Recap from Tim Ferriss interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger : THE ART OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE


Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American actor, producer, businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, activist, politician, and former professional bodybuilder. 

He served two terms as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. Arnold was not built the same way he was when he was a young child. He was born in a small Austrian village with no proper toilet, flush, or running water at home. He had to get water 100 to 200 yards away from a nearby well. and carry buckets of water back home and the water was used very sparingly (in small quantities).     

When Arnold had participated in Mr. Europe’s competition was the title and that confidence came to him because he had a vision. It’s more like I can’t wait to do more than 200 sit-ups because that will get me closer to the abs that I need win Mr. Universe and that’s my goal.  

Arnold had to face many problems during his first competition, but he knew that that was his opportunity, and he should give a shot in order to get exposer for himself into bodybuilding. 

He was so confident about himself that he was in the competition not to compete instead to win it.   



As Arnold was a bodybuilder it became quite easy for him to understand the psychology of the people. When he came to America, he used to approach people and ask them whether they have a knee injury as their thighs looked slimmer when compared to Arnold. So, this triggered people to spend more time in the gym and to be more obsessed with their thighs.  

The top 5 people who participate in Mr. Olympia will have a similar body but only one person will be able to win the title is just because he acts like a winner, he seems smiling, having a great time on stage. So, one should use psychology and give a 10 in everything he does in order to win the competition. 

Arnold also used this psychology in his movie career as he never auditioned for any movie and he was confident enough about himself that he was not like the regular blond guys and he was unique when compared to everyone else. Due to his huge body and muscularity initially, the producers and the movie agents told him that he would not fit into any character and he will not be able to have a successful career in Hollywood. Despite all this criticism, he believed in his self that the time will come where someone would appreciate him. Later, due to his body, he was offered many movies and his plan worked. 


Arnold’s First Million Dollars: 


 had made millions through bodybuilding and real estate before his career in Hollywood. He met a lot of people in the gym and acting classes who were all very vulnerable because they did not have any money and they had to take up anything to make a living, but 

Arnold did not like to get into that situation. and taught that being smart in real estate would help him make some more money by making the right investments. 

Later he was offered a movie named Conan The Barbarian which was released in the year 1982 and from that point of time his career took as the movie was successful and he also signed a contract to do Conan number 2 and Terminator 1 and so on. 

It was not easy for Arnold to make a million. 

He had to try out different things to meet his bodybuilding expenses.

He and his friend Franco started a company named European Bricklayers. They worked in this for 2 years and were successful in it and they also employed around 16 bodybuilders who were interested in working outdoor and getting tan at the same time for their bodybuilding competitions. 

Later he also started a mail-order business where he sold his course to people and made some money and that also became a new source of income to Arnold.  




The main objective of the accent classes was to tell the people (foreigners) about their pronouncing of words. Some people used to pronounce the English words completely the wrong way so correcting them at the right time, and they understand that it is perfectly fine. So, the trick was to really learn how to pronounce and to speak the language really well and not to rush and throw together that make them almost impossible to understand. 

Everyone will always remember Arianna Huffington for her accent and for being this woman who set out this goal of creating this magazine and being highly successful, being politically oriented, and becoming a policy wonk. There are many of those, but what separates her is the accent. 

This made Arnold realize that how far the world has come all of a sudden you have the top two candidates are all foreigners with foreign accent running for Governor. 


Arnold and his movie TWINS: 


Arnold always thought that he had an innocent and humorous character within him. He wanted that to be pulled out on the screen. Many actors also tried the humorous side, but they failed miserably. So, Arnold met Ivan Reitman who was a director of a movie named Ghostbusters which Arnold really liked and made him realize his humor side and this led to the famous movie THE TWINS.    



When Arnold grew up, even though he was extremely poor. He had someone to improve and show love to be it parents, teachers, brother or sister. When Arnold became the President of the Council of Physical Fitness and Sports he found that after school some students were picked up but the others were wandering so he asked the principal and the teachers, and the principal was always saying the problem today is that so many parents are working; both parents are working, and they don’t time to pick up their kids from school. 

What used to happen is that a lot of those kids used to get into trouble. So, then he started looking into it, the idea of after-school programs. He saw that there were after-school programs around, but they’re not really well organized. So he stepped in and started after-school programs in Los Angeles. Then they quickly spread them all over California and then of the United States. 

Arnold believed that attention helped him become what he is today. He felt bad for the kids when they were not getting a similar equal shot Because the only way you can be successful is if you really get this kind of attention and if you don’t get into the kind of situation where you float around on the streets. 




Arnold and Franco both came from Europe and both of them met in competition. 

Arnold approached Franco and asked him that he wanted to come to Munich and wanted to work out together and this was the beginning of a great friendship. 

Franco helped Arnold in powerlifting and Arnold helped him in weight lifting. They were very good friends and were always supportive of each other. Franco had a dislocation in his leg in a competition, Arnold taught that he would not be able to walk again. But Franco hit the odds and came back and retired at the age of 80 and during this time he won the prestigious title Mr. OLYMPIA. 

Franco knew that he could come back if he had a great surgeon and have great therapy. After the surgery. So, this made Arnold realize that anything is possible only if one believes in one’s self. 



Arnold says “

He would go through the airport and if he saw someone had no money, he would give him a $100 bill. 

He was an extraordinary athlete.” So there are a lot of people like that. 

Arnold says “Cincinnatus was a Roman Emperor in the Roman Empire. 

Cincinnati, the city, by the way, is named after him because he was a big idol of George Washington. The reason why he is a great example of success is because 

 he was asked reluctantly to step into power and become the Emperor and to help because Rome was about to get annihilated by all the wars and battles, so step in there and to. He was a farmer. Powerful guy. He went and took on the challenge, took over Rome, took over the army, and won the war. after they won the war, he has felt he’s done his mission and was asked to go and be the Emperor and he gave the ring back and went back to farming. He didn’t only do this once, he did it twice. They went back later on to him once again. When they tried to overthrow the empire from within, they asked him back and he came back, he cleaned up the mess through great, great leadership, which he had. He had tremendous leadership quality in bringing people together.”   And again he gave the ring back and went back to farming. 




When Arnold was at the peak of his career in bodybuilding, acting, and various other businesses his mind was totally piled up with work tension and anxieties. Once he ran to a man on the beach and told him about his problem and the man taught him the art of Transcendental Meditation. 

Arnold meditated 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the night and after 3weeks he learned how to focus more and to calm down

He continued to do this for a year and became a master in it. This helps Arnold even today where he takes all the problems at once instead he takes them one at a time. Arnold also says that there are many kinds of meditation in the world. 

Whenever he studies a script he concentrates on it for 45 minutes and then he takes a break playing chess for another 15 minutes and goes back to his work of studying and he would get the pump and the concentration.MeditationArnold has learned how to be calmer, more organized, and much more tranquil. (free from distractions) because of that. 


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