6 Life-Changing Success Tips I Learned From Arnold Schwarzenegger

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It All Starts and Ends with Arnold

I don’t care what anyone else says, the simple truth is that none of us in this industry would be where we are (or even what we are) if not for Arnold Schwarzenegger.  If the top trainers in the world are the Fitness Aristocracy, then Arnold is the King at whose throne we still kneel, and to whom we must pay tribute.

Although much of what Arnold practiced—and preached—as a bodybuilder wasn’t accurate, his physique clearly showed he was doing something right and led him to success time and again.

But his body was only part of the reason for his success.  Arnold rose to the top because of his character: his work ethic, his sheer force of will and even his admittedly Machiavellian tactics led him to victory as a 7-time Mr. Olympia.

As you well know, The Austrian Oak used that legendary charisma to jump from the bodybuilding stage to the Silver Screen, becoming one of the most prolific movie stars in history, redefining the idea of what it meant to be an action hero in the same way he redefined fitness. And it was on the Silver Screen that Arnold first became known to me, and first began to shape my life and my worldview, setting me up for success.

Long before I planned on entering the fitness industry, I was learning from Arnold; learning things that would be applicable to fitness, business and life—lessons that would eventually lead me to the success I currently enjoy—and I learned them from Arnie’s movies.

You see, unbeknownst to many, Arnold’s films often incorporate aspects of his personal worldview.  Usually just a small scene or a line is enough to communicate a level of perspicuous insight that is truly breathtaking.

By careful examination over repeated viewings of Schwarzenegger’s filmography, I was well prepared to chase success.

Now, I have distilled that wisdom into this list, so that you to can benefit from the serene sagacity, the astonishing acumen, the wondrous wisdom of my mighty mentor.

Presenting, for your consideration: The Wisdom of Arnold.

1. Define Your Goals

Success means different things to different people.  Some people define it by money, others by achievement and recognition, others still by experiences or freedom to accrue them.

Whatever the case, it’s important to know what success means to you and how to define or quantify it so that you’re not stumbling aimlessly. Before you can reach a goal, you must first know what it is.

I learned this from Arnold in the first movie I ever saw him star in, Conan the Barbarian.

A young boy of just six years old, I sat in front of the TV set and watched as Conan was asked, “What is best in life?” The young barbarian lifted his chin proudly and stated:

That’s it.  By stating what is best in life—what he considers to be the pinnacle of success in Barbarian culture and in the eyes of Crom—Conan lays a straight path before him: to achieve greatness, he simply needs to do three things.

Now, while I don’t necessarily want to leave a field of bodies in my wake, I immediately understood the point of this scene, and it has guided me in everything I have ever done.  For every undertaking, I have set goals that define success.

In order to consider myself a successful bodybuilder, I needed big arms.  I decided that “big” arms were 17 inches or greater, and so I built 17.25 inch arms.  I knew what I needed to do, so I did it.

At the time I started my first business, I defined success in terms of both money and what it bought me.  I decided a successful business was one that earned 6 figures, and so I worked until I earned that much and more.

When I transitioned into writing full time, it meant getting published in every magazine I thought was worth my time.  I knew which ones I wanted, so I went after them.  And now, magazines chase after me to write for them.

Success in my current business means a lot of things to me.  I no longer define success by money.  To me, success means building a platform that I will leverage to put myself in a new position, and from there, help as many people as possible.

Success means writing a book.  A print book.  It means that my mother can walk into Barnes & Noble, see my book on the shelf, and feel validated for spending money we didn’t have on my education—and I just put the finishing touches on my proposal.

Those things are goals, and they are necessary according to my definition of success.  And because I defined them, I’m working on achieving them: I just finished my book proposal, and I have a number in mind for my advance.  If I don’t get it, I’ll make the proposal even more amazing, and then I’ll hit my goal.

Quite frankly, in the long run, success for me means television and mainstream media.  I know what I want, and I’m going after it.  This means that I’ll be leveraging my online presence and my upcoming book(s) to show the people in charge of such things that they want to get on board with me.

I have goals defined, which means I know how to achieve them. I may never get to hear the lamentation of the women, but, hey, you can’t have it all.


