Lessons for Life

Matthew McConaughey Motivational Speech and Lessons For Life
Copied in its entirety from Fearless Motivation, September 27, 2017

Matthew McConaughey has lived a life of great success, a life many would dream about living. Here he shares his greatest life lessons in one of the best commencement speeches ever, at the University of Houston.

1. Life Isn’t Easy or Fair

Nothing good in life ever comes easy. Think about the last time you worked hard for a particular goal. How did it feel to finally achieve it? Don’t feel entitled to things and don’t play the victim. As Muhammad Ali said once, the service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

Take full responsibility for what is good and bad in your life and keep moving forward. Don’t expect life to be easy. When you’re a hard worker, it doesn’t matter if life is hard.

2. “Unbelievable” is the Stupidest Word in the Dictionary

Never be too flabbergasted by anything that you fail to give credit to the person who created it. For example, Elon Musk’s plan to dig down the surface of the earth and building cascading lanes for traffic sounds “unbelievable”.

But if you look closely, there’s nothing unbelievable. It’s an exceptional feat but anything is possible with human creativity. Think about the invention of airplanes, the electric bulb, internet, virtual reality – it’s all unbelievable until you realize your own power.

3. Happiness is Different Than Joy

“If happiness is what you’re after, then you are going to be let down frequently and be unhappy much of your time. Joy, though, is something else. It’s not a choice, not a response to some result, it is a constant. Joy is “the feeling we have from doing what we are fashioned to do,” no matter the outcome.”

Happiness is a response to an external outcome – getting a raise at work, seeing the face of your newborn, or meeting an old friend after a long time. It is a conditional, an if-then thing. But joy, we feel, when we are doing something that we are meant to do. For some, it is playing sports, for others, it is building an exceptional physique.

As they say, follow your bliss. Find what you enjoy in life and do more of it. Matthew McConaughey says that when he started to enjoy the making of a movie, the deed itself, instead of treating it as a means to an end, i.e. the respect of his peers or awards, he surprisingly received more awards and more respect. In other words, when you can enjoy your craft, you’ll naturally work harder and the results will be great naturally.

4. Define Success For Yourself

“Whatever your answer is, don’t choose anything that will jeopardize your soul. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be.”

Matthew McConaughey says that we should always keep asking ourselves an important question: “What success means for me? It might be getting rich, raising a healthy family, a happy marriage, or attaining spiritual enlightenment.

“DON’T DRINK THE KOOL AID!!It tastes sweet today but it will give you cavities tomorrow. Life is not a popularity contest. Be brave, take the hill but first, answer the question, “What is my hill?”

5. Process of Elimination is the First Step to Our Identity

The first step to self-actualization, to discover who we are, is to first discover what we are not. It’s only by heading into the wrong direction and hitting a wall, people realize that they have to change their ways.

According to Matthew McConaughey,

“The first step that leads to our identity in life is usually NOT “I know who I am,” but rather “I know who I AM NOT.” Process of elimination.”

For example, sometimes you spend time with friends or colleagues who gossip a lot, complain a lot about how President Trump is ruining their lives, the dog on the street irritates them every morning, and how their spouse is the real reason they’re not making any progress at work.

When we realize that people or places make us feel unpleasant, it’s essential that we stop visiting them again. It’s essential to weed out “what you’re not” to become “what you are”.

6. DON’T LEAVE CRUMBS — and the beauty of delayed gratification

Crumbs are the choices we make today that haunt us in the future, they make us look over our shoulder. They makes us feel regret, guilt, and remorse. For example, you didn’t prepare well for the job and it breaks your spirit to see your colleague getting promoted but not you. You drank too much last night and now you fear that you will blow the presentation. Or you lied to your wife about where you are but she finds out from the text message on your phone later.

Matthew McConaughey says that instead of leaving crumbs for the future, why not plant seeds of goodness for the future. For example, you work harder than required on a project and it impresses the manager so much that they give you an even bigger opportunity.

So…let’s flip the script. Instead of creating outcomes that take FROM us, let’s create MORE outcomes that pay us BACK, fill us up, keep your fire lit, turn you ON, for the most amount of TIME in your future. These are the choices I speak of and this is the beauty of delayed gratification.” – Matthew McConaughey

7. DISSECT YOUR SUCCESSES (Gratitude Reciprocates)

According to Matthew McConaughey, the only time we stop and assess ourselves is when we fall down. We only gossip about others’ shortcomings, we only write in our diaries when we’re feeling sad.

But if we start to dissect our successes more often, we’ll find that we will have more successes. This is a lesson in gratitude. The more you thank the universe for what you have, the more you will have to thank for.

