Arnold Schwarzenegger got a little reflective in an interview with People magazine for this week’s issue. Out promoting his new self-help book, Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life, the Governator spoke frankly about where he finds himself at the age of 76, and what he thinks his legacy will be.
“Be useful” was the motto Schwarzenegger’s authoritarian, physically abusive father raised him to live by. "It was the very phrase that motivated me” to achieve his greatest dreams, the Terminator star said, and admitted it prompted his “fourth-act” remodeling as a self-help guru.
Yet it also stopped him from taking time to enjoy his victories early on in life. “I'm always content, but, I mean, I'm always hungry for more,” Schwarzenegger told People. “I slept with my first trophy. No one could take it away. But at the same time, the other foot is already out of bed going for the second Mr. Universe title.”
As time went on, though, Schwarzenegger both matured and mellowed out, despite not slowing down. “Today I feel good where I am,” he reflected. “I feel I'm much wiser. I'm much smarter. I'm not as crazy. I think more about people. I think more about people's feelings. In your 20s, you don't do any of that. It's me, me, me, me. As time goes on, you learn from your mistakes.”
In regards to his legacy, Schwarzenegger isn’t worried about defining it for himself. “Everyone will have their own take on it,” he said. “All I'm trying to do is use my talents and help other people. It's the simple stuff that I do that really helped me get where I am today.”
It's not the only headline he made from the People interview. The actor also opened up about his tough parenting tactics, including burning his daughter's shoes and throwing his son's mattress out the window.
Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life hits shelves on October 10.