2. Enjoy the Process

The journey to success — however you define it — is usually a long one. Now, I’ll be the first to say that I think goals are extremely important, and there is great satisfaction in achieving them, but if the only happiness you get is from accomplishing your task, then chances are you aren’t going to be happy that often.

Arnold certainly knew this. Obviously, the man thrived on success and worked his ass off to win championships, but he also enjoyed the journey. Arnold found ways to enjoy the process of transforming his body into a championship physique.

This is best evidenced by this clip from Pumping Iron, where he famously compared training and getting a pump to having an orgasm:

This may be the most important lesson I learned from Arnold. In terms of training, I loved hitting milestones like a 350-pound bench or a 650-pound deadlift, but I never would have gotten there if I didn’t enjoy training for those things. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had was when I was trying to get there, and I still had some failures along the way.

Along business lines, it’s great to have a successful product like the Super Hero Workout—releasing it, watching a few sales roll in, and making “teh monieszz” are all fantastic. But those are aspects of having achieved the goal—and if you know me at all, you’ll quickly realize that the process of creating the product was by far the best part of the experience.

I enjoyed every part of the process, from writing the workouts and testing them on my self and clients to selecting the exact “comic book” font that I would use in the book itself.

And because I enjoy the process, the result is better.  Focusing only on goals gets you to the finish line, but it doesn’t allow you to finish as well.

This has been immeasurably helpful lately.  With my career taking off and new opportunities presenting themselves every day, it’s hard not to start focusing on goals. “What’s next?” is a thought that’s almost impossible to escape.

However, thanks to Arnold, I never forget the important of stepping back and simply appreciating where I am, the steps I’ve taken to get there, and enjoying the moments that will add up to a successful life and career.


3. You Are Who You Surround Yourself With

This is a concept that nearly everyone in business tends to understand naturally.  To put things more quantifiably, the thought is more often expressed as, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

I first learned this when I saw the group dynamic of Arnold and his friends in Pumping Iron.  Simply put, Arnold was the best and trained with the best.

In nearly every picture i’ve seen of Golden Age bodybuilders training, they’re in groups; hanging out, having fun, getting strong.  Making each other better. Pushing each other forward—and that starts with the King.

His willingness to be social and his focus on surrounding himself with people who could help him get to the next level is one of the most obvious things about his personality.

Arnold was always around other bodybuilders, and knew what his strengths and weaknesses were relative to theirs. On stage, he was the consummate politician, showcasing his strongest parts and hiding what he lacked.  This skill was cultivated by spending time with the best; in the case of bodybuilding, that also results in being aware of the competition.

Contrast this with Lou Ferrigno, who trained with a group of guys who weren’t fit to hold his towel.  Sure, Louie had a great physique, but because he was never in competition in his training, he failed when it came time to step on stage.

Working with people who are on your level or better makes you work hard to be better—or in Arnold’s case, to be the best.

In my business, this is something you cannot help but notice. It’s no accident that the best trainers in the world wind up being friends with one another.

If you follow the Twitter accounts of the top guys in the industry, you’ll regularly see guys like Eric Cressey, Jason Ferruggia, and Joe Dowdell—as well as a host of others—exchanging everything from ideas and article links to good-natured ball-busting and inside jokes. These gentlemen are intent on getting better, and so they gravtitate towards one another naturally.  Over time, friendships invariably form.

I learned early on that if I wanted to be the best, or among the best, I had to surround myself with the best.  It’s for this reason that I travel to San Diego to attend meetings and masterminds, to network and exchange ideas.

Guys like Craig Ballantyne and Joel Marion know this, which is why they teamed up to create their new program 24/7 Fat Loss—because they make each other better, they’ve created something amazing.

Understanding this lesson has helped me rise to the top of the industry while picking up friends along the way.


4. Sometimes, the End Justifies the Means.

Now, I’m not really into Machiavellian theory on the whole; I find it lends itself to some pretty reckless decision-making.  That said, there have been times when I felt that I needed to pursue something to the fullest extent of my ability, regardless of consequence.

Arnold knows this.  Sometimes, you need to threaten a guy.  Sometimes, you need to kill him.  And sometimes, you need to say you’ll kill him last… and then kind of go back on your word.

