#1678 Arnold Says: Work Your *ss Off

Tool #3 for Being Useful

In our last couple +1s (here and here), we explored the first two tools to create a great life that Arnold Schwarzenegger shares in his new book Be Useful.

Today we’re going to take a quick look at Tool #3: “Work Your Ass Off.”

Let’s get right to work.

Arnold tells us: “I bet you and I have a lot in common. We’re not the strongest, smartest, or richest people we know. We’re not the fastest or the most connected. We’re not the best looking or the most talented. We don’t have the best genetics. But what we do have is something a lot of those other people will never have: the will to work.”

He continues by saying: "If there is one unavoidable truth in this world, it’s that there is no substitute for putting in the work. There is no shortcut or growth hack or magic pill that can get you around the hard work of doing your job well, of winning something you care about, or of making your dreams come true.

People have tried to cut corners or skip steps in this process for as long as hard work has been hard. Eventually, those people either fall behind or get left in our dust, because working your ass off is the only thing that works 100 percent of the time for 100 percent of the things worth achieving.”


Tool #1: Have a Clear Vision.

Tool #2: Never Think Small.

Then what?

Then we get to Tool #3: “Work Your Ass Off.”

Here’s a hint on whether or not you’re working hard enough...

“If the work of being great or achieving something special hasn’t hurt or cost you anything, or at least made you uncomfortable, then I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but you’re not working hard enough. You’re not sacrificing all that could be sacrificed in order to be all that you could become.”

Arnold tells us that in his quest to become THE greatest bodybuilder ever he trained for FIVE hours PER DAY for FIFTEEN YEARS.

Get this...


I got goosebumps typing that.

Sub-chapters in this chapter include: “Reps, Reps, Reps,” “Pain Is Temporary,” “Follow Up, Follow Through,” and “There are Twenty-Four Hours. Use Them.”

Additional admonitions include: “Don’t be a lazy f*ck. Do the work. The only time you are allowed to use the phrase ‘I took care of it’ is when it is done. Completely.”

As I typed that and flipped back through my underlines and asterisks deciding which of the near-infinite number of quotable passages I can pull out for you, I was struck by the clarity of Arnold’s demands and the ferocity with which he practiced his philosophy.

I also thought of Phil Stutz and his Big 3 things from which we will never be exonerated: Pain, Uncertainty, and CONSTANT Work.

I also thought of his favorite teacher Rudolf Steiner and the two things he said get in our way of actualizing our potential: Fear and Laziness.

I’ll leave it at that for now.


One more thing before we move on...

Know this: Arnold didn’t approach his life with a “joyless urgency” as Oliver Burkeman puts it in Four Thousand Weeks.

You simply won’t put in the hard work unless you LOVE what you do.

Which is why Csikszentmihalyi said: “Creative persons differ from one another in a variety of ways, but in one respect they are unanimous: They all love what they do. It is not the hope of achieving fame or making money that drives them; rather, it is the opportunity to do the work that they enjoy doing.”

And that's why Arnold says: “‘When did you ever have fun?’ others will wonder. I never wasn’t having fun, I’ll say. Why would I bust my ass like that if it wasn’t fun?”

That’s Today’s +1.

Let’s have fun going ALL IN.


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