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We All Need More Greenlights In Our Lives

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I’ve never been a huge fan of audio books until I listened to Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. I’ll be honest. I choose this book because I love his voice.

I expect something kind of cheesy and somewhat campy. I thought there would be a lot about his career and how he worked so hard to get where he is today. And there is a bit of that. But there is so much more.

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What are “greenlights?”

In McConaughey’s words,

A green light is an affirmation, setting yourself up for success. A greenlight can be as simple as putting your coffee in the coffee filter before you go to bed so tomorrow morning all you’ve got to do is push the button.

Greenlights can come at any time. They may be unexpected, or you may have set yourself up to come across them. Like when you are driving, you might luck into a series of green lights on a busy street, that couldn’t possibly have been planned. Or, you might have altered your route a little to hit that traffic light on a certain corner because you know that the light is green longer than it is red when you travel in the right direction.

Life, Work, Family, and Love

Greenlights is not a self-help book. Not specifically anyway.

It’s more of an introspection of how life can go right if you’re watching for the green lights along the way. It’s encouragement to create your own green lights in your life.

Throughout his life, Matthew McConaughey has kept journals and diaries of his experiences and his thoughts. He’s a thinker. His journals and thoughts are kept in notebooks, on scraps of paper, and on diner napkins that, combined, created this book.

No topic out of bounds. He gets down to the nitty gritty. His faults are not something to be embarrassed about.

His family is mentioned often. I laughed when he talked about his mom and dad. Twice divorced, three times married — to each other. At the beginning he shares his memory of a fight his parents had that included blood and ketchup, yelling and laughter — and making love on the kitchen floor. While it is a funny story, it’s also about love that wins over everything else.

He talks about coming into manhood with his father. How his brothers did it and how he did it.

He shares the closeness between him and his brother, Pat.

Most actors talk about their struggle in finding their groove in their career. Many of them do crappy jobs. Not Matthew. He fell into one good situation after the other.

Remember when he disappeared for a few years? He was doing rom-coms like crazy and had hit after hit. Then…silence. He started coming back but many people didn’t even realize he was on the way back to hit movies because they were still watching the rom-coms. McConaughey started showing up in dramatic movies like The Paperboy and Mud. Where was he in between the rom-coms and the dramas? He was waiting patiently and enjoying time with his wife and children.

Speaking of his wife, I loved this story. She came into his life when he had given up on the idea of specifically looking for the right woman.

Greenlights is a must read

You don’t have to be a fan of Matthew McConaughey’s (what? who isn’t a fan? Ok — he might not be for everyone) to enjoy this book. His stories are encouraging, funny, inspiring, and thoughtful. I enjoyed it so much I’ve listened to it twice so far and I bought the hardcover so I can enjoy the words on the page.

Greenlights is not a self-help book. You may find helpful insights in it, as I did. But that’s not what it is.

It is a memoir. By definition, a memoir is a book about a person’s own life and experiences. So, it is logical to expect that the main focus is what happened to him and what he got out of it. If you don’t like books that are self-involved…well, you shouldn’t be reading a memoir!

Memos and Bumper Stickers

Throughout the book you’ll be exposed to Matthew’s memos and “bumper stickers.” These are short sayings that he lives by or little bits of thoughts from his observations. Personally, I loved those.

Here’s a few that stuck in my mind:

It’s better to jump than fall.

Stop dreaming. Start dealing.

Leave your scent.

It is not about win or lose, it is about `do you accept the challenge?`.

Turn the page. You are the author of your life.

I give this bookk 5 out of 5 stars. A great listen and a great read.

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Book Reviews