Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger • film industry • bodybuilding history • Florida governor

Book cover of Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger

The title of the book is really fitting. I assume that everybody knows something about Arnold Schwarzenegger, obviously known for his films. Nevertheless, I think that only some of you know that in his young age he was a very successful bodybuilder. Additionally, he was Mr Olympia, Mr Universe or something like that several times. Eventually, he became a governor of California. Surprisingly, Arnold also tells more about him as a real estate investor. The interesting fact is that first became a millionaire by all of his real estate endeavours.

Certainly, the book gives a lot of insights into his life. It brings out why he was able to accomplish as much as he did. It details how a poor Austrian became an entrepreneur, a professional bodybuilder and eventually a film star and a politician.

Above all, the most interesting part for me was about the Hollywood industry. How it worked at his peak and how he dealt with different stakeholders. By the way, now I get why Conan the Barbarian is the only chapter, from the whole franchise, worth to watch (my honest opinion). On the other hand, I found the second half of the book a bit less appealing. It talks more about Arnold’s life as an American politician. My reflection on that part is that, predominantly, he tries to justify his actions. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with that, but, much more, I would enjoy some interesting deep dives into the American political industry.

Finally, one thing that was also interesting was the way he ends the book which was his ten rules to live. My favourite was “don’t let pride get in the way”,  “don’t overthink, don’t overanalyse” and “don’t blame your parents”. 

Nevertheless, the most important one was number ten – “stay hungry” which is really crazy. So, if you think about Arnold, who became Mr Olympia and he had his real estate venture, he was already pretty wealthy. Certainly, he didn’t need to continue to work, however, he showed how he kept sitting goals. When he got his first movie, Conan, he made his payday for that.  Then, his next goal was – I want to get a million dollar payday, then two million dollars. He kept setting goals, he kept staying hungry to get better and better at each time setting higher goals. As a result, that mindset eventually carried over into the highest pay that was possible for him. He became a governor of California as becoming a president of the United States was legally impossible.  

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story
by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Final rating:

Interesting story
Complexity of ideas
Flourish language

Book details:

Size: 656 pages
Published: 2012


Other information and reviews of this book on Goodreads:

Other useful links:
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s website:
Schwarzenegger’s political career:
Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wikipedia:
Terminator on Wikipedia:
Other great biographie:  Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

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