Day 2 – 30 Days Of Arnold: Arnie’s Six Rules For Success


Back in 2009, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a speech at the USC Commencement during which he outlined his Six Rules to follow in life to become a success. Here’s those six rules:

During the 30 Days of Arnold Challenge, I’ll be using this speech as inspiration for everything I do.

Yesterday, I also talked about working to improve the different areas of your life in order to provide a balance – and in these six rules, Arnie outlines why it is important (check out No.6).

Here’s a brief summary of the rules:

Rule 1 – Trust Yourself

You have to look deep down inside yourself and ask the question: who do YOU want to be?

What makes YOU happy no matter how crazy it sounds to your friends, family and the world?

This was precisely the challenge Arnie had when he first professed his love of bodybuilding.

At a time when the sport was seen as right out there on the edge of sport, he persevered with his passion… and eventually became the face that brought it into the mainstream.

He transformed his passion into personal impact and changed sport forever.

Rule 2 – Break the rules

Arnie says “it’s impossible to be a maverick or be truly original if you follow rules”.

Arnie was a constant rule-breaker both within his sport and on a wider stage.

He understood that popularity wasn’t a goal and that making enemies was a by-product of standing for something and doing things differently.

Rule 3 – Don’t be afraid to fail

For someone who is a dead-set winner in everything he’s done, it’s refreshing to hear his views on failure and its necessity.

“I was always willing to fail,” he says. “You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions.”

Fundamentally, Arnie highlights the importance of not allowing fear to paralyse your thinking and that decision-making was the pathway to success, not avoid failures.

He adds, “Success WILL come.”

Rule 4 – Don’t listen to the naysayers

It’s difficult imagining anyone telling Arnold “no”, but he experienced this right at the start of his career.

At every stage, people tried to put mental obstacles in his way, none of which survived under Arnie’s deep-rooted self-belief that he would one day be a success.

If you read any of the books about Arnie, you’ll discover how much he uses the words of the naysayers to drive him to work harder.

“I love it when someone says ‘no-one has ever done this before… because then I DO. It means I’m the first person to do it!”

Rule 5 – Work your butt off

His work life was spent hours in the gym, sculpting his body in way no other bodybuilder before him had done so.

But outside work, he brought the same strength of mind and energy to whatever else he did.

In many ways, he was perfectly suited for office when he became the Governator.

Quoting from Muhammed Ali talking about his training regime and how many sit-ups he does, he says “I only start counting when it starts hurting. That’s when it really counts.”

Rule 6 – Find time to give something back

Here’s the one you rarely find dished out as the route for success, but giving back to your family, friends, community and the world is something Arnie recommends.

“Reaching out and helping people will give you more satisfaction and success than anything you’ve ever done,” he says.

When someone becomes a success, all too often you see them leave behind the profession or industry which lead them there, which supported them.

Not Arnold – never has there been someone who is a bigger cheerleader for all of bodybuilding.

He remains one of the dominant figures in the sport to this day and you’ll often see him in the background cheering on the next generation of sports men and women.


Ok, so there’s the rules.

I’m going to write these on my whiteboard and they’ll inform me every day for the next 30 days to keep me on track.

The final one in particular is something I’ll need to think about more – what can I do to give back?

In terms of the format of the 30 days, every few days I’ll report back (mainly to ensure I hold myself accountable) and give an update of what I’ve done and achieved based on following the Arnold Philosophy.

For now, I’ll sign off with a great quote from Arnie:

“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”

I’ll be back.


Have you listened to or watched Arnold explain his Six Rules before? What did you take from them? Did any surprise you? Let me know in the comments below.

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