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馬修.麥康納為2015年休士頓大學畢業生演講

UH Graduation Speech By Matthew McConaughey

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:馬修.麥康納

2015年5月17日演講

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講(來源hollywoodreporter.com

奧斯卡獎得主演員馬修.麥康納在週五傍晚的畢業典禮演講中與休士頓大學畢業生分享個人的親身體驗。

 

關於馬修.麥康納(來源wikipedia

馬修.麥康納(生於1969年11月4日)是美國演員和製片人。他藉由在青少年喜劇電影《年少輕狂》(1993年)中飾演的突破性角色首次嶄露頭角,接著演出恐怖片《德州電鋸殺人狂再臨》(1994年)、驚悚片《殺戮時刻》(1996年)、史蒂芬.史匹柏的歷史劇情片《勇者無懼》(1997年)、科幻片《接觸未來》(1997年)、喜劇片《艾德私人頻道》(1999年)、戰爭片《U-571》(2000年)。

 

2000年代,他以演出浪漫喜劇電影聞名,包括《愛上新郎》(2001年)、《絕配冤家》(2003年)、《賴家王老五》(2006年)、《傻愛成金》(2008年)、《舊愛找麻煩》(2009年)。2010年起,他逐漸淡出浪漫喜劇領域,演出的作品有《下流正義》(2011年)、《胖尼殺很大》(2011年)、《殺手喬一下》(2011年)、《性腥聞》(2012年)、《Mud》(2012年)、《舞棍俱樂部》(2012年)、《華爾街之狼》(2013年)、《星際效應》(2014年)。

 

麥康納因在2013年傳記片《藥命俱樂部》中飾演罹患愛滋病的牛仔獲得進一步成功,贏得奧斯卡最佳男主角獎、金球獎最佳戲劇類電影男主角,以及許多其他獎項和提名。

 

馬修.麥康納為2015年休士頓大學畢業生演講

 

現在請馬修.麥康納先生上台。

 

謝謝,聽得見我的聲音嗎?聽得見我的聲音嗎?聽得見我的聲音嗎?聽得見我的聲音嗎?好,恭喜2015年畢業生,我為了你們這些年輕人而來,很期待今晚跟你們聊聊。你們聽說過我父親曾經在這裡踢足球,我想應該也畢業於這所學校,這是我來這裡的原因之一。

 

短而有趣,還是長而枯燥的演講?甜甜圈還是燕麥片?出於對你們的尊重以及你們為了獲得學位所付出的努力,我絞盡腦汁思考今晚該與你們分享什麼。我想站在講台上說明你們的權利嗎?我想來這裡分享一些有趣的故事嗎?我思索你們想要什麼,我思索你們可能需要什麼,我也思索我想說什麼、我需要說什麼,希望我們能達成共識。就像俗話所說的:「拿走你喜歡的,其他的留下。」謝謝你們的邀請,因此在與你們分享一些「我知道的事」之前,我們先談談「我不知道的事」。

 

我有2個哥哥,一個是1970年代初的高中生,當時一張高中同等學歷證書就能讓你找到工作,大學文憑則無往不利。我另一個哥哥是1980年代初的高中生,當時高中同等學歷證書不足以保證就業,你需要大學文憑,如果你有一張大學文憑,畢業後就有很大機會獲得想要的工作。我於1988年高中畢業,1993年取得大學文憑。那張1993年取得的大學文憑沒什麼用,它無法成為通往職場的門票、憑證或通行證。因此我提出一個問題:你的大學文憑意味著什麼?它意味著你受過教育、意味著你在特定領域擁有較多知識、意味著你或許擁有較多與「所獲學位」相關的專業知識。但它在現今就業市場有何價值?我們知道對大學畢業生來說,目前就業市場的競爭遠勝以往。在座有些人已找到工作,為未來的職業生涯鋪好道路,但對大多數人來說,未來或許依然相當模糊,你找不到與剛到手的學位相稱的工作,很多人甚至還沒找到工作。

 

思考一下,你剛完成人生中的學業教育課程,從5歲開始到現在所接受的教育,而你的未來也許不比5年前清晰,你無法獲得所有答案,這令人恐懼。我認為這無所謂,因為-就是這麼回事,這就是你面臨的現實,這就是我們生活的世界。我來這裡不是為了讓你洩氣或以任何方式貶低你的成就,我得再為你們的成就鼓掌一次,恭喜。澄清一下,我不是來這裡貶低你的成就,我來這裡是為了談實質問題,跳過奉承和讚美,因為我對這一點體會甚深。我們越是少點執著,對我們的人生、成就、事業、前途,我們越是少點執著、多點投入,就能越早讓一切上手。所以我想跟你們分享一些人生旅程中所學到的東西,多半來自個人體驗,有些來自他人的經驗談,許多我仍在學習中,但我確實認為這些都是真理。或許對我來說是真理,但別認為這是屬於我的真理,因為沒人能擁有真理,因此請將它們視為路標、方法、範例,需要用科學方法證實。它們是你應以自己的方式盜取、分享,與自己的生活比較、應用於個人生活的體驗。好,現在開始。

 

第一點-請看大螢幕-人生並非易事。看見大螢幕嗎?人生並非易事,不要有這種想法。人生並不公平,從來就不公平,現在如此,未來亦然。別陷入「權利」的陷阱,認為自己是受害者,你不是。摒棄這種觀念,接受事實。是的,付出汗水所獲得的東西多半更有價值。這是第一點。

 

第二點,「難以置信」是字典裡最愚蠢的詞,根本不該從口中說出。試想一下,如果說:「多麼令人難以置信的比賽!」、「這是一本令人難以置信的書、令人難以置信的電影、令人難以置信的勇敢行為」。真的嗎?它或許是壯觀的、驚人的、最優秀最傑出的,但令人難以置信?給別人和自己多一點信任,事情發生了,你看見了、你做到了,相信這一切。「難以置信」的相反是什麼?你知道,當人們表現不佳或表現反常?例如:有人駕駛自殺飛機撞世貿中心;數百萬人死於已有治療方法的疾病;建築師巴布發誓感恩節就能建好你的房子,你到隔年聖誕節還無法遷入;最好的朋友欺騙我們;「我們」一直欺騙自己。難以置信?我不認為。同樣地,事情發生了,每天都是如此。我們現代人所做的沒有所謂「令人難以置信」之事,人類可倚仗的事物之一就是身而為人。因此我們不應感到驚訝,我們是地球上最狡猾的哺乳動物。我不會擔心猴子,令我擔心的是你我這樣的人類。別否定高尚的行為,別小看人類的作惡能力,也別否定自身的缺陷。我們的任何作為都並非「難以置信」,這是個愚蠢的字眼,我認為這個詞蠢得令人「難以置信」。這是第二點。

 

因此-第三點,快樂不同於喜悅。我總是聽見有人說:「我只想快樂」。「我只想快樂」,但何謂快樂?快樂是對結果的情緒反應。如果贏了,我就會快樂;如果輸了,就不會快樂。我們無法維持這種基於因果和對價關係的「標準」,因為當我們得到後就會立刻提高標準。快樂須由某種成果引發,仰賴於所獲得的結果。如果你追求的是快樂,那麼-你將經常感到失望和不快樂。但喜悅-喜悅則不同。喜悅不是一種選擇、不是對結果的反應,它是一種常態。喜悅是「從事適合我們之事所獲得的感覺」,無論結果為何。以我本身為例,身為演員,我真正開始享受工作、感到更加快樂,始於我不再將每日的努力視為達成特定目的的方式。例如我需要這部電影賣座,我需要我的表演獲得認可,我需要獲得同行的尊敬,這都是合理的渴望,但事實是,一旦這些工作-每日的電影拍攝、履行合約成了獎勵本身,我獲得比以往更多的票房、讚美和尊重。注意,喜悅總是處於進行、構築的過程,持續漸進地產生存在於從事及享受適合我們之事的過程中。

