Alright, Alright, Alright

I'll confess that I started reading this post by Matthew McConaughey on Medium rather cynically. It's a commencement address he gave to the University of Houston and I figured it would be full of a bunch of "reach for the stars" and "work hard" crap. And it is, but not in a crappy way, because it's really well-written. Plus, I needed to imagine each word spoken in his classic Southern drawl.

I particularly like what he says in number 5 about "Process of elimination" and how figuring out who and where you are NOT is just as important as figuring out who and where you ARE:

Defining ourselves by what we are NOT is the first step that leads us to really KNOWING WHO WE ARE.

Is it any coincidence that's the most-shared sentence from that article? I guess it means I'm not alone. 

I also really like this part:

Those people, those places, those things — STOP giving them your TIME and ENERGY. Don’t GO there, put them DOWN — and when you DO quit giving them your time, you inadvertently find yourself spending MORE time and in more PLACES that are more healthy for YOU, that bring YOU more joy — WHY?

Because you just eliminated the who’s, the where’s, the what’s and the when’s that were keeping you from your identity. Trust me, too many options makes a tyrants of us all. So get rid of the excess, the wasted time, decrease your options… and you will have accidentally, almost innocently, put in front of you, what is important to you by process of elimination.

Those people/places/things being, of course, all the stuff that's ultimately a waste of time. Will I stop spending pre-bedtime endlessly scrolling through Pinterest when I told myself I'd read a real book? No, probably not all the time, but that process of elimination is something to think about on a larger scale.

This week marks ten years since I graduated college (holy shit), which shows that the things we're trying to figure out at 21 still matter at 31. And probably will at 41 and beyond.

I only wish Matthew McConaughey had spoken at my graduation. I can't even remember anything about the the woman that did, except that she gave a super abridged version because it was raining and we were all sick and hungover. Or was that just me?