Motivational Matthew McConaughey Quotes on Career, Love & More
March 7, 2023 1:51 AM EST
Looking for inspiring quotes from actor and producer Matthew McConaughey?
The Matthew McConaughey quotes featured below will give you a glimpse inside the mind of the Oscar-winning actor.
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According to a survey conducted by YouGov in 2021, Matthew McConaughey is one of the most popular actors in America, with a 72% favorable rating.
This suggests that his inspirational words and charismatic personality have resonated with many fans.
What’s your favorite Matthew McConaughey movie?
Matthew McConaughey is an American actor and producer who has spent over 20 years working in the entertainment industry.
His breakout role was in the 1993 coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused.
Since then, the actor has starred in dozens of feature films including Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The Wolf of Wall Street, and his Oscar-winning role of Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club.
Want to learn more about the life of Matthew McConaughey?
Look below for inspiring and thought-provoking quotes.
Don’t forget to also check out our collection Quentin Tarantino quotes on filmmaking, writing, and more.
Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.
Inspirational Matthew McConaughey quotes
McConaughey’s character Wooderson in the movie “Dazed and Confused” was named one of the most iconic movie characters of all time by Empire Magazine in 2015.
This highlights McConaughey’s ability to create memorable and inspiring characters that resonate with audiences.
1. “Life is a series of commas, not periods.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Live a life that is one long run on sentence. A comma is used to join independent clauses (among other things). A period is used to end a sentence. In life, the goal is to just keep going, which is what Matthew is trying to remind us of with this metaphor.
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2. “Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Life is short, and none of us know how long we have. Devote your time and energy to getting good at being a decent human being and developing the skills to improve your life. Don’t get good at things that do not serve the life you want to live. These become distractions that take you farther away from being your true self.
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3. “My life is the road, man. I need to keep moving.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Life is fluid. It is ok to stop and rest or take a moment an enjoy a place along your journey. However, don’t just pull your car into the middle of the road and stop there. Things will get hard, but just keep moving forward and enjoy the view!
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4. “I talk to myself all the time. Just make sure you answer.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Let’s be real…we all talk to ourselves. Self-talk can be either negative or positive. Negative self talk consists of thinking things like “I’m so stupid, why did I do that?” Positive self-talk would take the same situation and say something like, “Well, that didn’t work out the way I planned, but I learned that I am great at time-management!” How you answer yourself matters!
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5. “My number one thing? Don’t overleverage yourself. Don’t say you can do something when you really can’t.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Learn when to say “no,” otherwise you will burn yourself out! Saying no can be difficult for some of us, but it is a critical life skill. It helps reduce stress, keeps you happier, and feeling more fulfilled.
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6. “You want to be a writer? Start writing. You want to be a filmmaker? Start shooting stuff on your phone right now.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: What do you want to be? What is stopping you from getting there? You have to take that first step if you want to get anywhere. Learn as much as you can about whatever your dreams are. Then don’t be afraid to start putting in the work to make them a reality.
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7. “Good ideas are free – or at least they should be.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: You do not need to have an expensive education to come up with a good idea. Coming up with a good idea doesn’t cost anything, except for your time. Jot down things as they come to you. Brainstorm in different locations and at different times of the day. Get together with your support system or find a mentor and share your ideas with people you trust.
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8. “There are three things, to my account, that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: These three things are a great way to build the life you want. Having something to look up to will keep you optimistic and grateful. Something to look forward to can keep us energized and motivated. Having someone to chase will keep you moving forward. These are all things you will need to achieve whatever your goals are.
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9. “There’s a difference in thinking you are a champion and knowing that you are.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Believing in yourself is vital to your success. The way you speak to yourself matters. So, do the things you do to take care of yourself. Act like a champion. Master the behaviors of successful people and know that you can achieve the things you set out to!
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10. “Life is not a popularity contest. Take the hill, but first answer the question: What is my hill?” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Success takes work (climbing the hill). However, before you start going down a path and investing time and energy into something, make sure you know where you are trying to get to. Is something aligned with your vision and your purpose? If not, and you are not going to be learning a helpful skill, then is that a hill you need to climb?
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11. “A man should always have his diary on him. That way he’s guaranteed to have something incredible to read.” – Matthew McConaughey
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12. “Instead of denying these fears, declare them, say them out loud, admit them, give them the credit they deserve…Find the courage to overcome them.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: It is important that we acknowledge all of our feelings. We don’t have to let them stop us or dictate our decisions, but acknowledging them and giving yourself permission to feel them is important. Being brave does not mean that you do not have fear. It means that you were bigger than your fear and took a step.
