Arnold Schwarzenegger's book "Be Useful" is a quick and inspiring read, sharing lessons from his successful life in bodybuilding, acting, and politics. The book emphasizes having a clear vision, taking action, and embracing discipline. It provides valuable insights and motivation, making it a great addition to any book collection. Recommended for those looking for inspiration and guidance in achieving their goals.Best for
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Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger is a quick and fascinating read. From his life’s experiences, Schwarzenegger lays out how he was able to achieve so much while coming from humble beginnings.
Schwarzenegger begins with having a clear vision. If you don’t have it, then start with creating little goals and keep completing them; day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. The process never ends as life is a continuous journey and growth.
In Austria, Schwarzenegger got inspired by then famous bodybuilder and made it his goal to become the best in the field. So he went from vision to action. He felt passionate about bodybuilding. Thus, he felt like it wasn’t a matter of discipline for him to go to the gym as he loved doing it.
It was interesting to read how refreshing walks are and how many famous people used walks to create their time and space and were creative within that time and space.
Dream big. Ignore naysayers. He used any kind of negativity into motivation. No plan Bs as that would be already setting plan A for failure.
“Fulfilling a dream gives you the power to see further and deeper – further out into the world toward what is possible, and deeper into yourself to what you are capable of.”
“I learned that the only limits that truly exist are in our minds.”
The will to work is important part. You have to be diligent and consistent in your work.
After retiring from bodybuilding, he went into acting, then politics, and now philanthropy as you need to continue setting new goals.
His harsh childhood didn’t break his spirit, it rather helped him to find his passion and purpose. He chose the higher road and became his own creator, rather than taking a negative approach and blaming the system. I find his story and his ethics to make something of himself very inspiring.
My favorite chapter-title is “Shut Your Mouth, Open Your Mind.” In this chapter, he talks about the lesson he received from his first mentor who supported him in his dream of bodybuilding, who told him that he “can’t just be hungry for success and money and fame and muscles. We have to be hungry for knowledge as well… the world was the ultimate classroom, and that we need to be like a sponge, soaking up as much of it as we could…always be curious…it was better to ask good questions than to make smart statements.” Listen, learn, and grow.
I set to write a short review, but Schwarzenegger’s life’s journey is truly fascinating, how he propelled himself up, his high ethics, and the phenomenal drive to achieve unimaginable. This non-fiction is filled with his life’s stories which support what he inspired to do and continues to do.
Arnold has a truly entertaining and inspiring story. The book has changed some of my behaviors and that’s its purpose. An excellent read with lessons for those who want to embrace them.
Usually when I’m reading a self-help book, there will reach a point when I ask myself “why is the author qualified to give me this advice?” A quick Google search usually reveals that the author’s most notable achievement is writing the very book I’m reading. That’s not to say that the advice I’ve read from these books hasn’t been impactful, but it does add a level of skepticism that makes me hesitant to fully commit to the lessons the book teaches.
That’s where “Be Useful” is different. The author, Arnold, has reached the top of the mountain of not one, but three distinct and highly competitive arenas (bodybuilding, acting, politics). He’s done so without the benefit of well connected parents, and even having a few disadvantages such as an accent thick as molasses and a name nobody can pronounce. Clearly Arnold has a mindset and life approach that works well and is generally applicable to many situations.
Having read the book, this unique perspective sets it apart from other works in the genre. Arnold has a direct, no-BS approach that will remove any excuses you may have for yourself and make you face the fact that the only person largely responsible for your life not being what you want it to be is YOU. With that comes the inspiring realization you also have the power to course correct, and the book gives useful advice on how to do exactly that.
I’ve applied some of the core concepts covered in “Be Useful” and my career trajectory has done a complete 180.
I bought this for my husband after we watched Arnold’s autobiography on Netflix. He’s excited to read it!
I bought this book for someone else and flipped through a couple of pages, and was hooked! I read the entire book, absorbing it like a sponge. I am becoming a better listener, finding my audience, and becoming useful to others and with that I know the rest will fall into place! Thanks Arnold- I have a newfound respect for you and this book.
I read the intro and first chapter, only to find myself flipping ahead to see how many pages I had left in the chapter. The concepts offered were ankle deep regurgitations of others who have said it far better, and far more relatable. I liked Commando more.
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