130 Matthew Mcconaughey Quotes

You might pick up some valuable life lessons from this collection of Matthew McConaughey quotes. Having a total of 130 of his best quotes, there’s no doubt that you’ll get some useful bits of wisdom from this Oscar-winning actor.

With his good looks and Southern charm, there’s no doubt that Matthew McConaughey is the perfect romantic leading man. You may know him from famous hits like Dazed and Confused, Mud, and Dallas Buyers Club. However, he’s more than just an actor that’s big on the screens, he’s also a man with a big heart and has a lot of genuine and kind things to say about his co-stars, family, friends, and the community.

Check out the full collection below.

Best Matthew McConaughey Quotes

Matthew McConaughey Quote - The older you get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep living, man.Pin

1. “The older you get, the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep living, man.”

2. “I’m a fan of the word selfish. Self. Ish. When I say I have gotten a lot more selfish, I mean I am less concerned with what people think of me. I’m not worried about how I’m perceived. Selfish has always gotten a bad rap. You should do it for yourself.”

3. “If you want your hair to be thicker, cut it when the moon is about to be full—a heavy, full, waxing moon. Do not cut it when the moon’s waning.”

4. “So to any of us, whatever those things are—whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasing—to that I say, ‘Amen.’ To that I say, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ To that I say, ‘Just keep living.’ Thank you.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote -  Joy, though, is something else. It's not a choice, not a response to some result, it is a constant.Pin

5. “If happiness is what you’re after, then you are going to be let down frequently and be unhappy much of your time. Joy, though, is something else. It’s not a choice, not a response to some result, it is a constant.”

6. “I’ve never been a manipulator, even in my bachelor days. I never wanted to do things to people that could catch up with me later on.”

7. “Joy is the feeling we have from doing what we are fashioned to do, no matter the outcome.”

8. “The unsaid rule for living in a trailer park is if the door’s shut, don’t come a-knockin.’ But if it’s open and you’re walkin’ by, feel free to say hello.”

9. “The man who invented the hamburger was smart; the man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.Pin

10. “There are three things, to my account, that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.”

11. “Life is a series of commas, not periods.”

12. “Life is not fair, it never was.”

13. “Give thanks. Appreciate what you do have. The more we give thanks, the more we receive to be thankful for.”

14. “There’s a difference between thinking you are a champion and knowing that you are.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - Gratitude is the gift that always gives back.Pin

15. “Gratitude is the gift that always gives back.”

16. “Now, you lose something in your life, or you come into a conflict, and there’s gonna come a time that you’re gonna know there was a reason for that. And at the end of your life, all the things you thought were periods, they turn out to be commas. There was never a full stop in any of it.”

17. “Do not fall into the trap—the entitlement trap of feeling like you’re a victim. You are not.”

18. “I think it’s because we’re looking for the meaning. Where is the meaning? We have mindless jobs, we take frantic vacations, deficit finance trips to the mall to buy more things that we think are going to fill these holes in our lives. Is it any wonder that we’ve lost our sense of direction?”

19. “It’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.”

Matthew McConaughey Quotes on Passions, Emotions, and Career

Matthew McConaughey Quote - My experience in work - even going to work with Scorsese - is that people always think there's some magic trick.Pin

20. “My experience in work—even going to work with Scorsese—is that people always think there’s some magic trick. There’s no magic trick.”

21. “The people who are really good at what they do do simple things really, really well.”

22. “I have my own vocabulary. I love linguistics. That surprises people.”

23. “The challenge for me as an actor is if you become a celebrity, you don’t meet strangers anymore. And strangers are where we have our anonymity. And I believe it’s essential for the soul to be anonymous, especially if you’re going to be an actor.”

24. “There’s two sorts of fear—one you embrace and one you should listen to and turn the other way.”

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25. “As an actor for hire, my job is to do some pre-production work for myself. Then, my job is to show up and give the best performance I can.”

26. “If you can be mentally stimulated by the workout and find out how to get through it, it’s more fun.”

27. “When I first started making money, when I first made my first six-digits, my big thing was I went to put super unleaded in my truck for the first time.”

28. “You want to be a writer? Start writing. You want to be a filmmaker? Start shooting stuff on your phone right now.”

29. “Bringing a baby into the world is something I’ve always wanted, and now I’m completely ready for my life to start revolving around another human being.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - I've got a great sense of humor, and if I'm able to say or do something in a movie that people feel like they want to repeat, that's hugely flattering.Pin

30. “I’ve got a great sense of humor, and if I’m able to say or do something in a movie that people feel like they want to repeat, that’s hugely flattering.”