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13. “Give thanks. Appreciate what you do have…the more we give thanks, the more we receive to be thankful for. Gratitude is the gift that always gives back.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Gratitude is one of the most life changing things you can practice. It should be practiced like any other active activity. When you are intentionally grateful for things you will be much happier. Conversely, complaining about the things you don’t have or that go wrong will just add to your misery.
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Matthew McConaughey quotes on his career
According to a survey conducted by YouGov in 2021, McConaughey’s commencement speech at the University of Houston in 2015 was named one of the most inspiring commencement speeches of all time.
This demonstrates the impact of his motivational messages on young people and those entering new phases of their lives.
14. “There’s a gap between what I want to do, what I do on camera, and what gets edited. Right? So the goal is to try and close the gaps. What’s the biggest compliment is if I read a review and it’s exactly what I wrote down in my diary before ever filming it. That’s really cool. That’s the biggest signifier of closing the gaps.” – Matthew McConaughey
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15. “The challenge for me as an actor is if you become a celebrity, you don’t meet strangers anymore. And strangers are where we have our anonymity. And I believe it’s essential for the soul to be anonymous, especially if you’re going to be an actor.” – Matthew McConaughey
16. “Any artist, the work you do, if it’s a painting or if it’s a performance, you hope it translates to a common denominator with the people that they see something in their own life in there. Or they see something in somebody else’s life. That’s what’s fun about sharing art.” – Matthew McConaughey
17. “I like having my hands in the clay. I like the movie-making process.” – Matthew McConaughey
18. “When I first starting making money, when I first made my first six-digits, I was – my big thing was I went to put super unleaded in my truck for the first time.” – Matthew McConaughey
19. “Music is a really great creative tool for me, for different roles.” – Matthew McConaughey
20. “I’ve done films where we don’t rehearse, and I’ve done films where we heavily rehearse. I like rehearsals.” – Matthew McConaughey
21. “I’ve got a great sense of humor, and if I’m able to say or do something in a movie that people feel like they want to repeat, that’s hugely flattering.” – Matthew McConaughey
22. “I’m not arrogant enough to look back on my career and criticize my choices. It’s really not my place.” – Matthew McConaughey
23. “I love good film, whether it’s an independent or studio film. The independent films, I think the good ones aren’t necessarily eccentric ones but they’re the more specific ones.” – Matthew McConaughey
24. “I’ve read a lot of really great characters in some really crappy stories, where I said, like, ‘Boy I could shine here, but the story sucks.’ I don’t want to be part of that.” – Matthew McConaughey
25. “I love Los Angeles, and it’s been very good to me, but if everyone is running around telling the stories, who’s living them? You don’t play characters that are celebrities – you play guys who know what to do when their septic tank’s blocked.” – Matthew McConaughey
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Dazed and Confused quotes for your reading pleasure.
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Matthew McConaughey quotes about love and relationships
26. “I have no problem with commitment. In fact, I love having someone in my life.” – Matthew McConaughey
27. “What the heck is true love? I remember feeling, back when I was 12 and ‘going’ with this girl, ‘Is this true love?’” – Matthew McConaughey
28. “When you have good friends you’ve been around, every time they talk, you don’t give them your full attention. You don’t look them in the eye and stop. Half the time, you’re listening, half the time, you are ignoring them.” – Matthew McConaughey
29. “I don’t dislike any of my exes. If I took time to form a relationship, it’s gonna hurt when we move on, but are you puttin’ White-Out over all that beautiful time together? That was real time in your life. It’s connected to where you are today.” – Matthew McConaughey
30. “My wife and I don’t compete. We know each other’s preferences, and we work to provide those for each other. One will take over when the other is faced with something he or she dislikes. That’s what friends do.” – Matthew McConaughey
31. “When I see grace in a woman, that’s very sexy. You can tell by how someone moves or their rhythm.” – Matthew McConaughey
32. “I’ve never been a manipulator, even in my bachelor days. I never wanted to do things to people that could catch up with me later on.” – Matthew McConaughey
33. “I’ve got incredible support from my wife and family and people around me. I’ve got great people around me who handle anything on the outside, business-wise, who help free me up to create in my job.” – Matthew McConaughey
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Matthew McConaughey quotes on parenting
34. “To bring a healthy child into this world, raise them right and watch them grow is the biggest miracle there is.” – Matthew McConaughey
35. “I will say this: one of the things that is a pain when you’re expecting children is how much advice unsolicited people give you when you’re not asking for it.” – Matthew McConaughey
36. “Kids will remind you that, even though you’ve gone down a road 100 times, it’s brand new for them – and that’s healthy.” – Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey quotes on life lessons
37. “There’s two sorts of fear: one you embrace and one you should listen to and turn the other way.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: You can feel the difference in the two types of fears. One comes from your mind and is based on doubt, low self-esteem, fear of failure, and the limits you have placed on yourself. Embrace that one, and let yourself be brave enough to move past that. The other kind of fear can be felt in your body. Your heart might race, the hair on your neck might stand up, or your stomach feels like it has a rock in it. That one you should listen to and trust your instincts.
