Arnold Schwarzenegger shows us the power of thinking big and relentlessly going after your vision. He demonstrates the power of mindset, passion and self-belief in accomplishing any worthwhile goal in life.

The mindset and attitude traits that made Arnold who he is today:

Incredible self-belief:

For Arnold, it all started with his self-belief. Arnold had an almost delusional level of self-belief – and that is what you have to have. What you believe you can accomplish is the deciding factor.

This is what Arnold says about self-belief:

“I knew I was a winner back in the late sixties. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way – I hope it never will.”

“We all have great inner power. The power is self-faith. There’s really an attitude to winning. You have to see yourself winning before you win. And you have to be hungry. You have to want to conquer.”

“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.”

Completely unafraid to fail:

Don’t overthink, just make a quick assessment and act. Also, have a relentlessly positive attitude. Be inclined to constantly experiment, fail, learn, adapt and overcome.

In this regard, Arnold says,

“If you’re afraid of failure, then you will never grow….”

“You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, and success will come. So don’t be afraid to fail.”

The gym is an ideal place to constantly challenge your limits and learn this idea that failure leads to eventual success. As Arnold says, “The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.”

Vision and visualization:

You have to already vividly see yourself being where you want to be before you actually get there. You have to envision yourself accomplishing all of your goals. You have to feel certain that no matter what momentary obstacles may be in your way, you’re destined to get to your goals.

“I’ve always believed that, in order to be motivated or work really hard, you need to have a vision”

As Arnold says, “there is no maybe.” Speaking of the power of visualization, he continues “You have to get up and say, ‘I want to be a champion and I will do whatever it takes.’  You have to create a goal and go after it.  If you don’t see it and you don’t believe it, who else will? You have to visualize and that creates the will.”


Arnold had an incredible amount of internal motivation and passion in his training and his other pursuits. He experienced joy when he trained to exhaustion – doing supersets, trisets and giant sets. He was passionately motivated at the gym and in doing everything that he put his mind to.

To excel and accelerate you have to be so motivated that you go beyond motivation. You have to reach an inspired state. You must be driven by not just how you feel in the moment, but by a deeper sense of knowing exactly why you are doing what you’re doing.

Relentless internal drive:

Arnold maintained a relentless internal drive to make his visions a reality. A relentless internal drive means that whether you do something that you need to do is not dictated by how you feel in the moment but by something deeper where your external circumstances such as a good or bad day become irrelevant.

Tapping into that sort of drive and the mental fortitude that comes along with it will allow you to go beyond your comfort zone – to push through the pain and discomfort barriers – and to consistently maintain a high level of discipline in your training and anything else to achieve your goals.

“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.”

Clarity of purpose:

You have to have a clear sense of direction – and that comes from having a clear sense of purpose for doing what you’re doing. From an early age, Arnold knew exactly what he wanted in life.

He let no one define what was realistic or not for him to do. He knew exactly what he wanted to become did what he needed to do to get there with joy, passion and complete self-belief. Know what you want and go after it with a sense of urgency.

Persistence and work:

None of the above will matter if you don’t execute your visions with hard hard work. Arnold relentlessly went for what he wanted and didn’t take no for an answer. He put a lot hard work behind his vision to achieve all that he did.

“But if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work.”


Insights and motivation on fitness, food, travel and lifestyle through posts by a Swedish-Pakistani–American Lawyer and Pro Athlete.

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