While I’m not guilty of dropping anyone off a cliff, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t dropped people in other ways.

When I first began to transition into the online fitness world, I knew it would require some sacrifice, and that there would be consequences. I also knew that it was the next necessary step in the evolution of both my business and my personal growth—and so I pursued it with the ardent fervor of my whole heart.

I hit the gas and worked at a breakneck pace for about 8 months.  At this time, I was training about 40 hours per week, and the manager of a busy facility.  Essentially, I went from working two full time jobs to working three.

Obviously, that kind of workload puts a damper on your personal life. I stopped hanging out with most of my friends, broke up with the girl I was seeing, and essentially withdrew from my life.  Even as I was doing it, and seeing the consequences, I pulled further and further away.

As I worked longer and more ferociously, my time was less and less my own.  The friends I saw infrequently got (understandably) pissed and pulled back.

In the end, I achieved the success I was looking for, but at a price: my circle of close friends had dwindled from twelve to three—I learned not one, but two lessons.

The first is that anything great requires great sacrifice, and sometimes you just need to be okay with the fallout on your way to success.  As a general life plan, this is selfish and will do more harm than good, but for short bouts of dedicated time, this works well.

The second is that you can sort your friends from your acquaintances by who is willing to let you back into the fold after you fall off the face of the Earth for the better part of a year.

Arnold decided that dropping Sully off the cliff was a price worth paying to advance his quest, just as I now realize that certain relationships (which I now understand were superficial) we an acceptable needed to serve as a sacrificial offering to the Gods of Success. 

5. Necessity is the Mother of Invention

There’s a scene in the movie Commando that cracks me up every time.  And I want to share it with you.  But first, let’s talk about how it helped me.

When I first started training clients, I was like most beginning trainers: meticulous to a fault.  I had a very rigid plan; a specific program where I was going to do specific exercises in a specific order.  I didn’t want to deviate from the exercises or the order because that would compromise the efficacy and the integrity of the Almighty Plan.

The problem was, I was working at a busy gym; and as anyone can tell you—even the best laid plans quickly go awry in a place like that.

I would leave one station to go to the next perfectly planned station only to find that some other person had the audacity to be using the piece of equipment I needed.

So, instead of telling them why they were the worst person in the universe, my client and I did the only thing I could think to do: we waited.

Yes.  We waited until the equipment was free to use it…because we obviously couldn’t do something else.  After all, it as a plan!  It was perfect! Change it!? Are you kidding me?  I wrote the damn thing in pen for heaven’s sake!

I would get so stressed out about it that I started to hate training.  It was always a battle.  I thought that great trainers must all work in private studios.  I lost a lot of sleep over this.  (Gimme a break—I was like 20 years old and two months on the job.)

Thankfully, as I was still in the throes of trying to figure this all out, I happened to catch Commando on TV, and I was saved.  Once again, Schwarzenegger would step up to teach me a lesson in one of the most ridiculous scenes in movie history:

Soldiers fall by the handful to the mighty Matrix, and he takes up their guns and continues on his way to his daughter.

Believe it or not, this scene—as hilarious as it is—helped me to become a better trainer. I realized that my job was to give my clients a great workout and get them results, just as Arnold’s was to save his daughter.  It didn’t matter what I had to do or how I had to deviate from my plan, I needed to do my job.

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention, and so from that day, I learned to be more fluid when I trained.  Barbell wasn’t available?  No problem, we’ll use dumbbells for a set.  Someone hogging the pull-up bar?  It’s fine, we’ll come back—for now we’ll do lunges.

I learned to replace exercises, having a general awareness of what equipment was free, and understand programming on a deeper level that allowed me to train my clients more efficiently.

If I hadn’t learned all of this this, I would have failed my clients and myself.  Even if I had managed to be successful in a gym setting, I wouldn’t be able to create the kinds of workouts that I do—I certainly wouldn’t have been able to create the kinds of workouts I do.

Just as Matrix somehow fought his way out of a bullet riddled tool shed, I eventually fought my way out of my self-imposed ineptitude, becoming a much more successful trainer in the process.

6. Business Should be Done with A (Ridiculous) Handshake

Last but most certainly not least, Arnold gave me insight on how to choose both friends and business partners—and those are often the same people.

