HomeEntertainmentMatthew McConaughey Quotes: His Most Memorable Words of Wisdom

Matthew McConaughey Quotes: His Most Memorable Words of Wisdom

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In 1993, Dazed and Confused hit theaters, launching Matthew McConaughey‘s acting career with his role as lovable loser David Wooderson. The mustachioed young man uttered three simple words, “Alright, alright, alright,” which has now become the actor’s catchphrase along with being what is probably one of the most quoted lines cinema history.

That said, “Alright, alright, alright” was just the start for Matthew McConaughey, who, in addition to becoming one of the world’s most beloved actors, has gained a reputation as Hollywood’s philosopher, giving fans a wide variety of inspiring quotes over the years.

From acceptance speeches to commencement addresses to an entire book filled with McConaughey-isms entitled Greenlights, Matthew McConaughey has no shortage of wisdom to impart. But which Matthew McConaughey quotes are the most powerful? The most impactful? Here are the ten very best.

Top 10 Matthew McConaughey Quotes

  1. “I believe in living in the present and making each day count. I don’t pay much attention to the past or the future.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “I don’t want to just revolve. I want to evolve. As a man, as a human, as a father, as a lover.”
  4. “We dissect failure a lot more than we dissect success.”
  5. “Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “My number one thing? Don’t over-leverage yourself. Don’t say you can do something when you really can’t.”
  8. “There’s a difference in thinking you are a champion and know that you are.”
  9. “My life is the road, man. I need to keep moving.”
  10. “Life is not a popularity contest. Take the hill, but first answer the question: What is my hill?”

Matthew McConaughey Quotes by Category

Whether you’re looking for motivation to achieve a goal, become your best self, or just express a little more gratitude in your life, there are Matthew McConaughey quotes for you. Listed below are some of McConaughey’s most inspiring pieces of advice on everything from overcoming fear to mastering individuality.

On Fear and Jealousy

“Instead of denying these fears, declare them. Say out them out loud, admit them, give them the credit they deserve. Find the courage to overcome them.”

“There’s two sorts of fear: one you embrace and one you should listen to and turn the other way.”

“I’ve never been a jealous person, and I’ve never felt built up by someone else’s failure. That’s a cheap thrill.”

On Perseverance

“Now, you lose something in your life, or you come into a conflict, and there’s gonna come a time that you’re gonna know: There was a reason for that. And at the end of your life, all the things you thought were periods, they turn out to be commas. There was never a full stop in any of it.”

“Life is not fair. 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. Get over it and get on with it. And yes, most things are more rewarding when you break a sweat to get them.”

“Every day, every week, every month, and every year of my life, my hero’s always 10 years away. I’m never gonna be my hero. I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not, and that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

On Living Your Best Life

“I’m a fan of the word selfish. Self. Ish. When I say I have gotten a lot more self-ish, I mean I am less concerned with what people think of me. I’m not worried about how I’m perceived. Selfish has always gotten a bad rap. You should do for you.”

“Joy is not a choice. It’s not a response to some result. It’s a constant. Joy is the feeling that we have from doing what we are fashioned to do, no matter the outcome… Joy is always in process. It’s under construction. It is in constant approach.”

“Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don’t spend time with anything that antagonizes your character. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. It tastes sweet but you will get cavities tomorrow.”

On Ambition

“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.”

“If I’m doing something I do like to take it to the limit. I’ve got a high ceiling, a wide threshold for seeing what those boundaries are for me. I’m very resilient inside. I find things that I like and do and boy, I do like to stick to them.”

“Every hero doesn’t do this great big hero thing. They do the simple thing over and over – and they stick to it.”

“Just because you can? Nah, it’s not a good enough reason to do something. Even when it means having more, be discerning. Choose it because you want it, do it because you want to.”