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Nine Quotes by Keanu Reeves That'll Reprogram Your Mind (Guaranteed)
And wake you the hell up.
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In 1000 years Keanu Reeves will be known as the equivalent of Marcus Aurelius or Seneca.
Most people know of him as a Hollywood actor. Those like me, who’ve researched him for 10,000 hours, know him as a philosopher.
One reporter described him better than I ever could: “He has been modeling a compassionate and vulnerable version of masculinity for 30 years.” These are the quiet heroes we should learn from.
Below are the most uncommon quotes from Keanu to reprogram your mind.
1. “I'm Mickey Mouse. They don't know who's inside the suit.”
That’s what Keanu is.
He looks like an actor and tough guy in John Wick, but beneath the surface there’s so much depth to him. He’s softly spoken and his trademark in interviews is to leave long gaps of silence (like 30-60 seconds worth).
The guy has experienced immense tragedy in his life. The one he secretly loved - Sandra Bullock – got away. His wife and kid died. His best friend in the 90s overdosed on drugs. The relationship with his dad was terrible and he can’t talk about it.
What you just read isn’t unique to Keanu.
We’re all living in Micky Mouse suits. No one truly knows who’s inside of us. We’re all bursting with potential. And even if someone does get to know you it never lasts.
I think of people as software versions. The current version of me is 2023.8.
When someone says to me “but Tim 3 years ago you said meat was the best” then I say “that was 2020.1 version of Tim. He’s been superseded by a new version and the old program has been written over. Sorry.”
Nobody will ever know the real you like you.
2. “Multi-culture is the real culture of the world — a pure race doesn’t exist.”
I haven’t seen this quote mentioned anywhere else.
It’s a quote that had me jumping for joy. All these gender and race wars are so damn stupid. None of us are pure breed.
When people found out my wife was Asian they were horrified. When we had a baby together they were even more pissed off. I tried to explain that my wife has lived most of her life in Australia. She lived close to the Russian border during childhood, so her hometown has Russian food and even Russian architecture.
So is she Chinese, Russian, or Australian?
I am Australian and am a direct descendant of Captain Cook. I have some British roots too and even, I think, some Irish heritage. Plus my wife and I are fascinated by Latino culture and I’ve worked a good chunk of time with Indian companies.
So is my 9 month baby Chinese, Australian, Irish, British, Latino, Russian, Indian? Who the heck knows. And who cares.
Racism is designed to dumb us down. There is only one race and that’s human.
3. “I’m at the stage in my life where I keep myself out of arguments. Even if you tell me 1+1=5. You’re absolutely correct, enjoy.”
This is one of Keanu’s most famous quotes. I had to include it.
Last week I got an email from a lady who worked for the same tech company for 29 years. She got into a debate with me about whether she should join one of my programs. She told me she knew all these famous people like Richard Branson.
She told me she knows everything about social media already so there’s nothing I can teach her. She says she could even teach the class for me.
According to my definition of success, working for the same company for nearly 30 years is the ultimate definition of failure.
You get told what to do … and you’re not free. And by not changing employers you show you’re deeply afraid of change and discomfort.
So I had two options: 1) Argue with a stranger on the internet 2) Say “1+1=5 … goodbye.” I chose option two.
We can’t help everyone. And getting into debates with people who refuse to change their minds gets you nowhere. Run for the hills.
Try to be wrong once in a while, it’ll do your ego good – Keanu Reeves
4. “I dream of a day where I walk down the street & hear people talk about morality, sustainability & philosophy instead of the Kardashians.”
See what I mean?
Keanu Reeves is a dream. He wants the world to stop playing such small games. He craves for each of us to become philosophers of our own lives. To go back and read Stoicism and wisen the f*ck up.
Philosophy upgrades your thinking and many of us haven’t thought deep thoughts for over a decade. Technology has distracted us.
Keanu once said:
“Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to take the time out to enjoy the beauty in life.
It’s like we’re zombies.
Look up and take your headphones out. Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see and maybe give a hug to someone who looks like they’re hurting.”
This is called unplugging from the Matrix. It’s fitting given we’re talking about Keanu, the ambassador of the movie and its meaning.
Life goes so fast. It’s too short to worry about what a Donald Duck president said.
5. “I'm a meathead, man. You've got smart people, and you've got dumb people. I just happen to be dumb.”
