My Afternoon with Matthew McConaughey

It really all started with Instagram. When the new year began, I finally decided to join. At its most basic, I always considered it a photography platform, and I am not a photographer. But I hit “Create an Account” anyway and started following family and some public figures. I posted a handful of tepid nature shots.

I’ll admit that I didn’t think of Matthew right away. But when I saw him doing an interview, I thought “there’s an Instagram account I would follow.”

He’s a great actor. “A Time to Kill’s” Jake Brigance is a favorite, and I loved his dark turn in HBO’s “True Detective.” I also read his 2020 bestselling book “Green Lights.” It was partly autobiographical and partly his journey to finding answers to life’s big questions. Although he’s a character, he’s authentic and I always gravitate towards real.

Within days, something cropped up in his feed. “What is “The Art of Livin’” he asks? “Join me on April 24th. It’s going to be a “First of Its Kind” McConaughey Live Event.”

I am fairly immune to clickbait, but not this time. I clicked, and learned by providing only my name and email address, I would be guaranteed a free “seat” to watch the event on Facebook and YouTube. However, for $47, I could buy a “VIP Fast Lane” pass to access a private Zoom with 500 other participants and chat interactively with the man himself during the event. The money was going to the Feeding America organization. Without further ado, I typed in my card number and received a link to the private Zoom. The event was two weeks away.

I do NOT typically spend money on a whim like this, but I felt a tug at my 2023 promise I made in January. This year, I’m interested in exploring new opportunities, new adventures, new anything as part of my commitment to #liveagreatstory. A piece of that is saying yes instead of no.

About a week before the event, Matthew posts how it’s going to run four hours starting at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. “Four hours?” I thought. “What have I gotten myself into?”

But I dutifully logged in moments before 1:00 pm (my time) and there were instantly 25 people inside Zoom boxes staring at me. A rock song I didn’t recognize hit my ears, but I have to say the energy of the event was just surging through my computer. I felt it. This was going to be interesting.

There were two fast speeches about how to use the chat box and encouraged us to do so. We learned that 2.4 million people had signed up to listen to McConaughey (and his team, including life coaches Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins) and that the participants represented 150 countries. The event took eight months of planning.

Then Matthew stepped up and started talking. His enthusiasm for helping people get more out of life “What is YOUR more?” was high level and practically ricocheted through the 500 Zoom boxes. He asked, “what is holding you back from being the person you were meant to be?” And the chat box exploded.

Some of my peers for the day. I’m staring down at Matthew in the yellow box.

“I have to get out of my own way,”, “I need more confidence,”, “I want to have more fun with my spouse,”, “I need to believe in myself more,” shot by me so fast, I barely had time to write them down. One response made McConaughey laugh out loud:

“I want to ride on Space Mountain every day!” (I don’t think everyone was taking it seriously.)

He had a list of ten suggestions to think about how you tackle life and where there could be improvement. I will not list all ten, but one of them stuck with me over the others.

“Which do you dissect more in your life… your successes or your failures?” The chat box lit up with hundreds of failure responses, and he agreed. “Me too,” he said.

But then he said, “Think about that. Why would you spend your time dissecting something that is not a strength? Shouldn’t you be dissecting your successes so you can build on them? The secret in the sauce lies there!”

Well, he had a point. I think people dissect their failures to improve the next time, but success does show that you are heading in the right direction. Success can almost always been expanded, so look there.

About two and a half hours later, the inevitable sales pitch begins about an entire online platform course titled Roadtrip: The Highway to More which McConaughey helped develop with his team which includes a workbook, “live monthly training” and access to certain self-help libraries. It wasn’t cheap at $397.00, so I tuned that part out.

All of this really circles back to his book. After it became a bestseller, he was “bombarded with requests to go even deeper.” Since his journey of getting answers was literally during a road trip, the course uses many “on-the road” analogies to drive home his thoughts. (Yes, I went there.)

Seriously, I got a kick out of my afternoon adventure. I learned some things, watched my Zoom companions, some of who included Gwen, Lucio, Vonda, Pat, Laja, and a man named Tommi with a giant flag of New Zealand hanging behind him. I watched them react, write things down, smile, frown and, in some cases, eat lunch. That was a little weird.

It’s true that the uniqueness of this event and McConaughey himself played significantly in my decision to join that day. But wrapped around my #liveagreatstory motto, is the question of how to do that. What is MY more? (And in writing that, I will adamantly suggest that one is never too old to ask that.) I have thoughts which seem to be lining up. I’m feeling optimistic.

When my husband Dennis returned home that afternoon, he asked, “how did it go?”

I replied “pretty well”, but I had to suppress the urge to say “Alright, alright, alright.”

“More” Photo by Malte Luk on


  1. Anytime we get out of our comfort zone and try something new (whether it proves fruitful or not), it is a good thing. How many times do we say, “Maybe some other time.” I find it interesting because these type of things (celebrities sharing some of their life philosophies and beliefs through classes) has taken off in the last few years.

    I can’t say I’ve been around any notable celebrities. I like meeting with our accountant each year because he gives me the latest on his daughter, a girl I taught in 5th grade. She used to be Jennifer Lopez’s (J-Lo) nanny for a few years, but now she is doing the same for one of the Kardashian girls. Life is so unpredictable because I heard she was starting Law School at Harvard before that. Talk about a plot twist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m all about getting out of my comfort zone this year Pete. The theme really has been “say yes.” I’m enjoying that. And that’s a fun story about a past student!! First, she’s a nanny employed by Hollywood stars and then she’s in Harvard Law School? Wow. That would make an interesting book!


  2. An afternoon with Matthew McConaughey, sexy beast that he is. Sign me up!

    I admire your willingness to explore something new: new faces, new opportunities. The question, “What do you dissect more in your life, the successes or your failures?” I would usually side with “failures” but today a book talk went very well, so I’ll dwell on the positive for a while.

    Here’s to more great story-telling, Melanie! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are TOO funny describing Matthew McConaughey as a sexy beast Marian! Hahahahaha! There is absolutely a sex appeal factor there. 🙂 Congratulations on an excellent book talk today; success feels very good. I’m not done, but I’m enjoying it so far!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The book talk was swell, but not many books sold. I suspect many use Amazon (slightly cheaper than an autographed paperback copy) or get the e-book for their Kindles. Thanks for the feedback so far on my marriage memoir. You’re great, Melanie! ;-D


    • I don’t own a Kindle, so I do buy paperback copies on Amazon. Honestly, I assumed most people here buy each other’s books via Kindle, but without personal experience, I have no idea. 😊 Thanks for YOUR feedback. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you Melanie. I most likely wouldn’t have signed up for the $47 part, lol. Of course, the bottom line is always the almighty dollar. But you got to enjoy four hours for fifty bucks, so it was a nice outing, lol. And you’re living your story. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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