 

第四點,自行為成功下定義。你撐不住了嗎?自行為成功下定義。注意,我是指-幾年前,我前往一家位於紐奧爾良南部的巫毒店,店裡有個木製格櫃,隔間內放著裝「魔藥」的瓶子,每個魔藥瓶上方標示著它能給你什麼,例如生育、健康、家庭、法律幫助、能量、寬恕、金錢。猜猜哪個隔間是空的?金錢。承認吧!「金錢」是今日的王者,能使世界運轉。金錢代表成功,越有錢代表越成功,對嗎?我認為我們的文化價值已被金融化,謙卑不再是潮流,太被動了。我們生活在一個網路能使人快速致富、15分鐘就能出名的世界,這種情形每天都在上演。但我們都希望成功,對嗎?我們必須自問的問題是:成功對我們來說意味著什麼?成功對你們來說意味著什麼?賺更多錢?這沒什麼,我不反對賺錢。沒有答案?也許是健全的家庭,也許是幸福的婚姻,也許是幫助他人成名或擁有健全的心靈,讓世界變得比原來更好。持續問自己這個問題,你的答案或許會隨時間改變,這無所謂,但幫自己一個忙:無論你的答案是什麼,別選擇任何會危害你靈魂的答案。優先考慮你是誰、想成為什麼樣的人。別花時間從事任何違反你性格的事;別喝即溶飲料。今天喝起來味道甜美,但明天就會讓你蛀牙。人生並非人氣競賽,鼓起勇氣、攀登高峰,但先回答這個問題:「我的高峰是什麼?」因此-我如何定義成功?就我個人而言,對我來說有五項衡量標準:為父的責任、做個好丈夫、健康、事業、友誼,這些是目前來說對我重要的事。因此我試著每天衡量、檢視這五點,看看我是有所欠缺還是信用良好,我的表現是落在紅區還是黑區。聽得懂嗎?例如有時我的事業蒸蒸日上(落在黑區),但我得多注意一下和妻子的關係,我得彌補這個缺失,做個更好的丈夫,讓這一項離開紅區。或假設我的靈性健康需要做點保養,它委靡不振,但我的友誼和社交生活都欣欣向榮,對嗎?我得重新調整、重新檢視、取得平衡。我得上教堂,記得多說「謝謝」之類的。我得用心檢視,因為我希望讓這五項保持良好狀態。我知道如果我不在意,如果我不好好維護它們,其中一項就會逐漸衰弱,就會陷入不足、破產、生病甚至死亡。因此首先我們必須自行為成功下定義,然後我們必須設法維護,每天檢視、照料我們的花園,讓對我們來說重要的事保持良好狀態。我們不妨承認這一點:每個人心中都養著兩隻狼,一隻好的、一隻壞的,牠們都需要進食,我們必須更加用心餵養好的那隻狼。

 

以下是第五點,排除法是定義自我的第一步,又名:「出現與缺席同等重要」。1992年,我獲得第一份演員工作,三句台詞、三天的戲分,演出一部叫《年少輕狂》的電影。「好」(台詞)、「好、好、好」(台詞)。開始囉!電影的導演理查.林克萊特每晚都邀我返回拍攝現場,讓我出現在更多鏡頭中,因此我有了更多台詞,所有台詞都是開心的說「好」。我演得很盡興,大家都說我表現良好,他們每天給我一張325美元的支票。我是指-太棒了,讓我多上點鏡頭,我喜歡這樣!最後我的戲份由三句台詞變成3週的工作,我飾演的伍德森開著1970年的雪佛蘭Chevelle去買史密斯飛船演唱會門票。幾年前我再次觀看這部電影,我發現我實在不該出現在兩個場景中。其中一個場景是,我飾演的伍德森從螢幕左側退出、前往某處,然後我重新進入螢幕,「確認」是否有其他角色想跟隨我。現在,再次觀看這部電影,如果你瞭解伍德森,就會同意我的看法。伍德森不是那種會說:「稍後再說」,然後返回「確認你是否想跟隨他」的人。伍德森走了就是走了,他不會猶豫、退縮、返回、再次詢問,或試圖遊說你。知道我在說什麼嗎?伍德森有更好的事可做:「我喜歡那些高中女生,因為當我變老時她們仍是原來的年紀。」重點是我不該出現在那一幕中,我不該返回,我應該從左側退出螢幕,不再返回。但當時我剛演出第一部電影,受邀返回拍攝現場,兌現薪水支票、樂在其中。我希望多上鏡頭,我希望上鏡更長時間、更多次數、返回場景當中,對嗎?但我不該在那裡,伍德森不該在那裡。我們在不在那裡一樣重要,定義自我的第一步通常不是「我知道我是什麼樣的人、我知道我是什麼樣的人」,這不是第一步,第一步通常是「我知道我不是什麼樣的人」,排除法。藉由「我們不是什麼樣的人」定義自我,是使我們真正瞭解「我們是什麼樣的人」的第一步。例如跟你混在一起的朋友對你毫無益處,他們閒話太多或不太可靠,他們在緊要關頭不會挺你。或者我們常去的酒吧似乎總是讓我們嚴重宿醉;或一直給我們藉口的電腦螢幕阻止我們踏出門外、融入社會、展開人際交流;或讓我們停不了口的食物味道好的不得了,但使我們隔週極度不適、昏昏欲睡、不斷發胖。那些人、那些地方、那些事物,停止在那裡浪費你的時間和精力。別去那裡,放下它們。當你這麼做,當你真的放下它們,你不再去那裡,你不再把時間花在那裡,你將不經意地發現自己將更多時間用在更多地方、更利於你的健康、帶給你更多歡樂。為什麼?因為你只是排除了讓你失去本性的人事時地物。相信我,太多選擇會讓我們成為暴君。因此排除多餘的事物、避免浪費時間、減少選擇。如果你這麼做,在無意間,幾乎毫無所覺之下,對你來說重要的事物就會呈現在你眼前。藉由排除法瞭解自己是什麼樣的人並不容易,很難。讓自己放鬆一下,先排除「你不是什麼樣的人」,就會發現自己應該是什麼樣的人。

 

第六點,別留下麵包屑,以及延遲享樂的美妙。所以什麼是麵包屑?我所謂的麵包屑就是使我們將來必須回顧的選擇。你沒還欠那個傢伙的錢,今晚你看見他坐在你後面3排的地方-該死!你背著配偶亂搞,隔天發現她和你外遇的對象隸屬同一個家長教師聯誼會-該死!你昨晚喝多了,宿醉太嚴重,無法開車送兒子參加週六早上8點的棒球練習。這些都是麵包屑,它們以遺憾、內疚、自責的形式出現。你今天留下它們,明天它們將帶給你更多壓力。它們會阻止你創造一個不需回顧過去、自行定義的未來。因此讓我們做些改變,別創造讓我們得付出代價的結果,而是創造更多在未來大部分時間裡能回報、充實、燃燒、啟發我們的結果。這就是我所謂的選擇,這就是延遲享樂的美妙。做好準備,幫自己一個忙,做出選擇,今天的付出會在將來回收。剩餘價值,這在演藝圈叫做「信箱收入」。今天我把工作做好,我拍的電影不斷在電視上重播,五年後我會在信箱裡收到支票,多棒的交易!因此無論是前一天晚上準備好咖啡機,隔天早上只要按下按鈕;或提早為面試做準備,以免前一天晚上臨時抱佛腳;或選擇不與已婚女性勾搭,因為你知道隔天會恐懼不安,害怕她丈夫帶槍來找你;或及時還債,當你今晚真的看見那個傢伙坐在你後面三排的地方,你不必趴在座位上,希望他沒看見你。獲得一些R.O.I,你知道,那就是-投資報酬。你的投資,你-定義自己的未來,別留下麵包屑。

