Best known for his roles in romantic comedies, the more recent work of Matthew McConaughey has proven him to be one of the finest actors of our time. An Academy Award winner for his performance in Dallas Buyer’s Club, he’s had exceptional turns in the TV-series True Detective and in movies like Interstellar and, my personal favorite, The Gentlemen.
McConaughey recently put out a quasi-autobiography titled Greenlights that talks to how he got into the movie business (almost by accident), with insider details on some of the roles he’s played and the movies he’s been in. But what I find most interesting is his non-biographical stuff, his personal ramblings on God, life, sex, etc. Many of his ideas are quirky, like this twisty passage:
The Goddess of luck is fortune,
fortune is the Sister of fate,
fate is the Divine Order,
and the Divine Order is God.
So, as far as I can tell,
if you believe in luck,
you believe in God.
Yet, more than a few of the actor/author’s musings resonated with me, like the four life tips I’m featuring below. I wrote the bold headlines, but the rest of the words belong to McConaughey, with some light editing on my part. As you may deduce, McConaughey has a firm grasp on what really matters in life—and a colorful way of explaining it.
4 Valuable Life Tips from Matthew McConaughey
- Remember: You deserve all the good that comes into your life.
Don’t create imaginary constraints. A leading role, a blue ribbon, a winning score, a great idea, the love of your life, euphoric bliss, who are you to think you don’t deserve these fortunes when they are in your grasp? Who are you to think you haven’t earned them?
- To make any kind of important life decision, you’ve got to have the right mindset.
First, you have to put yourself in the place to receive the truth. This noisy world we live in, with its commitments, deadlines, to-do lists, and expectations make it hard to get clarity and peace of mind, famous or not. So you have to consciously put yourself in a place to receive that clarity. Whether that’s a prayer, meditation, a walkabout, being in the right company, a road trip, whatever it is for each of us. You then have to be aware enough to receive it, and conscious enough to recognize it. It will arrive nameless because it is clear, omnipresent, unanimous, and infinite. It usually lands like a butterfly, quick and quiet. Let it in.
- For a contented life, first define what success means to you.
We all want to succeed. The question you need to ask yourself is, what is success to me? More money? A healthy family? A happy marriage? Helping others? To be famous? Spiritually sound? To express yourself? To create art? To leave the world a better place than you found it?
“What is success to me?” Continue to ask yourself that question. Your answer may change over time and that is fine, but do yourself this favor: Whatever your answer is, don’t choose anything that will jeopardize your soul. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don’t spend time with anything that antagonizes your character. Be brave, take the hill, but first answer the question, “What is my hill?”
- Every day is a new chance to get it right.
You ever get in a rut? Stuck on the merry-go-round of a bad habit? I have. You are going to make mistakes—own them, make amends, and move on. Guilt and regret kill many a person before their time. Get off the ride. You are the author of the book of your life. Turn the page.