8. Make Voluntary Obligations

Society wants us to fulfill some responsibilities, to not deviate from morals and ethics, to become productive members of society. But the most important obligations are the ones we put on ourselves. Because when you deviate from your own values, it’ll be hard to go to sleep at night.

So make sure you always follow this personal protocol to have a peaceful life.

“An honest man’s pillow is his peace of mind, and when you lay down on the pillow at night, no matter who’s in our bed we ALL sleep alone. — These are your personal jiminy crickets. And there are not enough cops in the entire world to police them — It’s on YOU.” –  Matthew McConaughey

9. From Can to Want

Don’t say yes to opportunities just because you can. Say yes because you want to. Many people never leave jobs they hate because they can get promoted even though they don’t want to do the work. They’d be better off opening their own yoga studio or becoming a fitness coach, but they keep doing soulless work for money.

Say yes to what you want before it’s too late.

Consider the example of Peter Dinklage, the Lannister from Game of ThronesHe spent 6 years doing data processing, a job he hated to the core, before he finally took a low-paying acting gig. The point is that, never do things because they’re available to you, do them because you want to.

“Just because you CAN?… Nah… It’s not a good enough reason to do something. Even when it means having more, be discerning, choose it, because you WANT it, DO IT because you WANT to.” – Matthew McConaughey

10. A Roof is a Man Made Thing

“It’s because we have created a fictitious ceiling, a roof, to our expectations of ourselves, a limit — where we think it’s all too good to be true. BUT IT ISN’T. AND IT’S NOT OUR RIGHT TO SAY OR BELIEVE IT IS.” – Matthew McConaughey

We often put limitations on our abilities, our self-belief, on what we deserve. So when something beyond those limits happens to us, when we are called to interview for an influential position, when we get a chance to talk to our crush, we freeze inside and can’t control the situation.

But if we were instead focused on the experience, enJOYing the craft as discussed earlier, it wouldn’t matter. The point is to enjoy and focus on the process so much that you score a goal without making it a big deal. The goal, the “big moment” becomes just another part of the process.

11. Turn the page

We often keep running in circles in life. No matter how hard we try to change things for the better, something keeps us taking back to where we were. In this merry-go-round, what we have to realize is that we are the authors of our own story.

The mistake we make is that we believe we can’t change, change is hard, or external things are to blame. But if we realize our power, to create life on our own terms, then change will come easy. First we have to make the internal shift.

You ever get in a rut? Stuck on the merry-go-round of a bad habit? I have. You are going to make mistakes — own them, make amends, and move on. Guilt and regret kills many a man before their time. Turn the page, get off the ride. YOU are the author of the book of your life. Turn the page.”

12. Give Your Obstacles Credit

You don’t need to eliminate your fears or obstacles. Nah! Admit that they exist and then cross them anyway. When you reach the other side, you’ll realize how good you feel because you took that courageous step.

“Well, instead of denying these fears, declare them, say them out loud, admit them, give them the credit they deserve…..Find the courage to overcome them or see clearly that they are not really worth prevailing over.” – Matthew McConaughey

13. So how do we know when we cross the truth?

Matthew McConaughey takes 21-day trips by himself to get away from the noise of the world. He travels to places where nobody speaks his language and knows him by his name. These adventures serve as a purge, a cleansing ritual for him. He was tired, anxious, and confused about his newfound fame, so he went to Peru.

And on the 13th day, he “crossed the truth”.

As he was going for a walk, he turned a corner and there was this beautiful scenario – a thousand butterflies in front of him. No way further. He had an epiphany. He realized that “All I want is what I can see, and what I can see, is in front of me.” In that moment, he let go of all anxieties, guilt, anticipation and fully embraced the present moment.

To cross your own truth, you have to get away from the noise. Go away for a weekend to be with yourself and see what you find.

You see, I crossed a truth that morning. Did I find it? I don’t know, I think it found me. Why? Because I put myself in a place to be found. I put myself in a place to receive the truth.”

University of Houston Commencement Address

Visualize to Realize

We all know it’s true but it’s so hard to stay strong in the belief when things aren’t going as well as they could be. We’ve heard them all before:

  • We are what we think about most of the time.
  • That which you believe, you seek to prove.
  • Positive attracts positive and Negative attracts negative.
  • You reap what you sew.

Ashanti Johnson does a wonderful job explaining how she was able to fulfill her greatest dream in this video. She describes how she became very clear in what she wanted, down to the temperature and humidity in her dream gym. The clearer she got, the more doors and opportunities opened.

You have to see it and believe it. As you visualize, the key is to involve as many senses and emotions as you can so it feels like you’re actually experiencing the visualization. The subconscious can’t tell the difference between reality and thought.