 

第七點,剖析你的成功,以及感恩的回饋。我們通常把注意力放在我們的失敗上,不是嗎?我們研究失敗,我們因失敗而困擾,我們剖析失敗,最後我們在失敗中迷失,導致一敗塗地。我們何時寫日記?通常是我們沮喪的時候。我們閒聊的內容是什麼?別人的缺點和限制。如果不小心,我們可能剖析自我到自我厭惡的程度。我發現對所犯的錯太過執著往往只會衍生更多錯誤、更多失敗。剖析成功最簡單的方法是感恩,對我們確實擁有、確實有用的事物感恩;對我們有時視為理所當然的簡單事物感恩。我們對這些事物感恩,就會有所回饋,創造更多令人感恩的事物。十分簡單,確實有效。我不是指否定你的失敗,不,我們也能從失敗中學習,但只有在我們以建設性的目光看待它們時。作為一項工具,顯示我們所擅長、可提升、可成就的事物。我讀過許多關於我的差評,對嗎?關於恐怖片的,由較有才華的批評家所寫。這些是建設性的差評,它們讓我瞭解我的工作所傳達的訊息、我的工作給他人的印象,以及已展現與未展現的內涵。我不會因不利的評論而困擾,但我確實會探索可借鑒之處,因為他們的不滿其實揭示和突顯了我表現良好與成功之處,然後我對其進行剖析。生活是動詞,我們盡力而為,我們並非總是能做到最好。好,建設也是動詞,確實如此。既然我們是生活的締造者,不妨學習導致與促使我們成功的習慣與常規。我們的喜悅、我們真摯的痛苦、我們的歡笑、我們贏得的眼淚,讓我們剖析這一切,對這一切心懷感恩。當我們這麼做會發生什麼事?我們更能掌控它們,我們獲得更多可剖析的資訊。

 

第八點,訂定自願性義務。父母從小就給予我們教導,老師、指導者、政府和法律都給予我們引導,人生的指南以責任之名讓我們遵循的規則。我想談的不是這些義務,我想談的是由我們自己、由我們的信仰、由我們的自覺所產生的義務。我指的是「你」或「你」訂定的義務,我們必須擁有這些。同樣的,這些並非我們承認並賦予除了我們之外任何人的社會法律和期許,這些是我們基於信念、自行訂定的義務。它們並非因良好駕駛記錄而降低的保險費率,如果不遵循我所說的義務,你不會被罰款或送進監獄。沒人能掌控這一切,除了你。它們是屬於你的祕密,它們是屬於你的私人議會、個人協議。當你遵守這些義務時,沒人會為你開派對;當你違反時也沒人會逮捕你,除了你自己,或某位在凌晨兩點半收到「擾亂安寧」通報的警察,因為你正裸體打邦哥鼓。哈,就是我。正直的人的枕頭是平和的心境,當你夜晚躺在那樣的枕頭上,無論我們的床上有誰,我們都獨自入眠。它們是屬於你的小蟋蟀吉明尼(《木偶奇遇記》中的角色),世上沒有足夠的警察能管束它們,只有你自己能夠負責,只有你自己能夠負責。

 

第九點,從「能做」到「想做」。我舉個例子:1995年我獲得身為演員的第一份鉅額片酬,我想大約是15萬美元。這部電影是《瀟灑有情天》,我們在亞利桑那州圖森拍攝,我住在仙人掌國家公園附近精緻的Adobe guest house小屋,住所附帶一位女傭,我的第一位女傭,棒極了。因此某個週五夜晚一位朋友前來拜訪,我們聊得很開心,我不斷告訴她我對這個安排多麼滿意。房子、女傭,尤其是女傭。我告訴她:「看,我上工後她打掃房子,替我洗衣服、洗碗,在我的床邊準備開水,有時替我煮飯,她甚至替我燙牛仔褲。」我朋友對我微笑,笑我對這一切的興奮。她說:「這很棒,馬修,如果你喜歡燙過的牛仔褲。」我張口結舌地看著她,石化了一會兒,你知道那種呆樣,當你被告知不曾想過的真相時。這讓我深受打擊。我討厭牛仔褲上那條燙出來的線,我討厭那條線。那時我才第一次注意到,我不曾想過「不喜歡」牛仔褲前那條筆挺的線,因為之前不曾有女傭替我燙牛仔褲,因為生平第一次有人替我這麼做,我喜歡它只因為我能得到它,我不曾想過是否真的希望那裡有一條線。好吧,我不希望它在那裡,那條線。那天晚上我學到一些教訓,只因為你能這麼做?不,這不是做某件事的好理由,即使這意味著擁有更多。辨明自己的心意,因想要而選擇、因想做而做。從此以後我再也沒燙過牛仔褲,我討厭那條線。

 

第十點,屋頂是人造的東西。真相也許有點傷人,因為地理位置的關係,但我想我們都在那裡,我們記得自己身處何方。1993年1月3日,NFL(國家美式足球聯盟)季後賽,你們的休士頓油人隊對上水牛城比爾隊,半場結束時,油人隊以28-3領先,第三節開始不久即取得35-3的優勢,Frank Reich和比爾隊在延長賽以41-38反敗為勝,這是NFL史上最偉大的逆轉之一。是的,比爾隊贏了,但他們並非真正打敗油人隊。油人隊輸了那場比賽,他們輸給了自己。是的,我記得。為什麼?他們為什麼打敗了自己?怎麼回事?因為半場結束後他們為自己的信念加了天花板、屋頂或限制,又名「預防性防守」。也許他們在半場結束後開始想著季後賽的下一個對手,然後他們亂了陣腳,整個下半場失去心理優勢。瞧!他們輸了比賽,在短短2季中,防守統籌員Jim Eddy從被稱為「年度防守統籌員」以及「明年將成為總教練的線鋒」,成了在NFL找不到工作的人。你曾經功虧一簣嗎?沒人曾經功虧一簣嗎?我有這個經驗,你知道我的意思。在球門線失球,在麥克風前說錯話,在準備充分的考試上失常,在休士頓大學畢業典禮上4000名畢業生面前忘了笑話的笑點。或也許你有這種感覺:「天哪,人生太完美了,這是我應得的嗎?」當我們有這種感覺時會發生什麼事?我們開始緊張,我們感到彷彿靈魂出竅,以旁觀者的角度看著自己,我們意識到我們無能無力。你有過這種感覺嗎?我有。這是因為我們創造了一個虛構的天花板、一個屋頂,給我們對自己的期望一個限制,認為太過美好的事不可能成真。但並非如此,我們沒有權利這麼說或相信這一點,我們不該為自己加上這些限制。一條藍色緞帶、一座雕像、一場勝利、偉大的想法、對生命的熱愛、恣意的幸福。當我們獲得時,有何權利認為我們不值得或沒資格獲得這份禮物?這不是我們的權利。但如果我們停留在過程中,停留在自己的世界、享受過程的愉悅,我們永遠不會在終點線前絆倒。為什麼?因為我們不曾想到終點線,我們不曾看計時器,我們不曾注視顯示我們在過程中所有表現的大螢幕。不,我們身處過程當中,接近就是我們的目標,我們永遠不會抵達終點。博.傑克遜怎麼做?他越過球門線、穿過達陣區、進入入場通道;世上最偉大的狙擊手和神槍手瞄準的不是目標,而是目標的另一側。當目標無法衡量、當目標不斷超出我們的掌控、當我們擁有無法抵達的終點線時,我們會盡己所能。當我們這麼做,比賽永遠不會結束,旅途沒有停泊的港口,冒險永遠不會結束,因為我們總是在途中。因此請這麼做,請這麼做,讓別人拍我們的肩膀說:「嘿,你得分了。」讓他們拍著你的肩膀說:「你贏了。」讓他們告訴你:「你可以回家了。」讓他們說:「我也愛你。」讓他們說:「謝謝你。」拿掉我們自行搭建的人造屋頂,永遠以初生之犢的姿態出現,就是這樣。

