The Daily Man-Up

June 3, 2019 | No Comments » | Topics: Life Advice

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Some advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography:

On self-belief:

Somehow the thought took shape in my mind that America was where I belonged. Nothing more concrete than that. Just . . . America. I became absolutely convinced that I was special and meant for bigger things. I knew I would be the best at something – although I didn’t know what – and that it would make me famous. America was the most powerful country, so I would go there. The thought of going to America hit me like a revelation, and I really took it seriously. I’d talk about it. The kids got used to hearing me talk about it and thought I was weird, but that didn’t stop me from sharing my plans with everyone: my parents, my teachers, my neighbors.

On goals:

I always wrote down my goals. It wasn’t sufficient just to tell myself “lose twenty pounds and learn better English and read a little bit more.” No. That was only a start. Now I had to make it very specific so that all those fine intentions were not just floating around. I would take out index cards and write that I was going to: get twelve more units in college; earn enough money to save $5,000; work out five hours a day; gain seven pounds of solid muscle weight; and find an apartment building to buy and move into … Knowing exactly where I wanted to end up freed me totally to improvise how to get there.

I knew the way my mind worked, and that to accomplish anything, I had to buy in completely. The goal had to be something that made total sense and that I could look forward to every day, not just something I was doing for money or some other arbitrary reason, because then it wouldn’t work.

On visualization:

They needed me to lose weight. First I had to redo myself mentally – let go of the 250-pound image of Mr. Olympia that was in my head. I started visualizing myself instead as lean and athletic. And all of a sudden what I saw in the mirror no longer fit. Seeing that helped kill my appetite for all the protein shakes and all the extra steak and chicken I was used to. I pictured myself as a runner rather than a lifter, and changed around my whole training regimen to emphasize running, bicycling, and swimming rather than weights. All through the winter, the pounds came off, and I was pleased.

On the mind:

Don’t overthink. If you think all the time, the mind cannot relax. The key thing is to let both the mind and the body float. And then when you need to make a decision or hit a problem hard, you’re ready with all of your energy … By not analyzing everything, you get rid of all the garbage that loads you up and bogs you down. Turning off your mind is an art. It’s a form of meditation.



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