Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Part I

Notes from the first half of Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger


Discipline. Don’t give in to short lived wants.

Take advantage of the system is subversive ways.

Break the rules, they weren’t made for you. They’re there to keep others inline.

Be inspired. Find a mentor. Find a leader to model after.

Know who you are. What you’re capable of. What your interests are. How to push yourself.

Greate a goal and lay down a path to it.

Split sets. Break workouts in two. One in morning. One at night.

People will sabotage you, but others will come through. E.g the guys owner threw his application for Mr. Universe out, because he did not get what he wanted out of Arnold. But a competitor of the gym owner came through and paid for Arnold to go the contest. Even though his application was late, friends rallied the Mr. Universe organization to let him in.

Focus on the end goal. Envision it. Knew what it looks like. Know what it feels like. Arnold envisioned himself at the top of the pedestal. He could feel what it would feel like.

Focus on winning. Talk to yourself saying you’re going to win. Don’t compete. Go to win. He learned this after losing Mr. Universe but realizing that he made a big splash. It made him wonder if he had changed his mindset from one of “competing” to one of “winning.”

Focus on others.

Don’t be a robot. Engage with people.

Leave no stone unturned. Use any advantage you can find and think of. Otherwise, you’re at a disadvantage.

Arnold took steroids because top guys did. He learned they Russians and East Germans were experimenting with them.

Train and work early. Before the day starts. There are no distractions. There are no responsibilities. No one asking anything of you. Working during normal hours is a distraction.

Your mind limits you. Realize you can do more, lift more. Put things in context and you’ll realize it to be true. You walk everyday, carrying 100s of pounds. This means you need to lift more to make any progress.

Expose your weakness. It will ensure you don’t neglect it. Hide your strengths. Otherwise you’ll indulge in areas you’re good at and ignore the rest.

Eat all the proteins.

Hard work is all you can rely on.

Get in the path to somewhere. Join and become part of communities.

Losing is fine. But only if you had truly dug deep. Did everything you could have.

You can view obstacles as challenges or opportunities. When Arnold was competing for Mr. World, Sergio showed up as a surprise contestant. This terrified Arnold at first, but then he realized he had an opportunity to beat him.

Arnold played all sorts of psychological mind fucks. He even tricked Sergio into leaving the stage while they were competing. He felt it was s primal move, done in the heat of the battle.

Push things out of your mind to get on with your goals.

Wanders in like a puppy. Not knowing much, but also not overly concerned with what could go wrong. Focusing on what could go wrong will just prevent you from getting what you want.

Always be smiling. Every action is one more step towards your goal.

Art and movies in the US is formulaic and lacks creativity.

Actors worked out in secret. Bodybuilding was still a small group of people. It took long to take off with everyday people. Seems like it’s split off into all sorts of sports that encourage weightlifting of some kind.

Presentation. Presentation. Presentation. It’s about educating people.

Though highly of Lou Farigno. Felt if he had Lou’s body, he’d be able to beat himself.

He made sure he had money coming in so he didn’t have to take parts simply because he had to pay the bills. He had a goal to be a big star and didn’t want to jeopardize that.

Peculiarities can be an asset.

Every dollar spent is two that could have been earned.

He always stayed with a friendlier style.

In working with special needs kids, teaching them weightlifting, he discovered that lifting weights was great at building confidence. With soccer, sometimes you made a good kick, other times not so much. It was inconsistent. With weight lifting, you could always rely on matching or even beating your last training session.

Sell in unconventional places. To an audience that is ignored, but still your core.

Get training throughput it your life and career. You can’t do it on your own and you can’t know everything.

He kept his goals attainable. He never reached beyond his grasp.

Arnold lived in multiple worlds and loved it. Republicans. Democrats. Surfers. Bodybuilders. Etc. His immigrant background meant he did not understand the vernacular subtleties. He just saw the good in every group.

Have to vs get to. Arnold saw every moment in his life as an opportunity to do something, vs. having to do something.

Mileage. Get mileage. Put in the hours. It’s the only path to mastery.

The more you know about something, the less likely you are to do it. Just stumble into things.

Acting was half the job. Selling was the other half. He traveled the world selling his movies. He didn’t understand why artists just painted and didn’t sell their work.