The dance of fate and control

According to Donald Miller and Matthew McConoughey “Fate is a terrible writer — and it shouldn’t be the one in the driver’s seat of your life. But there has to be a balance between fate and control, right?”

Matthew McConaughey’s take on this topic is an inspiring one, and in this interview, he talks about how fate works together with self-determination to help you create the life you really want. He argues that ego is actually a healthy thing and that there is a beautiful balance between freedom and responsibility (in his terms, “giddy-up and innate ability.”)

This epic conversation with Don and Matthew will inspire you to learn from your setbacks, take back control of your life, and develop the kind of optimism that will help you succeed.

Matthew Mcconoughey’s new book is called “Greenlight” and it is a memoir that is both funny and full of wisdom. His book is about taking a look at the events in your life and changing your perception of red lights (hardships or stopping points along the way).  By changing your thoughts about the red lights you can turn them into green lights by altering your actions to align with your new thoughts.

Matthew’s book came out of years of journaling. He started writing in a journal at 14 years old while navigating his awkward teenage years. It became a socratic dialogue with himself. He realized that he wrote less in his journal when his life was successful and once he realized this he made himself write in his journal even when he was doing well so that he could dissect the habits that got him there and recalibrate in times of struggle to help him get back on track. His book came out of his own life experiences and how he converted pain and hardships into opportunities for personal growth. Along the way Matthew found tools that helped him to transform that he shares in his book.

An example from nature that I believe explains the concept in his book about the red lights and green lights comes from the Bison. The Bison is the only animal that when a storm comes, turns and faces the storm and walks right through it. This is a lesson for us. When hardships come, like 2020 and all the things that have happened this year, we can turn and face them and realize they are happening FOR us and not TO us. If we stay with the mentality that the traumas and pains are happening TO us, then we become the victim and never grow. But, if we perceive everything as happening FOR us, we decide to turn into the storm and then come out the other side stronger and braver and better because of it. Eventually we see our own growth and become thankful for the painful event. You grow through what you go through.

Take ownership of your life –

“Give yourself moments of good job, but get involved with evolving and growing yourself.” -Matthew McConoughey.

It is your hands on the steering wheel of your life. We might hold hands with fate but we need self determination and responsibility to create action. It is a dance between fate and our own free will and choices. It is always a mystery going forward. You are born with innate abilities but you still have to work for it. We can’t forget that we always have an important role to play in writing the story we want to live. 

Stephen Covey advises you to write your own obituary and spend each day working toward adding a paragraph to that; beginning with the end in mind. Matthew shares that “action” was called when you were born. On one day the words, “cut” will be called and that will be it. Your final day. You get one live chance at this big show called life. Are you inspired to be better each day? Are you always chasing a better version of yourself and growing through both the good times and the hard times?

Some other tools/rules you can use to help you reach your goals for 2021:

  1. Create a life plan – create the life you have always wanted by writing down your plan at
  2. Nature, nurture, choice tool. Insert tool here ?

“We are products of neither nature nor nurture; we are a product of choice, because there is always a space between stimulus and response. As we wisely exercise our power to choose based on principles, the space will become larger.” – Stephen Covey

We have things that are both out of our control and within our control and then we always have a choice with how we want to move from there.

  1. Be present. You can’t change the past, but you can learn from  it. You can’t exist in the future and worrying about it is like walking around with an umbrella your whole life just waiting for it to rain. You only exist here and now in the present moment. Don’t miss your life by not truly being where you are. One way to help stay present is to engage your senses with your surroundings. Focus on one thing (a smell, a taste, a sound and let it permeate your mind) Meditation helps! Plus, you can read, “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” … “If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.” – Roy T. Bennet

  1. The magic of journaling. You can begin your day by writing what Julia Cameron calls “morning pages” in her book “The Artist’s Way.” This book is in itself an incredible tool toward unleashing higher creativity in your life. Writing out your thoughts and feelings first thing out of bed in the morning for 15 minutes is such a powerful tool for your mental well-being.

  2. Use the X Factor tool to determine how to strategically spend your time. As a certified life coach through 5 stones and Giant Worldwide this is the tool we use.

  3. Know yourself to lead yourself. This tool teaches you to recognize how your tendencies become patterns that lead to actions that create consequences both positive and negative and create your reality. Being aware of your tendencies is a great awareness tool. Plus, you can’t lead yourself until you truly and accurately know your own self, both light and shadows.
  4. The 5 Why’s – Your “Why” is so important. To determine your Why you will ask yourself a series of 5 Why questions digging deeper each time to get to the core and root of your personal why.  You start off with why you want to be a ________? And, then ask yourself why you answered that question that way and then continue until you’ve asked yourself why 5 times. The end result is brilliant.
  5. CORE process – is an acronym for Call it, Own it, Resond, Execute. Call out your learning opportunity. Own your intentions, tendencies, and your part in the problem. Taking ownership instead of blaming others is huge! Then turn the corner from knowing yourself to leading yourself by responding from your new awareness and how you plan to move forward. Create a plan of action to how you’re going to grow and change your behaviors. Execute your plan and ask for accountability from someone you trust to encourage you in the process.

    Viktor Frankl is a holocaust survivor who lost his entire family at the concentration camps in Oshwitz. He seems to know alot about pain and trauma. Take his advice, “ Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

By Published On: December 30th, 2020

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About the Author: Tara Bruce

Tara Bruce
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