“You are the hero of your own story.” – Joseph Campbell
Last night, Matthew McConaughey won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his work in Dallas Buyers Club. While this was a remarkable accomplishment and the crowning achievement for an actor in the entertainment industry, the words McConaughey spoke during his acceptance speech really stole the moment.
McConaughey listed three things he has with him every day: someone to look up to (God), someone to look forward to (his family), and someone to chase (his hero). He said that at the age of 15, he was asked who is hero was. After a few weeks, he told this person his hero was himself in ten years. At the age of 25, this same person asked him if he was now a hero, and he said not even close because his hero was now him at 35. Essentially, he made the point that his hero will always be ten years away from him. It will always be that someone he is trying to chase. Day after day, week after week, month after month, he is always chasing his hero.
Now, I have been reading for most of the day that this acceptance speech has been received as arrogant, selfish, and conceited. It has been said that in typical Hollywood “look-at-me” fashion that it is typical that a movie star would label himself as his own personal hero. The fact that it was Matthew McConaughey seemed to confirm for many that he was a type of person who would put himself first.
If this was you, then I firmly believe that you missed his message.
His message to me said simply this: We must constantly strive to become the best version of ourselves.
I think it is essential that we become the hero in our life. We are the person in control of writing our story. We are the driver of the bus.
At the end of the day, don’t we want a story that we would be proud of? Don’t we want a story that says we have made our mark on this world? Don’t we want a story that says day in and day out we gave our best?
McConaughey thanked his mother saying she taught them (him and his two brothers) and demanded that they respect themselves so that they in turn learned how to better respect others.
Be the best version of yourself. Respect yourself. Respect others. Have someone in your life to look up to. Have something in your life to look forward to. Be your own hero.
Today, I challenge you to begin writing your own story. Make decisions your future self will be proud of. Live your life taking positive steps forward. Keep chasing your hero.
Bring your best today!