 

第十一點,重新開始。偉大的德州大學已故足球教練Daryl Royal,除了1969年的全國冠軍,他也曾贏得好幾屆全國冠軍。Daryl Royal是我的朋友,也是很多人的好友,他受到許多人的敬仰,其中一位仰慕者是音樂家,名叫「Larry」。當時Larry的鄉村音樂事業正值巔峰,他擁有冠軍單曲,生活多采多姿。他不知何時染上吸白粉的惡習,某場派對中,在「洗手間小歇一下」後,Larry沉著地來到Daryl教練面前,開始告訴他一個故事。Royal教練如往常般耐心傾聽,當Larry說完故事、準備離開時,Royal教練輕輕地把手搭在他的肩上,謹慎地說:「Larry,你鼻子有東西冒出來了。」Larry連忙跑到洗手間的鏡子前,他看見鼻孔內殘留著一些白色粉末。他感到羞愧、他感到尷尬,一方面是因為他認為這對Royal教練太不敬了,一方面是因為顯然他太沉迷於藥物帶來的快感,以至隱藏得不夠好。隔天Larry前往教練家中,按門鈴後,教練前來應門,Larry說:「教練,我需要跟你談談。」Daryl說:「沒問題,進來吧。」Larry向教練坦白一切,向教練傾訴他所犯的錯,說他多麼慚愧,他如何「迷失」在名利當中。將近一小時後,Larry淚流滿面,他問教練:「你認為我該怎麼做?」沉默寡言的教練只是看著他,平靜地說:「Larry,重新開始對我來說從來不是問題。」那是Larry40年人生中最清醒的一天。你曾經過著一成不變的日子嗎?毫無樂趣可言?陷在壞習慣中無法脫身?我有。你會犯錯,你必須正視錯誤,你必須彌補錯誤,然後繼續前進。愧疚和後悔讓許多人提早毀滅。重新開始,離開原來的軌道,你是自己人生篇章的作者,重新開始。

 

第十二點,承認你的障礙。你知道那種印著「別恐懼」的T恤嗎?大約十年前流行的,印著「別恐懼」。除了我沒人記得嗎?四處都看得見。我不明白其中的意義,一直不明白。我是指-我試著每天至少讓自己恐懼一次,每天早晨上工前我都感到焦慮,今晚來這裡演講前我十分緊張,我認為恐懼是好事。為什麼?因為它增加了我們對「克服恐懼」的需求。例如你的障礙是害怕被拒絕,你想邀請她或他出門,但你擔心她可能不答應你。想要求升遷,但害怕老闆會認為你不知足。別否認這些憂慮,承認它們、大聲說出這些憂慮。承認它們給予它們應有的地位,別逞強、別假裝你不在意它們,別藉由否認它們的存在而放任不理。因此放棄克服它們的需求,我是指,我秉持的想法是,無論如何我們都得做我們最擔心的事,因此承認你的障礙,你將會:一、找到克服它們的勇氣。或者二、更清楚地瞭解它們並非真正值得壓制的對手。讓自己勇敢、有勇氣,當你這麼做,你會變得更強、變得更睿智、變得更值得尊敬,對你本身而言,以及對你所恐懼的事物而言。

 

第十三點,我們如何得知已與真理相遇?十三,十三,有人問我為何選擇講十三點,這不是什麼幸運數字。我不知道13何時變得惡名昭彰,成為命理學上的雜種?十三這個數字不曾替我招來厄運,事實上13對我來說是相當幸運的數字,讓我解釋一下是怎麼回事。我習慣獨自進行「21日旅遊」,前往我不懂當地語言、沒人認識我的偏遠地區,這對我來說是一種冒險、一種淨化、一種心靈的洗滌,就像在21天當中迅速遠離關注、遠離我規畫良好的生活中所有的事物。這就像「退房」,讓我能「入住」屬於自己的空間。看看我是怎麼做的:刻意讓自己獨處,審視自己的內心。你知道當我們這麼做會發生什麼事?有時我們不會喜歡我們所看見的。1996年,就在我因為一部名叫《殺戮時刻》的電影「出名」後,我展開其中一次「21日」徒步旅行,這次是前往秘魯的叢林和山區。突如其來的名氣令我有點混亂,我的臉孔無所不在,每個人都想分一杯羹。我不曾見過的人聲稱他們「愛上我了」,無論我前往何處,都能看見刊登我照片的廣告牌和雜誌封面,感覺很怪。這是什麼情形?你知道,我自問:什麼是真的、什麼是假的?這一切是我應得的嗎?這就是我問自己的問題。另一個問題是:「我是誰?」好,這段旅程總有段起始期,一段讓旅行者從某個地方起步的時間,一段與我們所離開的世界斬斷聯繫的時間,讓我們完全融入即將前往的世界。對我來說,這段起始期通常持續約13天,十三個地獄般的日子,直到我放下自我的羈絆,此後旅途將一帆風順。好,在「21日」旅程中的第12天夜晚,我正邁向營地,此時我已步行80英哩,還得步行三天才能抵達馬丘比丘。我開始自我厭惡,對成名感到掙扎,對過往的罪惡感到愧疚,滿懷悔恨和寂寞,厭惡「我」的陪伴。我進行心理抗爭,設法擺脫這些思緒,我整晚與心中的惡魔交戰,無法入睡。所有我背負的榮耀、期待和焦慮,我需要擺脫它們。我自問:「我是誰?」不僅對這段旅途來說,還有對我的人生來說。因此我脫下所有東西,我脫下所有給予我驕傲和自信的象徵,所有的粉飾、所有心靈的包裝,我拋下這一切,我拋下我幸運和忠實的美國外衣,脫下從過去冒險中得來的護身符,我甚至脫下刻著已故父親名字的金戒指,那是他和母親的畢業戒指加上母親的一顆金牙鑄成。我甚至脫下那個東西,我一絲不掛,無論以實質或比喻來說。接著我渾身不舒服,冷汗直流,吐到連膽汁都吐光,最後因筋疲力盡而昏倒。幾小時後,我在第13天早晨太陽升起時醒來,精力充沛、活力十足。我穿好衣服,泡了一些茶,展開早晨的步行。並非前往我的目的地馬丘比丘,而是隨意亂逛。因為昨晚的狂吐,我的胃還是有點不舒服,但奇怪的是,我感覺相當棒,生氣勃勃、乾淨、自由、輕鬆。沿泥濘道路散步途中,我拐過一個轉角,路中央出現如幻境般的景象,呈現我見過最壯觀的粉紅色、藍色和紅色,就像璀璨的電光懸浮在叢林地面上方,彷彿連接一座霓虹發電廠。我停下腳步,目不轉睛地凝視。我無法繞過它:我眼前的叢林地面佈滿成千上萬的蝴蝶,就在我前進的道路上,壯觀極了。所以我停留了一會兒,在迷惑中,我聽見腦海裡出現一個微弱的聲音說:「我想要的就是我所見到的,而我所見到的就是我眼前的事物。」那一刻是這段旅程中,我頭一次不再期待轉角後會出現什麼,我頭一次不再思考接下來會發生什麼、前方會出現什麼樣的風景。時間變得緩慢,我不再急著前往任何地方,我的憂慮大幅減輕。幾小時後我返回營地,收拾行李,準備展開後續行程。我的腳步雀躍,連和我一起旅行的當地雪巴人也注意到了,對我喊道:「sois luz Mateo, sois luz」,這在西班牙語是「你看起來輕鬆愉快」的意思。

