I am not sure if you would consider this column of mine necessarily inspirational, but most of the time that is my goal. So, I am kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place this week. What do you do when the inspirational does not feel so inspirational. I honestly almost told my editor that I just would not have a column this week. I just did not feel up to it. I wrote and rewrote this column about multiple subjects and just felt it was lacking, so I took a break.
I switched on good ol’ Netflix and flipped through looking for something interesting. A new documentary caught my eye, titled, “Arnold.” In the initial photo it just looked like some older guy grinning from ear to ear. The trailer started and as soon as I heard the guy named Arnold’s voice, I knew right away that it was Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Thank God Almighty for the spell check on that one.)
I grew up watching a lot of Arnold’s movies as a kid- Kindergarten Cop, Jingle All the Way, all the Terminator movies, Twins, and True Lies, to name a few. But I did not know a lot about his real-life story.
Intrigued, I began watching. It was broken up into three parts: 1 – The Bodybuilder, 2 – The Actor and 3 – The Politician. Talk about a triple threat, right?
But how did Arnold come to be all those things? Well, it was not because he lacked inspiration or motivation. He felt inspired by his childhood role model, Reg Park, who starred in one of the Hercules movies. Arnold went on to play Hercules himself in his first movie, Hercules in New York. He became friends with Andy Warhol who introduced him to some heavy hitters in the entertainment industry like James Caan and Woody Allen. Arnold then decided later in life during a recall election in the state of California in 2003, that he would give politics a go. He finished off the remainder of then-Governor Gray Davis and was reelected for a second term. He drew inspiration in politics from former President Ronald Reagan.
Well today, I am drawing inspiration from the bodybuilder turned actor turned politician and am going to leave you with a few quotes from the man himself.
“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.”
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
“Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn’t matter.”
“The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.”
All of these are great, but one that really stuck out to me was at the very end of this Netflix series when he said that a lot of people refer to him as being a “self-made man.” He was quite offended by this description and went on to say that being referred to as a self-made man is the worst thing you could call him. He said, “Don’t ever, ever call me a self-made man. To accept that credit, that mantle, would discount every single person who has helped me get here.” The people that gave him advice, the ones who inspired him, the ones who made an effort and those who believed in him can all be credited for Arnold’s success in life.
I never thought I would feel inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger of all people, but here I am. So now I am curious… who inspires you?
So, and “I’LL BE BACK”… to the regularly scheduled wholesome content about parenthood and life in general next week. Thank you for riding this one out with me.
(Paige Nash is a wife, mother, publisher of Bienville Parish Journal and Claiborne Parish Journal and a digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal.)
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE