"I'm the king of the world!" exclaimed director James Cameron after winning the prestigious Academy Award for his work on the blockbuster movie Titanic. What a rewarding experience that must have been for him. After years of commitment, focus, and perseverance, Cameron has the privilege of knowing that his contribution has added enormous entertainment value for the entire world to enjoy. People around the globe have been touched by this movie at a deep emotional level.

Titanic won a record-tying 11 Academy Awards and will soon become the highest grossing film of all time as its earnings exceed 500 million dollars.

Cameron has every right to feel as though he is "king of the world." He has created a masterpiece that will enthrall viewers for decades to come. Doing what he truly enjoys, the director has made a difference in people's lives on a very large scale.

We as bodybuilders have the same opportunity to create our own masterpiece by doing what we enjoy. Most of us hope to experience the same fulfillment for developing our physiques as Cameron enjoyed for directing his movie.

Whether or not you ever plan to enter a contest, bodybuilding can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. If your physique becomes outstanding, you can experience achievement, significance, and respect. These are just some of the feelings you have to look forward to earning from bodybuilding — but only if you strive for your goals with 100 percent of your mental and physical abilities.

We can make our bodybuilding efforts true masterpieces if we are determined. What will it take? It will take commitment and perseverance — just like Cameron possessed when he made Titanic. You will need courage, persistence, and flexibility. Earning the physique you truly desire will require effective strategies in the areas of training, nutrition, and supplementation. You must also have exceptional organizational skills to incorporate everything you have found successful into an easy-to-follow plan.

Did success come easily for Cameron? Was he an overnight sensation? Certainly not. Cameron invested several years of his life engrossed in learning everything he could about the legendary vessel. He interviewed literally hundreds of people to create his perception of the story line. While constructing the movie sets, Cameron's attention to intricate, historical detail was phenomenal.

Cameron went well above and far beyond what an average director would do under the same circumstances. He understood that if he were to exert an average amount of effort, he would achieve average results—at best. This director was not about to settle for anything less than outstanding results. He took many risks in order to make Titanic the treasure he had envisioned. Cameron persuaded his production studio to invest over 200 million dollars to make his dream a reality. He even gambled on forfeiting his lucrative eightmillion-dollar director's salary and percentage of the gate receipts when the studio became greatly concerned about the amount of money the movie was costing to make.

If you want to do what an average bodybuilder does, I'll save you a lot of time trying to figuring that out. Average bodybuilders give average effort—but spend a lot of time trying to convince themselves and others that they are really giving 100 percent. Average bodybuilders whine about being hardgainers, instead of appreciating their gifts and focusing on better ways to improve the areas that offer the most challenges. Average bodybuilders are convinced that everyone who has a better physique than they do must be taking drugs. I have the feeling that you want to be more than just an average bodybuilder. Am I right?

As a bodybuilder, you will be required to make major sacrifices in order to achieve outstanding development. You must spend time and energy becoming a student who is constantly learning the latest advancements in training, nutrition, and supplementation. You will need to invest money in books and magazines, the proper amount of nutritious foods, and effective supplements. This investment of your income may be considered excessive to many people around you. And of course, you will also need to dedicate a considerable amount of time training with weights, doing cardiovascular exercise, preparing food, and planning your day.

You may also have to take risks if you want your hard work to eventually pay off. There will be times when you must get out of your safety zone and try different methods. As you try to take yourself to a higher level, some of these new strategies have the potential of slowing down or even halting your progress. But these are the chances you may need to take from time to time. One thing is certain: You cannot merely do what the average person will do. Not if you want outstanding results. Not if you want to create a masterpiece.

It is my belief that most of us would become just as dedicated to our bodybuilding as Cameron was to Titanic—if
there were an absolute, 100 percent guarantee that we would be rewarded for doing so. With this kind of certainty, I have little doubt people who might otherwise be described as big disappointments would suddenly become astonishing success stories. Unfortunately, that's not how life works. There are no such guarantees.

