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Follow the Author
Greenlights: Raucous stories and outlaw wisdom from the Academy Award-winning actor Kindle Edition
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
This is an approach book. I am here to share stories, insights, and philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it.
This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life. Adventures that have been significant, enlightening, and funny, sometimes because they were meant to be but mostly because they didn’t try to be. I’m an optimist by nature, and humor has been one of my great teachers. It has helped me deal with pain, loss, and lack of trust. I’m not perfect; no, I step in shit all the time and recognize it when I do. I’ve just learned how to scrape it off my boots and carry on.
We all step in shit from time to time. We hit roadblocks, we f*** up, we get f***ed, we get sick, we don’t get what we want, we cross thousands of “could have done better”s and “wish that wouldn’t have happened”s in life. Stepping in shit is inevitable, so let’s either see it as good luck, or figure out how to do it less often.
What is a greenlight?
Greenlights mean go—advance, carry on, continue.
On the road, they are set up to give the flow of traffic the right of way, and when scheduled properly, more vehicles catch more greenlights in succession. They say proceed.
In our lives, they are an affirmation of our way. They’re approvals, support, praise, gifts, gas on our fire, attaboys, and appetites. They’re cash money, birth, springtime, health, success, joy, sustainability, innocence, and fresh starts. We love greenlights. They don’t interfere with our direction. They’re easy. They’re a shoeless summer. They say yes and give us what we want.
Greenlights can also be disguised as yellow and red lights. A caution, a detour, a thoughtful pause, an interruption, a disagreement, indigestion, sickness, and pain. A full stop, a jackknife, an intervention, failure, suffering, a slap in the face, death. We don’t like yellow and red lights. They slow us down or stop our flow. They’re hard. They’re a shoeless winter. They say no, but sometimes give us what we need.
Catching greenlights is about skill: intent, context, consideration, endurance, anticipation, resilience, speed, and discipline. We can catch more greenlights by simply identifying where the red lights are in our life, and then change course to hit fewer of them. We can also earn greenlights, engineer and design for them. We can create more and schedule them in our future—a path of least resistance—through force of will, hard work, and the choices we make. We can be responsible for greenlights.
Catching greenlights is also about timing. The world’s timing, and ours. When we are in the zone, on the frequency, and with the flow. We can catch greenlights by sheer luck, because we are in the right place at the right time. Catching more of them in our future can be about intuition, karma, and fortune. Sometimes catching greenlights is about fate.
Navigating the autobahn of life in the best way possible is about getting relative with the inevitable at the right time. The inevitability of a situation is not relative; when we accept the outcome of a given situation as inevitable, then how we choose to deal with it is relative. We either persist and continue in our present pursuit of a desired result, pivot and take a new tack to get it, or concede altogether and tally one up for fate. We push on, call an audible, or wave the white flag and live to fight another day.
The secret to our satisfaction lies in which one of these we choose to do when.
This is the art of livin.
I believe everything we do in life is part of a plan. Sometimes the plan goes as intended, and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s part of the plan. Realizing this is a greenlight in itself.
The problems we face today eventually turn into blessings in the rearview mirror of life. In time, yesterday’s red light leads us to a greenlight. All destruction eventually leads to construction, all death eventually leads to birth, all pain eventually leads to pleasure. In this life or the next, what goes down will come up.
It’s a matter of how we see the challenge in front of us and how we engage with it. Persist, pivot, or concede. It’s up to us, our choice every time.
This is a book about how to catch more yeses in a world of nos and how to recognize when a no might actually be a yes. This is a book about catching greenlights and realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green.
By design and on purpose . . . Good luck. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B08DFKSZDF
- Publisher : Headline (20 October 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 139131 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 364 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #21,542 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from India
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By Amazon Customer on 20 October 2020
By Monika Bhargava on 18 July 2021
But I couldn’t really enjoy the Kindle ebook completely as many pages had pictures which were totally illegible in my Kindle and too tiresome to see on Kindle app(you have to constantly zoom in and out)
Wouldn’t recommend to buy Ebook. Can’t comment on the hard copy!
By Supriya Garg on 14 May 2021
Top reviews from other countries
“All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter more” What? Does this make you feel better. This statement was written at the end of the book. I would not have proceeded any further had it been at the beginning.
Born into the lower middle class in East Texas, McConaughey looks back nostalgically at a childhood few would envy. His parents divorced and remarried each other twice, he was subject to corporal punishment and money was always an issue. Yet he doesn’t complain about disadvantage. In fact he honors his parents despite their shortcomings. He adheres to a philosophy of choosing to recalibrate what seems like the inevitable until it turns into a green light or way forward in life.
After a rite of passage involving brawling with a barroom bouncer, McConaughey pursued acting with the drive and hard work ethic that was instilled into him. Finding early success, he choose to live in a way directly opposite to the Hollywood scene. Traveling the country with his dog, going off on expeditions to the middle of Africa and South America, McConaughey sees livin (drop the g to indicate it’s always a verb) as more than just the material success and creature comforts many of us settle on.
Finally, after years of womanizing, McConaughey settled into a successful monogamous relationship and fulfilled his life long ambition of being a father. Nearly simultaneously he chose to walk away from lucrative rom-coms to focus on something more artistic. Initially successful in winning an Oscar for the Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey admits that he hasn’t achieved the popular success he envisioned. But that is all grist for the mill, experiments in livin that are ongoing.
If this is the kind of man you would like to read about, Greenlights will be an enjoyable and inspirational read. It’s rare that a successful actor has such a distinctive off air personality. But if you’re turned off by physical conflict, wild adventures and a man who brags about rarely showering alone than Greenlights is not for you.
Personally, while not finding all parts of McConaughey’s biography admirable, I found enough of him to be so different than what Hollywood typically churns out that the book was worth reading. Recommended to all who feel they’re similarly traveling in unmapped regions and want to gather around the campfire to hear a fellow wanderer’s tales.
A refreshing read where it is so clear that he is a man to is true to himself and his loved ones - not willing to sell his soul.
If I have one critique it is that with its unusual presentation - there are pages that are barely readable. They do not detract from the storyline but because of the illegibility - they do not add to it.
I knew from previous interviews I had seen that he was one of those more down to Earth actors - not the usual bleeding heart Liberal do as I say not as I do type.
He is certainly a very deep thinking man, he questions everything about life, about people and about his choices in life that have sent him on his own path. A very religious and spiritual man he brings up interesting advice about self determination and how to slow down and take a look around every now and again.
After reading about his upbringing you can see why he’s like he is. A tough but fair childhood prepared him for the drive he would need to become an actor where it’s a dog eat dog world.
I laughed out loud numerous times as he shared his stories of growing up and highlighting the mistakes and decisions we have all made which increased my respect for the man.
Certainly someone id like to have a beer with and set the world straight.
A great read.