As most successful people can tell you, you have to make friends to do business.  And, all other things being equal, people want to do business with their friends.

In my experience, your true friends are the once you can be yourself with—the ones you can be an idiot with, quote movies with, make fun of.  Your friends will bust your balls and call you out on your shit, but always be there to go on an adventure with you.

Well, Arnold knows his friends by the strength of their handshake:

Anyone who lets you call them a son of a bitch and is then willing to mid-air arm wrestle with you upon sight is probably a guy you can go into battle with.

If you can’t be foolish with someone, you can’t do business with them, because good business often involves a lot of foolishness.

More importantly, if you feel you can’t do business with a simple handshake—with or without the bicep flex—you probably shouldn’t do business with them.

I could go on and on, but this post is long enough…

What lessons have YOU learned—from movies, TV, books—that have helped guide your life and your world view?  Teach me, folks, I need all the help I can get!

Or, if you can’t think of anything, just post your favorite Arnold movie!

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About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

Comments for This Entry

  • Reece Mander

    johnny bravo is and will always be my hero! HUH ha huh!

    December 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

  • Kim

    The family that preys together-- Don't always do what others expect from you. You have your own dreams. Follow them.

    December 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

  • victoria Boer

    And im learning a lot from you . keep rocking man

    December 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

  • Jono_kent

    Awesome post. Really enjoyed reading it.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:30 am

  • George

    Love this. Love Arnie, Love most of these comments.  Love his books and movies... one of my idols for sure.  The thing I love most is, Arnold would set a goal, and then relentlessly pursue it, leaving no stone uncovered. He'd train, over-train, under-train, study pyschology, physics, marketing, anything, that might give him an edge, he was relentless, and then when he got to the top, he'd set a new goal. I'll stay at the top for x years, get the most titles in history, then I'll do everything I can to be a Movie star. What can we learn? Be relentless, be persistant. Know what you want, pursue it. Be focused. Arnold did what all good marketers/brands should do, start small, become a huge star in that small field(in this case bodybuilding) Then crossed over into the mainstream! Using his relentless will and drive and determination.... now if i could only figure out what I want to pursue? haha!

    March 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm

  • Glenn

    Let us recite a little Arnie prayer, ARNOLD IS MY GOD ! Our Arnold, whose arms are heavy, Vascular be thy veins, Nine sets of lunges, ten reps be done, To add girth as it is to strengthen. Give us this day our daily protein, and forgive us our fats, As we forgive those who eat fat too. And lead us not into overtraining, nor deliver us pizzas, For thou art the king of the dumbell, the power clean, and the steroids forever, Amen.  

    January 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm

  • MattyC

    Roman, Mate there is no doubt that your use of the pen (or keyboard in this instance) is beyond the level of pretty much every columnist or blogger I have come across in the fitness industry. It's nothing short of sensational and I absolutely wish you all the best in achieving your goals. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and find your writing interesting as it's comical, informative and usually provides some sort of business, training or life lesson as well. I do like movies but I don't seem to have the intelligence to remember them for quotes. I would definitely say any of the Rocky movies inspire me greatly. I do like Rocky IV where he trains hardcore in Russia and puts all the hype, fame & money behind him and sacrifices time away from his family to 'get the job done'. And certainly Rocky III where he finds the 'Tiger' again and develop skills he doesn't have to be even greater! Forrest Gump is another one; not so much for quotes or specific scenes (even though there's stacks of them), but more for the journey he takes, where he subconsciously sets huge goals for himself without even realising it and just keeps plugging away until he reaches it (joining the Army, building a shrimping company, running across America, even mowing the huge lawn at his house, being a great supportive Dad, or most importantly...finally getting Jenny into the sack!!) hehe ;-) But I will leave you with this....Mike Tyson on intimidation "When in training, I'm afraid of being beaten. But the closer I get to the ring, the more confident I get. Once I step into the ring, I'm A God! I walk around the ring and keep my eyes on my opponent, then once I see a chink in his armour...BOOM, I know I have him. I've already broke his spirit." -Mike Tyson.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm

  • Hayley Jade Gledhill

    Rafiki Lion King "Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it." Nuff sed.

