Green Lights & What Matthew Is Talking About
It’s been on my list for the past two years and as I opened the first few pages, stories from podcasts, Youtube videos and random articles came flooding into my mind. I recognised that although I had been listening to lots shared by Matthew McConaughy, I wasn’t sure what the book would be letting me in for.
What is a Greenlight and why on earth was I learning about it from a random memoir of the guy from ‘How to lose a guy in ten days’?!
It’s worth it I promise.
McConaughey described the book as a collection of “stories, prayers, poems, people and places and a whole bunch of bumper stickers.” The book includes stories and insights from McConaughey’s life in chronological order.
Firstly, let’s clarify. A Greenlight is one of the many pointers, positive signs or elements of our own intuition throughout our lives that keep us going (or not going) down a particular path. As we navigate our existence, we can never know for sure that we are making the 100% best decision. We can however, make any decision based on the data and self guidance being made available to us. This is what Matthew talks about as he shares happenings from his own life of 50 years to date.
His upbringing, relationships, career and family life are all stories told throughout. How values have been followed, honesty defined and authenticity ensured make for a clear path of what can be deemed success for McConaughey.
Take his career change from romantic comedies to more ‘serious’ movies. Matthew decided that he was done being the buff, handsome rom com guy. Therefore, he went to his agent one day and said that he didn’t want to accept any further scripts of this genre. The next 14 months, he was inundated with offers of 7,8 and up to 14 million dollar contracts to entice him into the genre he had come to be identified with. At that later point, he started to wonder, ‘would he make it to where he desired or would he need to leave Hollywood altogether?’.
After that 14 month period, Dallas Buyers’ Club script came along and well, we all know the story. It was hugely successful and Matthew won an award for it. He did it. He totally redefined himself while sticking by his values and what was right for him in his life and career.
The reason I share this story and honestly, tell so many of my friends about it in order to inspire somewhat, is that often, we can be carrying on down a particular path and think that is the way we need to keep on going despite it not feeling right for us. It can be tempting to deliberately ignore our intuition. We have said we’d do something and so, we don’t want to be a quitter or indeed, be seen as moving in a new direction. We stay comfortable.
Our intuition and inner-wisdom is strong. We know what is right and wrong for us and identifying this (number one) and owning it are imperative to our peace of mind.
Key take aways from Matthew and his shares will hopefully guide you too (even if you don’t get a chance to read the book).
Do not half ass it. Whatever you lean into, do it 100% and give it your best. If it works out, you’ll know it’s because you gave it your best. If it fails, at least you’ll know you’ve tried and you’ll have learned from it.
Life is not easy. It is not and it will never be. Accept this truth. Be brave, have courage and recognise that you are facing your fears and getting stronger in a situation that puts you out of your comfort zone.
There is great value in spending time alone. It may get boring and this is an opportunity to sit in the discomfort, check in with what you are thinking and recognising if there is work to be done. It will lead you to the point of ‘okay, I’m good with me again’.
Don’t leave crumbs and spend time in your life looking over your shoulder because you’ve been dishonest, inauthentic or unkind in a situation or relationship. Be genuine, go for what you feel is right and say goodbye to the behaviours, thoughts and outcomes that do not serve you.
Here is a wonderful speech with some of the advice I’ve shared.
Alright, alright, alright.