“I welcome and seek your ideas, but do not bring me small ideas; bring me big ideas to match our future”.

– Arnold Schwarzenegger

Let’s face it, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a beast in a lot of ways, and I think it’s always good to get inspiration from people who have not only succeeded, but succeeded in multiple domains. Even before becoming Mr. Universe, The Terminator, and the Governor of California, Schwarzenegger was an entrepreneur, achieving success with both a bricklaying venture and a mail order business. Yep, this guy had millions way before he stepped into the Hollywood spotlight.

Over the years, Arnold, AKA “Arnie” and “Austrian Oak”, has strongly voiced his philosophy and what he believes got him where he is today. So whether you agree with him or not, I think it’s well worth taking a look at the big Austrian’s views on some of the key areas when it comes to building a successful career and life. Enjoy!

On…always moving forward

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength”. 

“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer”.

One word that certainly seems to spring to mind when thinking about Arnold Schwarzenegger is hunger, and that certainly comes through in the quotes above. He places emphasis on not dwelling too much on the past and instead focusing on what can be changed and affected, i.e. the future.


Failure is something we all have to deal with, and something that Arnie has repeatedly encouraged people not to be afraid of. He once took to social media site Reddit to offer encouraging words to a struggling gym goer, saying:

“I always say don’t be afraid of failure, because how far can you really fall? You found out – to the ground. It’s right there. Now you know it isn’t anything that should scare you”.

From a personal perspective, I have often worried about what might happen if I do a certain thing. What I have realised, and what Arnie sums up perfectly here, is that potential failure should not really be taken into account too much. All that time spent thinking about whether you might fail is time wasted – time that could be spent actually getting it done and either learning from your failure, or reaping the rewards of your success. Basically, if you’ve thought something through, and you feel confident, then what’s the worst that could happen?

The overall message seems to be that failure is something to take lessons from, and nothing more. Once the lessons have been learned, no further attention should be paid to it.

On…psychological battles

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent”.

“The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character”.

Along the same lines as the concept of failure, Arnie’s quotes above discuss the limitations we often place on ourselves. For many of us, the difference between success and failure can often be psychological. A certain setback might keep us from trying again for weeks, months, or even years. But, as summed up by Arnie, it’s all about belief and building inner strength.

On…being different

“The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that”.

As succinctly summed up by Arnie here, there is no use in being the same as everybody else. I have read so many articles advising people to channel their own personality into everything they do and to not simply fall in line and bang the drum. Yes, sometimes it can be difficult to rock the boat and be a bit different, but once that obstacle has been overcome, the rewards can be immense.

On…using training as an outlet

“Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body”.

We’re all familiar with the beneficial effects that exercise and a rigorous training regime can have. In fact, I wrote an article about some of these benefits, which you can read here.  If you have ever dealt with an argument by taking to a punching bag or smashing a personal best in your discipline of choice, then you’ll be able to relate to what the big man is saying here. Training can provide structure, an outlet for stress, and can also improve determination levels.

So there we have it – a neat little collection of quotes from actor, politician, entrepreneur and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger. A pretty determined chap!

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