Arnold Schwarzenegger, an iconic figure in the world of entertainment, has left an indelible mark on both the realms of bodybuilding and Hollywood. Known for his larger-than-life persona, muscular physique, and memorable catchphrases, Schwarzenegger has captivated audiences with his impressive on-screen performances and charismatic presence.
Born in Austria, the Terminator star dreamed of coming to America, where he believed he could find greater opportunities and fulfill his aspirations. His introduction to bodybuilding provided him with a vision—a pathway to achieve his ultimate goal. But during his journey, the True Lies star shared that he relied on transcendental meditation to progress well in his path.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dream To Come To America
Arnold Schwarzenegger recognized that Austria was too small for his ambitions and saw America as the place where he truly belonged. He viewed bodybuilding as an American sport that could serve as a means to achieve his dream.
“Austria was too small for me. I felt the opportunities were not there, and that I was in the wrong place. We were occupied by Allied forces, and there was a lot of crime. Every time I saw pictures of America, I thought, That’s where I belong. My big dream was to come to America—the question was just, ‘How?’”
At the age of 21, Schwarzenegger’s vision became a reality as he won the Mr. Universe title for the second time. This achievement caught the attention of Joe Weider, the publisher of Muscle magazine, who extended an invitation to Schwarzenegger to come to America. This opportunity opened endless doors for the superstar.
“When I stumbled onto bodybuilding, I felt that it was an American sport and a means to the end. My vision was if I won Mr. Universe and all the titles, America would eventually invite me over. At 21 years old, my vision became a reality. I became Mr. Universe for the second time, and I got this telegram from the publisher of Muscle, Joe Weider. He said, “Arnold, you’re the new sensation. I want you to come to America. I’ll put you up in Muscle Beach, you’ll train with the champions, you can write for our magazine, and we can get you into the movies.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger On Transcendental Meditation
Amidst the pressure and demands of his life, Schwarzenegger found solace and a way to calm his anxiety through transcendental meditation. Although not a meditation expert, he learned the practice in the mid-1970s to heal his mind amid all the pressure surrounding his mind, while he tried to establish his career.
“I’m not an expert in meditation, but I once worked out with someone in the mid-1970s that was an expert in transcendental meditation. He invited me to the center in Brentwood, where they taught me how to meditate. At the time, my life had a lot of pressure. I was bodybuilding, training to compete for Mr. Olympia again, doing construction work for extra money, going to acting classes, and attending college. There was a lot of stuff on my plate, and I needed to find a way to calm down from my anxiety.”
This technique provided him with valuable tools to sort out his goals calmly and emphatically. Through meditation, The Running Man star gained clarity and a different perspective on his life. It allowed him to approach challenges with a sense of calmness and enabled him to tap into his inner strength.
“Transcendental meditation really helped me. Ever since I started seeing different goals in my life that I could sort out calmly and emphatically. People always say there’s a lot of Eastern philosophy in me—I don’t know about that, because I’m not an expert, but you can learn a lot from all the different approaches.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey exemplifies the power of having a clear vision and the benefits of incorporating mindfulness practices into one’s life. His relentless pursuit of his dreams and his willingness to explore different paths led him to achieve extraordinary success.