AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Format: Audio
Genre:  Memoir
Narrator: Matthew McConaughey

Publisher: Random House Audio            
6 hours 42 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


I've been in this life for 50 years, been trying to work out its riddle for 42, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last 35. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me. 

Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges - how to get relative with the inevitable - you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights”. So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is 50 years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops. Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears. It’s a love letter. To life. It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights - and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green, too. Good luck.


I decided to get the audio book version of this one because it is read by Matthew McConaughey and I could listen to him talk forever.  I wasn't disappointed.  While the book does seem to wander around a bit I found that refreshing.  It isn't a straightforward, this is what happened in my life so far, no this is far more. It is filled with poetry, bumper stickers and small nuggets of wisdom.  Its about looking back on things in your life that you thought were red lights or things that stopped you from heading in a certain direction but ultimately lead you in the right direction thus changing from red to green.  Its about looking for the green lights in your life, catching things in the right moments, dreaming big, knowing who you are and not being afraid of stepping away to recalibrate.   

I like to think that this past year 2020 with the pandemic is like a reset for the planet.  We had to stay home we couldn't go out, many of us focused on ourselves and our families (green light) some chose to use the time to cause chaos or derision and division (red light0 - Every moment is an opportunity.  Take a chance if you believe in it do it. You may need to shift gears along the way but use your instincts, you are capable of so much, believe in yourself.  

Matthew's stories of growing up and his family, while unconventional showed that love really does guide you on. Standing up for your beliefs counts, always do your best and don't lie.  You may fuck up along the way but own that and move forward. His book speaks to manifestation, writing down your goals, and working toward them.  It speaks also of never losing sight of who you are and what you believe because when you lose yourself your life doesn't work. I loved this book and will probably read it again (which I never do).  I laughed out loud many times and gasped at others, this book is well worth the read and definitely a greenlight in my life. 

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