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Be Useful #1: Create a Vision like Arnold Schwarzenegger

Learn Arnold's tools for building a life-changing vision in 5 minutes

It’s 6AM. My quads are pumping on the stairmaster at Gold’s Gym Venice and I have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s audiobook booming in my ears. If there was ever a perfect way to listen to the Austrian Oak’s audiobook, this had to be it.

How I imagine I look after ripping a set of bicep curls with 15 lb. dumbbells. Nobody can tell me different.

This book was a must-read or rather, a must-listen for me. Arnold is my biggest inspiration. He fired up me to start lifting weights, to move to Venice, and to be as ruthlessly ambitious and hardworking as he is. I even named my golden retriever, Arnie, after him. I’ll spare you my dog’s picture because this newsletter is about going hard. Okay fine, you can email me for one.

Before we get into it, this is your reminder to focus. Shut off the noise. Go on do not disturb. Lock in for five minutes and leave feeling charged up and ready to take action. And for the love of God, don’t be an NPC and open social media. Now, let’s go!

Have a clear vision and take a walk

“You need to be able to see what you want to achieve before you do it, not as you do it. That’s the difference”

― Arnold Schwarzenegger, Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life

Do you know where your life is going? Do you tell yourself you’re figuring it out when, in reality, you’re going through the motions?

Arnold’s key here is to have a clear vision. You have two options here.

  1. Start broad in your vision and zoom in until it comes into focus. Think of using your camera to find a target and then clicking to sharpen the the image.

  2. Start small and build a clear picture. Imagine yourself building a puzzle.

Start broad and zoom in:

Arnold’s analogy here is 🔥. He asks members at the gym why they’re working out. He refuses to take the answer of “getting in shape”.

Are you bodybuilding. Are you rock climbing? Are you powerlifting? Are you trying to get healthy because your doctor told you to lose weight? Do you just want to look shredded on the beach?

Getting in shape is broad. Training for a bodybuilding competition and sculpting a perfect body to step on stage for Mr. Olympia is how you zoom in. Once you zoom in on your vision, you can start tackling the steps to make it a reality.

Now, I work in tech sales. Two types of people I see are

  1. The person who wants to get to their quota

  2. The person who wants to make a $1M annual commission check, be the top rep in the company, and drive the company’s value through the roof

One vision is broad. One is specific. Guess which one wins every time?

Start small and build a clear picture 📷

Now, you need to create the space and time for your vision. Not everyone is going to have a vision like Arnold did at fifteen (what a beast).

You need to allow your environment to make an impact on you. Arnold saw pictures of America as a kid. He saw images of people living the dream on California beaches. Arnold also found out that Hercules was a former Mr. Universe, Reg Park. He had the blueprint for the life he wanted and had to make it happen.

Hard truth: Your vision is simply not going to come to you while you are doomscrolling on your phone. Put it down and wake up. Allow your mind to open up to your surroundings to help craft your vision.

Finding a vision is a long term discovery process that can take years or decades. Some never find a vision at all…a scary thought. Without a vision, you will feel helpless and be left to feel like life happens to you versus for you. Without a vision, you will be left to feel like a victim.

How can you prevent this? You can start building your vision now. Read on below ⬇️

Two things Arnold recommends to start building your vision today

#1: Create little goals

Start with daily goals and then weekly & monthly goals. As you start to hit your goals, you will feel your sense of uselessness fade away. Bank achievements in your mind’s piggy bank and take note of how you feel afterwards. Here are examples of goals that Arnold mentions:

  • Housekeeping Goals

  • Workout goals

  • Nutrition goals

  • Reading goals

  • Any task that makes you feel proud of yourself for completing it

Instead of building from a broad place, you can build momentum towards your vision like this. This will allow inspiration to come into your life as your confidence builds.

Arnold tip: One of the best goals you can have is to take more walks. Aristotle, Nietzsche, Thoreau, and Einstein all said that taking walks was how they found new ideas and creativity. Walking is a hack to find direction for your life. Walking helps you change your routine and habits. It helps you clear your mind and gives you energy. If you’re not walking daily, you’re missing out.

#2: Look in the mirror 🪞

  • What do you see when you look in the mirror? What color are your eyes? Arnold pushes you to not give a BS answer like blue or brown. What color are they really? When’s the last time you really looked at yourself in the eyes?

  • Most people hate looking in the mirror because the person in the mirror is a stranger compared to the person they want to be

  • Look at yourself in the eyes every day to know exactly where you stand with yourself

  • You have to see the person in the mirror as the same person that you visualize being. Otherwise, how is your vision going to materialize?

Drive to Strive To-Do’s

  • Build a vision. Go broad and zoom in or go small and build from there

  • Take a 15 minute walk daily and create the time and energy for your vision to grow

  • Look at yourself in the eyes every morning for 30 seconds. Ask yourself if you are the person you visualize yourself being

That’s a wrap 🎬

I’m amped you made it to the end. How do you feel? Do you feel positive, recharged, and fired up?

If so, share that energy and wake up a friend to living better by sending them this post.

Thanks for reading and sharing. I’ll see you later this week where I’ll cover how Arnold never thinks small and how you can as well…I’ll be back.