But I have to tell you something; I think this is a bunch of nonsense because after all, this is America. This is the greatest country on earth, with the greatest opportunities.
It is one thing if you were born in Afghanistan or in Swat Valley in Pakistan where you’d be forced to join the Taliban or be killed. Now, then I would say yes, that is a little bit scary.
But this, this is going to be a piece of cake for you, trust me. You live in America and you’re prepared for the future with this tremendous education you have gotten here at one of the greatest universities in the world. This is going to be exciting, it’s a great adventure and this is a new phase in your life. This is going to be awesome.
Now, of course, this journey is not going to be without any setbacks, failures or disappointments. That’s just the way life is. But you’re ready and you are able, and you would not be here today with your degrees and with your honors if you wouldn’t be ready.
- SCHWARZENEGGER’S SIX RULES OF SUCCESS
So now, of course, to help you along the way, I thought that the best gift I could give you today is to give you a few of my own personal ideas on how to be successful. And parents, I just want you to know, maybe you should close your ears, you should plug your ears, because maybe there are a few things that you maybe won’t like in what I have to say.
But anyway, I can explain how I became successful and who I am today by going through what I call Dr. Schwarzenegger’s Six Rules of Success.
Now, of course, people ask me all the time, they say to me: “What is the secret to success?”
And I give them always the short version. I say, “Number one, come to America. Number two, work your butt off. And number three, marry a Kennedy.”
But anyway, those are the short rules.
And now today, I’m going to give you the six rules of success.
But before I start, I just wanted to say these are my rules. And I think that they can apply to anyone, but that is for you to decide, because not everyone is the same. There are some people that just like to kick back and coast through life and others want to be very intense and want to be number one and want to be successful. And that’s like me.
I always wanted to be very intense, I always wanted to be number one. I took it very seriously, my career. So this was the same when I started with bodybuilding.
I didn’t want to just be a bodybuilding champion, I wanted to be the best bodybuilder of all times. The same was in the movies. I didn’t want to just be a movie star; I wanted to be a great movie star that is the highest paid movie star and have above-the-title billing.
And so this intensity always paid off for me, this commitment always paid off for me. So here are some of the rules.
RULE 1: TRUST YOURSELF
The first rule is: Trust yourself.
And what I mean by that is, so many young people are getting so much advice from their parents and from their teachers and from everyone. But what is most important is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourselves, who do you want to be? Not what, but who.
And I’m talking about not what your parents and teachers want you to be, but you. I’m talking about figuring out for yourselves what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people.
I was lucky growing up because I did not have television or didn’t have telephones, I didn’t have the computers and the iPods. And, of course, Twitter was then something that birds did outside the window. I didn’t have all these distractions and all this.
I spent a lot of time by myself, so I could figure out and listen to what is inside my heart and inside my head.
And I recognized very quickly that inside my head and heart were a burning desire to leave my small village in Austria — not that there was something wrong with Austria, it’s a beautiful country.
But I wanted to leave that little place and I wanted to be part of something big, the United States of America, a powerful nation, the place where dreams can come true.
I knew when I came over here I could realize my dreams. And I decided that the best way for me to come to America was to become a bodybuilding champion, because I knew that was my ticket the instant that I saw a magazine cover of my idol, Reg Park. He was Mr. Universe, he was starring in Hercules movies, he looked strong and powerful, he was so confident.
So when I found out how he got that way I became obsessed, and I went home and I said to my family, “I want to be a bodybuilding champion.”
Now, you can imagine how that went over in my home in Austria. My parents, they couldn’t believe it. They would have been just happy if I would have become a police officer like my father, or married someone like Heidi, had a bunch of kids and ran around like the von Trapp family in Sound of Music.