You must develop this absolute certainty within yourself. You must create your own references that you are indeed destined for greatness. If you speak with those who have become successful in bodybuilding, business, school, or in any other area of life, they have had the uncanny ability to develop remarkable confidence and certainty within themselves. Usually they have done so long before they had any proof or evidence they should have such feelings.

Cameron would not succumb to doing what conventional thinking dictated. The media attacked him unmercifully over the amount of time and money the movie was absorbing. Some of the press even predicted Titanic would become the biggest box office flop in history.

You can be assured there will be some people along the way who will challenge your dedication and willingness to dream. They will try to discourage you from putting your heart and soul into just one area of your life. Some of these individuals will do so out of legitimate concern for you, while others will be trying to meet their own agendas. But if you conform to the beliefs and opinions of others, you will only be able to manage the same mediocrity that most people suffer in their lives. Toning down your dreams because you have bought into the limiting beliefs of others will not make your bodybuilding efforts an endeavor of lasting value.

Staying faithful to your dreams will eventually have its rewards. By taking the time to read this book, you are showing that you have a passion for bodybuilding. I also bet that you have shared your love for training and living a healthy lifestyle with others.

From my personal experience, I have discovered the best way to become successful is to become sincerely interested in helping others succeed. This is also a very effective strategy to recruit others to your environment of supportive people or "team." The more members you have on your team, the easier it will be to achieve success.

Not only did Titanic bolster Cameron's self-esteem, career, and bank account, his work elevated everyone who was associated with his movie. The tremendous success of the film catapulted virtually everyone involved to a higher level of fulfillment and achievement. This deed would have been impossible if the director had planned on serving only his own interests when developing the project.

Sharing your passion and knowledge for bodybuilding will contribute to your success in many ways. First of all, it will make you hold yourself to a higher standard because you are now forced to practice what you preach or "walk your talk." Secondly, other people will want to help you succeed because they appreciate you helping them. Contributing to others also makes bodybuilding a much more rewarding experience than merely developing big muscles or winning a trophy. You will become a "people builder," which in my opinion, is just as satisfying.

In my value system, Cameron has won the ultimate victory life has to offer. When James Cameron takes his last breath many years from now, he can look back on his life knowing he has given the world a gift of tremendous value. He has the comfort of knowing he gave 100 percent doing what he loved to do most.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali once confessed, "I hated every minute of the training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.

Let me ask you a question: If you were to be totally honest with yourself, are you putting 100 percent effort into your training? Are you determined to make your bodybuilding a masterpiece, or have you been using a balanced, level-headed, or conservative approach?

If the latter, are you conserving your energy and focus for something more important in your life? I suggest that there may be a way to do more of the things you want to do if you are truly committed. Or are you restraining yourself out of fear? Are you bracing your fall and protecting yourself from the pain of potential disappointment? Are you guarding yourself from the possibility of grief if you give 100 percent and fail? Are you approaching your bodybuilding cautiously so you won't be embarrassed if others know you set an ambitious goal and came up short?

Bodybuilding with such reservations will not make your efforts a masterpiece. Balance is not going to create one either. Level headedness will never have a positive effect on other people's lives. When you are old and gray, your conservative efforts will not give you the satisfaction of knowing that you used your talents to their fullest potential when you had the chance.

Do you ever look back at times in your life and wish you had tried harder at anything? Have you ever thought about what your life could be like now if you had put more effort into high school football, your education, or a hobby like playing a musical instrument? I know I have! Unfortunately, you can't go back in time and change what you have done or haven't done. You do, however, have the opportunity to take full advantage of this day forward and start focusing on becoming the best bodybuilder you can possibly be. Don't squander this precious time! Don't waste this special passion you have!

Now is the time to start creating your masterpiece! Deciding to do so will develop a physique that not only impresses others, but also will give you the satisfaction of knowing you gave 100 percent of your effort when you had this opportunity in your life. Your dedication to bodybuilding will make you feel as though you were "king of the world."

This strategy can soon spread to all areas of your life. Practice this mentality and you will start discovering that your whole life can transform into a magnificent masterpiece as well!