McConaughey released his part philosophy, part memoir book on October 20, 2020, and I binge-listened to it on Audible last week. The book is chock-full of crazy stories, outlaw words of wisdom, and lessons learned about living with greater satisfaction. The storytelling is amazing. The book is probably going to be touted as mostly an actor’s memoir, but it is way more than that. The Academy Award-winning actor shares not only his memories but his philosophy on life, which he calls “catching greenlights.” He uses this traffic light metaphor for living as a way to fully examine one’s life. How can we get better at catching green lights, and otherwise “navigate the road of life” to success and satisfaction? Red and yellow lights are things that slow or halt our momentum.
McConaughey summarizes his philosophy in this way: “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.”
If you watch McConaughey’s movies, you are often left wondering if he is just playing himself in some of these flicks because he is just that good of an actor. Pair that with the infamous story of being arrested naked while playing the bongo drums, and one might have a pretty confusing picture of who Matthew McConaughey really is.
In reading this book, McConaughey shares his 50 plus years on the planet with the reader. Everything from his upbringing in Texas as an adventurous kid born into a tough-love family full of rule-breakers, to his transformative journeys to Australia, Peru, and Mali, to his early days in Hollywood and meteoric rise to fame. McConaughey also shares how his life experiences have taught him the importance of values, the power of experiences, and, as he puts it, “either changing your reality or changing how you see it.”
Greenlights is a great book to live vicariously through while trying to figure out how we can have our own adventures. It also allows the reader to contemplate their own life experiences and put them into perspective. I really enjoyed the book, and I hope you’ll check it out.