The 7 Tools for Life from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Be Useful

by | Dec 14, 2023 | News


I was browsing the bookstore on audible looking to use my accumulated credits and ran into a book with a very familiar face, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a popular actor that I watched growing up. I was immediately drawn to it, and reading the title ‘Be Useful’ reminded me of the advice my father always gave me.

I picked up the book (audiobook) immediately and started listening. The sound of Arnold played in my ears, and I told myself this would be a fun and enjoyable experience.

Arnold starts with taking care of some of the things that might be in the news about his life as well as where he’s recording, and if we might hear sounds from his pet pig or the rustling of pages, in a very calm and collected way, he continues telling the story of his journey. The introduction is a remarkable testament to his work ethic and growth mindset.

The Seven Tools:

  1. Have a Clear Vision: the very first chapter details what it means to have a clear vision, he talks about his vision and how he was able to get clear about it as well as examples from other prominent figures and how they found their vision and their pursuit of that vision. It’s hard to focus on the vision after years of being stuck in the system. All it takes is a little work, but we all have the ability to have a vision.
  2. Never Think Small: the world is a world of wonders with inventions all around us that we cannot live without, and once we get used to using these tools, the thought that went into creating it becomes apparent. So, always think about the most significant thought and change you can imagine. Never underestimate your power. This is what enabled Arnold to consistently headlining the movies that he starred in, he never took a role where he was just an extra, he always was the main character in his movies a great lesson this was.
  3. Work Your Ass Off One thing we have to admit is that Arnold wouldn’t be where he is today if he didn’t work hard; the hard work ethic he developed as a young boy enabled him to have a grand vision, it then showed him the path of bodybuilding through his mentors in a small town in Austria. It’s what helped him to win so many bodybuilding championships, secure movie roles, and become governor of one of the largest states in the world, California.
  4. Sell, Sell, Sell: this chapter was influential as it taught all entrepreneurs an important lesson. You have to sell yourself, your ideas, your thoughts and we do that in many different ways. Being persistent in these ways, you learn about yourself and who is willing to listen and buy your dream.
  5. Shift Gears: It’s essential to weigh the odds and think positively, and shifting gears from all the negativity and moving towards a positive attitude is the most powerful way to come to a solution. One of Arnold’s rules is never to complain about a problem without a solution. He shared a story during the pandemic, and his hospitals were out of the PPE for the medical staff, and they had to wash the masks and reuse them. During his time as the governor, he had allocated enough PPE and equipment to put together a football-sized hospital in no time. Still, after he left the office, those reserves were not maintained to save a few million dollars from the budget. Regardless, he gave a million to the first responders’ fund to allocate enough PPEs for the hospitals.
  6. Shut Your Mouth, Open Your Mind: one of the most important lessons is listening more than speaking. It’s why we’re given two ears and one mouth, two eyes and one mouth, so we can listen and understand fully. It enabled him to land the role of The Terminator and change the world forever. If he had not listened, he’d not be the Terminator but rather a hero of the movie who had a more minor role than the Terminator himself. Throughout history, in more ways than one, scholars and philosophers have said the same thing: listen more than you speak.
  7. Break Your Mirrors: this last lesson is a powerful one. All our lives we are ME focused and it’s not till later in life that we start focusing on helping others and become WE focused. When you break the mirror, you begin to see hundreds of people waiting for your assistance.

original content on websites such as Penguin Random House or summaries and reviews from StoryShots and Paminy


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