31. “Good ideas are free—or at least they should be.”

32. “Cameras aren’t guns. They can’t really hurt you.”

33. “I’m not arrogant enough to look back on my career and criticize my choices. It’s really not my place.”

34. “I’ve never been a jealous person, and I’ve never felt built up by someone else’s failure—that’s a cheap thrill.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - Hollywood is a pleasant place when you are hip to the game and you enjoy it for what it really is. Pin

35. “I love it. It’s silly to say that it is a world of false and stupid people. Sure there are witches and swindlers, but you can meet many creative, talented, and generous people too. Hollywood is a pleasant place when you are hip to the game and you enjoy it for what it really is.”

36. “Traveling is a great love of mine. I love South America and Africa. I’m your ultimate backpacker when I’m away. It’s just me and my backpack. It’s good for getting away from the industry.”

37. “Africa is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.”

38. “Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”

39. “I like to be able to wear something that is appropriate for wherever the day takes me—to work, on a hike, and then out to dinner. I like to take the formality out of the day’s schedule and be ready for any off-road detour.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - At the same time, when I can go off with a backpack or off on a surfboard or even off on a run somewhere in the woods - that's where I'm really happy.Pin

40. “I like the city. I like the concrete. I like big business. I like being a CEO of my own company and having a lot of responsibilities. At the same time, when I can go off with a backpack or off on a surfboard or even off on a run somewhere in the woods—that’s where I’m really happy.”

41. “Romantic comedies are built to be light. They’re built for a certain buoyancy.”

42. “I work through life with commas. I don’t even know, do you have parentheticals?”

43. “A drunk doesn’t try to stand up; a drunk tries not to fall down.”

44. “Music is a really great creative tool for me, for different roles.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - Offers dried up after a few years and it was like I had fallen off the radar.Pin

45. “Offers dried up after a few years and it was like I had fallen off the radar.”

46. “I’m a pretty loyal guy with friends and family. I’ve had the same friends for a long time.”

47. “I got interested in the justice system. If I was, I’d probably be a defense lawyer. I was headed that way, but luckily changed my track to film school.”

48. “In whatever adulation you get, there’s truth and there’s not truth. And wherever they dog you, and they say it was horrible, there’s truth and there’s not truth. It’s human nature to like to read the adulation more.”

49. “My wife and I don’t compete. We know each other’s preferences, and we work to provide those for each other. One will take over when the other is faced with something he or she dislikes. That’s what friends do.”

Matthew McConaughey Quotes on Support, Encouragement, and Friends

Matthew McConaughey Quote - The best advice comes from people who don't give advice.Pin

50. “The best advice comes from people who don’t give advice.”

51. “I don’t mind assholes. It’s the dork I don’t trust. The dork is the one who’s trying to be whatever he thinks you want him to be. I trust the asshole cause you know where he’s gonna stand.”

52. “When you’ve got God, you’ve got a friend. And that friend is you.”

53. “I think ‘unbelievable’ is an unbelievably stupid word.”

54. “A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country and in his own house.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - You start thinking, 'Oh, do I need to do this? Do I need to do that?' You forget that we were doing just fine with the payphone.Pin

55. “I think the discipline comes with turning that cellphone and Blackberry off and unplugging completely. You do that and you go through some withdrawals in the beginning. You start thinking, ‘Oh, do I need to do this? Do I need to do that?’ You forget that we were doing just fine with the payphone.”

56. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the son of man hath not where to lay his head.”

57. “I have some good friends of my own who happen to be gay, and when it comes to gay, straight, or whatever, I’m for anything life-affirmative. I’m for gay power, straight power, male power, female power; everybody should feel empowered without oppressing anyone who’s different.”

58. “No computer, no gadget, no trickery. I am an animal, it is a plant. I will beat the weed!”

59. “My lawyer has been a good friend of mine for a long time. He and I continuously have conversations.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - I think I can keep a rhythm to a beat, but there are quite a few people who would argue with me.Pin

60. “I think I can keep a rhythm to a beat, but there are quite a few people who would argue with me.”

61. “Absolutely not. I have no problem with commitment. In fact, I love having someone in my life.”

62. “When I see grace in a woman, that’s very sexy. You can tell by how someone moves or their rhythm.”

