Yes, you did read the title correctly - Arnold Schwarzenegger!
The sixty-seven year old former bodybuilding champion, turned actor, turned politician, turned movie star again may not be everyone's first choice role model. Most prefer to attempt a bad impersonation of him, quoting one of his many famous one-liners.
For me however, his words off screen have proved reassuring and inspiring during recent times of uncertainty.
After moving to London last October and finishing a six month internship with a think-tank, I left with confidence and motivation at an all-time high. With a bolstered CV and a taste of the career I desperately wanted I was eager to apply for any job in the industry.
Cover letters were written and applications sent out, all with the hopefulness of a receiving a positive reply. Yet, what I was hit with was a sharp dose of reality. Either no reply or the usual 'unfortunately we won't be taking your application any further, best of luck with your future endeavours' emails were received.
Now, I know I am not the only person in this situation. There are many young graduates experiencing the same struggle day in and day out, desperately wanting to join their chosen career field. The constant rejection combined with working a part-time job, one that you keep telling yourself 'is only temporary!', can be utterly dejecting and make you question whether or not you have chosen the right path.
...This is where Mr Schwarzenegger comes in.
In 2009, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a speech at the University of California. It laid out his '6 Rules of Success'. It is these rules, spoken by a man who overcame numerous obstacles to achieve his dreams that keep me motivated during the agonising job hunting process.
The rules are as follows:
1. Trust Yourself
"What is most important is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourselves, who do you want to be? Not what, but who."
"And I'm talking about not what your parents and teachers want you to be, but you. I'm talking about figuring out for yourselves what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people."
Arnie's first rule is easily the most important, trust yourself! As graduates we receive streams of advice from a lot of different sources (family, friends, professors and many more). Yet, at the end of the day the buck stops here, the decisions we make are ours and ours alone. When you're sat staring at a laptop sending off CV after CV and receiving nothing back, you have to trust and believe that the course you're taking in order to pursue your dreams is what's best for you.
2. Break the Rules
"Break the rules, not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you're too well behaved and don't want to break the rules."
"You have to think outside the box. That's what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?"
This is without a doubt my favourite rule of Arnie's! Sometimes you have to break mould and stand out from the pack. That doesn't mean going crazy, it just means defying some social norms. Like applying for a job that asks for two years' experience when you only have one. You never know what may happen!
3. Don't be Afraid to Fail
"You can't be paralysed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself."
Don't be afraid to apply for a job just because you're not sure if you will get it. Fear of failure is a constant obstacle that has to be tackled head on. You must get past the mental block of wondering what people may think or how it would look if you failed.
You have to keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision. As long as you know that it is the right thing to do, you keep trying. It's much better to say 'I tried and failed' with your head held high, than say 'what if?'
4. Don't Listen to the Naysayers
"How many times have you heard that you can't do this and you can't do that and it's never been done before?"
"I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it that means that I'm the first one that has done it."
When someone says 'oh, you'll never get that job', it should motivate you even more to obtain it. Whatever you want to achieve in life, there will always be someone saying it cannot be done. You have to have the confidence within yourself and the desire to go out and get it, and when you do, you can look back at the naysayers and laugh.
5. Work Your Butt Off
"When you're out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that."
"If you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work. Just remember, you can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets."
Working hard is the only way to get what you want in life; It really is that simple. Work hard and bolster your CV, make it impossible for someone to turn you down. If there is certain experience you need in order to get the job you want, then go out and get it. Volunteer or use the spare time you have productively if you aren't, someone else out there is.
6. Give Something Back
"Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back"
Right now the concept of giving back, when you don't have the job you want, may seem a little incensing. That being said, giving back can be done at any point in your life. It could act as a positive catalyst for change, giving a renewed sense of motivation and achievement.
Schwarzenegger's rules may not be for everyone, but their ability to motivate and inspire are undoubtable. His rules of success have a universal effect and can be applied to almost anything. They continue to help and motivate me, and I hope now they can do the same for you.