“What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger
The 7 time Mr. Olympia winner, Hollywood superstar, Entrepreneur and Governor believed in himself and his big dreams since a very young age and went on to achieve them by sheer will and persistence. His formula for success? Thinking positive, he didn’t fail because he never thought he would and that is how one has to be when in pursuit of dreams.
People spend hours upon hours in the gym and still some don’t come out the way they want to. The reason and constraint is often not in the physical capabilities but the psychological ones. Losing heart is a big problem in building up fitness and muscles, it takes patience; more for some than others.
I write this because I suffered from the same problems. I started working out at a gym, started light: low reps and low weights, but increased as fast as I could. I jumped from one weight to another twice every month—the result? Not at all what I was expecting, I looked barely different than from before while a friend who had started along with me had cuts and had muscles showing all over. After this expedition, I lost heart and gave up the gym. But one time after watching the terminator (starring the great Arnold Schwarzenegger) I got curious and googled him. What I found was absolutely fascinating; his working ideology, and the way he approached body building was utterly inspiring. So I took to the gym once more with renewed vigor and this time I didn’t wait to see the results every time I flexed a muscle but rather imagined myself in the physical image of Arnold and having completely chiseled and broad frame with bulging muscles. I worked with that motivation and eventually after months of working on it with focus and determination and pushing myself beyond what I previously deemed as my limit I succeeded and now I transformed myself from a skinny and lightly built guy to a formidable frame.
The main idea is keeping oneself motivated and positive. Here are a few tips so you don’t lose the motivation:
- Don’t get beat by the monotony of a routine; often what happens is that people lose stimulus by losing sight of the purpose as they get set into a routine and hence start taking things for granted and stop pushing themselves which in fitness training and body building is fatal to the cause. Because as Muhammad Ali once said, the only crunches or reps that count are the ones which you do after the muscle gets fatigued and starts aching. So when one is not actually thinking and just going through the motions these extra bits fall through and all the hard work goes to waste.
“The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.”
- Positivity is contagious; once you start to work on something it is really important that you are surrounded by the right people because people who are negative will only bring you down and hamper your progress, Arnold said that worries and troubles and having negative thoughts always made his exercise regime restricted, this happens because when distracted by other thoughts one loses focus and hence is met with failure. So it is essential that you are surrounded by motivated people so that not only can you keep yourself encouraged but also you can compare progress and learn if there is something lacking in your training regime.
“Positive thinking can be contagious. Being surrounded by winners helps you develop into a winner.”
- Be childishly audacious in your dreams; belief in yourself is perhaps the most important aspect of success and for that you can never think that what you are set out to do is unachievable, dream as a child does: don’t think too practically believe that you can be superman and you might find that in some way at least you might just accomplish that. People who get bogged down by the technicalities to much fail to get what they want, an ideal physique requires you to push your limits and in order for you to do that limits have to be thought of as breakable.
“I wanted that body and I didn’t care what I had to go through to get it.”
- Positive thinking has to extend to all parts of your life; if you try and be positive inside the gym but fail to do so outside of it and are worried about everything else then you are bound to fail inside too because negativity and worries seep through, humans don’t have isolation chambers inside their heads. So try to remain positive in all aspects of your life so that you can translate your general confidence into focused positive energy inside the gym.
“When I see that I have certain backward attitudes, I reason them out and work to make my outlook more realistic.”
- Finally have an idol to follow and be inspired by because in times of skepticism you’ll need support and the knowledge that someone out there before you did what you’re trying to and if he can then you can as well. There are a lot of success stories out there, for me it was Arnold Schwarzenegger—who is sort of an ideal candidate for such a role—but there can be others as well. You can learn a lot from these people and you may find answers and solutions to problems that you’re facing because they have already been tackled with by someone before you.
“The more I focused in on this image and worked and grew, the more I saw it was real and possible for me to be like him.”