I must confess that I am very fond of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since the age of 16, I have been a fan of his muscular physique, his strong determination and will-power to succeed as a bodybuilding champion, and his accomplishments in winning multiple prestigious awards like Mr Olympia. What struck me the most about his attitude was his extreme ambition of becoming the world’s best bodybuilding athlete – essentially a ‘master’ of bodybuilding.
Arnold’s accomplishments were also reflected in his successful long term career in acting, politics, and entrepreneurship.
‘Vision’ – the critical Ingredient for Success:
When Arnie was in Australia in 2013, during his participation in the ‘Financial Education Summit’, he was asked the question about what is the most important factor in achieving success. His response was – ‘You have to have a “vision” of where you want to go and what you want to do”. He further added that ‘You can have the best ship in the world, or the best airplane in the world, but if it takes off and it doesn’t know where to go, it’s not going to end up anywhere’.
This core message struck me as being very powerful and thought provoking. In fact, I regard ‘Vision’ as the ultimate weapon in achieving any form of success in life or in business, especially after observing Arnie’s track record of success.
Can Mastery be Achieved ?
If you ask the sceptic about the reality of achieving ‘mastery’, he or she will argue that 100% perfection in whatever shape or form is humanly not possible. Whilst I completely agree with this viewpoint, I still believe that what Arnold achieved in his career is equivalent to winning multiple Olympic gold medals. It is also equivalent to what astronauts, concert violinists, brain surgeons, or black-belt karate champions have achieved during the span of their careers. I therefore believe that these individuals must be given the respect and acknowledgement as ‘masters’ of their profession.
What these people have in common is a strong ‘vision’ for ultimate success. Vision can also be referred to or translated into the words – ‘foresight’, ‘legacy’, ‘endgame’, ‘big picture’, ‘success story’, ‘dream’, or any other inspirational word or phrases that strikes a powerful emotion within the mindset of that person seeking to achieve a specific long-term goal.
Experts in creative visualisation openly claim that if you repeatedly practice your vision on a day to day, and imagine yourself in the future, you can train or trick your brain to think that the specific event you desire has actually already taken place. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger would regularly practice ‘creative visualisation’ as young as 16, to help him win his first few bodybuilding titles. In his mindset, Arnold frequently imagined himself ‘standing on the stage, receiving the trophy, and feeling like a true champion’. The truth was that at the tender young age of 19, Arnie earned his first major bodybuilding title.
The Psychology of Pain:
Arnold’s strong vision of becoming the world’s best bodybuilding champion, and his ability to think BIG, gave him an edge or weapon over other bodybuilders or competitors.
His clear vision fuelled him to go to the gym every day and train to extreme levels of exhaustion. He also used ‘pain’ as a core driver or catalyst to push himself to new levels of performance, into a zone that no other bodybuilder had yet experienced or even dared to try. This ‘ultimate performance zone’ is where focus, stamina, tolerance to pain, adrenalin, passion, desire for success, and other strong emotional triggers are manifested. Arnold’s philosophy to success would soon become – ‘No Pain. No Gain.’
Most people give up when there is too much pain. As a business coach, I see this unfortunate phenomenon occur all the time. It is the nature of the human species to generally give up when it gets too hard. Only a true master, champion or marathon runner is willing to go that extra mile to achieve the ultimate reward. The harsh reality is that in business, pain is inevitable, and long term success is only for the bold and brave.
In contrast, Arnold Schwarzenegger discovered a reverse psychology where pain was his main driver to train even harder. He would describe his thirst for pain as addictive and his ultimate weapon !
The Winning Formula:
In Arnold’s life, the close relationship between vision and pain was his winning formula. In my life as an entrepreneur, I confess that ultimate success is also about passion, endurance, facing your fears, believing in yourself, and doing what you love most.
Whatever your philosophy is, it must resonate in your sub-conscious mind, and make you pursue the extreme. Good luck !
This article has been exclusively written by Federico Re for ‘Business First Magazine’ – December, 2014 Edition.