190530 Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger Image Credit: AFP

Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger grew up in a small town in Austria, and the actor said his difficult childhood actually helped to shape his personality.

In his new motivational book, ‘Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life’, excerpts of which have been shared with People, Arnold explains: “My mother was very loving. My father was strict, and he could be physically abusive, but I loved him very much. It was complicated.”

He shared that he thinks a lot about how different his life could have been if he “wasn’t a positive person, if I’d responded differently to my upbringing. I didn’t have a hot shower or regular meat in my diet until l left for the army as a teenager,” reports femalefirst.co.uk.

The actor said: “My daily morning routine involved fetching water and chopping firewood, which was brutal in the wintertime and earned me exactly zero sympathy from my father, who’d been through much worse when he was a kid. There were no free passes in Gustav Schwarzenegger’s house. No free meals either. I had to do two hundred knee bends every morning just to ‘earn’ my breakfast.”

Arnold learned some important life lessons from his childhood struggles.

The actor, who moved to the US in the 1960s, shared: “Even with the undeniably bad things, I choose to remember that they were a big part of what drove me to escape, to achieve, to become the person I am today.”

“If my childhood was just a little bit better, you might not be holding this book right now. And if it was a little bit worse, you might not be holding it either, because I could have fallen down the same rabbit hole of alcoholism that my brother fell down, which eventually cost him his life in a drunk-driving accident in 1971. I owe a lot to my upbringing. I was made for it and made by it.”