    November 21, 2011 at 3:45 am

  • Rich

    "Anyone who lets you call them a son of a bitch and is then willing to mid-air arm wrestle with you upon sight is probably a guy you can go into battle with." - Hilarious.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:32 am

  • Andrew Edwards

    Fight Club is a great movie to reboot your life, whether its getting over a messy break up or redundancy. It feels great to start from zero, even if you dont have insane abs

    November 14, 2011 at 10:21 am

  • Deanphillips

    so inspiring well i learnt to look at the world as an amazing place from the jason mraz song "the world as i see it" and your awesome attitude on life roman, your one of the few fitness experts who is actually a brilliant guy and i think that inspires all us fitness nerds out there :)

    November 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm

  • David

    Enjoyed this John... I always make time to read your posts... most emails get an auto delete... but I Ill always make time. Keep on being inspired and inspiring....

    November 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm

  • Tyler Carter

    I liked the post, but I don't have anything to add...

    November 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

  • Cliftonharski

    From Zoolander I learned that there is more to life than being ridiculously good looking.

    November 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm

  • Chris Schreiber

    I'm actually confused; I don't see how Arnold's recent behavior makes a clip from Conan more or less offensive? Has Arnold recently been driving enemies before him, and thus causing lamentations from them women, in a particularly egregious manner? Anyway, good post. I like the breadth of subject matter that you cover. Everything from supercookies to grammar - with a smattering of fitness and oaks (Austrian).

    November 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm

  • Daniel Wallen

    Roman, Great post, man. Without goals, we'll never get anywhere. My personal goal is to have an E-book published on a working website by my birthday (Feb. 10) and I am enjoying the shit out of the journey. What has inspired me lately: 1) "The 4 Hour Work Week" -- Just because a 40 hour work-week is the norm does not mean it is the only possibility. 2) "On Writing" by Stephen King -- Small beginnings can spiral into wonderful endings, and I have a lot of helpful notes for starting my own writing. 3) --a link I snagged off your Facebook, thank you for the resource 4) This blog and others -- It helps to see that it is possible to making a living for doing what you love 5) "A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas" --No shit. Friendship comes first, no matter what meaningless drama creeps in. It was silly fun, but I thought the ending was touching.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm

  • Marie

    As for Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man. He is like us, human, and makes mistakes. Temptation is all around people. Just look at those cookies within cookies they've come up with. The difference is, he takes his lumps and learns from these mistakes. I think it's hard for one to admit they've done wrong, feel remorse and get back on their feet again especially when their entire life has been in the limelight. He'll get back up again, just you watch! Now where are those cookies? :P

    November 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm

  • Marie

    You know... Conan may not be able to please everybody... but Roman Fitness Systems can. OOPS, did I type that out loud? Then it must be truth. =>)

    November 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

  • John Romaniello

    @Eileen, I'm sorry if you're offended. Not my intention. I do not apologize for the post, the clip, or my opinions. Firstly, Arnold's recent behavior has no bearing on his prior success. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the entire nature of the post is fairly tongue in cheek, as is much of my writing. Obviously so. Again, sorry if you're offended, but I'd blame the screenwriter, not Arnold ;)

    November 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm

  • Matt

    Damn good post! I have no great scenes to add at the moment, but this stuff had me laughing and more importantly, thinking. Thinking at 4:15 in the morning about getting my a$$ in gear. For the lack of sleep, I'm not grateful- otherwise- keep the posts coming!

    November 11, 2011 at 11:53 am

  • Eileen

    Okay, I was refraining from comment, but you asked. I am quite offended by the first video, especially in light of his recent behavior. Quite frankly, I expected a more professional demeanor from you...sadly disappointed. Truly.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:52 am

    • John Romaniello

      @Eileen, I'm sorry if you're offended. Not my intention. I do not apologize for the post, the clip, or my opinions. Firstly, Arnold's recent behavior has no bearing on his prior success. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the entire nature of the post is fairly tongue in cheek, as is much of my writing. Obviously so. Again, sorry if you're offended, but I'd blame the screenwriter, not Arnold ;)

      November 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      • Kurt Haus

         Great blog..I've learned a lot. If you ever need Gym Equipment, be sure to visit GymEquipmentTV… these guys did me right. I got a great deal here.

