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10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Arnold Schwarzenegger

10. Strength is gained through hardship.

Arnold’s path to success wasn’t a walk down the yellow brick road. He didn’t win his first competition, and not all of his movies were box office successes. He didn’t give up though. Essentially, Schwarzenegger is saying that you should never give up. Life isn’t going to be all ups. There are going to be difficult times, you’re going to go through things that will try to break you, but you have to make the conscious decision to work harder, stay positive, and overcome them. You don’t become stronger by constantly getting what you want. You have to fail to develop true character and strength, and you shouldn’t be afraid of that.

9. Try anything you want.

His Google search bio says, “Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-born American actor, model, producer, director, activist, businessman, investor, writer, philanthropist, former professional bodybuilder, and politician.” No matter how you feel about The Terminator star, you can still get something from this. Look at how much he’s done, and how many different careers he’s pursued. Even though he is best known for his acting and body building success, he didn’t allow that to pigeonhole him into one thing for his whole life. He’s tried several different things even though there was public disapproval and mockery of his choices.

8. Your beginning doesn't dictate your end.

Arnold Schwarzenegger embodies the "rags to riches" fairytale. He came from a small town in Austria, and he wasn’t born to a wealthy family that could pay his way. He worked hard, set goals, and took it upon himself to make his dreams come true. It doesn’t matter who your parents are, where you went to school, or if you went to college. It matters how willing you are to work for what you want. How badly do you want those dreams?

7. You are stronger than you think.

“What we face may look insurmountable. But I learned something from all those years of training and competing. I learned something from all those sets and reps when I didn't think I could lift another ounce of weight. What I learned is that we are always stronger than we know.

This doesn’t only apply to the gym. You have to push yourself to achieve any goal or rise above any difficult situation. If you want to run faster then you need to find the drive to go farther and faster in each run. It’s easy to doubt ourselves, to think we’ve reached our limit, but you are capable of so much more than you think, just like Arnold was capable lifting more weight when he felt like he couldn’t.
 

6. There is no age limit on education.

Arnold received a bachelor’s degree in international marketing of fitness and business administration in 1979, when he was 32 years old. This was after his first movie, but before his second. He hadn’t hit it big yet, and even though he wanted to pursue body building and acting, he still made his education a priority when he could. When he was able to afford school and could dedicate time to the degree, he pursued it. It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you want to further your education then you should, even if you’re in your fifties. Learning is a lifelong endeavor.

5. Dreams don't work unless you do.

Schwarzenegger was committed to his dream of being a body builder. Starting at 15, he made body building his life. This commitment to weight lifting and eating properly to fuel his body is what made him a success. He could not have achieved the success he had in competitions or been cast for the movies he starred in if he had not nurtured an unwavering commitment to his goals. If you want something then you need to be fully committed to achieving it. Otherwise, you won’t even come close to completing your goals.

4. A bad event isn't the end of the world.

Those small setbacks won’t break you. You choose how you handle situations when things don't go your way. One bad event, comment, or day doesn’t have to change everything. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can decide to make the best of what you have, and work to have a better day the next day.

(Image via jurvetson, CC)

3. Don't listen to the critics.

Arnold has received heavy criticism for most of his career decisions. Whether it was a harsh movie critic, a box office failure, or backlash for his decision to run for governor, there have been harsh and hateful things said about him. He didn’t let any of that deter him from what he wanted to do, though. Even if you don’t want to enter into such public careers, you should still adopt the same attitude as Schwarzenegger. If you want to do something then you need to ignore those that tell you it’s not possible or that you can’t do it. Work for what you want, and prove the haters wrong.

(Image via zero_org, CC)

2. Embrace change.

Schwarzenegger left his home country to pursue a better life in the States. He didn’t let the fear of the unknown keep him from changing his life and future. He’s made several major career changes in his lifetime, including the switch from champion body builder to successful actor and then from actor to politician. These were huge decisions that changed almost everything about his life, but he was brave enough to take it on. Life changes all the time, and it's often not because we want it to. Change is unavoidable, but embracing it will lead you to some surprising places that can help you learn and grow.

(Image via oracleopenworld09, CC)

1. Don't let the risk of failure hold you back.

Arnold knows that there’s always a chance at failing, but he also knows that failing can teach you something. You have to be excited to take on a challenge and know that failing isn’t always the worst thing. Let the chance of failure drive you to hustle for what you want, and if you still fail then know that you can learn from the experience.