April 29, 2022

Greenlights

I made 63 highlights while reading Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. The book will give you insights into living a fulfilling life.
  • If you know how and when to deal with life's challenges - how to get relative with the inevitable - you can enjoy a state of success I call 'catching greenlights'.

  • 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.

  • I never wrote things down to remember. I always wrote things down so I could forget.

  • I believe the truth is only offensive when we're lying.

  • We can catch more greenlights by simply identifying where the red lights are in our life. Then, change course to hit fewer of them.

  • We can earn greenlights, engineer and design for them.

  • Catching greenlights is also about timing: the world's timing and ours.

  • Sometimes catching greenlights is about fate.

  • I believe everything we do in life is part of a plan. Sometimes the plan goes as intended, and sometimes it doesn't. That's part of the plan. Realizing this is a greenlight in itself.

  • All destruction eventually leads to construction. All death eventually leads to birth. All pain eventually leads to pleasure.

  • It's a matter of how we see the challenge in front of us and how we engage with it. Persist, pivot, or concede. It's up to us, our choice every time.

  • My parents taught me that I was named my name for a reason. They taught me not to hate. To never say I can't. To never lie.

  • A denied expectation hurts more than a denied hope. A fulfilled hope makes us happier than a fulfilled expectation. Hope's got a higher return on happiness and less debit on denial. It's just not as measurable. My parents measured.

  • I come from a loving family. We may not have always liked each other, but we always loved each other.

  • She always told us, "Don't walk into a place like you wanna buy it, walk in like you own it."

  • I'd rather lose money having fun than make money being bored.

  • Only later did I come to realize that the suffering and loneliness I experienced would be one of the most important sacrifices of my life.

  • Life's hard. Shit happens to us. We make shit happen.

  • It was a crisis. I just didn't give the crisis credit.

  • We cannot fully appreciate the light without the shadows. We have to be thrown off balance to find our footing. It's better to jump than fall. And here I am.

  • I didn't want to miss my twenties preparing for the rest of my life.

  • I will form good habits and become their slave.

  • At the end of the semester, I received a C in every class on my college transcript. But, I learned a lot more than when I was making A's.

  • Fuck y'all for saying something is shit just because it's popular.

  • Losing my father, like it is for many, was my most seminal rite of passage into manhood.

  • The sooner we become less impressed with our life, our accomplishments, our career, our relationships, the prospects in front of us - the sooner we become more involved with these things - the sooner we get better at them. We must be more than just happy to be here.

  • I never bet enough to change my lifestyle. Just enough to buy a ticket to the game, meaning enough to make me want to watch it closely and give a damn - enough to get a buzz.

  • I started taking acting classes for the first time because I thought it was time to start learning the craft I had practically fallen into.

  • The new intellectual exercise had me getting in my way.

  • That's what I've been missing, I said to myself. Enough of this academic, tight-minded, learned studying shit I've been doing: it's time to return to my roots.

  • I did learn a good lesson that day, though. We have to prepare to have freedom. We have to do the work, to then do the job. We have to prepare for the job so we can be free to do the work.

  • Sometimes we don't need advice. Sometimes we just need to hear we're not the only ones.

  • One of my strengths has always been that I can find an angle on anything. But now, with the ability to do almost anything, that strength was a weakness. Every project looked possible to me.

  • All I want is what I can see. All I can see is in front of me.

  • You know how it is when you're up to nothing; no good's usually next.

  • An existential crisis? I'd call it an existential challenge: one I was up for.

  • It's better to play your own game in the business of Hollywood than to do your business playing Hollywood's game.

  • A double whammy of African proverbs: They are not trying to win arguments of right or wrong. They are trying to understand each other. That's different. (Hey, America, we could learn from this.)

  • "It is not about win or lose: it is about do you accept the challenge," Issa said as he looked at me and smiled. "When you did that, you already won."

  • It was a spiritual sign, a message to surrender, to quit trying so intentionally to find the perfect woman for me. Rather, concede to the natural selection process of finding her, her finding me, or not.

  • I had five things on my proverbial desk to tend to daily: family, foundation, acting, a production company, and a music label. I felt like I was making B's in all five. By shutting down the production company and the music label, I eliminated two of my five commitments with plans to make A's in the other three.

  • Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.

  • Being surrounded by senior citizens will remind you of your mortality and make you feel younger at the same time.

  • Death, family crisis, and newborns. The end of a life, trying to keep a life, and welcoming in a new one. Those are three things that will shake your floor, give you clarity, remind you of your mortality. Hence, give you the courage to live harder, stronger, and truer.

  • When facing any crisis, from Hurricane Katrina to a family emergency, to the profound choices we have to make in life, I've found that a good plan is first to recognize the problem. Then, stabilize the situation, organize the response, then respond.

  • The honeymoon, like Hollywood, is an animated movie. It's larger than life, not a reality we should expect to see once we exit the theatre.

  • If I couldn't do what I wanted, I wasn't going to do what I didn't, no matter the price.

  • The anonymity and unfamiliarity had bred creativity. Casting Matthew McConaughey as the defence attorney in The Lincoln Lawyer was now a fresh thought. Going to McConaughey for the lead in Killer Joe was now a novel notion.

  • The target drew the arrow. I was remembered by being forgotten. I had unbranded. I was a rediscovery, and now it was time to invent. My sacrifice was complete. I had weathered the storm. Organized, I knew what I wanted, and I was ready to respond. It was time for me to say yes and rebrand. Fuck the bucks. I'm going for the experience.

  • With humour, Jean-Marc exposed humanity.

  • We made Dallas Buyers Club for 4.9 million dollars in twenty-five days.

  • "Good question. I do want to marry Momma. I just don't feel the need to. If I marry Momma, I wanna feel like I need to. I don't want to do it because that's what we're supposed to do or because I merely want to. I wanna do it when that's what I need to do."

  • For the first time in my life, I got the courage to look at marriage, not as a final destination, rather as a new expedition, an affirmative and heartfelt choice to become more, together, with the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The only mother I wanted to be rocking with on my eighty-eighth birthday.

  • The more successful I became, the soberer I got. I liked my company so much I didn't want to interrupt it.

  • There's a little bad in the good parts and a little good in the bad parts.

  • Places are like people. They each have a particular identity.

  • I was more alive in my movies than in my life. The stories in my profession seemed more vibrant than the story I was living. Impressions in the mirror. Time to make a change. So I made a plan.

  • I did what I needed; I lived to learn. I thrived.

  • I value culture and a culture of values. I also believe in the value of doing something well.

  • Bipartisan and nondenominational values are not only guiding principles we can all agree on; they are the fundamental ethics that bring people together.

  • When we are competent at our values and place more value on competence, we create a more valuable society. That means more return on our investment, us.

  • I haven't made all A's in the art of living, but I give a damn, and I'll take an experienced C over an ignorant A any day.

  • 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 living.