        February 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

      • Angelia Hawkins Todd

        Actually, history should be to blame as that is a Genghis Khan quote written into the story. Great men usually offend someone - even Jesus offended others. If you don't offend someone then you are doing something wrong. Sort of like if your children are never mad at you and they view you as their friend, you are definitely doing something wrong!

        July 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

  • Paul

    One more thing. I'm sure that some people have chosen to avoid praising Arnold due to recent skeletons-in-the-closet seeing the light of day as well as those who haven't appreciated having the Terminator as their governor. To these people I say nobody is perfect. We all have things in our past which we may be ashamed of or which we might do over if we had the chance. Like him or not, like his political views or not, Arnold is a true story of success in what he achieved and the impact he has had on this world. I do not "idolize" any man in this world, but I certainly can appreciate hard work, perseverance, and passion. Arnold has those in spades.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:30 am

  • John

    I've learned from Arnold that we all come from the future the same way we come into this world--buck ass naked, so remember to look for a guy around your size to swipe his clothes. Also, beware of women with three breasts, they're likely to be carrying space STDs.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:27 am

  • nick

    strength coaches n trainers have thought me alot.from loving what u do,helping people, being true to yourself, having goals,etc.seeing u guys exchange ideas n share the same passion make people understand what this whole industry is about.even the experts r constantly learning n educating themselves.which is awesome. tv shows the value of friendship n remembering your roots books-education of a bodybuilder,arnold-his path towards success was not smooth all the way.n how u can learn alot from mentors n embracing the risk of failure n success like an old friend(i stole that one from Rooney's rules)

    November 11, 2011 at 11:23 am

  • Paul

    Good post, Roman. I share your love of Arny and his outstanding film career (and of course, bodybuilding career). While I love many of his movies, one that I never get tired of is The Running Man. What did I learn from it? Maybe that a man can have a good-enough physique to look cool in a near skin-tight one piece Spandex suit. Oh, and also, never to drape myself with Christmas lights during a brawl! Keep writing! You're awesome, Roman.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:18 am

  • Claudio

    Rocky Balboa (VI) - Life's about how hard you can get hit and still move forward. Atlas Shrugged - Growing up in a bad neighborhood, you think that things are never going to change for you. This book helped me to realize that one has to play the cards one's been dealt, and play them to best of one's abilities. Adam Sandler's Click (don't judge me, bru!) - Family First. The Lion King - You can choose to run from your past or learn from it. I'm sure there are more...

    November 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

  • Chad

    Thanks John. Agreed, talent helps. It's when they both come together that real magic happens. Sometimes it's also a matter of understanding just what our talents are. Sly wasn't the greatest looking guy in the world, or the greatest actor, but he wrote a story, and put himself in a role that suited him best. Which then led to a great career in both acting and directing. He understood his strengths, weaknesses and worked his arse off to succeed. Thanks again for the article. Tres legit.

    November 10, 2011 at 9:47 pm

  • nathan

    Great blog Roman, Predator is the ultimate "im f*cking ripped up running around in a jungle with my jacked up buddies" kind of film. I get goosebumps when i see the 'handshake' - and have tried to re-create it with my girlfriend but she just doesn't get it. Regards Rocky anthology... too many lessons in life to note but at the end of Rocky 3 when Rocky re-pays the favour and does a behind-closed-doors with Apollo Creed (possibly the greatest athlete of all time BTW): Who gets the best shot? I argued for about 3 weeks with my brother about this, even though Creed is my hero (I say Balboa everytime!) great blog man

    November 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm

  • Chris the Kiwi

    Love it mate. Classic Roman. I didn't have Arnie, but I DID have Bruce Lee as both my first training mentor, and my first business mentor... Never Take Your Eyes Off Your Opponent (even when you bow). We Need Emotional Content. I Said EMOTION, not anger and my favourite It is not daily increase but daily DECREASE; hack away the unessential.

