THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The seven rules to follow to realize your true purpose in life—distilled by Arnold Schwarzenegger from his own journey of ceaseless reinvention and extraordinary achievement, and available for absolutely anyone.
The world’s greatest bodybuilder. The world’s highest-paid movie star. The leader of the world’s sixth-largest economy. That these are the same person sounds like the setup to a joke, but this is no joke. This is Arnold Schwarzenegger. And this did not happen by accident.
Arnold’s stratospheric success happened as part of a process. As the result of clear vision, big thinking, hard work, direct communication, resilient problem-solving, open-minded curiosity, and a commitment to giving back. All of it guided by the one lesson Arnold’s father hammered into him above all: be useful. As Arnold conquered every realm he entered, he kept his father’s adage close to his heart.
Written with his uniquely earnest, blunt, powerful voice, Be Useful takes readers on an inspirational tour through Arnold’s tool kit for a meaningful life. He shows us how to put those tools to work, in service of whatever fulfilling future we can dream up for ourselves. He brings his insights to vivid life with compelling personal stories, life-changing successes and life-threatening failures alike—some of them famous; some told here for the first time ever.
Too many of us struggle to disconnect from our self-pity and connect to our purpose. At an early age, Arnold forged the mental tools to build the ladder out of the poverty and narrow-mindedness of his rural Austrian hometown, tools he used to add rung after rung from there. Now he shares that wisdom with all of us. As he puts it, no one is going to come rescue you—you only have yourself. The good news, it turns out, is that you are all you need.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When you’ve been the world’s most famous bodybuilder, the world’s top-paid action-movie star, and the governor of California, you’ve probably learned a thing or two about achieving your life goals. In this combination memoir and self-help guide, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his thoughts on tenacity, determination, and clarity of vision…basically, his rules for life. The actor turned politician also shares inspiring and often very funny personal stories, moving from his childhood in a small Austrian village to living out his own American dream. Schwarzenegger’s no-nonsense prose style is a perfect match for his advice. Be Useful is packed with simple but powerful messages that are useful for daily life.
Schwarzenegger (Total Recall) shares in this pragmatic and plainspoken guide the life lessons that fueled his success as a bodybuilder, actor, and governor of California from 2003 to 2011. Growing up in the 1950s and '60s in a remote Austrian village in a house without running water, Schwarzenegger was driven by crystal-clear visions of success ("I could see myself on the top step of the podium holding the winner's trophy.... I could see the crowd going wild") to train harder than his peers at the gym, and advises readers that they too must "have a clear picture of what you want your life to look like and a plan for how" to achieve it ("the people who feel most lost have neither.... They look in the mirror and they wonder, ‘How the hell did I get here?' "). Elsewhere, he emphasizes that nothing worthwhile is gained without effort, noting that he dutifully stuck to a regimen of dedicated "reps" in his bodybuilding training, as well as his gubernatorial speech prep. To that end, pain is useful because it "tells you whether you've begun to give enough of yourself in pursuit of your dreams." While Schwarzenegger's principles (and boundless enthusiasm for old-fashioned grit and hard work) aren't revolutionary, readers will welcome his can-do approach and easily understood (if harder to implement) guidance. This gets the job done.
As a 54 year old man it’s safe to say I grew up following Arnie! This book is his finest work ever!!!
I agree with another reviewer in that I came away with more of a "be relentless" theme than "serve yourself by serving others." That said, Arnold delivers his message clearly and it was quite motivational for me. His outlook on life and his passion/borderline obsession in pursuing his goals is infectious. Based on a lot of other reviews, I should have bought the audiobook!
Great Read. Inspiring