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Book: Greenlights

Author:  Matthew McConaughey

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Mconaughey, 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)

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