Why is it that smart people think they’re dumb?
I just love this quote. I often tell people how dumb I am. I’ve only figured out 0.000001% of life and that’s the part I focus on. But on most topics I am clueless and I love it.
The greatest personal growth you can ever have is in a room full of people smarter than you. I’ve never shared this before … but that’s why I stayed in banking.
I knew I didn’t want to be a banker, although I accidentally landed in a team of 4 people who were significantly smarter than me. They could pitch the CEO of Amazon with no issues at all.
I could barely give a 60-second speech at Toastmasters without pooping my pants (one time some brown stuff did come out, no joke).
I found myself way out of my depth and it was addictive. I learned more from those 4 people in 4 years than I learned from all of high school and college. They forced me to become a better person and to get on planes and meet strangers.
It’s better to be a dumb-dumb in most areas of life.
6. “I don’t understand why people get mad when they get rejected by somebody or something. They have done you a favor by not wasting your time and playing with you.”
Rejection is a way of life.
It’s a filter that helps make decisions easier. When I got fired from my job in 2019, I heard a record number of noes. My ego hated it.
Truthfully, I thought I was some rockstar LinkedIn influencer, when the reality was I was a bum and couldn’t even hold down a steady job.
Rejection is redirection.
When hiring managers told me “no” my future became clear. I eventually got another job but I realized I could never rely on an employer again. That realization reprogrammed my brain forever. I was never the same person again.
What a gift, don’t you think?
So chase situations where rejection is likely. Lean into failures. Because all of this takes you from the wrong path to the right one.
7. “If you’re too tired to speak, sit next to me, because I too, am fluent in silence.”
Silence is a language.
When you’re not speaking, you’re listening. And that’s how you hear things that shape your view of the world.
Too many people just spit noise out of their mouths and don’t even know what they’re saying. They can’t think because they don’t have a silence habit.
They talk all the time because they need to drown out the voice in their head that says all sorts of harsh things. And talking a lot helps override the natural anxieties we all have. How do I know?
I was a talker too.
I spent decades living with an undiagnosed mental illness. I was afraid to confront it so I’d just do anything I could to drown it out.
Spend more time in silence.
8. “Money doesn't mean anything to me. I've made a lot of money, but I want to enjoy life and not stress myself building my bank account…
I give lots away and live simply, mostly out of a suitcase in hotels. We all know that good health is much more important.”
Money is a big part of life.
So how you think about money determines your level of freedom and the options available to you. Keanu lives a pretty modest life. He doesn’t live in hotels anymore but his house is tiny considering he’s worth $380m.
Trying to become stupidly rich is a mental illness.
All it does is stress you out. Beyond about $500k a year it doesn’t make a huge difference.
Money doesn’t have any meaning, but it does buy you the time needed to discover the meaning of your life.
9. “Someone told me the other day that he felt bad for single people because they are lonely all the time…
I told him that’s not true I’m single and I don’t feel lonely. I take myself out to eat, I buy myself clothes. I have great times by myself.
Once you know how to take care of yourself company becomes an option and not a necessity.”
As a hopeless romantic this quote brought back so much pain.
In 2016 I was a single guy desperate to meet a woman. I tried all the dating apps and wanted to be in love again within 30 days.
The thought of loneliness terrified me.
I’d go to the cinema alone on weekends because I love movies. And all I could think about was how people must have seen me and thought I was a loner. I bumped into a work colleague at one cinema and tried to make up an excuse.
He saw through my fragile vanity.
Loneliness is a skill. It’s good for us. The problem with society is we’re never alone. The phone in our pocket is always there to help us feel a sense of fake connection. We’re just one tweet or Facebook message away from billions of people.
Until you can be in a relationship with yourself, it’s hard to bring in an outsider. And you bring you to every new romance. So figure yourself out first, otherwise it could be the hidden cause of all your broken relationships.
As you can see, ya boy Keanu Reaves has some very unusual thinking. It just so happens to have made him wealthy and famous.
So maybe "normal" thinking isn't all it's cracked up to be.
By the way, there's a "normal" narrative now saying Twitter (or X) will soon be extinct.
I say - nonsense. My unusual thinking is to double down on X, especially now that creators are getting paid.
You can read why I think X is a potential gold rush, and get the early bird pricing for my Twitter (X) Badassery course, at the link below