Greenlights Book Cover


The life and mind of award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey
Publishing Year: 2020
Reading time: Key takeways: Quotes:

What’s inside

This is a book by the acclaimed American actor, Matthew McConaughey. This is a look inside Matthew’s life, an exploration of his journey from an average boy from Texas to a world famous movie star. In this book, we see everything that Matthew learnt, from about fourteen years of age, all his experiences, thoughts and life lessons. This is a memoir, albeit not a typical one, taking us on a journey through the ups and downs of Matthew McConaughey’s life.

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Lesson 1. What this book is not

At a glance, this book is a memoir, a collection of recollections, life at a bird’s-eye view, but as Matthew concisely puts it in the first line of this book, “This is not a traditional memoir”. This book is a series of, what Matthew calls, greenlights. 

This book is thirty-five years, worth of Matthew’s notes on successes and failures, joys and sorrows, realizations, memories and gatherings, anything and everything that had moved or turned him. It’s a collection of stories, lessons, poems, prayers, prescriptions, questions, answers, affirmations, beliefs, and a lot of bumper stickers.

This is an approach book, a playbook on catching green lights, on making red and yellow lights turn into greenlights. 

But, what are “greenlights”?

As Matthew puts it, greenlights mean “go- advance, carry on, continue.” Greenlights tell you to proceed. They represent approvals, support, health, and success. They are a fresh start, a shoeless summer. They say yes.

Catching greenlights is about skill, intent, context, endurance, and discipline. He says catching greenlights is about timing, intuition, and karma. He says, sometimes, catching greenlights is about fate. 

This book is a testament to how the problems we have today turn into blessings as we move forward in life. That more often than not, red lights turn into greenlights.  Our greenlights depend on how we see our challenges and engage with them. 

This is a book about catching “greenlights” and about realizing that all reds and yellows too eventually turn green. 

This book is, as Matthew puts it, a love letter to life.

Lesson 2. Family and Outlaw Logic

Matthew was the third and youngest child in a family of five. The McConaughey clan had migrated from Ireland to England, to West Virginia, and then to New Orleans. Matthew’s dad was from Patterson, Mississippi. His mom was from Altoona, Pennsylvania, even though she always said she was from Trenton, New Jersey because she thought that no one would want to be from a place called Altoona.

Matthew’s parents raised him with their own brand of discipline. He remembers getting punished for answering to “Matt”, for saying “I hate you” to his brother, for saying “I can't” and lastly for telling a lie about stolen pizza. His parents taught him the value of his name, his identity. They taught him not to use words that hurt, such as “hate” and “can’t”. And they taught him never to lie. Matthew considers this his first greenlight.

Matthew’s parents raised him and his brothers on “Outlaw logic”. In his family, you

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About the author

Matthew McConaughey Image

Matthew McConaughey, an acclaimed actor and now a bestselling author with his memoir “Greenlights,” has charmed audiences with his versatile performances. Beyond Hollywood, his memoir delves into personal philosophies, life experiences, and unco...

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Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. What this book is not
  • Lesson 2. Family and Outlaw Logic
  • Lesson 3. High School and Finding Yourself
  • Lesson 4. Changing Paths
  • Lesson 5. Blazing Trails
  • Lesson 6. The McConaissance
  • Lesson 7. Fruits of Resilience
  • Lesson 8. Conclusion
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In the summary of Greenlights book, there are 8 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. What this book is not
  2. Lesson 2. Family and Outlaw Logic
  3. Lesson 3. High School and Finding Yourself
  4. Lesson 4. Changing Paths
  5. Lesson 5. Blazing Trails
  6. Lesson 6. The McConaissance
  7. Lesson 7. Fruits of Resilience
  8. Lesson 8. Conclusion

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey was published in 2020.

Once you've completed Greenlights book, We suggest reading out The New Father as a great follow-up read.

Yes, the book Greenlights is really good to read. 60 people have searched for the book summary on the Wizdom platform. The book summary has a rating of 0.0, 0 on our platform.

In the printed version of Greenlights book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

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