Six Rules of Success – by Arnold Schwarzenegger
USC Commencement Address
When Arnold Schwarzenegger was the Governor of California, he was asked to deliver a commencement speech for the 2009 graduates at the Universality of Southern California. And deliver he did:
"I stand before you today not just as Dr. Schwarzenegger or as Governor Schwarzenegger, or as The Terminator, or as Conan the Barbarian, but also as a proud new member of this Trojan family."
"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 time. 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."
Arnold’s 6 Rules to Success:
"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. Figure out for yourselves what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people."
2. Break the Rules
"Break the rules, not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?"
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
"Anything I’ve ever attempted, I was always willing to fail. 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."
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? 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 never listen to, “You can’t.” (Applause) I always listen to myself and say, “Yes, you can.”"
5. Work Your Butt Off
"You never want to fail because you didn’t work hard enough. 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. No pain, no gain."
"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. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets."
6. Give Back
"Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back, something back to your community, give something back to your state or to your country."
"Remember these 6 rules. Trust yourself, break some rules, don’t be afraid to fail, ignore the naysayers, work like hell, and give something back."
University of Southern California
May 15, 2009