    November 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

  • Bridget

    This was an awesome post. Althgh Arnold's recent transgressions have put him in a bad light, there is something to say about how he rocketed himself to the top. When he wanted something, he went for it. Lessons from movies: Rudy... Don't be pushed by your problems but be led by your dreams. LOTR... Even when it looks like everything around you is falling to pieces, and it would be easier to give up, keep pushing because you personally have impact on everything and everyone around you, no matter how insignificant you think you are. And I think your blogs are pretty inspirational, too. I get up and read them, and they inspire me in my workouts and my business/daily life. Thanks for sharing.

    November 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

  • Kristy Russ

    Thanks for this post. I realized that you're right about surrounding yourself with people that are better than you to be successful. I haven't been doing that and that's probably why my business is plateaued right now. Think I'll go figure out who I want to start hanging around with...

    November 10, 2011 at 10:32 am

  • Ray Moss

    This is absolutely the best all around blog I have read of yours to date.--- But I think that is because between Aronold and Sly (Rock IV, Rocky Balboa (The new one), and Rambo III, Driven) That in my opinion, these traits and outlooks/paradigmns on life are what have left society and teens admiring reality TV douches (I won't name names) rather than following these guys in the dusk of the John Wayne generation.--I'm 29 btw, and everytime I watch a John Wayne classic or spend a weekend camping and hiking-- I think about how I was born in the wrong time period. Anyway Roman, I'm a daily reader and a FPFL and Fast Mass follower, but this...this hits the soul of what every man that considers himself to be so should internalize. Great Work-- I personally hope you reach your goal on your advance. They'd be stupid not to see the loyalty of the audience that follows you and the rate of return on such. When I buy my book, I'd like to send it to you to sign...since I doubt you frequent Tulsa, OK. Ray

    November 10, 2011 at 8:51 am

  • Dean Mountford

    Really enjoyed your comments; very interesting perspective!! I'm showing my age here but one of my favourites is the scene at the end of Bladerunner (yes, it's old I know!) The last of the replicants, Roy, is about to die and states: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." Sad but made me think of how much there is to see, do and experience and how there is no time to be mucking about not doing it!! I have often thought about this statement over the years but not in recent times but your comments reminded me of it. Thanks.

    November 10, 2011 at 3:45 am

  • Chris

    Hey Roman, Rocky III : ( any Rocky truly but the third one especially ) : How to use failure as motivation to pick yourself up and go beyond your limits Almost Famous : Why cultivating talent is important, and friendship ( true friendship ) and caring for others is even more important. Magnolia : Your life can influence other people's lives without you even knowing it, for better or worse. ( Amazing flick ). And in TV shows : Sons of Anarchy. Betrayal, greed, murder and yet some characters just shine as great people. Just shows that there can be good in the darkest places.

    November 10, 2011 at 2:12 am

  • David

    As I'm sitting here eyeing my DVD collection, three movies that have helped me gain some insight are: 1. Cool Hand Luke - Even when you're placed into a hellish situation, you can still act like a man and show your grit. 2. Cinderella Man - The part that always gets me is when Braddock has done everything in his power to provide for his family and is still coming up short. He then goes to the wealthy businessmen like a street beggar, hat in hand, asking for what money they can spare. He goes to his friend/manager, fighting back the tears, and apologizes for having to ask for the money and is told "What the hell do you have to be sorry for?" It just reminds me that it's okay to be humble and seek the help of other's when times are tough. 3. She's Out of My League - "You're a 10!" No matter what the world tells me otherwise, I know that's the truth. There's a gal out there that's gonna knock my socks off someday when I meet her, I just have to do my part and be the "best me" when our paths do cross. So there ya go, three lessons the movies have taught me. Hey Roman, for your next "cheat day", I say you take on the Cool Hand Luke 50 eggs Challenge. Be some good protein for ya.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

  • Stix

    Right on Roman! When I was 5 years old my dad woke me up to watch Commando which started 8:30pm for the first time in Australia. I've been hooked ever since. It's still my favourite. "Blow off some steam Bennett!" Lol! From Terminator 2... "Come with me if you want to live" A Powerful statement that I use in the gym when I train clients. Definitely your best post yet but I am a devoted student of Arnold....

    November 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm

  • rocky

    Ohh the great Arnold!. Mine would be.. Grid Iron Gang- People can change if they care enough Walking Tall- Family first Stop Loss- Life is damn near impossible without your friends i could go on and on with Dwayne Johnsons movies. The Rock is probably my version of Arnold.

