Hello friends. This is post is a collection of quotes from the Greenlights book by Matthew McConaughey. Greenlights is an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.
I'm not perfect; no, I step in shit all the time and recognize it when I do. I've just learned how to scrape it off my boots and carry on.
There are a lot of things I didn't do as a kid that I shouldn't have done, because I didn't want to get my ass whupped. I also know that I did a lot of things as a kid that I should have done, because I wanted my parents' praise and adulation. Consequences, they work both ways.
Knowin the truth, seein the truth, and tellin the truth, are all different experiences.
We need discipline, guidelines, context, and responsibility early in any new endeavor. It's the time to sacrifice. To learn, to observe, to take heed. If and when we get knowledge of the space, the craft, the people, and the plan, then we can let our freak flag fly, and create.
Knowing who we are is hard. Eliminate who we're not first, and we'll find ourselves where we need to be.
We need finites, borders, gravity, demarcations, shape, and resistance, to have order. This order creates responsibility. The responsibility creates judgment. The judgment creates choice. In the choice lies the freedom.
DNA and work. Genetics and willpower. Life's a combination. Some get the genes but never the work ethic or resilience. Others work their ass off but never had the innate ability. Others have both and never rely on the first.
Travel and humanity have been my greatest educators. They have helped me understand the common denominator of mankind. Values. Engage with yourself then engage with the world. Values travel. And sometimes we get a stamp in our passport just by crossing the street.
Days of prosperity make us forget adversity. Good times seem out of reach during the bad ones. Both can seem like final destinations, the summation of our days. Then the cosmic joker plays with our ways, Yesterday's condition no longer remains, All commas, no periods, all stops, no stays, the pleasure's for rent and so is the pain.
People wonder how to make it in life. First of kin with innate ability and a lotta hard work. Yes. But don't forget the steam. The undefined asterisk and intangible. Some call it juice. Some call it magic. The genie's in the magic. The magic's in the steam.
Robert Frost was right, taking the road less traveled can make all the difference. But that road isn't necessarily the road with the least traffic. It may be the road that we, personally, have traveled less. The introvert may need to get out of the house, engage with the world, get public. The extrovert may need to stay home and read a book. Sometimes we need to get out there, sometimes we need to get in there. Some days our road less traveled is a solitary dirt trail. On others it's the subway on the 7 line.
We are all made for every moment we encounter. Whether the moment makes us or we make the moment. Whether we are helpless in it or on top of it, the predator or the prey. We are made for that moment.
Don't create imaginary constraints. A leading role, a blue ribbon, a winning score, a great idea, the love of our life, euphoric bliss, who are we to think we don't deserve these fortunes when they are in our grasp? Who are we to think we haven't earned them?
God, when I cross the truth, give me the awareness to receive it, the consciousness to recognize it, the presence to personalize it, the patience to preserve it, and the courage to live it.
I've never cared much for destinations. The idea of landing is too finite for my imagination and sense of song. Give me a direction and a sixteen-lane highway with room to swerve and explore along the way. Like jazz, I prefer to see life as a river.
Behind the steering wheel has always been my favorite seat, and driving the highways of America has always been my ideal office.
Common sense is like money and health, once you have it, you have to work to keep it.
Nobody gets in trouble for what they do, they only get into trouble when they get caught. The art is in gettin away with it. The outlaw don't live on the edges, he lives in the center, cruisin through the slipstream.
Sometimes which choice you make is not as important as making a choice and committing to it.
We must be aware of what we attract in life because it is no accident or coincidence. The spider waits in his web for dinner to come. Yes, we must chase what we want, seek it out, cast our lines in the water, but sometimes we don't need to make things happen. Our souls are infinitely magnetic.
Man is never more masculine than after the birth of his first child. Not macho. Masculine. After his firstborn, a new father's head, heart, and gut are more aligned than they have ever been. His five senses on the same frequency, his intuition is in tune, he should engrave any instinct he has for the next six months - personal, financial, spiritual, or career. He should trust that he kn-owwws and kn-owww that he can tell the future, because now, for the first time in his life, he is livin for it and it is livin for him.
In Hollywood, if you pass on too many projects, they may quit asking. If you step out of your lane, and turn your back on what you're successful at, the industry can turn its back on you. They don't mind seeing you miss the bus because there's plenty of people to take your seat. Again, it's not personal, it's just business.
If we all made sense of humor the default emotion, we'd all get along better.
I believe trying to maintain a honeymoon glow in a relationship is a fool's errand fantasy. Worse yet, it's unfair to the two lovers trying to maintain it. It's a 120-watt bulb that burns too hot to last. No one can live up to the pedestal we put them on if we always put them on one.
An honest man's pillow is his peace of mind, and when we lie down on ours at night, no matter who's in our bed, we all sleep alone.
We're all storytellers in the movie business. That's what we do. We play make-believe. And when we do it well, we make you believe.
There's a difference between art and self-expression. All art is self-expression. All self-expression is not art.
I began to notice that the characters and films I was doing were feeling more vital than who I was and the story that was my life. In my career now, I was more than an entertainer, I was an actor, an artist. And that satisfied me. My career was full. Wild. Dangerous. Essential. Consequential. Lively. I laughed louder, cried harder, loved bigger, loathed deeper, and felt more in the characters I was playing in the movies than the man I was livin in my life.
My first twenty years were where I learned the value of values. Through discipline and deep affection, I learned respect, accountability, creativity, courage, perseverance, fairness, service, good humor, and a spirit of adventure in ways that some people might consider abusive, but I remember as tough love, and I wouldn't give back one ass whupping I ever got for the value of the values my parents impressed upon me. I thank them for that.
I haven't made all A's in the art of livin, but I give a damn, and I'll take an experienced C over an ignorant A any day.
We all have scars, we'll get more. So rather than struggle against time and waste it, let's dance with time and redeem it, because we don't live longer when we try not to die, we live longer when we're too busy livin.
Life is our résumé. It is our story to tell, and the choices we make write the chapters. Can we live in a way where we look forward to looking back?