Tag Archives: Autobiography

“Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story” by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Synopsis

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story is the story of Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-born American actor, businessman, politician, activist, and former bodybuilder. He is best known as former seven-time Mr. Olympia, the Governor of California between 2003 and 2011, and action star, most notably for his roles in the Conan and Terminator movie franchises. Until 2011, he was married to Maria Shriver.

If you want to be inspired to 10 X your ambitions and goals read this book.

Lessons

On discipline and practice…

Arnold had several role-models including his father, a policeman, who instilled a work-horse mentality in him. From a young age he had a strict schedule often performing manual labour tasks for his family or being made to practice sport by himself. He understood, it seems, that if you want to achieve something, there are no shortcuts; you have to go out and earn it. In the the book he often refers to relentless practice as reps, reps, reps and says no matter what you do in life, it’s either reps or mileage.

On setting specific goals…

From early on, Arnold would write down his goals on index cards. He says, “I always wrote down my goals, like I’d learned to do in the weight-lifting club back in Graz. I had them very specific so that all those fine intentions were not just floating around.”

Sarge’s advice on public service…

In a speech Sarge, Arnold’s father-in-law, gave at Yale he said:

“In our society that is so self-absorbed, begin to look less at yourself and more at each other. You’ll get more satisfaction from having improved your neighbourhood, your town, your state, your country, and your fellow human beings than you’ll ever get from your muscles, your figure, your automobile, your house, or your credit rating. You’ll get far more from being a peacemaker than a warrior.

I particularly enjoyed Tai Lopez’s thoughts on this book.

Quotes

“I had to explain that actually I was not especially exhilarated when I won, because to me, winning was a given. It was part of the job. I had an obligation to win.”

“Outrageousness means nothing if you don’t have the substance to back it up – you can’t get away with it if you’re a loser.”

“I believed that the only way you become a leading man is by treating yourself like a leading man and working your ass off.”

Something Interesting

At ten years old Arnold says he was absolutely convinced he was special and meant for bigger things. He believed America was where he would become the best at something, although at the time he did not know what that would be.

Mr. Olympia, founded by Joe Gold, was the first bodybuilding competition to offer prize money. In 1965 the winner took home $1000. Arnold trained at Gold’s Gym when he moved to America, known then as the “Mecca of bodybuilding.”

Arnold practices Transcendental Meditation.

In 1992 Arnold bought the first Hummer manufactured for civilian use.

Last Action Hero was the first ever paid advertisement in outer space.

Sacramento is the capital of California. (Something I didn’t know!)

Links

Arnold’s website

Arnold on Instagram

Arnold on Facebook

Arnold on Twitter

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“Open” by Andre Agassi

Synopsis

Open is the autobiography of Andre Agassi, a tennis prodigy and eight-time Grand Slam and Olympic champion. Agassi, now retired, lives in Las Vegas with his wife Steffi Graf, and their two children. He runs the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a tuition-free charter school for at-risk children.

Lessons

On perfection…

One of the first pieces of advice that Brad, Agassi’s coach between 1994 and 2002, gave him was that he didn’t have to be perfect all the time. Brad says, “You don’t have to be the best in the world every time you go out there … There’s about five times a year when you need to be, but it’s not those five times a year that make a tennis player.”

Agassi helps a friend out…

In 1996 Agassi used a portion of his Nike sponsorship money to help pay for Frankie’s kids college education. Frankie is a life-long friend and owner of Campagnola, Agassi’s favourite restaurant in New York. Agassi says the act educated him and made him feel more alive and himself than anything else in 1996. He says, “This is why we’re here. To make each other feel safe.”

Mandela on being careful…

Agassi met Nelson Mandela in Cape Town in 1997. After a private dinner Mandela spoke about caring for one another, ourselves, being careful in our decisions, careful in our relationships, careful in our statements, and careful in managing our lives.

Quotes

“Tennis is about degrees of aggression. You want to be aggressive enough to control the point, not so aggressive that you sacrifice control and expose yourself to unnecessary risk”

“Simply knowing your enemy is a powerful advantage.”

“Few of us are granted the grace to know ourselves, and until we do, maybe the best we can do is be consistent.”

“Finally, Mandela talks about the road he’s travelled. He talk about the difficulty of all human journeys – and yet, he says, there is clarity and nobility in just being a journeyer.”

“If you’re going down, OK, go down, but go down with guns blazing. Always, always, always, go down with both guns blaaazing.”

Something Interesting

The dimensions of a tennis court are 36 feet by 78 feet.

In his early teens, Agassi took classes on mental toughness, positive thinking and visualization at the Bollettieri Academy.

Pete Sampras and Agassi first met on a tennis court in juniors when they were nine and ten years old respectively.

Links

Andre Agassi Wikipedia

Andre on Twitter

Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy 

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