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Steve Xu 00:00
Arnold Schwarzenegger help you prepare for the selective test. I remember as a kid, I was fascinated by Arnold Schwarzenegger. To me, he was my hero. I remember growing up watching Kindergarten Cop, watching, you know, the Terminator followed by Conan the Barbarian. It was just crazy. But more importantly, I was fascinated by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey from being one of the top bodybuilders or actually the best bodybuilder in the world at age 23, winning Mr. Olympia, then transitioning into an illustrious career in Hollywood, and becoming one of the highest paid actors in the world, and then finally becoming governor of California. And so I remember when I was about 13 or 14 years old, I was reading one of his biographies, and I was trying to figure out how he had it all. And the reason why was because everyone told me that I couldn’t have it all.
I remember, you know, talking to my friends telling them, hey, I wanted to play piano at the highest level. I wanted to become extremely strong, right? I wanted to, I wanted to reach the highest points in my career and do all of them at the same time. And everyone’s like, Steven, that’s not possible. I remember talking to my parents, like, Steven, you are not Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can’t do that. But I didn’t want to listen to them. So I remember reading his biography, and one of the most impactful things that I found out from Arnold was that he didn’t do all of these things at the same time, right? He spent about 10 years and bodybuilding. He started at age 15 and 16, and he did that all the way up to age 25, retired at 28. And then at age 28, that’s when he started doing his acting career, pursuing his acting career, and he did that for 10 years. And then after that, he did his political career for like, another 10 years. And in the midst of that, he built his misses as well. And what was so profound was later I started reading, and one of the one of the things that he said is, he said, he talked about the importance of developing a master plan, right?
He wanted to be a movie star; he wanted to be a businessman; he wanted to be a political leader. And he said that people just thought he was absolutely crazy, and that really appealed to me because everybody thought I was crazy at the time as well. And one of the things that he asked himself was, what’s one thing I can do now that I’m good at that can serve those goals? And that question really hit me because what I realized at
Steve Xu 02:30
the time is you can have everything, but you can only have one at a time. You can have everything, but you can only do them or have them one at a time. And so one of the craziest decisions that I had to make when I was 18 years old was whether or not I wanted to pursue music full time, or if I wanted to go to law school because, at the time, I had an offer to pursue a bachelor of music performance at the Conservatorium of Music, or go to Sydney Uni law. And I knew at the time, even as much as I loved piano, I had to make a sacrifice. I knew it wasn’t the right time for me to pursue music. And so at the time, I was like, You know what, I’m going to lock myself away in a room; I’m just going to study; I’m going to work on building my business over the next five years. And so I got the law degree, and I kind of built Scholarly during that point. Now, after that’s all happened, I’m going back to piano, and I’m spending more and more and more time, right, in terms of learning my repertoire and realizing that dream.
But again, like I said before, I couldn’t do everything at once. And that is the greatest problem that I see with everyone nowadays. I remember even back in the day, when I was going for my selective schools tests, or even when I’m going for my HSC, there is always a time for everything, right? There is a time where you focus on only one task and one task only, and you forget about the rest. The problem with everybody nowadays, and the problem that- and the mistake that I made when I was a little kid was trying to do everything at once. And when you try to do everything, let’s say if you want to be a concert pianist, and you also want to, you know, master the selective schools test or OC test, and you also want to learn clarinet at the same time, and you want to do, I don’t know, debating, and you want to play basketball, you want to be in the NBA. That’s not possible, okay? It’s not humanly possible to do all of that all at once. And yet, I see- I saw so many of my friends growing up trying to do that. So as they were preparing for the HSC, they were trying to do their … and piano at the same time, and they’re also trying to, you know, when all of these medals and running and whatever.
What ended up happening is when they tried to do three, four, or five things at the same time, they end up getting absolutely nothing. And so one of the most crucial elements that I learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger is setting short-term goals today that will serve your master plan and your master vision, and being willing to let go of certain elements of your life, even if it means sacrificing certain elements that you absolutely love in order to pursue that short-term kind of goals. It’s okay to let go of these things. And I think if you’re watching this video right now, and you’re kind of like, how does this apply to me and how does this apply to selective school and opportunity class? Well, let me give you guys some advice. If you’re watching this video right now, and you’re preparing for the selective test or OC test, and let’s say you’ve got, I don’t know, four months before the selective schools test, the way that I would frame it is it is perfectly fine to live a balanced life, right? If you have other activities, that’s fine. But the main focus should be on the selective test. Your main focus every single day should be on the selective school test, and that should occupy about 70 to 80% of your time.
The remaining 20-30%, you can put on kind of other activities, like music or sport or whatever, right just to balance it out. But you shouldn’t be pursuing two huge goals at the same time. Whenever I’ve tried to be greedy, whenever I’ve thought that I could do everything at the same time, it’s always crashed and burned, right? Every single time, it’s always crashed and burned. You’re gonna only really master one thing at a time. And so if you’re watching this video, and you’re preparing for selective test, really try to analyze, you know, what’s most important right now? Is it playing piano? Probably not. Is it learning a new sport? Probably not. It’s a selective schools test. And so your goal should be, hey, let’s put you in the best position possible to ace a selective test now in these four months so that later on, you have way more time, right? And you’re completely unburdened because you gave it your all to the selective test, and then after you finish selective schools test, you can do whatever you want, right?
If you want to learn that new instrument, go ahead, right? If you want to do, if you want to complete a spot, go ahead and do that, that’s completely fine. But right now you need to focus. Now for those of you who are younger, let’s say you’re in year three, or year two, or year one or whatever, you still have plenty of time. So it’s fine to you know, diversify your interests, and to do a lot of things. However, like I said, I know a lot of really, really successful people. And they generally,
Steve Xu 07:19
you know, put all their eggs in one basket. So even if you’re younger, and you’re watching this, I implore you to think about where you want to be and 5-6-7 years time, right? Where do you want to be? What do you want to be known for? And you can’t be known for everything. Like, you know, over the past five, six years, I basically devoted my entire life. You know, we’re talking full time, every single day, only on inspiring my kids, teaching my classes, and building Scholarly to be what it is today. There have been many shiny objects along the way where people have offered me different opportunities to pursue other thing, you know, even becoming a lawyer was one of those things. And I had to kind of push them away. Why? Because I knew that if I was distracted, or if I had other things to do, then I would not, you know, my energy- I wouldn’t have enough energy to devote myself fully to Scholarly. And so if you’re watching this video, I hope the message rings loud and clear. Choose one thing. What is the one thing today that will serve your goals? Okay, and always strive for mastery. Thank you!