McConaughey thinks we should always “play like an underdog.” What he means, is that when going after something we want, we should give everything we have. If we put a ceiling on how successful we expect to be, we are restricting ourselves.
He says a roof, or a limit, is a man-made thing, so it is best to play with the underdog attitude in mind. He was also raised like an underdog — he did not get grounded by his parents, but he got a whooping. When he threatened to run away, his parents simply packed his bags for him.
He Was Little Mr. Texas
It was clear from very early on that Matthew McConaughey was destined for greatness and more specifically, awards. Matthew’s mom enlisted him for the Little Mr. Texas contest in Bandera when he was just 7 years old. He did well and walked away with a trophy.
His mom displayed a photo of him with his trophy on the kitchen wall and praised him every single day at breakfast saying, “Look at you, winner, Little Mr. Texas.” As an adult, he examined the trophy. It read, “Runner Up.” But his mom was resolute. She said the winning boy cheated and that he won because his wealthy family bought him a fancy suit.
He Was Voted Most Handsome
Long before Matthew McConaughey was crowned “Sexiest Man Alive,” he received an accolade for his appearance. In high school as a senior, the actor was not so surprisingly voted “Most Handsome.” It was Jimmy Fallon who dug up the high school yearbook from Uvalde and announced it to the public.
This was just after his Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama in “Dallas Buyers Club.” He suffered terrible acne in high school but still managed to win the title. He has also said he was dating the most beautiful girl at his high school. Now that's just darn impressive.
He Lost His Mind in Rural Australia
At age 18, Matthew went on a student exchange trip. It was 1988 and it would be a life-changing experience. It was so significant he says he would not be the same person without having done it, and he would not have won his Academy Award without it. The time was traumatic; he said he lost his mind there.
He was lonely, working six jobs, and nothing was going his way. He endured the year's stay as if “treading water” to the finish line. That is how he describes it in his memoir. We've got more about that book to come!
A Law Degree
Even before Matthew McConaughey graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, he was thinking about his next move. Getting a law degree is prestigious, so he decided he was going to law school. He wanted to be a defense attorney. As you can see, he had many big dreams.
There were a couple of things that changed his path. First, his older brother came to him and said there were not enough funds to float a private law school. The other thing that changed his mind was that he realized he did not want to be a lawyer. He chose film school instead.