If you watched the Oscar’s last night, then you know that 12 Years A Slave took home best picture, Cate Blanchett won best lead actress and Matthew McConaughey won best leading actor. If you didn’t, I’m sure you Googled it and this is not a surprise. Some of the highs were Pharell’s performance of “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 and P!nk’s cover of “Over The Rainbow” which was splendidly done. As well as the moment when Ellen claimed she took Pharell’s hat and started hitting up celebrities for money to pitch in pizza, singling out Brad Pitt who only tossed in 20 bucks. But the moment that stood out for me during the entire show was Matthew McConaughey’ speech accepting best actor.
McConaughey said there were only three things in life he needed daily: something to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase. Just three things. Very simple, nothing over the top, nothing complicated. What where his three things? God, his family and himself — in that order. Something to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase. The first two were easy to follow and he explained quite eloquently how they all tied in. But when he came to explaining someone to chase — he had a little story about being asked who his hero was when he was 15 years old — he made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t chasing who is he now, the McConuaghey we saw on stage. He was chasing who he wanted to be in 10 years from then and 10 years from now. And that’s how he lives his life.
I’ve never thought about self-development as a chase. I think of chase as cops and robbers, to an extent. Being chased — trying to get away. But Matthew McConaughey’s chase is about working his way towards a better self. A self that he’s so focused on, so single-minded about, that he makes sure everything he’s doing moves him in that direction. I’m probably ad-libbing here, but that was my takeaway. That was my understanding of what he meant to chase himself. Being so absorbed by a goal — by a state of mind — that nothing deters you. Not because you’re perfect in every way, but because that’s where you want to be. That’s what you want so badly, you’ll doing anything for.
Just 3 things he puts his mind to everyday. Not some bucket list of all things he plans to check off the list before he dies. Just 3 things.
Whatever it is that you’re working on or working towards, if you could learn to let go of all that you don’t need, what 3 things would you need to propel yourself forward?