate about him is how simple the ideas, how easy they are to digest, and not complicated. And you don't have to learn something new. You can actually just sit there, take them in, listen. And all of a sudden you start going, wait a minute, it maybe is that easy. Maybe it is that simple. And I think that's something that we desperately need in today's world. So, Arnold, I thank you for putting all your lessons into a book for us. Thank you for telling so many amazing stories. And I signed 17,000 copies pages. Because now that they sent you the pages, so I'm getting these boxes with pages. Each box was a thousand pages. And I said to them, wait a minute now. First was like 14,000 for the American company. And then there was another, there's three and a half thousand, four thousand for the British. And they're going to be in bookstores? Yes. What they do is, I think that the first of the books are all signed. So now people will win the order pre-order. They will wear signed books. I think that was the idea. So, in the old days, that you will go to the bookstore and you will sign all the books yourself. And then you sit there for hours and hours. And after an hour you sign 100 books, right? Because you have to open up the book and it's always slow. Now it's these pages. So I was just like signing, signing, signing. I was for three months. I was signing and signing and signing. Yeah. I mean, think about it. I mean, 17,000. Yeah, I can relate. It's crazy. Yeah, it's crazy. I never thought that after doing that many signatures. I love it. Well, it's available now. Make sure you tag me and Arnold on any social media platforms you're using, whether it's TikTok, Instagram, X or wherever you are, I'd love to see what resonated with you, what stuck with you. Keep sharing those posts across social media because I love seeing what is going to stay with you, what you're going to practice, what are you going to try? What are you going to implement in your life from this episode that will help you become happier, healthier or more healed? Thank you again, Arnold. Thank you. Thank you.