6 Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes That Will Help You Improve Your Life

Tom Stevenson
https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2BObpb_0Xoz1obJ00Maureen Keating / Public domain (source)

However you look at his life, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s achievements are incredible. From a poor upbringing in rural Austria, he became arguably the greatest bodybuilder of all time, an internationally recognized movie star and Governor of California.

He has achieved more in one lifetime than many people would achieve in three. Growing up, I was a big fan of Schwarzenegger’s movies, particularly the Terminator franchise.

His stature and the way he was able to present himself on-screen made him a magnetic figure. This was helped by his numerous cheesy lines on the screen. Despite many people writing him off as a goofy actor, Schwarzenegger is an inspiring figure.

His life is an example of how you can rise from humble beginnings to achieve your dreams and inspire people around the world. The idea that an Austrian bodybuilder, with a thick German accent, could become a megastar seems fanciful, even today. Yet Arnold accomplished this and more.

Arnold revolutionised bodybuilding with his work ethic, he upended the film industry and opened the door for the popularity of action-based films. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he changed popular culture more than we realise and still influences it to this day.

Apart from his often comical lines in his movies, Arnold did deliver some thought-provoking quotes that are worth exploring in greater detail below.

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

Life has its ups and downs. For Arnold living in a rural Austrian town, this will have weighed on his mind more than most when he was growing up. He recalled in a biography that one of the highlights of his youth was when his family bought a refrigerator!

Today, he is worth millions and can buy as many refrigerators as he wants. However, that didn’t happen by chance. It happened because Arnold worked hard to overcome the disadvantages he faced in life to succeed.

Indeed, it may have been these disadvantages that caused him to succeed. When you have everything handed to you on a plate, the desire to improve, the desire to take the rough with the smooth is diminished.

It’s why successful sports team burn out. Think of the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, or FC Barcelona. Eventually, the constant winning dampens the enthusiasm to become better, to suffer and improve. Winning is the goal, but sometimes it can blunt your desire.

Winning is great but it doesn’t give us strength. It’s the sacrifice and striving to succeed that gives us strength. Much like the best part of travelling is not the destination but the journey, the same is true in life.

We should cherish the process more than the end result.

“Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”

This sounds like another one of Arnold’s cheesy lines he delivered in his films. But I think there is a lot of truth in what he says here. He’s not wrong when he says it’s hard to climb a ladder with your hands in your pockets.

The symbolism of this quote is that we associate putting your hands in your pockets with laziness, with slacking off. While this isn’t always accurate, it does have some basis in truth.

I can remember multiple times, when I was working in construction, when I saw some of my colleagues on the building site with their hands in their pockets, not engaged with what was going on.

While the work was demanding and tough, especially if we were working in bad weather, it sent the wrong message. It made it obvious that you didn’t want to be there and that you weren’t willing to put in the work.

Body language is revealing and there’s nothing more revealing than someone standing around with their hands in their pockets while everyone else is toiling away.

To be successful, you have to take action. You have to be proactive. Success doesn’t come to you, you have to go after it and chase it down. Something you can’t do if your hands are stuck inside your pockets.

“Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.”

Given the relentless pursuit of money by some, this is an important statement to consider. It’s clear what Arnold is saying, once you get to a certain threshold, more money doesn’t make you happier, it just makes you richer.

From my perspective, I know I’d feel the same way as Arnold if I was in his position. I’d get to a point where money didn’t really mean anything and it wouldn’t make me any happier.

That’s not to say money isn’t important, it is. The problem is when you desire to have more and more of it. When does become enough? Money is a tool, it’s something that should be put to use, not hoarded to make you feel better.

The only times I’ve been overly concerned about money were when I had too little of it. When I’ve been lucky enough to earn good money, it’s not made that much of a difference to me.

Sure, it’d be nice to have tens of thousands drop into my bank account every month, but after a while, the feeling will wear off. You’ll get used to it.

If you’re relying on becoming rich to make you happy, you’ll be disappointed. Money doesn’t make you happy, it makes you secure.