 

那天早上我原諒了自己,我放下愧疚,我肩上的重擔消失,我的罪獲得救贖,我回到上帝仁慈的懷抱,我與自己和解,我最好的朋友,我們無論如何都離不開的朋友-我們自己。從那天早上起,我的冒險變得精彩。我放下自我羈絆,活在當下,不再期待未來,只擁抱當下,給予一切應有的正義。那天早上我與真理相遇,是我找到它嗎?我不知道,我認為是它找到了我。為什麼?因為我讓自己置身於能被找到的地方,我讓自己置身於能接收真理的地方。因此我們如何得知已與真理相遇?我認為真理一直在我們身邊,我是指我認為答案就在我們身邊,但我們並非總是能看見,我們並非總是能掌握它、聽見它、觸及它,多半是因為我們不在正確的地方。所以我們該怎麼做?首先我們必須讓自己置身於能接收真理的地方。我們生活在一個非常嘈雜的世界,充斥著各式各樣的聲音,承諾、最後期限、解決這個、做那個、計劃、期望,這一切都使心靈難以獲得清晰和平靜,因此我們必須自覺地讓自己置身於一個能清楚接收真理的地方。或許藉由祈禱、或許藉由冥想、或許藉由徒步旅行、或是換個好公司或旅行。無論你選擇什麼,安排這麼做的時間,做好規劃。因此如果我們這麼做,如果我們聽見它的聲音,如果我們讓自己置身於能聽見真理的地方,如果一個永恆的真理變得清晰,接下來就進入第二步,那就是將真理個人化。詢問自己它如何對你起作用,你如何應用它,特別是你為何需要它。如果你做到這一點,接下來就進入第三步:耐心將真理內化,讓它從我們睿智的頭腦、思維進入我們的骨骼、靈魂,成為我們的本能。我們不能太過急躁,這個步驟需要時間。因此如果我們做到這種程度,我們接收它、將它個人化、將它內化,如果我們做到這種程度,成果即將展現,目標即將達成。我們必須有勇氣採取行動,讓它真正融入日常生活,並確實實踐,讓它成為我們的正面特質。如果我們做到這一點,如果我們做到這一點,我們將擁有我心目中地球上的天堂,那就是我們渴望的地方,也是我們需要的地方。這不就是通往天堂的門票嗎?想像一下,我知道那就是我想生活的地方。

 

因此既然我們在這裡-這些話會出現在大螢幕上-讓它成為我們付出汗水的地方、我們信賴的地方。在這個由我們塑造的地方,以我們的方式享受成功的過程。在這裡,我們不需要回顧過往,因為我們忙著做我們擅長的事,訂定自願性義務,因為我們想這麼做;朝無法抵達的終點線前進;自行書寫人生的篇章;克服恐懼,和自己做朋友,這就是我所說的天堂。

 

謝謝,祝好運,好好享受人生。

 

 

 
 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this Talk

McConaughey shared his own personal experiences with University of Houston

About the Speaker

Matthew David McConaughey (born November 4, 1969) is an American actor and producer. He first gained notice for his breakout role in the coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993), and went on to appear in films such as the slasher Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), the legal thriller A Time to Kill (1996), Steven Spielberg's historical drama Amistad (1997), the science fiction drama Contact (1997), the comedy EDtv (1999) and the war film U-571 (2000).

In the 2000s, he became best known for starring in romantic comedies, including The Wedding Planner (2001), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), Failure to Launch (2006), Fool's Gold (2008) and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009). Since 2010 he has moved away from romantic comedies and has had roles in the films The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), Bernie (2011), Killer Joe (2011), The Paperboy (2012), Mud (2012), Magic Mike (2012), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and Interstellar (2014).

Transcript

So, before I share with you some “what I do knows,” let’s talk about a “what I don’t know.”

I have 2 older brothers.

One was in high school in the early 1970s — a time when a high school GED got you a job and college degree was exemplary.

My other brother was in HS in the early 1980s, and by this time the GED wasn’t enough to guarantee employment, you needed a college degree, and if you got one, you had a pretty good chance of getting the kind of job you wanted after you graduated.

Me, I graduated HS in 1988, got my college degree in ’93. That college degree? Didn’t mean as much. No ticket, no voucher, no free pass go to anything.

So, what does your college degree mean?

It means you got an education, means you have more knowledge in a specific subject, vocation, means you may have more expertise in “what your degree” is in.

But what is it worth? In the job market? Today?

We know the market for college graduates is more competitive now than ever.

And some of you already have a job lined up, a path where today’s job can become tomorrow’s career, but for most of you, the future’s probably still pretty fuzzy — you don’t have that job that directly reflects the degree you just got, and many of you don’t even have a job at all. You’ve just completed your scholastic educational curriculum in life — the one you started when you were 5 years old up until now… and your future, your “days to come,” may be no more clear than it was 5 years ago — you don’t have all the answers — and it’s scary.

And that’s OK, because hey, that’s how it is, this is the reality you face — the world we live in…And while I’m not here to discourage you or in any way belittle your accomplishments of which we celebrate tonight…I am here to talk brass tacks, to skip the flattery and the “attaboys” because I DO know this.

The sooner we become LESS IMPRESSED — with our life, our accomplishments, our career, the prospect in front of us. As soon as we become LESS IMPRESSED — and MORE INVOLVED with these things, the sooner we get a whole lot better at doing them.

So, I’m going to talk to you about some things I’ve learned along my journey — most from experience, some I heard in passing, many I’m still practicing, but ALL of them, true.

Yes, they may be truths to me, but don’t think that that makes them MINE… because you can’t own a truth. Think of these as signposts, approaches, paradigms, that give some science to satisfaction. They are yours to steal, to share, to liken to your own lives, and to personally apply in your OWN lives, in your own way, should you choose to.

1. Life is not easy…

NUMBER 1, LIFE’S NOT EASY…don’t try and make it that way. It’s not fair, it never was, it isn’t now, it won’t ever be. Do not fall into the entitlement trap of feeling you are 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 em.

2. “Unbelievable” is the stupidest word in the dictionary

It shouldn’t ever come out of our mouths.

To say, “What an unbelievable play!” It was an unbelievable book, film, act of courage…really?

It may be spectacular, phenomenal, most excellent and outstanding… but unbelievable? NO. Give others and yourself more credit. It just happened, you witnessed it, you just did it, believe it.

How about the other side of unbelievable? When we humans “under perform” or act OUT of character? — “man flies a suicide jet into the World Trade Center, millions die from diseases that we have cures for, Bob the builder swears he’ll have your house built by Thanksgiving and you can’t move in ’til Christmas, THE NEXT YEAR…” Our best friend lies to us, and WE, lie to our self, all the time…unbelievable? I don’t think so.. Again, it just happened, and it happens everyday …

NOTHING we homosapien earthlings do is unbelievable — one thing you can depend on people being…is people. So we shouldn’t be surprised, we are the trickiest mammal walking the planet!! (It ain’t the monkeys I’m worried about, it’s you and me.)

Acknowledge acts of greatness as real, and do NOT be naive about mankind’s capacity for evil nor be in denial of our own shortcomings.

NOTHING we do is unbelievable. Stupid word. Un-be-lievably stupid word.

3. Happiness is different than Joy

“I just want to be happy.” I hear that all the time. But what IS happiness? Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome — If I win I will be happy, if I don’t I won’t. An if-then, cause and effect, quid pro quo standard that we cannot sustain because we immediately raise it every time we attain it. You see, happiness demands a certain outcome, it is result reliant.

If happiness is what you’re after, then you are going to be let down frequently and be unhappy much of your time. Joy, though, is something else. It’s not a choice, not a response to some result, it is a constant. Joy is “the feeling we have from doing what we are fashioned to do,” no matter the outcome.

