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Curium Solutions – Simplified Change Management, Birmingham, West Midlands

Curium Book Club: Greenlights

By Stuart Bailey

09 Feb 2021

Our very first review in our Curium Book Club series, is by Head of People Transformation Stuart Bailey. He shares his thoughts on the recent release by Oscar and Academy Award winning actor, Matthew McConaughey’s life memoir, Greenlights.

Title: Greenlights
Author: Matthew McConaughey

Thoughts: An honest and remarkably candid story of his life, sharing his continued pursuit to better himself and go after his own dreams. It always appeared that he was his own man, not caring too much for what others thought or how he was expected to be and once he decided he was going to do something he did it. The disciplines that served him well in later life came from his upbringing and he demonstrated a fascination and desire for hard work and the satisfaction that it brought him. The part that stood out for me above many other good stories is his determination to play a part that would challenge him as an actor and deliver the greatness that he strived for, even turning down several roles, films and big salaries from the typical romantic comedy leads that he had become famous for. This focus and drive was rewarded in 2014 with his first academy award for best actor in his part in Dallas Buyers Club.

Takeaways: If you are going to do something, commit to it, go all the way with it, stick with it, follow it through, ‘no half-assin it’ as McConaughey would say. I love the determination and discipline he showed in whatever it was he was doing. Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. This message has been a consistent theme in the majority of podcasts I have listened to recently. Focus on you and be the best you can be and try to work harder and smarter than everyone else.

Favourite quote: When trading his old truck in for a candy red 300ZX sports car and realising that he wasn’t getting as much attention as before “I lost my truck. I lost the effort, the hustle, the mudding, the megaphone. I lost the fun. I was to busy leeaaanin. I got lazy, started looking in the mirror too much, relying on the car to do the work for me. I’d outfoxed myself. I lost my mojo.” I thought this was a great metaphor to illustrate the rewards and outcomes that you achieve, which typically correlate with the amount of energy and passion you put in. Take control, don’t expect someone or something to do the work for you.

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