Inspiration From the McConaugh-ssance

 “No cheatin’ the man in the glass.”

 

I’m sorry, but does it get much better than Matthew McConaughey?

For years I’ve admired so much the gracious spirit, grounded confidence, and positive energy with which this guy lives his life. Has he made questionable career decisions and stumbled at times? Sure. But he’s always struck me as someone who appreciates and learns from all of those moments – the good, the bad, the humiliating or those of the highest success. He’s on the short list for me as an answer to that age-old question – if I could have a cup of coffee (or lunch or a beer or whatever) with anyone, who would it be? And there’s a reason we named our beloved dog (Oakley Barksdale McConaughey Sutton) after him.

Esquire Magazine - November 2016

I’ve read several profiles on McConaughey, but this one from the November issue of Esquire Magazine is easily my favorite yet.

First of all, his anecdote about religion resonated with me in a big way. It helps articulate, to a certain extent, the way I feel about the Bible as the “OG” personal development guide, and Christianity as a powerful roadmap to fulfillment:

“What interests me about the Bible,” he says, “is not the burning bushes, but finding the literal road maps to satisfaction, success, health . . . they are all over the Bible.”

I love the way he describes his experience as “the lone frat boy” in drama school. Rather than let that shake his confidence or force him to conform to those social norms and pressures, he used that perception and his personality to (albeit with some luck) land his breakthrough gig in Dazed and Confused.

Now I’m fired up to learn more about, and get involved with, his foundation, the J.K. Livin Foundation. The name comes from his famous line from Dazed and Confused, a line he improvised and which was inspired from his father who died during filming.

And finally, this poem he shared as part of the interview is just fantastic.

“The Guy In the Glass.”

When you get what you want in your struggle for self, and the world makes you King for a day, then go to the mirror and look at yourself, and see what that guy has to say. For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife, whose judgment upon you must pass. The feller whose verdict counts most in your life is the guy staring back from the glass. He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest, for he’s with you clear up to the end. And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test if the guy in the glass is your friend. You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum, and think you’re a wonderful guy. But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum if you can’t look him straight in the eye. You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years, and get pats on the back as you pass. But your final reward will be heartaches and tears if you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

Check out the full profile here.

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