3 lessons from Arnold Schwarzenegger to learn any language

Mr. Olympia. Hollywood actor. Governor of California.

Three different areas (even though we could argue that they are all related to exhibition and entertainment). Three huge accomplishments. And a lot of hard work.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in Austria. He came to the US at the age of 21, speaking broken English.

And here are three lessons from his life. And how you can apply them to learn a foreign language.


Know what you want

Arnold knew what he wanted early on – whether it be about fitness, learning English or becoming a movie star. He had a clear vision, clear objectives.

He could have decided to become just fit. Being in shape, and that’s it! But no. He wanted to become the best version of himself and to become Mr. Olympia. And he went for it! Having this clear vision of what he wanted to achieve guided him and little by little showed him the path.

Having this North Star helps you go through the troubles you will encounter during your journey.


How you can apply it today:

Write your goals. Write the level you want to attain with your target language. Be specific! Write why you want to learn this language. Write in what specific situations you want to be able to use this language.

Then it’ll become clear what kind of vocabulary you have to learn. Or what kind of discussions and podcasts you need to listen to. Or what videos you must watch in order to master a certain topic.


Keep going until you reach your goal. And then…keep going!

So Arnold became Mr. Olympia. And then what? Well he didn’t stop there. Then he went to Hollywood. He wanted to become an actor.

He had reached his goals in the fitness world. He could have stopped there. He had already made history. But no. He reached his goal and after that he set new goals.

But before becoming Mr. Olympia, he had to train hard for hours and hours. He didn’t just snap his fingers and then magic happened.


How you can apply it today:

Be relentless. Do whatever it takes to reach your goals. If the routine you created doesn’t work, don’t get frustrated but change it! Move on and keep going. Try something new. Create momentum.


Go all in

The Governator didn’t want to become an average Hollywood actor. No, he wanted to become the most paid actor of his time. But his thick Austrian accent prevented him from getting roles. So he worked on it. He completely immersed himself in the American culture.

“I made it a rule to date only American girls” – Arnold Schwarzenegger


How you can apply it today:

Immerse yourself in the language. Doing 5 minutes of Duolingo every two days won’t get you very far. Watch videos, movies. Listen to the radio or podcasts. Read books. Whatever it takes to immerse yourself. Do not tiptoe! Embrace your target language!


I hope these lessons are helpful. Which one are you going to apply today to become a badass polyglot?





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