One of my all-time heroes. Arnold is sometimes viewed negatively by people who don't know his whole story, but he turns even that into an asset: "I neOne of my all-time heroes. Arnold is sometimes viewed negatively by people who don't know his whole story, but he turns even that into an asset: "I never argued with people who underestimated me. If the accent and the muscles and the movies made people think I was stupid, it worked to my advantage". How can anybody underestimate somebody who, among many many accomplishments, was a world-class athlete who trained 6 days per week twice a day, became a millionaire in business *before* he was a movie star, and has been the governor of one of the most powerful states in the U.S.?
I read his first biography from 1977, Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder, after he won his Mr. Olympia titles, and already then I was inspired. Here was a man with a will of iron and incredible drive, and who was completely unapologetic about it. I remember reading somewhere "If Schwarzenegger had more ambition than he has now, he'd have to be running for Galactic Overlord" and realized the author was only half-joking. In Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, we can see that same personality more than 35 years later, after having applied himself in several disparate domains. It is this being successful in so many different ways that makes Arnold larger-than-life.
In this book, he is a bit more mellow than in the previous one. At 30, he still had a single-minded focus on his muscles, but by 65, he has explored & cultivated many more sides of himself. Since then, it seems it's not about just Arnold anymore: he has become a father of 5, and although he definitely has his flaws, he seems to have found a balance between himself, his family, and his public duties. But even at the age when most people retire, he is still living up to his old mantra: "For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer".
Unfortunately, sometimes the book feels a bit written by someone who is very aware of his public image and how what he writes will be interpreted by the reader. But in the end, this is probably something to be expected from someone who has been living in the public eye for decades, most recently even as a politician.
All in all, 5 stars. Looking forward to keep following this inspiring and tireless man over the years to come!...more
Beautifully written, tells you like it is. Either you are the kind of person that's gonna be rich or you're not. Don't delude yourself if you're not:Beautifully written, tells you like it is. Either you are the kind of person that's gonna be rich or you're not. Don't delude yourself if you're not: if you're not totally obsessed with it, and truly believe you deserve to be rich, you're not going to be. Surprisingly, I found this book often moving, especially the part about Vincent van Gogh. Easily one of my best reads of 2008....more