63. “My father, who I know is up there right now, with a big pot of gumbo, he’s got a lemon meringue pie, he’s probably in his underwear, and he’s got a cold can of Miller Lite, and he’s dancing.”

64. “What the heck is true love? I remember feeling, back when I was 12 and going with this girl, ‘Is this true love?’”

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65. “I like to be directed, but when I’m flying and I’m on fire, I don’t want someone coming and getting in my way just because they feel like they need to.”

66. “I’m obsessed with trying to understand what somebody is talking about and trying to get them to understand me.”

67. “I’ve been wanting to have my own family since I was young. It just took me a while to find the perfect woman.”

68. “For me, one of the toughest things about Valentine’s Day is that it gets geared up as the day to profess your love.”

69. “A coach, especially at a college level—much more at a college or high school level, than at a pro level—you’re more of a teacher than an actual coach.”

Matthew McConaughey Quotes on Self-Identity and Morals

Matthew McConaughey Quote - I know who I am. And after all these years, there's a victory in that.Pin

70. “I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a victory in that.”

71. “There aren’t many things that are universally cool, and it’s cool not to litter. I’d never do it.”

72. “I don’t want to just revolve. I want to evolve. As a man, as a human, as a father, as a lover.”

73. “We dissect failure a lot more than we dissect success.”

74. “So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never gonna be my hero. I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not, and that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

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75. “Every hero doesn’t do this great big hero thing. They do the simple thing over and over, and they stick to it.”

76. “My favorite dish is cleaning out the fridge on Sunday night and improvising a great medley.”

77. “I think human consciousness is a misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware. Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law.”

78. “A creep is someone who claims he’s one thing, but he’s actually another.”

79. “I don’t dabble and spend much mind or time dealing with, I don’t know, people’s perceptions of me. I truly don’t.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - We have a big appetite for putting people down, but at the heart of everyone, there's enough room for all of us to succeed.Pin

80. “We have a big appetite for putting people down, but at the heart of everyone, there’s enough room for all of us to succeed.”

81. “My best quality is that I’m a big hearted person. I’m resilient, too. My worst quality is selfishness, although everyone is guilty of that to an extent.”

82. “Try not to make a straight line crooked.”

83. “Vanity is great motivation, to be fair.”

84. “Don’t play with an attitude; don’t play a guy who’s negative. Play a guy who’s not trying to sell anybody on anything. He’s just saying how it is and if you want to come by what he’s thinking, you’re welcome. If you do not, then do not.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - The first step that leads to our identity in life is usually not, 'I know who I am,' but rather, 'I know who I am not.'Pin

85. “The first step that leads to our identity in life is usually not, ‘I know who I am,’ but rather, ‘I know who I am not.’”

86. “The tree is known for its fruit.”

87. “I like quips. I like whiffs of cynicism and I think they can be witty. But I don’t really know where wittiness is constructive.”

88. “I personally don’t like to go see romantic comedies. But people do want to see them, and they seem to want to see me in them.”

89. “I hate repeating myself. The last films I’ve done, not once did I ever have the feeling that I was dialing it in.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - Cynicism can be funny, but it's the easy way. Pin

90. “Cynicism can be funny, but it’s the easy way. You’ll forget to enjoy anything. I try to make the evolving choice, the forward-moving, life-giving choice. Just keep living, man.”

91. “I’m a football fan, a sports fan—a fan of competition.”

92. “The dogs eat off the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

93. “Hypocrites do the devil’s drudgery in Christ’s livery.”

94. “There are certain nights you and your image just aren’t in the same bed.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Pin

95. “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

96. “My whole family are hams. They’re storytellers and everyone outdoes the next one.”

97. “I am vain. I think vanity is a good thing. It’s done more good things for me than it has not.”

98. “I talk to myself all the time. Just make sure you answer.”

99. “I don’t know how to work a room. It’s a real skill.”

Matthew McConaughey Quotes on Life

Matthew McConaughey Quote - First off, I want to thank God because he's the one I look up to. Pin

100. “First off, I want to thank God because he’s the one I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human kind.”

101. “Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing, so be careful what you get good at.”

102. “Life is not a popularity contest. Take the hill, but first answer the question—what is my hill?”

103. “My life is the road, man. I need to keep moving.”

104. “I love having my hands in the dirt. It is never a science and always an art. There are no rules. And if it comes down to me versus that weed I’m trying to pull out of the ground that doesn’t want to come out? I know I’ll win.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - That's what I love about these high school girls, man. As I get older, they stay the same age.Pin

105. “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. As I get older, they stay the same age.”

