What the Terminator has to say about success

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilder, actor and Governer talks about success in this video, where he sets out five rules to follow.

Schwarzenegger is inseparable from his role as the Terminator, a cybernetic android assassin, which made his career as an actor.

In the video, Schwarzenegger talks about how all the things that would seem to be barriers to success, the characteristics that would appear to be disadvantages, actually turned out to be unique and distinctive features of his performance and character.

For example, growing up in post-war Austria, he had a vision, a dream to be a bodybuilder – and he worked on making that dream a reality every day.

That was a very specific dream, and one that required a precise and focused set of activities to make happen, but the principle can be applied to any endeavour, whether our dream is to be a chef or a computer programmer.

The next rule was to think big. He didn’t want to just be a body builder – he wanted to be the best in the world. He didn’t want to just be an actor, he wanted to go to Hollywood and be a star.

All too often, we compromise – we settle for less because we don’t believe we can get what we want.

And the fact is that for every Schwarzenegger that made it, there are countless bodybuilders who didn’t get there as well.

In today’s economy, however, compromise seems to be a bad strategy. Winners take all in a network economy, and the people and organisations that succeed are the ones that refuse to compromise themselves.

Which leads to the third rule – ignore naysayers.

There will always be people who will delight in pointing out all the ways in which we can fail, perhaps some that will even give us a little push into the abyss.

We need to seek out a network that has similar goals and aspirations, that is supportive of what we are doing and can help us get on, rather than give up.

And we need that drive and support to keep going. The fourth rule is to work like hell.

Many people work during work time, and then stop. The people that go further are the ones that work longer and harder and better.

There is billable time and non-billable time. Often, what makes it possible to have billable time is everything we do during non-billable time – the extra effort to create and meet people and build capability.

The final rule Schwarzenegger has is to give something back.

A responsibility, a duty many successful people have is to give back to the society and world that has helped them succeed.

Many successful people are portrayed as greedy rentiers.

The thing is that it is likely that more people became successful by being good at what they did, giving more value than they took and building long lasting successful partnerships with others than by stealing or swindling their way to the top.

These people give back – because they got what they had in the first place by giving more than they took.

It’s easy to assume that a character like the Terminator has little of value to say to us.

That would be a mistake – because he does keep coming back.

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