Personally, as an actor, I started enjoying my work and literally being happier when I stopped trying to make the daily labor a means to a certain end — I need this film to be a box office success, I need my performance to be acknowledged, I need the respect of my peers.

All reasonable aspirations but truth is, as soon as the WORK, the MAKING of the movie, the DOING of the deed became the reward in itself — I got more box-office, more accolades and respect than I’d ever had before. See, JOY is always in process, under construction — it’s in the constant approach, alive and well —in the DOING of what we are fashioned to do… and enJOYing doing it.

4. Define Success For Yourself

I went to a voodoo shop south of New Orleans a few years back — they had vials of “magic” potions stacked in columns with headings above each defining what they would give you — Fertility, Health, Family, Legal Help, Energy, Forgiveness, Money.

Guess which column was empty? Money. Let’s admit it, “money” is king today, makes the world go round. Money is SUCCESS, the more we have, the more “successful” we are, right?

I’d argue that our cultural values have even been financialized — humility is not in vogue anymore, it’s too passive. It’s a get rich quick on the internet, 15 minutes of fame world we live in. See it every day.

But, we all want to succeed right? Question we have to ask ourselves is, what success is to us, what success is to YOU. More money? OK, I got nothing against money. But maybe it’s a healthy family? A happy marriage? To help others? To be famous? To be spiritually sound? To leave the world a little bit better place than you found it?

Continue to ask yourself that question. Your answer may change over time and that’s fine, but do yourself this favor:

WHATEVER your answer is, DON’T CHOOSE ANYTHING THAT WILL JEOPARDIZE YOUR SOUL. 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 today but it will give you cavities tomorrow. Life is not a popularity contest. Be brave, take the hill but first, answer the question, “What is my hill?”

How do I define success? For me, it’s a measurement of five things — fatherhood, being a good husband, health, career, friendships. These are what’s important to me in my life.

So, I try to measure these five each day, check in with them, see whether or not I’m in the debit or the credit section with each one. Am I in the red or in the black with each of them?

For instance, sometimes my career is rolling (in the black) but I see how my relationship with my wife could use a little more attention. I gotta pick up the slack on being a better husband, get that one out of the red. Or say my spiritual health could use some maintenance (red) but hey, my friendships and social life are in high gear (black)… I gotta recalibrate, checks and balances, go to church, remember to say thank you more often. I gotta take the tally. Because I want to keep ALL 5 in healthy shape, and I know that if I DON’T take care of them, if I don’t keep up maintenance on them, ONE of them is going to get weak, dip too deep into the debit section, go bankrupt, get sick… die even.

So first, we have to DEFINE success for ourselves, then we have to put in the work to MAINTAIN it — take our daily tally, tend our garden, keep the things that are important to us in good shape.

Let’s admit it, we all got two wolves in us, a good one and a bad one, you know what I’m talking about — and they BOTH wanna eat… We just gotta feed that good wolf a little more than the other one.

5. Process of elimination is the first step to our identity ( a.k.a where you are NOT is as important as where you are)

In 1992, I got my first job as an actor. Three lines, three days work, in a film called Dazed and Confused. Alright.

Alright, Alright, Alright.

The director, Richard Linklater, kept inviting me back to set each night, putting me in more scenes which led to more lines all of which I happily said YES to. I was having a blast. People said I was good at it, they were writing me a check for $325 a day. I mean hell yeah, give me more scenes, I love this!! And by the end of the shoot those 3 lines had turned into over 3 weeks work and “it was Wooderson’s ’70 Chevelle we went to get Aerosmith tickets in.” Bad ass.

Well, a few years ago I was watching the film again and I noticed two scenes that I really shouldn’t have been in. In one of the scenes, I exited screen left to head somewhere, then re-entered the screen to “double check” if any of the other characters wanted to go with me. Now, in rewatching the film, (and you’ll agree if you know Wooderson), he was not a guy who would ever say, “later,” and then COME BACK to “see if you were sure you didn’t wanna come with him..” No, when Wooderson leaves, Wooderson’s gone, he doesn’t stutter step, flinch, rewind, ask twice, or solicit, right? He just “likes those high school girls cus he gets older and they stay the same age.”

My point is, I should NOT have been in THAT scene, I should have exited screen left and never come back.

But back then, making my first film, getting invited back to set, cashing that check and having a ball, I WANTED more screen time, I WANTED to be in the scene longer and more, and come back into the scene right?

I shouldn’t have been there. Wooderson shouldn’t have been there.

It’s just as important where we are not as it is where we are.

The first step that leads to our identity in life is usually NOT “I know who I am,” but rather “I know who I AM NOT.” Process of elimination.

Defining ourselves by what we are NOT is the first step that leads us to really KNOWING WHO WE ARE.

You know that group of friends you hang out with that really don’t bring out your best? They gossip too much, or they’re kind of shady, and they really aren’t gonna be there for you in a pinch? Or how about that bar we keep going to that we always seem to have the worst hangover from? Or that computer screen that keeps giving us an excuse not to get out of the house and engage with the world and get some HUMAN interaction? Or how about that food we keep eating? Tastes so good going down but makes us feel like crap the next week when we feel lethargic and keep putting on weight?

Those people, those places, those things — STOP giving them your TIME and ENERGY. Don’t GO there, put them DOWN — and when you DO quit giving them your time, you inadvertently find yourself spending MORE time and in more PLACES that are more healthy for YOU, that bring YOU more joy — WHY?

Because you just eliminated the who’s, the where’s, the what’s and the when’s that were keeping you from your identity. Trust me, too many options makes a tyrants of us all. So get rid of the excess, the wasted time, decrease your options… and you will have accidentally, almost innocently, put in front of you, what is important to you by process of elimination.

Knowing who we ARE is hard. Give yourself a break. Eliminate who you are NOT first, and you’ll find yourself where you need to be.

6. DON’T LEAVE CRUMBS — and the beauty of delayed gratification

What are crumbs? The crumbs I’m talking about are the choice we make that make us have to look over our shoulder in the future.

You didn’t pay that guy back the money you owed him and tonight you just saw him sitting 3 rows behind you…shit…You slept around on your spouse and you just found out that tomorrow, she and the lady you’re having an affair with, are going to be at the same PTA meeting…shit again.. You drank too much last night and you’re too hungover to drive your son to his 8 a.m. Saturday morning baseball practice. THESE ARE CRUMBS! They come in the form of regret, guilt, and remorse — you leave em today, they will cause you more stress tomorrow, and they DISALLOW you from creating a customized future in which you DO NOT have to look over your shoulder.

So…let’s flip the script. Instead of creating outcomes that take FROM us, let’s create MORE outcomes that pay us BACK, fill us up, keep your fire lit, turn you ON, for the most amount of TIME in your future.

These are the choices I speak of and this is the beauty of delayed gratification.

Tee yourself up. Do yourself a favor. Make the choices, the purchase TODAY that PAYS you back TOMORROW. RESIDUALS. In my business, it’s called “mailbox money.” I do my job well today, I get checks in the mailbox five years from now — heck of a deal.

So, whether it’s prepping the coffee maker the night before so all you gotta do is press the button in the morning, or getting ready for the job interview early so you don’t have to cram the night before, or choosing not to hook up with that married woman because you know you’ll feel horrible about it tomorrow (and her husband carries a gun), or paying your debts on time so when you do see that guy three rows back tonight — you don’t have to hunker down in your seat hoping he don’t see you. Get some R.O.I — RETURN ON INVESTMENT — Your investment. You. You customize your future.

DON’T LEAVE CRUMBS.

7. DISSECT YOUR SUCCESSES (and the reciprocity of gratitude)

We so often focus on our FAILURES. We study them. We obsess on them. We DISSECT them. We end up intoxicated with them to the point of disillusion.

