When you’re a competitive athlete you learn very quickly how strong you are or how energetic you are… all those things. But there are other people who have an equally as good as body as you do.
They perform just as well, they’re exactly the same in proportions and all those things so the questions really is this “what puts you over the top?”.
It is the mind actually creates the body and the mind that makes you work out for five hours a day it is the mind that visualizes all how the ought to look like as the finished product.
When I used to do seminars on how to become a champion, I would always ask people “why do you want to be a champion?” or “what do you want to accomplish?”, “why are you training?”.
And if a guy would get up and he would say “well I want to train because I think that if I get muscular and I feel I’m getting the kind of definition I want and maybe I can enter a bodybuilding competition”… I would say “Sit down. If you think this way you’ll be a loser. You’re never going to make it because there’s no maybe. You have to get up and say:
I want to be a champion and I’ll do whatever it takes the amount of hours it takes the posing the this the that the visualization, looking at training footage reading motivational books reading this reading that, whatever it takes I would do
That’s the answer I want to hear from you!” You can detect right away those are going to be shaking and those who will fall behind and not go all the way and those that are very hungry. And that hunger you have to develop. Create the goal for yourself whatever it takes whatever that may be a short-term goal , long term goal and you have to go after that and if you do not see it and if you do not believe it who else will.
Tthe body is very important but the mind is more important than the body. You have to visualize what the body ought to look like in order to make it win, because that then creates the will that you need to go to the gym every day, the will that makes you go and do those forced reps. The will that makes you go beyond, and you can’t do another rep and your body is shaking.
It’s the will that makes you go one more time up and down again, struggle up one more time. It’s all of this at the mental aspect that motivates you, and makes the difference of you being at the gym full of joy and looking forward to doing that extra rep and looking forward to doing that extra hundred reps and working past the pain barriers. That so is the mind not the body.
So you have to go to the gym and feel that every rep that you do is get you one step closer to the vision and turn it into reality. When you’re looking at “Pumping Iron” for instance you can see that we always had great joy in the gym and people would say: “Why would you laugh and have a good time while you work near five hours?!”
I knew that every workout, every five hours, we’ll get me closer to becoming Mr. Olympia or Mr. Universe or Mr. World. And I think that if you think along the way you’re not going to fail then you’re blind. Because there is no one that I’ve met, no matter how successful they are that hasn’t failed. They had their failures along the way. You have to know. It’s the only way that you really know that you can lift 500 pounds is if you’re willing to fail.
So if you’re afraid of failure you will never grow. The people that go the furthest are the people that really don’t care, they fail or they make it there gonna take that risk. That’s what you have to do. I think that learning sports is help for everything and anything that you do in life.
So now you apply that principle to acting and you say: “Wait a minute I put five hours everyday working out, I did my posing one hour a day, the stretching the this, the that… So let me apply the same thing to my acting career let/s go to acting class everyday, lets go and work on the accent. With the same amount of time and the same will and visualize what I’m shooting for.
Okay I want to be another Clint Eastwood be another John Wayne be another Kirk Douglas all those great heroes that I admired as a kid. And the same principle works even if there are people around saying you never make it.
You have an accent, your body is to big and who can pronounce your name schwarzen- schnitzel or whatever. Who can pronounce that?
But you know and it doesn’t matter if anyone else knows or if anyone else believes in it, and you know that the principle visualizing yourself as a star will work, and all you have to do is go forward that vision.
I retired from bodybuilding in 1975, and then signed a series of Conan movies. Here I was: big studio behind you, big budget. I was going to Australia to be a judge at the Mr. Olympia competition but then all of a sudden I thought I should compete. I think the competitors felt very disappointed. Why would I do that I would take the trophy away from them when I have everything else on the plate and I think that was disappointed there.
I found that was something I needed to do and felt very strongly about it so I competed so now I apply that principle in my political career.
People see me as a big action her0 on the screen and they expect the same kind off bigger than life action in reality, that’s why in my political career people say to me: “Well this is a risk to go and start talking about prison reform. People don’t even want to go and talk about that”, so I say: “yes maybe it’s politically risky but in the meantime you have 172 000 prisoners in facilities that are built for 100 000. Something is going to break. Something is going to happen… I want to fix it.”
I feel very strong that I can think to put together people. I felt very strong I could unite Democrats or Republicans and knew exactly what needed to be done to turn the economy around to bring jobs back, to bring businesses back and to do all those things. I did feel that this is a Golden State and sure after I announced that I will run, and after I got elected, all the things that I planned became a reality.
I always use bodybuilding as an example for a lot of things that I do if it’s talking about budget, if it’s talking about the environment, if it’s talking about prison reform somehow I always get in my experience off what I’ve learned in bodybuilding and somehow tie in to what I’m doing today. I’ve learned a tremendous amount and every day is a learning experience.
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