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

Resistance is a force we will all encounter in our lives at some point. It could be from others, it might be from yourself, rest assured you’ll face it one day.

The comparison that Arnold draws here is a valid one. As someone that works out regularly in a gym, I know what he’s talking about. Increasing the weight on your lifts can be a daunting experience.

Your mind is questioning whether your body can handle the weights. What happens if you can’t lift 25kg dumbells? What if I can’t deadlift 125kg? These are all thoughts I’ve had while I’ve been in the gym.

Sometimes, I gave into my thoughts and stayed at the same wight and didn’t test myself. Other times, I faced up to it and lifted the weights. Maybe it was only for one rep, but it was better than nothing. At least I did a rep!

The gym is a kind of microcosm of life. It can be an intimidating and uncomfortable place for a beginner. Especially for someone like me, who was skinny when I first stepped into one.

You’re worried that everyone will look at you and laugh. Most of these problems are ones you’ve invented yourself. Often, you’ll find you can push beyond boundaries and that people are more than willing to help you rather than laugh at you.

If you can face your fears, push back against them and move forward, you’ll develop a character as strong as Arnold’s.

“I do the same exercises I did 50 years ago and they still work. I eat the same food I ate 50 years ago and it still works.”

One of the interesting things about the world we live in is that things are always changing, yet there is a lot that remains the same.

Technology advances at an ever-increasing rate. Breakthroughs in knowledge are made and our societies develop at a rapid pace. Despite this, some fundamentals remain unchanged. Laws that persist through time.

Again the gym is a good analogy. If you want to get stronger, there are some foundational lifts that you need to do. Bench press, deadlift, squat and military press. That much hasn’t changed in fifty years as Arnold states.

The more weight you can lift, the stronger you’ll become. If you want to gain weight you need to eat more calories than you burn. These are truths that can’t be denied no matter how much progress we’ve made as a species.

The same is true in life. The knowledge of people such as Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca is still relevant today because the human condition has barely changed since they were alive.

We still have the same troubles, the same worries and the same fears. Read some of Seneca’s philosophy and you’ll be amazed at how relevant it is today despite being written two thousand years ago.

We delight in the advances that we make as a species. But we often forget that sometimes the old ways are just as good, if not better than the new. As the adage says, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

“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.”

This is one of my favourite quotes from Arnold. It’s similar to how I think about life. That it should be about more than just simply existing, you must endeavour to be better, to improve and become the best version of yourself.

Unfortunately, many of us go through the motions in our lives. I remember doing it myself when I left university. I worked in a betting shop for ten months. I hated it for the first few months then something happened.

Once those few months had passed, I didn’t mind it that much. Sure, it was still boring and the pay wasn’t great, but it was better than no job. What changed my mind was when I got hit by a car cycling home from work one night.

I was lucky that I only walked away with cuts and bruises. It could have been a lot worse. This was a wake-up call and made me realise how fragile life is. I realised that there were no guarantees in life.

It was this moment that gave me the courage to travel to Australia for a year by myself, which set in motion a chain of events that led me to where I am today.

Life is a wondrous thing, it’s a miracle that we are alive at all and get to enjoy the beautiful world we inhabit. To coast through it is a crime when there are so many whose lives were cut short through illness or accident.

The lives we lead are a reflection of our character and choices. If you take the easy route and merely exist, you won’t fulfil your potential. Whereas, if you push yourself to achieve, to become better and to conquer your goals, your life will be all the better for it.

In the end, there is no choice to be made. Life is for living. As Arnold showed, taking life by the scruff of the neck can take you to some remarkable places.

Arnold is remarkable for the depth of his achievements and the odds that were stacked against him. He may be known today as a famous movie star, but he wasn’t always this person.

His story shows that with hard work you can achieve more than you realise. He shows that challenges are there to be faced not feared and that life is what we make of it.

His cheesy lines in movies might be more famous, but the quotes above are full of wisdom and provide much that we can all learn from.

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