When do we write in our diary? When we’re depressed. What do we gossip about? Other people’s flaws and limitations. We can dissect ourselves into self loathing if we’re not careful — and I find that most of the times our obsession with what is wrong just breeds more wrong and more failure.

The easiest way to dissect success is though gratitude. Giving thanks for that which we do have, for what is working, appreciating the simple things we sometimes take for granted. We give thanks for these things and that gratitude reciprocates, creating more to be thankful for. It’s simple, and it works.

I’m not saying be in denial of your failures. No, we can learn from them too, but only if we look at them constructively. As a means to reveal what we are good at, what we can get better at, what we do succeed at.

I’ve read a lot of my bad reviews, and the good “bad reviews,” written by the more talented critics, are constructive. They reveal to me what did translate in my work, what came across, what was seen, or what wasn’t. I don’t obsess on the unfavorable aspect of their review, but I do seek what I can learn from it — Because their displeasure actually uncovers and makes more apparent what I do do well, what I am successful at… and then I dissect that.

Life is a verb. We try our best. We don’t always do our best. Well, architecture is a verb as well. And since we are the architects of our lives, lets study the habits, the practices, the routines we have that lead to and feed our success… our joy, our honest pain, our laughter, our earned tears…Let’s Dissect THAT and give thanks for THOSE things… and when we do that what happens? We get better at them…and have more to dissect.

8. MAKE VOLUNTARY OBLIGATIONS

Mom and dad teach us things as children. Teachers, mentors, the government and laws all give us guidelines to navigate life, rules to abide by in the name of accountability.

I’m not talking about those obligations. I’m talking about the ones we make with ourselves, with our God, with our own consciousness. I’m talking about the YOU versus YOU obligations. We have to have them. Again, these are not societal laws and expectations that we acknowledge and endow for anyone other than ourselves. These are FAITH based OBLIGATIONS that we make on our own.

Not the lowered insurance rate for a good driving record, you will not be fined or put in jail if you do not gratify the obligations I speak of — no one else governs these but you.

They’re secrets with yourself, private council, personal protocols, and while nobody throws you a party when you abide by them, no one will arrest you when you break them either. Except yourself. Or, some cops who got a “disturbing the peace” call at 2:30 in the morning because you were playing bongos in your birthday suit.

An honest man’s pillow is his peace of mind, and when you lay down on the pillow at night, no matter who’s in our bed we ALL sleep alone. — These are your personal jiminy crickets. And there are not enough cops in the entire world to police them — It’s on YOU.

9. From can to want

1995. I got my first big paycheck as an actor. I think it was 150 grand. The film was Boys on the Side and we’re shooting in Tucson, AZ and I have this sweet little adobe guest house on the edge of the Saguaro National Park. The house came with a maid. My first maid. It was awesome. So, I’ve got a friend over one Friday night and we’re having a good time and I’m telling her about how happy I am with my set up . The house. The maid. Especially, the maid. I’m telling her, “she cleans the place after I go to work, washes my clothes, the dishes, puts fresh water by my bed, leaves me cooked meals sometimes, and SHE EVEN PRESSES MY JEANS!” My friend, she smiles at me, happy for my genuine excitement over this “luxury service” I’m getting, and she says, “Well…that’s great…if you like your jeans pressed.”

I kind of looked at her, kind of stuttered without saying anything, you know, that dumb ass look you can get, and it hit me…

I hate that line going down my jeans! And it was then, for the first time, that I noticed…I’ve never thought about NOT liking that starched line down the front of my jeans!! Because I’d never had a maid to iron my jeans before!! And since she did, now, for the first time in my life, I just liked it because I could get it, I never thought about if I really wanted it there. Well, I did NOT want it there. That line… and that night I learned something.

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.

I’ve never had my jeans pressed since.

10. A roof is a man made thing

January 3, 1993. NFL playoffs. Your Houston Oilers vs. Buffalo Bills. Oilers up 28–3 at halftime, 35–3 early in the 3rd. Frank Reich and the Bills come back to win 41–38 in overtime for one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history. Yeah, the Bills won, but they didn’t really beat the Oilers. The Oilers lost that game, they beat themselves.

Why? Because at halftime they put a ceiling, a roof, a limit on their belief in themselves, a.k.a the “prevent defense.” Maybe they started thinking about the next opponent at halftime, played on their heels, lost the mental edge the entire 2nd half and voila, they lost. In a mere 2 quarters defensive coordinator Jim Eddy went from being called DC OF THE YEAR and “the man first in line to be a HC next year” to a man without a job in the NFL.

You ever choked? You know what I mean, fumbled at the goal line, stuck your foot in your mouth once you got the microphone, had a brain freeze on the exam you were totally prepared for, forgot the punch line to a joke in front of four thousand graduating students at a University of Houston Commencement speech? Or maybe you’ve had that feeling of “Oh my God, life can’t get any better, do I deserve this?”

What happens when we get that feeling? We tense up, we have this outer body experience where we are literally seeing our self in the third person. We realize that the moment just got bigger than us. You ever felt that way? I have.

It’s because we have created a fictitious ceiling, a roof, to our expectations of ourselves, a limit — where we think it’s all too good to be true. BUT IT ISN’T. AND IT’S NOT OUR RIGHT TO SAY OR BELIEVE IT IS.

We shouldn’t create these restrictions on ourselves. A blue ribbon, a statue, a score, a great idea, the love of our life, a euphoric bliss. Who are we to think we don’t deserve or haven’t earned these gifts when we get them?

Not our right.

But if we stay in process, within ourselves, in the joy of the doing, we will never choke at the finish line. Why? Because we aren’t thinking of the finish line, we’re not looking at the clock, we’re not watching ourselves on the Jumbotron performing the very act we are in the middle of. No, we’re in process, the APPROACH IS THE DESTINATION… and we are NEVER finished.

Bo Jackson ran over the goal line, through the end zone and up the tunnel — the greatest snipers and marksmen in the world don’t aim at the target, they aim on the other side of it.

We do our best when our destinations are beyond the “measurement,” when our reach continually exceeds our grasp, when we have immortal finish lines.

When we do this, the race is never over. The journey has no port. The adventure never ends because we are always on our way. Do this, and let them tap us on the shoulder and say, “hey, you scored.” Let them tell you “You won.” Let them come tell you, “you can go home now.” Let them say “I love you too.” Let them say “thank you.”

TAKE THE LID OFF THE MAN MADE ROOFS WE PUT ABOVE OURSELVES AND ALWAYS PLAY LIKE AN UNDERDOG.

11. Turn the page

The late and great University of Texas football coach Daryl Royal was a friend of mine and a good friend to many. A lot of people looked up to him. One was a musician named “Larry.” Now at this time in his life Larry was in the prime of his country music career, had #1 hits and his life was rollin’. He had picked up a habit snortin’ “the white stuff” somewhere along the line and at one particular party after a “bathroom break,” Larry went confidently up to his mentor Daryl and he started telling Coach a story. Coach listened as he always had and when Larry finished his story and was about to walk away, Coach Royal put a gentle hand on his shoulder and very discreetly said, “Larry, you got something on your nose there bud.” Larry immediately hurried to the bathroom mirror where he saw some white powder he hadn’t cleaned off his nose. He was ashamed. He was embarrassed. As much because he felt so disrespectful to Coach Royal, and as much because he’d obviously gotten too comfortable with the drug to even hide as well as he should.

Well, the next day Larry went to coach’s house, rang the doorbell, Coach answered and he said, “Coach, I need to talk to you.” Daryl said, “sure, c’mon in.”

