Keanu Reeves is one of the Hollywood stars most admired and loved by the public. His history is full of adversities, tragedies, and mysteries, but also of inspiring moments.
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Since arriving in the United States at the age of 17, he has had to face all kinds of situations: the death of his great friend River Phoenix, supporting his sister Kim Revees to overcome leukemia, a painful divorce that ended in tragedy and until the loss of her daughter prematurely when she was a few weeks after birth. Yet, despite all these life setbacks, he managed to rally himself to become one of the most successful actors globally, starring in iconic films like the legendary Matrix, Bill and Ted, Constantine, Speed, and John Wick many others.
Keanu Reeves has been a rebel from a young age. He is a man who was never guided by money, nor did he finish his studies. Instead, he dropped out of school at 15 to dedicate himself to acting. He does not hesitate to say “NO” to projects that don’t motivate him.
We present ten valuable lessons that Keanu Reeves has left us throughout his career in this opportunity. They are lessons full of wisdom that will change your perspective on life and help you grow as a person. Let’s get started!
Keanu Reeves Lessons That Will Change Your Life
1. Choose the red pill!
We all remember the classic film Matrix, in which a young programmer begins to suspect one day that something is not right, that there is something else behind the apparent reality in which we live. In this way, he ends up contacting a group of agents, led by a man named Morpheus, who poses the following dilemma: if he chooses the blue pill, he will not remember everything he has discovered, and he will be able to go back to living calmly as he has until then lived, cheated; But if you choose the red pill, it will reveal to you what you have always suspected: that life is something else and that you only live in a computer-simulated reality.
Neo’s response is what gives rise to the conflict in the film. However, the hero of the film takes a few minutes to choose a pill. For Keanu, the matter is much simpler; if asked what he would have chosen, long before they finish asking the question, he determines: “The red pill! Without a doubt, he always chooses the red pill ”.
For him, choosing the red pill means always going beyond the first impressions you have, being very aware and reflective of everyone and everything around you. In an interview, he tells us:
“For me, the red pill means the best that we can become with ourselves and with other people, with all sentient beings and nature … With everything.”
2. Be curious
As a child, Keanu used to ask his mother the “why?” of things all the time. Then, as he grew up and cultivated that habit, he became interested in all the production issues: camera movement, the specific use of lenses, the lighting, the performance of the other actors, the direction, etc.
From his first productions, such as “The Prince of Pennsylvania,” “Dangerous Relationships,” or “All in the Family,” he was distinguished for being a person very interested in everything that happened on set.
For this reason, the actor advises keeping a curious spirit always alive, not only because of how valuable it is for growth in any activity or trade since it considerably increases our knowledge and as a method to keep alive the interest in life, which is the priority.
“You won’t learn anything about life if you think you’re right all the time.” –Affirmed in one of his famous phrases.
3. Work on your vocation
In his teens, Keanu went through various schools and was once expelled. Then, when he was about 15 years old, he decided to tell his mother that he wanted to pursue acting, from which point he began to work in the vocation that he had chosen, without even having finished school.
The biggest challenge he had to face professionally was the same one faced by many young people who dream of being actors: traveling to Los Angeles to try their luck in the world of film and television.
The Lebanese actor’s story shows that there are times in life where courage and an inevitable rebellion are essential to achieve the goals we truly want and not those imposed on us by others. If he hadn’t taken the risk of traveling and trying his luck, he would never have become the successful actor today; I would never have played Neo, Constantine, or John Wick. For this reason, work on your vocation, not on other people’s.
4. Make sacrifices
Keanu Reeves has made it clear that making sacrifices for causes we consider essential is one of his most important principles. Not for nothing, in the movie “The Tai Chi Master,” which he directed and starred in, this principle is so remarkable. In his own words:
“We often have responsibilities or are drawn to something and make sacrifices to get it, and the film promotes the idea that we have to reflect on that, that sometimes you have to sacrifice if you think it’s for the best.”
The actor has not only sacrificed himself by learning all the details of his performance and memorizing complicated combat choreographies but also in other moments of his personal life, such as those he lived in the 2000s when he decided to prioritize the care and support of his sister Kim while she was trying to overcome cancer. In addition, he showed that he could sacrifice himself in other ways to fight for important causes and people in his life.
5. Live simply
Despite being one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood and being the performer of many memorable characters, Keanu Reeves is characterized by his simplicity. With enough money to wear the most expensive designer clothes, own the most luxurious cars, buy the biggest mansions, and indulge in all kinds of eccentricities, he prefers to be low-key and always express himself in the most modest terms, avoiding boastful attitudes like that of other personalities.
