"I had this fixed idea of growing a body like Reg Park's. The model was there in my mind. I only had to grow enough to fill it. The more I focused in on this image and worked and grew, the more I saw that it was real and possible to be like him." (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Reg Park, Mr. Universe 1951, courtesy http://www.strength-oldschool.com/tag/reg-park/.
Arnold Schwarzenegger had a vision. One day, he picked up a magazine with Reg Park, the star of Hercules, on the cover. It hit him: "He was going to follow in Reg Park's footsteps, become a body building champion and a huge movie star."
Growing up in rural Austria in the 1950's, Arnold's father had other ideas. He pushed for his son to enter the Army and then become a police officer, as he had done. His father frowned on bodybuilding which was not popular at the time. Even so, Arnold began training in earnest to pursue his dream.
At 18, Arnold's father insisted that he join the Austrian Army. Arnold did so, but still with his vision fixed firmly in his mind. Each night, when the cadets fell into bed exhausted, Arnold would devote three additional hours to strength training. Each morning he woke up early to get in his push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups before the mandatory 5 am run. The other cadets thought that he was foolish, but Arnold had a vision: "I had this fixed idea of growing a body like Reg Park's. The model was there in my mind. I only had to grow enough to fill it. The more I focused in on this image and worked and grew, the more I saw that it was real and possible to be like him." (http://www.willpowered.co/learn/arnold-schwarzeneggers-vision)
Arnold's opportunity to prove himself came in the form of the Mr. Junior Europe Championship in Stuttgart, Germany. He sneaked out of the military base early and hopped a freight train. Arnold generated huge applause from the audience and captured first prize. In 1966, Arnold attended the Mr. Universe competition for the first time and impressed one of the judges, Charles Bennett, so much that he offered to coach him (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7Iaz_r2t-g). The following year, Arnold clinched the title of Mr. Universe. "The Mr. Universe title was my ticket to America," explained Arnold. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schwarzenegger).
But Arnold's dream hadn't completely come to fruition. He frequently told his English coach, Roger C. Field, when he lived in Munich, "I'm going to become the greatest actor." The vision became a reality when Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in The Terminator (1984) launching his career as the top action film star of the 20th Century.
What is your vision? What is your "Aha!" moment? Have you discovered a picture on a magazine cover? Fix the image in your mind and dwell on it daily. Ignore the naysayers. Believe in yourself. Do the "heavy lifting" to make it happen. You, too, will be standing on top of the podium.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (right) Mr. Universe 1967 courtesy http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=252107.0.