    November 9, 2011 at 9:42 pm

  • James

    @Lisa There is a lot to admire about what Arnie has accomplished regardless of what current tabloids would have you believe. He is one of a kind and has achieved a level of success that is nothing short of mind blowing.

    November 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm

  • Lisa

    I don't know if I'd use Arnold Schwarzeneggar as someone to aspire to. He's a cheater, a deadbeat dad, and has Nazi ideology. After Maria Shriver is through with him, he'll be nobody.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    • John Romaniello

      Not sure I agree. Arnold is certainly a cheater, but not a deadbeat dad. He supported his illegitimate son financially, if not emotionally. I'm hoping, now that it's all out in the open, that will change. Re: ideology, you'd be shocked at the similarities between Nazi ideology and that of many superpowers, including factions of the US. Finally, I don't know what you mean when you say, "when Maria Shriver is done with him, he'll be nobody." Look, I don't doubt that the divorce will be messy, but Arnold will not--cannot--be "nobody" -- EVER. Like him or hate him, his achievements are monumental. Nothing can take that from him.

      November 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm

  • Risto Uuk

    I think my favorite movie in this perspective is The Pursuit of Happyness. The guy just struggles to make a living, gets into the biggest hole, and finally fights out of it with his work ethic and cleverness. This is a lesson about working hard. But I think I learned even a bigger lesson from a new movie called Dream House, which I went to see yesterday. The movie has really bad ratings, but I think it's one of the best, because it teaches what is important in life. Don't take anything for granted, make the most of your life, and really love your family/loved ones. People, life is tender, don't waste it!

    November 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

  • Sean

    This. Was. Awesome! And great timing too! I'm currently a sophomore at rutgers university going for an exercise science degree trying to figure out what I want to do with my life (easy right?). This along with some of the other articles recently released by some of my favorite bloggers (Eric Cressey, Anthony Mychal,...) have really helped me get a perspective on it. Anyway the most inpsirational movie I've EVER seen is "Rudy" ever since being the short/stocky kid in football, to not being the smartest kid in my class. This movie always taught me to try my best and NEVER give up. Anyway great article, and I'm looking forward to your book! Didn't realize one was in the works Sean

    November 9, 2011 at 11:45 am


    Great write up Roman YESSSSSSSSS STAY VIGOROUS!

    November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

  • John Romaniello

    WOW! Space Jam reference! love it =) And signed copies are a done deal!

    November 9, 2011 at 11:09 am

  • John Romaniello

    Very good stuff, Chad. I could do a whole post on Sly as well. Wisdom from Rocky is hard to beat--as is hard work. but, having some talent helps, too.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:08 am

  • Darren

    From the original Harold and Kumar I learned that even if two friends can be polar opposite and drive each other to the brink of insanity, the adventure and bonding in pursuit of a goal can make it all worth it. Fav Arnie movie is Commando for thed muscles, violence, idiotic yet meaningful plot, and he introduced my eyes to the still gorgeous Alyssa Milano

    November 9, 2011 at 4:20 am

  • Samuel Olguin

    Awesome and inspiring, as usual. From Forrest Gump I learned to be an original and you'll be recognized by it, no matter how hard/wrong seems at first. From 300, that determination, will, courage can help you overcome any enemy or obstacle ( unless its 10,000 Persian arrows... oh well) And I remember Space Jam making such an impact in me as a kid, Jordan committing to goals as kid and the scene where they realize the magic drink was just water. Still, the most influential is Rocky, for the reasons stated before. Oh, and I want a signed copy of that book when it comes out as you have been very influential too. And yes,I know everyone will want one and I'll have to fight for it.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:46 am

  • Chad

    Great, great post. One of my favourites. Lessons I've learned from ze movies: Cinderella Man. We're never put through anything that we absolutely can't handle. Keep working, maintain your values and do everything you can to take care of your family. Rocky Balboa. Life isn't about how many times you get knocked down, it's if you get back up that counts. Everyone gets knocked down, it's those that keep getting up that can create something great out of their lives. Often success is a marathon. Not a matter of having the most talent, but being willing to work harder and longer than everyone else. Life is Beautiful. Life is beautiful.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:05 am

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