106. “Some things, you just like what you like and you stick to it. Other things, you like what you like, but the things that come with celebrity or success comes with more options.”

107. “All of a sudden there’s ninety-nine things to say yes to, which you didn’t have the option to say yes to yesterday.”

108. “They eat, they crap, they sleep, and if they’re crying they need to do one of the three and they’re having trouble doing it. Real simple.”

109. “We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self—a secretion of sensory experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody’s nobody.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - The law says you cannot touch, but I see a lot of lawbreakers up in this house.Pin

110. “The law says you cannot touch, but I see a lot of lawbreakers up in this house.”

111. “There’s a gap between what I want to do, what I do on camera, and what gets edited. Right? So the goal is to try and close the gaps. What’s the biggest compliment is if I read a review and it’s exactly what I wrote down in my diary before ever filming it. That’s really cool. That’s the biggest signifier of closing the gaps.”

112. “When I’m surfing, I’m sure not thinking about the paparazzi. I guess if they start getting on floaties and coming out there in the water, then I might be a little upset.”

113. “I believe in living in the present and making each day count. I don’t pay much attention to the past or the future.”

114. “I’m one of the most adaptable guys I know, in as much as travelling is my favourite thing to do in life. With every place I go, I try to stay there long enough to do it justice, long enough so that I can at least imagine what it would be like to live there. Once I imagine that, then it’s okay for me to return home.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own?Pin

115. “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own?”

116. “By their fruits, you shall know them.”

117. “I know when I grew up, it was, if it was daylight outside, get outside. Well, now, with the technological age of computers and everything, everyone’s inside virtually going everywhere they want to go, virtually having relationships, virtually traveling across the neighborhood, virtually going to that island.”

118. “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”

119. “Man shall not live by bread alone.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - A foolish man built his house upon the sand.Pin

120. “A foolish man built his house upon the sand.”

121. “I love Los Angeles, and it’s been very good to me. But if everyone is running around telling the stories, who’s living them? You don’t play characters that are celebrities—you play guys who know what to do when their septic tank’s blocked.”

122. “I will say this—one of the things that is a pain when you’re expecting children is how much advice unsolicited people give you when you’re not asking for it.”

123. “My rule is to break one sweat a day.”

124. “I’m not trying to put on airs for anybody. I’m only trying to impress myself by doing the best job I can do.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - Having children has helped me become a better actor because they remind you to play make believe. It's the ease and naturalness of their beings.Pin

125. “Having children has helped me become a better actor because they remind you to play make believe. It’s the ease and naturalness of their beings. They just play and it’s completely real for them at the time. As an actor, if we do it well, we make you believe.”

126. “If I’m doing something, I do like to take it to the limit. I’ve got a high ceiling—a wide threshold for seeing what those boundaries are for myself.”

127. “I’m very resilient inside. I find things that I like and do, and boy, I do like to stick to them. I’m not necessarily a guy who gets addicted to more of certain things, but if I find something I like to do, I like to stick to it.”

128. “I only pick one thing; North, South, East or West. I just get on the road and go. That’s the point. The only governor I give myself is what’s the time limit.”

129. “It’s one of the things I love about making films—the places I’ve gotta travel that I would never have gone to before.”

Matthew McConaughey Quote - The best education I've had in my life is to travel.Pin

130. “The best education I’ve had in my life is to travel.”

Did These Matthew McConaughey Quotes Make You Want to Chase Down Your Dreams?

Being in the industry for so long, Matthew McConaughey decided that he’ll leave his mark in the world, not only through his acting, but also by imparting what he knows to students who wish to succeed in the industry as well. He joined his Alma Mater’s faculty to teach the workings from the script to the scene. At the same time, he gives his students some guidelines when it comes to acting and living life in the industry. According to him, life is not easy, but also also says that, ‘Unbelievable is an unbelievably stupid word.’

This helps us understand that though we’ll face many challenges ahead of us—no matter if we’re in the film industry or not—nothing is impossible. As long as we can dream it, as long as we can imagine it, it’s something within our grasp. It’s in our power to define what success means for us, and at the same time, define what we need to do to attain it. So, let’s all stop waiting for that opportunity to come and instead create our own opportunities for success.

Are you a fan of Matthew McConaughey? Does he inspire you to move forward and start acting now to make your dreams a reality? Let us know what you think of this collection through the comments section below.

Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

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