Anything I’ve ever attempted, I was always willing to fail. In the movie business, I remember, that you pick scripts. Many times you think this is a wining script, but then, of course, you find out later on, when you do the movie, that it didn’t work and the movie goes in the toilet.
Now, we have seen my movies; I mean, Red Sonja, Hercules in New York, Last Action Hero. Those movies went in the toilet. But that’s OK, because at the same time I made movies like Terminator and Conan and True Lies and Predator and Twins that went through the roof.
So you can’t always win, but don’t afraid of making decisions. 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, which brings me to rule 4 which is:
RULE 4: DON’T LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYERS.
How many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and it’s never been done before? Just imagine if Bill Gates had quit when people said it can’t be done.
I hear this all the time. As a matter of fact, I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it that means that I’m the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done.
I remember my mother-in-law, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, when she started Special Olympics in 1968 people said that it would not work. The experts, the doctors that specialized in mental disabilities and mental retardation said, “It can’t be done. You can’t bring people out of their institutions. You can’t make them participate in sports, in jumping and swimming and in running. They will hurt themselves, they will hurt each other, they will drown in the pool.”
Well, let me tell you something. Now, 40 years later, Special Olympics is one of the greatest organizations, in 164 countries, dedicated to people with mental disabilities and that are intellectually challenged.
And she did not take no for an answer. And the same is when you look at Barack Obama. I mean, imagine, if he would have listened. If he would have listened to the naysayers he would have never run for president. People said it couldn’t be done, that he couldn’t get elected, that he couldn’t beat Hillary Clinton, that he would never win the general election.
But he followed his own heart, he didn’t listen to the “You can’t,” and he changed the course of American history.
So over and over you see that. If I would have listened to the naysayers I would still be in the Austrian Alps yodeling. I would never have come to America. I would have never met my wonderful wife Maria Shriver, I would have never had the wonderful four kids, I would have never done Terminator, and I wouldn’t be standing here in front of you today as governor of the greatest state of the greatest country in the world.
So I never listen that, “You can’t.” I always listen to myself and say, “Yes, you can.”
RULE 5: WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.
And that brings me to rule number five, which is the most important rule of all: Work your butt off. You never want to fail because you didn’t work hard enough. I never wanted to lose a competition or lose an election because I didn’t work hard enough. I always believed leaving no stone unturned.
Mohammed Ali, one of my great heroes, had a great line in the ’70s when he was asked, “How many sit-ups do you do?” He said, “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.”
That’s what makes you a champion. And that’s the way it is with everything. No pain, no gain. So many of those lessons that I apply in life I have learned from sports, let me tell you, and especially that one.
And let me tell you, it is important to have fun in life, of course. But when you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard.
Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that.
Now, if you want to coast through life, don’t pay attention to any of those rules. But if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work. None of my rules, by the way, of success, will work unless you do.
I’ve always figured out that there 24 hours a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left.