Be Useful. What a great title. It sums up Arnold Schwarzenegger’s philosophy of life, and offers the rest of us a simple mantra for living our lives.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is the poster boy for an improbable life. Born into a poor family in a small town in Austria, he rose to become one of the most famous people in the world. And he did this by having a vision–he wanted to be in America. A big dream for a kid whose destiny as a local cop seemed inevitable. Instead, he manifested those dreams through work and perseverance, through experimentation and failure, and each successful endeavor led to another dream and goal to be achieved.
Schwarzeneggar excelled at everything he set his mind to, though not always right away. There were failures, but these made him more determined to succeed. And ultimately he did, as a bodybuilder, an actor, a Governor of California, a philanthropist, and now, although he might cringe at the title, a life coach.
Be Useful offers 7 simple tools for life, and goes into great detail about how and why they will be useful, including anecdotes from his own life. He avoids the overly deep introspection, the “swim in lake me” approach, that men often recoil from. Instead, the tools are almost self-explanatory:
- Have a clear vision
- Never think small
- Work your ass off
- Sell, sell, sell
- Shift gears
- Shut your mouth, open your mind
- Break your mirrors
Within those chapters, you’ll find some pearls:
- “If something matters to you, you’ll find the time.”
- “There is no substitute for putting in the work.”
- “You have to plan and work and fail and repeat.”
- “Failure has never killed a dream; quitting kills every dream it touches.”
- “The only limits that truly exist are in our minds.”
Most people use what they see as a weakness or flaw in themselves as an excuse to not pursue their dream. Schwarzeneggar barely spoke English when he came to America–not a major issue for bodybuilding. But he wanted to be an actor, and not just any actor. He wanted to be a leading man, an action hero. And he already had two strikes against him by Hollywood standards–his name and his accent. That would have stopped most people in their tracks. We know what happened. Hard work and vision made him a superstar.
Whether you’re heading into retirement, or just getting started in life, dreams can come true. Be Useful is a powerful book that will inspire you to work hard and stay focused on achieving that dream. Simple and logical tools that are easy to implement IF YOU CHOOSE to. Succeeding is a choice.
Be Useful offers a kickass mantra, a German saying that Arnold learned early on in life: “Wenn schon, Denn schon.” In essence, it means “If you’re going to do something, DO IT. Go all out!”
As Arnold has said in more than one movie: “C’mon, Do it!” Buy this book!
Review Written By: Larry Pollack