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Pop Culture

Matthew McConaughey and Jimmy Fallon rapping 'Just Because' is the pep talk we all need

McConaughey woke up in the middle of the night with these verses and rhythm in his head and turned them into an inspirational book for kids.

jimmy fallon and matthew mcconaughey rapping with microphones

"Just Because" is Matthew McConaughey's children's book filled with rhyming bits of wisdom.

At 2:30 a.m., actor Matthew McConaughey woke up from a dream with a jingle in his head. He got up, started writing it down, and just like that, a children's book was born.

McConaughey's picture book, "Just Because" may be for kids, but adults are finding inspiration for themselves in it as well. A viral video of McConaughey country-rapping the book's couplets with talk show host Jimmy Fallon got people talking about the lessons on the book that speak to them the most, such as the person who said they wanted a "Just because I want one more doesn't mean that I need two" sign for their refrigerator.

The "alright, alright, alright" actor and the famously musical Fallon start off just lowkey "reading" the book with a little background beat, but soon they each have a mic in their hands in a full-on performance.


With lines like, "Just because you can pull it off, doesn't mean that you should do it, and just because you fail that don't mean that you blew it," McConaughey and Fallon manage to make a sing-songy rap out of some genuinely good life lessons.

Watch:

@fallontonight

Jimmy and #MatthewMcConaughey rap their way through “Just Because”. #FallonTonight

So how did Matthew McConaughey end up writing a children's book in the first place? The father of three told the hosts of Podcrushed that he'd been thinking a lot about fatherhood and how the lens of parenthood changes everything. He said when something consumes his mind, he tends to have dreams about it.

"This was a dream I had, and I woke up at 2:30 in the morning, I went and wrote it down. All I had was the jingle, 'Just because they threw the dart don't mean that it stuck, and just because I got some skills don't mean that there's no luck.' It was a song. I woke up and I got this great Bob Dylan diddy: 'Just because you're wailing doesn't meant that you're a crier, just because I lied does not mean that I'm a liar.' And so the hook was 'just because,' and I had the beat, and I just wrote from 2:30 to 6:30 in the morning. Went back, got in bed. Got up and looked at it and was like, 'This is good. This is fun.'"

He showed the idea to his kids, who each had different takes on different couplets. The conversations that the "just because" statements sparked in his own family demonstrated the potential for the book to be a conversation starter for all parents and kids, which is what McConaughey hopes it will do.

It even offers food for thought for people without kids.

"I didn't know I needed a pep talk from Matthew McConaughey, let alone in this form, but alright, alright," wrote one commenter.

"It's supposed to be a kids book but I also lowkey need this at 35," wrote another.

"Would it be weird to buy this for my team at work?" asked one person.

"Just because I went straight to Amazon to buy this book don't mean I'm a sucker," wrote another.

McConaughey seems to have a hit on his hands. You can find "Just Because" on Amazon or support independent booksellers by purchasing through Bookshop.org.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.
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