Last Sunday, much of the world watched the Academy Awards. While I read a book instead, I did see Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech on Monday morning. Today’s quotation comes from that speech. While there are other valuable lessons from his speech, this nine word snippet gives all of us something to think about.
– Who is my hero?
– How would my choices change today if my hero was “myself in 10 years)?
1. If you don’t have a hero, consider the questions above.
2. If you do have a hero (or once you determine one) think about why you look up to them and what you can learn from them.
3. Decide to learn from their example to become a better you, rather than trying to be them.
I’d encourage you to watch the full speech (you can do that right below) to get the context of this short quotation. I suppose you could interpret these words as somehow shallow or over-confident. If you feel that I would especially encourage you to watch it all, as I don’t interpret it that way at all.
Hero worship is a slippery slope – when we “want to be like someone else” we often slip into emulation (trying to be like them ) or discouragement (“I could never be like them”). The more valuable approach to heroes is to see what we can learn from them to become our best self. McConaughey’s approach reduces the risk of following a hero and puts the aspirational focus on ourselves. I’ve been thinking about his words all week, and the more I think about them the more powerful, profound, and positive I find them. I challenge you to think about how you would apply these words in your life, too.
Here is a video of the full acceptance speech.