38. “We dissect failure a lot more than we dissect success.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: You can learn a lot from your failures, so it isn’t a bad thing to dissect them. However, you can also learn a lot form your success and the success of others. We should examine what went right, too, and not just what went wrong. Why did we succeed this time? Look at the people you think are successful. What are they doing with their time and energy?
39. “We have a big appetite for putting people down but, at the heart of everyone, there’s enough room for all of us to succeed.” – Matthew McConaughey
40. “If you want your hair to be thicker, cut it when the moon is about to be full – a heavy, full, waxing moon. Do not cut it when the moon’s waning.” – Matthew McConaughey
41. “A creep is someone who claims he’s one thing but he’s actually another.” – Matthew McConaughey
42. “The unsaid rule for living in a trailer park is: ‘If the door’s shut, don’t come a-knockin.’ But if it’s open and you’re walkin’ by, feel free to say, ‘Hello.’” – Matthew McConaughey
43. “Without exercise, I don’t feel like my head works right.” – Matthew McConaughey
Everyday Application: Exercise is not just good for your physical health. When you are engaged in physical activity your brain will release dopamine and serotonin. These are the brain’s feel good chemicals. So, next time you are feeling a little blue or sluggish, go for a walk or hit the gym.
44. “There are certain nights you and your image just aren’t in the same bed.” – Matthew McConaughey
45. “I don’t dabble and spend much mind or time dealing with, I don’t know, people’s perceptions of me. I truly don’t.” – Matthew McConaughey
46. “I think the discipline comes with turning that cellphone and Blackberry off and unplugging completely. You do that and you go through some withdrawals in the beginning. You start thinking, ‘Oh, do I need to do this? Do I need to do that?’ You forget that we were doing just fine with the payphone.” – Matthew McConaughey
47. “I’ve never been a jealous person, and I’ve never felt built up by someone else’s failure – that’s a cheap thrill.” – Matthew McConaughey
48. “Life is not fair, and it never was and it is now and it won’t ever be. Do not fall into the trap. The entitlement trap, of feeling like you’re a victim. You are not.” – Matthew McConaughey
49. “I don’t mind assholes. It’s the dork I don’t trust. The dork is the one who’s trying to be whatever he thinks you want him to be. I trust the asshole ‘cause you know where he’s gonna stand.” – Matthew McConaughey
50. “My rule is to break one sweat a day.” – Matthew McConaughey
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More Matthew McConaughey quotes
51. “I believe the truth is only offensive when we’re lying.” – Matthew McConaughey
52. “Persist, pivot, or concede. It’s up to us, our choice every time.” – Matthew McConaughey
53. “A denied expectation hurts more than a denied hope, while a fulfilled hope makes us happier than a fulfilled expectation.” – Matthew McConaughey
54. “I’d rather lose money having fun than make money being bored.” – Matthew McConaughey
55. “Life is our resume. It is our story to tell, and the choices we make write the chapters. Can we live in a way where we look forward to looking back?” – Matthew McConaughey
56. “To lose the power of confrontation is to lose the power of unity.” – Matthew McConaughey
57. “If everything we did was right, we’d never know what was wrong.” – Matthew McConaughey
58. “Sometimes which choice you make is not as important as making a choice and committing to it.” – Matthew McConaughey
59. “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.” – Matthew McConaughey
60. “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze. When you’re stuck in the storm, pray for luck and make the best of it.” – Matthew McConaughey
What can you take from Matthew McConaughey’s quotes?
Within Matthew McConaughey’s career in entertainment, the actor often uses fear as fuel.
Many parts of being a working actor, from auditioning to receiving critique after the film has been released, can encourage fear to creep out.
Some are crippled by fear and some embrace it.
If Matthew McConaughey didn’t regularly embrace fear, he wouldn’t have reached the level of success he is at now.
Do you regularly embrace fear?
Don’t let fear become an insurmountable obstacle between you and your goals.
What’s your favorite motivational Matthew McConaughey quote that we featured above?
Leave us a comment down below; we would love to hear your thoughts.