You don’t have to worry about the how, just the what. When your subconscious begins to align with your conscious, things will start to happen to bring the subconscious and conscious in sync.

That which you believe, you seek to prove!

Meditation 101

I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, meditation is by far the number one change I’ve made in my life that has had the biggest impact on my life. Meditation is a game changer. It puts you in a whole different state of being and thinking.

I admit, I was a skeptic in the beginning but as I did more and more research and started actually practicing meditation I became a true believer. Within a few days of meditation I began to notice a difference. I felt lighter and happier and I didn’t get upset or anxious as quickly as I used to. Although, I am practicing meditation regularly, I am still always questioning whether I’m doing it correctly or whether I could do things differently. That’s how I ran across this three part video series. It explains how to meditate in a step by step method. It even tells you what to do if you get an itch, experience pain, or anything else while meditating that may distract you.

The one big question I’ve always had that was answered in the video series is, what do I think about while I’m meditating or do I think about anything. The videos do a great job of answering these types of questions. The videos are done very well. The amount of information per video is exactly right. They provide enough detail without getting too long. I highly recommend watching. I believe all of your questions will be answered.


Video 1 of 3
Video 2 of 3
Video 3 of 3

Visualization and Clarity – The Secret to Achieving Your Dreams

Do you have a dream? Do you have a goal you want to achieve? If you do, then this video is for you. This video does an amazing job of laying out what it takes to fulfill your dreams and achieve any goal. Ashanti is a fantastic presenter. She’s light and lively and you can feel her passion for helping people fulfill their dreams just like she did. In the video she describes the target for reaching your goals. The image below is my interpretation of what she was describing.

The first step is to visualize your dream. What do you want. Then you add clarity to it. Be as clear as you possibly can, from the smell of the room, the people around you, to the time of day. You must provide as much clarity as you can so your brain can’t tell imagination from reality. What your brain imagines, so shall it be. Finally, you must surround the vision with positive energy. You must KNOW you’re going to have it or achieve it. You must live like you already have it or have achieved it.

This quote is why you must surround your dream and life in general with positive energy. “You become what you think about most of the time.” Think negative and you’ll receive negative. Think positive and you’ll receive positive.

Energy Out = Energy In

The Fab Five – Do You Have Your Winning Team?

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Jim Rohn

Here is your Fab Five List:

  • Cheerleader
  • Mentor
  • Coach
  • Friend
  • Peer

Your cheerleader is the one who believes in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself.
Your mentor is the person constantly in your life to point you in the right direction. Not to be confused with cyber-mentors. They provide you with lots of information, but not necessarily clear direction.
Your coach is the one that makes you uncomfortable but pushes you to your maximum potential. They make you uncomfortable because they push you out of your comfort zone.
Your friend is the one person that knows your hearts truest desires.
Your peer is the one that helps you out in social situations.

I swear I could watch Stacey all day long. Her energy is infectious. I got so excited listening to her that I was ready to take on the world when she was done. She starts the video with a story about her Beyonce experience and I was captivated the entire time. Her transition into her Ted talk from the Beyonce story was fantastic. I’m writing this message while watching the video a second time. I will probably watch it a third time. Not just because I like listening to her, but also because her message is so insightful.

This is a must watch. I would definitely recommend it.

The Cup of Coffee that Changed His Life

A very awesome friend of mine shared this video with me and it really resonated with me. It resonated with me because I like to think this is how I choose to live my life. I live my life working hard at showing up at my best. Not necessarily at doing stuff, but at choosing to be happy and helpful. As Ryan says in the video, he was heavy in the heart and Lilly had no way of knowing it, but because she showed up, she made him feel better. To think, all she did was show him kindness. The sad part is, he was taken aback by her kindness at first. Why is that we are shocked when people are kind to us? There was a time when we were shocked when people were rude?

Smiles are like sneezes and yawns, once one person starts, we all just jump right in line and start doing the same. The real cool thing is, when you do catch the bug and you smile back, you feel like the weight on your shoulders just got a little lighter. What’s even crazier, when you start the chain and you make it a point to make someone else happier, the weight gets even lighter.

I’ll leave you with this to think about. I wear these silicone wrist bands with motivational messages on them and one of them says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Pretty awesome, right?! How are you showing up?

Thanks MC for caring enough for us, to send us this video. You’re the best!!

Failure is just an event, not a characteristic

This was another great interview. Her energy and likability reminds me of Rachel Hollis. It’s an interesting thing. There are certain people that you just seem to gravitate too. They have this aura about them that seems to draw you in. Well, that’s Marie Forleo. Her likability is through the roof. You immediately lock into what’s she’s saying and hang onto her every word.

