One of my favorite celebrity speeches of all time was given by Matthew McConaughey right after he won Best Actor at the Oscars for his leading role in “Dallas Buyer’s Club” (in 2014). McConaughey was up against Christian Bale for “American Hustle,” Bruce Dern for “Nebraska,” Leonardo DiCaprio for “Wolf of Wall Street,” and Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years a Slave.” I am no expert, but in the three movies I saw, each actor was simply amazing in his role. For me, it was up in the air, and it could have gone any direction.
When McConaughey walked up on stage to accept his award and deliver his speech, I was expecting a performance reminiscence of “Dazed and Confused.” I was not expecting to be totally turned upside down in a mere three-minute speech.
Let me go back to his competitors for a second… titans in the industry, and not a lot of separation between their talents. The very first thing McConaughey opened with was his recognition of the immense talent of all the nominees, and he said the performances were impeccable, without a false note anywhere. Like any A-list actor, McConaughey knows how to capture the attention of an audience through his acting, but this was different. It sounded different, felt different, and it wasn’t acting. It was genuine, motivating, and inspiring.
He went on to say that he needs three things each day:
1. Something to look up to
2. Something to look forward to
3. Something to chase
McConaughey’s answers were his own (if you’d like to hear them yourself, click here).
The reason this speech impacted me is that everyday life and success was put into perspective. Here is a man who has achieved success, fame, and, fortune beyond my realistic dreams. I can never do what he does, make the money he makes, live the life he lives… or can I? I started asking myself how I would answer these questions, where do I place value, what are the simple, everyday things in life that I might overlook and take for granted, and can I still dream big?
I may never have the same value in my bank account as Matthew McConaughey, but I can start opening my eyes and be thankful for the people who are in my life and what they teach me. So to that I say, “Alright Alright Alright.”