In late 2020, Matthew McConaughey published Greenlights, a sort of half memoir, half self-help book that he claims to have cobbled together from 40 years of journals over the course of 52 days in the desert without electricity. Whether that or anything else in the book is true is beside the point because it definitely reads like the product of someone who did that. It’s like sitting down after a very expensive but nevertheless entire bottle of scotch to get advice from the weirdest rich guy you know.

On being a rich white guy

​​“I have a lot of proof that the world is conspiring to make me happy.” 

On accepting fate but also changing fate and also magnetism

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.”

On bad tightrope walking advice

“​​We have to be thrown off balance to find our footing. It’s better to jump than fall. And here I am.”

On the laws of physics

All destruction eventually leads to construction, all death eventually leads to birth, all pain eventually leads to pleasure. In this life or the next, what goes down will come up.”

On the theory of relativity

Matthew McConaughey

(Moody College of Communication/Wikimedia Commons)

Navigating the autobahn of life in the best way possible is about getting relative with the inevitable at the right time. The inevitability of a situation is not relative; when we accept the outcome of a given situation as inevitable, then how we choose to deal with it is relative.”

On the secret to success (just always make the right decisions)

We either persist and continue in our present pursuit of a desired result, pivot and take a new tack to get it, or concede altogether and tally one up for fate. We push on, call an audible, or wave the white flag and live to fight another day. The secret to our satisfaction lies in which one of these we choose to do when.”

On Darwinism and somehow also political correctness

Matthew McConaughey

(GabboT/Wikimedia Commons)

People, individuals, believe in themselves, want to survive, and on a Darwinistic level at least, want to have more, of ourselves. Initially, this is a visual choice. The where, what, when, and who … to our why. Upon closer inspection, which is the upfall of the politically correct culture of today, we learn to measure people on the competence of their values that we most value. When we do this, the politics of gender, race, and slanderous slang take a back seat to the importance of the values we share.”

On … honestly, it’s anyone’s guess

Matthew McConaughey

(GabboT/Wikimedia Commons)

Too many options can make a tyrant out of any of us, so we should get rid of the excess in our lives that keep us from being more of ourselves. When we decrease the options that don’t feed us, we eventually, almost accidentally, have more options in front of us that do.”

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