Matthew McConaughey is a Hollywood actor who in my opinion delivered one of the best Oscar acceptance speeches ever. Read it out loud if you can. The words are powerful –
“And to my hero. That’s who I chase. Now when I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life come to me and say “who’s your hero?” And I said, “I don’t know, I gotta think about that. Give me a couple of weeks.” I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says “who’s your hero?” I said, “I thought about it. You know who it is? It’s me in 10 years.” So I turned 25. Ten years later, that same person comes to me and says, “So, are you a hero?” And I was like, “not even close. No, no, no.” She said, “Why?” I said, “Because my hero’s me at 35.” So you see 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.
So, to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasing, to that I say, “Amen.” To that I say, “Alright, alright, alright.” To that I say “just keep living.” Thank you.”
You can watch the main point below or you can see the whole thing here or you can read the important bit above.
Why are these words so powerful? Let's reflect on that for a moment. When I heard these words for the first time I realised that McConaughey said exactly what I have been trying to articulate for years – the chase of your best self. I believe that the minute you start to think you have attained it is the minute you have lost out on possibilities or you are dead! Oh, and no, I am not a huge film buff and I don't watch the Oscars speeches or TV but if something like this is recommended to me then I do pay attention and I urge you to do the same.
There are plenty of articles you can read on how to be your best self and a ton of research out there as well, MindBodyGreen , The Independent to name a few. Thing is, you can read and read and read or you can take the recommendations below and act upon them. It is really not rocket science but it is based on McConaughey’s speech.
There is one more thing you can do which is really powerful – that is to write your obituary. I know it sounds morbid, but it is a very powerful positive psychology intervention and I use this extensively within my coaching and mentoring practice. If it’s a challenge you are willing to take on then you can find out more about it here.
What I have realised in my forty something years of life is that when I am conscious of wanting to be better in everything from my relationship with God to my relationship with myself I tend to become better in all areas of life and I strive harder resulting in me getting closer to my best possible self… but then they are moving ahead too!