I bought this book after my friend Nick was telling me some stories about Arnold’s training – you know, in the woods, doing squats for hours, and then making love to a woman and drinking wine. Hey, I admit it, it sounded interesting.
Arnold’s story is fascinating to me. What American doesn’t like a pick yourself up by the bootstraps story? But regardless of his success and failures, there is one aspect of the book I really liked: getting to intimately know how Arnold thinks.
Do you think his success and mobility was an accident?
I had lists and charts of the things I needed to concentrate on pasted all over. I looked at them every day before I began working out. It became a twenty-four-hour-a-day job; I had to think about it all the time.
Yeah, he put things on index cards—his goals, body parts he needed to develop—and looked at them everyday. What a great way to keep focused and prevent incorrect thinking.
He ran a business, trained 4-6 hours per day, competed in bodybuilding competitions, and went back to business school. Makes me wonder what the hell I’m doing!
Chances are you’ve had periods of your life when you’ve been really focused. Disciplined. Driven. Eager to wake up in the morning. Or maybe not. Regardless, we can create that kind of fire through disciplined thinking, through positive thinking.
By the way, do you know how many times Arnold mentions positive thinking in his book? I don’t either, but it sure is a lot. It really drives the point home. You have to think positive. Man, I feel like an idiot for negative thinking, or worrying, or being fearful. We all should—it accomplishes nothing! That’s the funny part about incorrect thinking—it’s useless!
One of my favorite Bruce Lee quotes is, “Success is where aimless drifting ceases.” I don’t see much aimless drifting in Arnold’s life (based on his biography). What I see is a lot of discipline, correct thinking, and just plain hard work.
To me The Education of a Bodybuilder is incredibly motivational and kind of lit a fire under my you know what. It sure is good to read books like that from time to time, or as often as you need to prevent complacency and errors in living and thinking creep into your life.