Feeling more positive

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a HUGE Arnold Schwarzenegger fan.  I’ve watched all of his movies (including the seminal “Pumping Iron” and more obscure ones like “Hercules in New York” and “Stay Hungry“), read his autobiography and even visited his childhood home (now a museum) in Thaal, Austria.

No, really: I made my girlfriend drive a 6 hour return trip detour to visit his home when we were holidaying in Italy and Slovenia last year.  So what does any of this have to do with coding and quitting my job? Positive mental attitude that’s what!

Arnold’s Six Rules for Success

When I’ve been agonising over whether I’ve made the right decision to quit my job, be bold and try something new, I remind myself of Arnold’s six rules for success:


For an EPIC version of the above, check out this video of Arnold explaining these rules set to stirring music:

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore all that he’s achieved.  He’s achieved an incredible amount considering he came from a super humble background – a tiny rural hamlet in post-war Austria.

How many people in the world today have been a champion in more than one thing? Arnold has been a champion bodybuilder (many times), one of the highest paid actors in the world and Governor of California.  Oh, and by the way, a little known fact is that he was already a self-made millionaire long before he was ever a Hollywood star.

He’s entirely self-made and self-led.  His positive attitude, optimism, and hunger to succeed at whatever he has set his mind to has made him a champion.

Applying these six rules

His six rules for success encapsulate that ethos.  In particular, at the moment, as I think about my decision to leave the law and do a coding bootcamp, I’ve been reminding myself of rules 1, 34 and 5 :

1. Trust yourself: I need to trust myself.  I’ve trusted myself a 1000 times before.  I trusted myself when I decided to study law and become a lawyer and also when I decided to move to Hong Kong (twice).  I should trust myself again now.

3. Don’t be afraid to fail: Failure is to be embraced.  I’d rather fail having tried than having failed to try.  With every failure I’ve always picked myself up, reassessed my shortcomings and made damn sure next time I smash it.

4. Ignore the naysayers: I’m 28, it’s time to stop caring what other people think and focus on what I think.  Often people’s negative attitude toward your dreams and decisions conceals their own fears and concerns – don’t let theirs be yours.

5. Work like hell: Arnold’s success is largely down to his sheer determination, laser focus and goal oriented work ethic.  He constantly set himself goals, worked his butt off and constantly benchmarked himself against himself.  I’ve always had an insane work ethic – it’s time to repurpose it and go nuts at coding!

It’s these things I think of when I look up to this A1 size poster of Arnie affixed above my bed at home.  Think of my poor girlfriend who also has to wake up looking at this poster…