Consider that the essential things in life are the simplest, the small details of everyday life. That is why, when people often come across it on the street, they are surprised to find an ordinary man who enjoys the afternoon as anyone else would.
“I live in an apartment and I have everything I need at any time I want it, why would I choose a big and empty house?” –He said in an interview.
6. Practice humility
Some of the videos that have gone viral in recent years are when the actor is seen standing in the subway giving his seat to a woman or eating an ice cream unsuspectingly on a street bench without escorts. The people who usually see him and come to ask for an autograph always emphasize how friendly and hospitable he is. And, if there is a characteristic quality of Keanu Reeves, it is precisely that: his humility.
When many people saw the famous videos in the park or the subway, they came to believe that it was all due to some crisis or financial problems that forced him to take public transport. Still, the actor has clarified on different occasions that this is not the real reason, that he has enough money to live for the rest of his life. Everything is due, as all his fans know, to his modest way of living.
7. Don’t prioritize money
We all witnessed the great box office success of the 1994 production “Speed,” in which the actor plays a police officer who had to prevent a bus from exploding if it slows down. What few know is that Keanu Reeves received a juicy offer to record the sequel to Speed and turned it down because he was looking for other types of roles that required more skills or acting effort.
The interest of the 20th Century Fox production company to convince him to participate in the film led her to offer him the tempting figure of $12 million, something that very few actors would have had the luxury of rejecting; however, his answer was always the same: a resounding NO.
“Money means nothing to me. I’ve always wanted to enjoy my life, not worry about building a big bank account. When I received the script and read it, I thought: I love you guys, but I can’t do it. ” –Affirms the successful actor.
This decision made 20th Century Fox put his name on “the blacklist” for ten years, in which he never received any offers or was accepted in any casting for the said production company. It was a severe blow to his career, but he made it clear that his interest always went beyond money and that he does not allow himself to be professionally limited by it.
8. Take advantage of every moment of your life
After having suffered the death of his best friend River Phoenix, the loss of his daughter at 8 months of gestation in December 1999, and later the death of his ex-partner in a traffic accident, Keanu Reeves was devastated and plunged into deep sadness. . But, even from that difficult moment in his life, he was able to draw a great lesson: live each moment as if it were the last. As he says, the only thing we have for sure is the present. That is why it is important to value every moment to the fullest and never leave something for later.
“None of us are going to last forever, so please stop procrastinating. Eat that delicious food. Walk in the sun. Jump into the Sea. Tell the truth that you carry in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be nice. Be weird… There’s no time for anything else. ” –They are his words.
9. Be charitable
According to his statements, the actor’s fortune is estimated to be more than $ 360 million, money that, according to his statements, is more than enough to live for the rest of his life. He even considers that he can live with a much lower number since his detachment from the material has led him to avoid a costly lifestyle. However, Keanu Reeves has decided to go a step further and shows us by his example something that not everyone is willing to do: practice charity.
With the success of the film Matrix, and due to the sensitivity developed by the case of his sister Kim, he donated 70% of his royalties to hospitals and scientific centers that research leukemia. Then, with the Matrix sequels, which were also a box office success, he decided again to donate 70% of his profits to various charitable causes; Among them, he gave $ 80 million to the Matrix films’ makeup and special effects team their excellent work.
“I give away a lot of what I earn and live in a simple way. We all know that good health is what really matters. ” -Counted in an interview.
10. Enjoy what you do
At first, it was evident that Keanu Reeves would always choose the red pill… But why not choose the blue pill from time to time? The actor always advises taking things slowly, without significant complications. In many situations, to fully enjoy the moment, it is necessary to relax and forget about problems, obligations, and personal conflicts. Simply letting go.
In this way, you will not only find greater pleasure in the things that life offers you, but you can also improve performance in your activities. If not, how could he have become the funny young man who captivated the world in Bill and Ted? Something impossible without a high dose of tranquility and freshness.
Thus we conclude the ten lessons we can learn from Keanu Reeves, a unique personality in Hollywood who has shown us another way of living life, different from the typical superstar style, far from the vast mansions and excessive luxury events, but focused on what is essential: your peace, your tranquility, and your happiness. A person who took difficult moments as the basis of his personal growth, building his conception of success and enjoying life on his terms. In his own words:
“Every battle in your life has made you the person you are today. Be grateful for difficult times, they can only make you stronger. “