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Arnold’s Latest: Total Recall

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Is there any American immigrant story—or a life story anywhere—that approaches the level of accomplishment that Arnold Schwarzenegger has achieved in the past 40-plus years? The best bodybuilder, the biggest movie star and the governor of California, a state that has the sixth largest economy in the world. If his life’s achievements were a fictional tale, it would be dismissed as impossible, an example of the writer’s fantasy.

Like fiction, however, it all started with Arnold’s imagination. With Arnold it always starts with want. He wanted to come to the United States because he believed that it held opportunity that could only be realized there, in America, where anything is possible. That vision of his future was made possible because of his love of bodybuilding.

You can find the short ESPN film, “Arnold’s Blueprint,” on the Internet and listen and watch as Arnold recounts those early years—amazing and endlessly inspiring. Arnold has led three distinct and unrelated lives to the pinnacle, but how did he do it?

In his new autobiography, Total Recall, Arnold gives his first-person account of how it all happened. I say “happened,” but it was really Arnold’s dream made real. Arnold made it real with a laser focus on one goal at a time and the ability to work at a very high energy level until the goal was reached. No excuses, ever!

Arnold devotes the largest part of the book to his early years and his bodybuilding career. As one critic noted, those years of unimaginable focus and effort were the foundation for his future success. The lessons he learned and the mind-set he honed then became the tools for realizing the game plan that included superstar movie fame and led to his being one of the most politically powerful men on earth.

This isn’t just the chronicle of Arnold’s many successes; it’s also a deep look into what shaped him—his process and motivations are fully discussed. He confronts his indiscretions with candor, and he takes responsibility for them. This is a tell-all book that is G-rated. It’s his life as he lived it, with the mistakes and triumphs dully noted but recalled as details of a complex and singular personality rather than as an exposé.

Just as any of Arnold’s careers would be considered a triumph for anyone, so does the book stand as three distinct parts of a whole, giving insight to all three lives. If you have an interest in any of his lives, Total Recall is an inspiring and personal view of three different and interesting worlds from a man whose skills in all three have led to unequaled success. IM

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