The premise of the interview is just as the title suggests and that’s, don’t ever give up. Everything is figureoutable. You can do anything. Marie believes this quote is the master key to life. With these three words, you can get through any challenge put in front of you and become whoever you want to be. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen. With that said, I’ll share a quote with you. Although, it isn’t a quote she used, I think it is appropriate. It’s a quote by Michael Strahan, “You may not get what you want when you want it, but you will get it when you’re supposed to.” Wow, that’s really good.

Sorry, I digressed. As I was saying, this is another amazing interview. You’ll walk away from it feeling unstoppable. You’ll feel strong and confident. You will believe in yourself and that you can do anything!

Marie’s Three Simple Rules

  1. All problems or dreams are figureoutable
  2. If a problem isn’t figureoutable, it’s not a problem, it’s a fact of life.
  3. You may not care enough to solve this particular problem or reach that particular dream and that’s okay.

Amazing quotes by Marie

  • Everything is Figureoutable (Also her latest book).
  • Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
  • You don’t have to get it perfect. You just have to get it going.
  • If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.

Pushing Through Fear and Discomfort Using Leverage Questions

I just watched this video again to pull some nugget highlights out and it reminded me how much I love Trent Shelton and this interview. This interview is packed full of great information. The preview of the interview sums it up so well. Trent shares his feelings towards fear and how you must face your fears because on the other side is strength and growth. That is my new mantra. When I know I should do something at work but I keep procrastinating, I ask myself why and if it’s because I’m scared, I get up right then and I go do it. That’s the only way I’ll get past it. After a while it will become comfortable and I’ll just do those things.

Here is how Trent explains it in the interview. Fear is creating a known result before you experience something and if that’s the case then I need to create something better on the other side of that experience. If you haven’t experienced it yet, then it is still a thought, not a memory, so you can CHOOSE what you want the result to be. Trent also uses leverage questions to get himself and others to do things. He uses the leverage questions to help him confront fears by putting into question his negative thoughts. Helping him to realize they are just thoughts and realizing positive thoughts producing positive results are just as true, if not truer, then negative thoughts producing negative results.

This final thought should be put on a T-shirt. I’m paraphrasing a bit and putting it in my own words, but this is what I understand. Your life story will not be one chapter long. It’s going to be multiple chapters so you can’t let a few failures…learning moments define who you are. In another interview I will share with you later, Jason Mayden says it like this, there is no failure only learning opportunities.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. Trent is very wise beyond his years and is full of great insight. He also has a book out that I would suggest reading.

No One Can Want it More Than YOU

I know the title of the video says one thing, but this is about owning it. It’s about owning who YOU want to be and doing something about it. One of the best examples I can think of, this one particular day I was complaining about being overweight like I had been for some time. It was almost a daily mantra for me. We were leaving out of Starbucks by the office and it was a group of us and I said it again, “Man, I have got to lose some weight.” That’s when my friend said, “You say that s$#t everyday, why don’t you stop b!7@hing about it and do something.” That’s when everything changed. I changed my eating habits, I started working out – hard, and I started working on my mindset.

No one can want it more than YOU. YOU have to be the change maker, no one else. You have to take ownership of who and what you want to be. Until then, NOTHING will change. You will continue to be the same person you’ve always been. You have to get angry. It’s not until you get angry that anything is going to change. Angry at yourself. So much so that you will yourself into change. I don’t know who said it, but one of my favorite quotes goes something like this, “Life is very simple, but it isn’t easy.” Life is simple. You know what to do. It’s getting yourself to do it that’s the sucky part.

This has to be one of my favorites. I think I’ve watched it about three or four times. I love the way Rachel presents. It feels like a friend is talking to me, not someone yelling at me making me feel worse. She also makes it sound doable, like hey, I can do this. She also provides really good examples and how to’s on how to get organized and get this stuff done. I think you’ll like it too. She also has a couple books out that you may enjoy as well. I’ll put those under the Reading List Category.

Starting a Habit the Easy Way

Looking to start a new habit but not sure how or you don’t have much success at starting new habits? Then this video is for you. The presenter does a great job of presenting the information in easy to understand and humorous way. He breaks it down to the lowest level so it’s easy to understand and follow. He uses lots of graphics and examples, which also make it easy to understand.

The secret to starting a new habit is to start off small. Don’t try to eat the whole elephant in one bite. Don’t try to walk five miles on your first attempt to get back into shape. Maybe do a couple jumping jacks at first to get the habit to stick and then work your way up to running a marathon. Make the task uber easy and then you’ll most likely stick with it. Make it two hard and it will take too much effort to keep going.

Start a new habit that sticks.