Be Less Impressed. Be More Involved.

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Words by Reese Hopper


“Be less impressed. Be more involved.”

I heard this in an interview with Matthew McConaughey on the Building a StoryBrand Podcast. The host, Donald Miller, asked Matthew how he stays so real and down to earth despite being a very successful actor. McConaughey said he tries to be less impressed with his life and more involved with it.

Over the past few years of producing videos, I’ve met some pretty successful people. Pop stars, famous DJs, multi-millionaires. It’s always a tossup as to how I will feel in the moment when I meet these people. Sometimes I get a lump in my throat. I don’t know what to say. I’m too impressed. But sometimes I grab the situation by the horns. I make jokes. I ask questions. I get involved.

Of course, stopping to watch the sunset, and appreciating our contexts is an important practice, too. McConaughey even stated that there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a pat on the back for accomplishing something. But we can’t stay in that state for too long. 

One thing I’ve learned about successful people is that they don’t have much patience for people who are simply impressed. People like this are just fans. Successful people will often only work with you if you are really involved in what’s going on.

There will always be something to be impressed with, and always people more impressive than us. If we stop for too long to be impressed, people will keep growing right on past us. We must choose to be involved with ourselves, with the people around us, with the events in our lives—this is how a rich life is made. 

Be less impressed. Be more involved.

P.S. I just finished Greenlights, the memoir by Matthew McConaughey. Although its not exactly the genre to warrant me publishing a full book review on this blog, I will highly recommend it. It’s only the second book in which I’ve read more than 100 pages in one sitting. 

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