Larry confessed. He purged his sins to Coach. He told him how embarrassed he was, and how he’s “lost his way” in the midst of all the fame and fortune and towards the end of an hour, Larry, in tears, asked Coach, “What do you think I should do?” Now, Coach, being a man of few words, just looked at him and calmly confessed himself. He said, “Larry, I have never had any trouble turning the page in the book of my life.” Larry got sober that day and he has been for the last 40 years.

You ever get in a rut? Stuck on the merry-go-round of a bad habit? I have. You are going to make mistakes — own them, make amends, and move on. Guilt and regret kills many a man before their time. Turn the page, get off the ride. YOU are the author of the book of your life. Turn the page.

12. Give your obstacles credit

You know these No Fear t-shirts? I don’t get em. Hell, I try to scare myself at least once a day. I get butterflies every morning before I go to work. I was nervous before I got here to speak tonight. I think fear is a good thing. Why? Because it increases our NEED to overcome that fear.

Say your obstacle is fear of rejection. You want to ask her out but you fear she may say “no.” You want to ask for that promotion but you’re scared your boss will think you’re overstepping your bounds.

Well, instead of denying these fears, declare them, say them out loud, admit them, give them the credit they deserve. Don’t get all macho and act like they’re no big deal, and don’t get paralyzed by denying they exist and therefore abandoning your need to overcome them. I mean, I’d subscribe to the belief that we’re all destined to have to do the thing we fear the most anyway.

So, you give your obstacles credit and you will one. Find the courage to overcome them or see clearly that they are not really worth prevailing over.

BE BRAVE, HAVE COURAGE. WHEN YOU DO YOU GET STRONGER, MORE AWARE, AND MORE RESPECTFUL — OF YOURSELF, AND THAT WHICH YOU FEAR.

13. So how do we know when we cross the truth?

13. Why 13? Unlucky # right?

Well, when did 13 get the bad rap and become the mongrel of numerology? Thirteen’s never done me wrong. In fact, 13 has been a pretty lucky number for me, lemme tell you how:

I’ve always taken these 21 day trips by myself to far off places where I usually don’t know the language and nobody knows my name. They’re adventures and they’re a purge, a cleanse for me. Like a 21 day fast from attention, from all the things I have in my well appointed life. They’re a check OUT, so I can check IN with myself.

See how I’m doing, be forced to be my own and only company, to have a look in MY mirror. And you know what can happen when we do THAT — sometimes we don’t like what we see.

In 1996, right after I got “famous” from a film called A Time to Kill, I headed out on one of these 21-day walkabouts — this time to the jungles and mountains of Peru. The sudden fame I’d just gotten was somewhat unbalancing. My face was everywhere, everyone wanted a piece of me, people I’d never met were swearing they “loved me” — everywhere I went, there I was, on a billboard, a magazine cover. It was just weird. What was this all about? What was reality and what was bullshit? Did I deserve all this?” were all questions I was asking myself.

“Who was I?” was another.

Now, there’s always an initiation period with these trips. An amount of time that it takes for the place to INITIATE the traveler. The time it takes to disconnect from the world we left, and become completely present in the one we are traveling in…For me, that initiation period usually last about thirteen days. Yes. Thirteen hellish days until I’m out of my own way. After that, the trip is smooth sailing.

Well, it was the night of the twelfth day of my 21-day trip. I was settling into camp, I’d already hiked 80 miles to this point and had a three-day trek to Machu Pichu ahead of me.

I was sick of myself. Wrestling with the loss of my anonymity, guilt ridden for sins of my past, full of regret. I was lonely — disgusted with the company I was keeping: MY OWN — and doing a pretty good job of mentally beating the shit out of myself.

Grappling with the demons on this night, I couldn’t sleep. All of these badges and banners and expectations and anxieties I was carrying with me. I needed to free myself from them… Who was I? I asked myself. Not only on this trip but in this life. So I stripped down to nothing. I took off every moniker that gave me pride and confidence, all the window dressings, the packaging around my product (heart). I discarded my lucky and faithful American cap, stripped off my talismans from adventures past. I even discarded my late father’s gold ring he gave to me that was made from a meltdown of he and my mom’s class rings and gold from one of her teeth.

I was naked. Literally and figuratively. And I got sick. Soaked in sweat, I threw up until there was no bile left in my belly, and finally passed out from exhaustion.

A few hours later, I awoke on this thirteenth morning to a rising sun. Surprisingly fresh and energized, I dressed, made some tea and went for a morning walk. Not towards my destination Machu Pichu but rather to nowhere in particular. My gut was still a bit piqued from last night’s purge, yet I curiously felt pretty good: alive, clean, free, light.

Along a muddy path on this walk, I turned a corner and there in the middle of the road was a mirage of the most magnificent pinks and blues and red colors I had ever seen. It was electric, glowing and vibrant, hovering just off the surface, as if it was plugged in to some neon power plant.

I stopped. I stared. There was no way around it: The jungle floor in front of me was actually THOUSANDS OF BUTTERFLIES. There, in my path. It was SPECTACULAR.

I stayed awhile, and somewhere in my captivation, I heard this little voice inside my head say these words, “All I want is what I can see, and what I can see, is in front of me.”

At that moment, for the first time on this trip, I had stopped anticipating what was around the corner, stopped thinking about what was coming up next and what was up ahead. Time slowed down. I was no longer in a rush to get anywhere. My anxieties were eased.

A few hours later I returned to camp and packed for my continued journey onto Machu Pichu. I had a bounce in my step, new energy. The local Sherpas I was traveling with even noticed, calling out to me, “sois luz Mateo, sois luz!!!” — meaning “you are light” in Spanish.

You see, I forgave myself that morning. I let go of the guilt, the weight on my shoulders lifted, my penance paid, and I got back in good graces with God. I shook hands with myself, my best friend, the one we’re all stuck with anyway. From that morning on, the adventure was awesome. I was present, out of my own way, not anticipating next, embracing only what was in front of my eyes, and giving everything the justice it deserved.

You see, I crossed a truth that morning. Did I find it? I don’t know, I think it found me. Why? Because I put myself in a place to be found. I put myself in a place to receive the truth.

So, how do we know when we cross the truth?

I believe the truth is all around us, all the time. The answer, you know, it’s always right there. But we don’t always see it, grasp it, hear it, access it — because we’re not in the right place to.

So what do we do?

First, we have to put ourselves in the place to receive the truth. We live in an extremely noisy world with all kinds of frequencies coming at us — commitments, deadlines, fix this, do that, plans, expectations — and they all make it hard to get clarity and peace of mind. So we have to consciously put ourselves in a place to receive that clarity. Whether that’s prayer, meditation, a walkabout, being in right company, a road trip, whatever it is for you.

Schedule that time to be in a place to receive the truth.

Now, if we hear it, if it becomes clear, a truth that is natural and infinite, then the second part comes…

…which is to PERSONALIZE it. Ask how it works for you, how it applies to you personally, why you need it in your life, specifically.

…If we do THAT, then comes the third part:

….having the patience to internalize it — and get it from our intellectual head and into our bones and soul and our instinct. We can’t rush this part, it takes time.

And if we get that far. We received it, we personalized it, we internalized it. If we make it that far, then comes THE BIGGIE ….

Having the courage to act on it. To actually take it into our daily lives and practice it, to make it an active part of who we are and live it.

If we can do that, then we have what I believe is Heaven on Earth.

The place where what we want is also just what we need. I mean that’s the ticket isn’t it!!? That’s where I want to live!!

So while we’re here, let’s make it a place where we break a sweat, where we believe, where we enjoy the process of succeeding in the places and ways we are fashioned to. Where we don’t have to look over our shoulder because we are too busy doing what we’re good at. Voluntarily keeping our own council because we WANT to. Traveling towards immortal finish lines. We write our book. Overcome our fears. We make friends with ourselves.

That is the place I’m talking about.

 


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