Have you ever wondered how you’d live if you were rich beyond your wildest dreams? Perhaps you’d like to follow the example of Keanu Reeves, and if you did, you’d be following a great example.
It hasn’t always been easy
We’re inclined to regard movie-stars as super-privileged. With lives that seem to us like something out of a fairytale, we can’t imagine them ever having to struggle. After all, they’re blessed with talent, confidence and great looks. Surely life has been kind them? But life hasn’t always been easy for Keanu.
His dad left the family home when he was just three, and after the age of six, he had little or no contact with his father. His mother had to relocate often, trying to build a better life for her kids, but the anxiety this must have caused for Keanu may have aggravated his dyslexia, a learning problem that made him unable to complete high school.
Even after the hit movie ‘The Matrix’ rocketed him to fame and fortune, tragedy dogged his steps. He lost his best friend River Phoenix to a drug overdose. The love of his life miscarried their much-anticipated baby girl, and the tragedy tore their relationship apart. Still, they remained very close – until she dies in a car accident. No, life hasn’t always been easy for Keanu.
The modest lifestyle that makes us love him
How would you live if you’ve earned $144 million? That’s how much Keanu made from The Matrix and its sequels. But Keanu doesn’t believe that material things make you happy. And the thing that makes him happiest is sharing his good fortune. Why else give away $80 million of that $114 million?
But the man is no fool. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy security: a decent (but not over-the-top) car to drive, a comfortable home that suits your needs and doesn’t turn into a maintenance nightmare.
Keanu drives a solid and reliable Honda and lives in a modest apartment. He reasons that he doesn’t need a lot of extra space and wouldn’t know what to do with it. That’s a lesson for those who have lashed out on second and third homes and grand reception areas that are there to impress but are seldom used.
Snack time? The star is happy to munch a straightforward sandwich seated on a park bench where he can watch the passing parade.
Commute? To Reeves, there’s nothing wrong with using the subway. And if a lady lacks a seat, he’ll stand up and give her his place with perfect courtesy.
Charity? It doesn’t get more personal than sitting down on the pavement to share your breakfast with a homeless man, but Reeves also tackles the big issues, with millions donated to leukemia research.
How does Keanu remain so grounded?
Paychecks in the millions, the adulation of millions of fans, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous – none of these things seem to have changed Reeves as a person. What can we learn from him? After all, it may come in handy when (or if) we finally make it big!
- Don’t let ‘failure’ make you stop trying.
- Status symbols are a waste of money. Know your personal worth, and you won’t need all the expensive trappings.
- Practicality matters. Big houses, expensive cars and a fancy lifestyle just complicate your life.
- Other people are important. They deserve our respect, generosity and courtesy.
- ‘Giving back’ is more important than taking.
- If you have everything you need, you are rich. More is a waste.
- Love is way more important than money.
- Take care of the future: Keanu says he can maintain his lifestyle on his savings for ‘The next few centuries’.
- A great actor and a great example to us all.
Even when times are tough, we can remember the things in life that are really important. And though, like any other human being, Keanu Reeves probably isn’t perfect, he sets a great example of overcoming adversity and focusing on the things that matter.
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