Book:  Greenlights

Author:  Matthew McConaughey

Purchase:  PrinteBook | Audiobook

Citation:   McConaughey, M. (2020). Greenlights. New York: Crown.

Key Ideas & Big Takeaways:

  • 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. And while I was going crazy, I kept telling myself that there was a lesson I was put there to learn, that there was a silver lining in all of it, that I needed to go through hell to get to the other side, and I did. We cannot fully appreciate the light without the shadows. (pg. 82)

  • 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 less impressed and more involved in these things - and the sooner we get better at them. We must be more happy then just happy to be here. (pg. 111)

  • One of the great freedoms of trailer life is that you can hitch up, leave, and find a new backyard whenever you want. Chase down sporting events, concerts, and wake up to a grizzly bear out your window in Idaho. But you also need a place to get your mail. I especially liked Golden, Colorado summers and Austin, Texas autumns, so I got a PO Box at a park in each one. These two destinations served as home base for me, two addresses where I would stop and stay awhile, read my mail, hardwire to city amps and water, hang out with old friends, and plan our next adventure. (pg. 172)

  • A period of 22 days with very limited spoken English and mostly pantomime conversations gave me a solidarity yet communal experience that made me feel more at home than I ever had before, and I got my wink back. With my tolerance for verbose vanities not far above zero, I knew the re-entry into my fast-paced and privileged life back in Hollywood was going to be a challenge. No longer interested in transient whimsy and city life, I was ready to move on from The Chateau. (pg. 209)

  • In 2006 Matthew McConaughey met his future wife. At the time, Matthew was 37 years old, while his wife was 23 years old. (pg. 229)

  • My 40s were a much more affirming decade, years when I started to play offense with truce I had learned and put them into action. An era when I doubled down on what bed me. This was a time when old hardships revealed themselves as good fortune, a time when the green light beamed brighter because I gave them more power to shine. I did what I needed, I lived to learn. I thrived. (pg. 286)