27 life-changing quotes by Keanu Reeves that will give you a fresh perspective on life

A-list actor Keanu Reeves was not born into the glitz and glam of Hollywood. He worked his way up, but not without more than his fair share of crosses to bear. Nonetheless, he bore them all with admirable strength. 

He was born on the second day of September, 1964, as Keanu Charles Reeves in Beirut, Lebanon. He was raised in Toronto, Canada, where he lived with his mom and sisters. [1] He has starred in several high grossing movies including ParenthoodThe Matrix RevolutionsJohn Wick and Speed.  He has garnered several awards for himself through his acting, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

No stranger to bad news     

The tragic series of events in Reeves’s life occurred before and after he became the wealthy movie star he is today. In 2015, a video compilation of his sad moments circled Facebook. It was shared almost 500,000 times within the first 72 hours of being posted. [2]

At the tender age of three, his father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr. abandoned the family. He was then arrested in 1992 at Hilo Airport in Hawaii for selling of heroin. 

During his childhood, Reeves’s mother, Patricia, bounced them around a lot of places including Hawaii, Australia, New York, and Canada. Reeves ended up attending four high schools in a space of five years. In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2008, Reeves said, “It was difficult. I was okay academically, good at English and creative writing.” [3]

On the 31st of October, 1993, Reeves’s best friend, actor River Phoenix, overdosed and died outside a Los Angeles nightclub. On that tragic event, Reeves said, “I was very sad, and something beyond sad. I don’t know what it is, just that you sob for hours.” [4]

More bad news to come     

In 1999, Jennifer Syme — Reeves’s then-girlfriend — was pregnant with their daughter. However, the child was stillborn on the 24th of December, 1999. The unimaginable grief put such a heavy strain on their relationship that they broke up several weeks after. Jennifer died 18 months later in a car accident. 

Reeves’s sister, Kim Reeves’ was diagnosed with leukemia, which she battled for nearly a decade before going into remission. 

During an interview with The Telegraph in 2015, when it was suggested that his “eclectic career could be linked to his unsettled childhood,” Reeves only offered a quiet, “a little bit.” [5]

Ultimately, there’s been times when the actor felt like he was falling apart at the seams, but he seems to come out on top, and with a smile on his face. 

Reeves has made several donations to charity under the radar. 

Humble to boot, Reeves who is worth a hundred million US dollars can afford all the fanciest cars, but he still rides the subway. He has given up his seat several times to tired commuters on the subway.

 I suppose that, and his attitude on set, is one of the reasons he is considered one of the nicest actors in Hollywood. [6]

 Despite all the suffering and pain in his life, Reeves is still a ray of positive energy.

 Here are 27 quotes from the actor that are sure to change your perspective on life. [7]

  1. Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times, they can only make you stronger. 
  2. It is incredibly empowering to know that your future is in your hands. 
  3. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so live today! 
  4. Grief changes shape but it never ends.
  5. Sometimes simple things are the most difficult things to achieve.
  6. So in the end, I think we can all pretty well agree that even in the face of tragedy, a stellar person can thrive. No matter what’s going on in your life, you can overcome it! Life is worth living. 
  7. None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean.
  8. If you have been brutally broken, but still have the courage to be gentle to other living beings, then you’re a badass with the heart of an angel. 
  9. I was also raised to treat people exactly how I would like to be treated by others. It’s called respect.
  10. Our dreams can teach us, instruct us, confuse us, sometimes I think they look to be considered. They are an opportunity and I think they most certainly could be utilized to focus, to try and achieve — whether it’s looking for someone, or influencing us, or inspiring us.
  11. When I don’t feel free and can’t do what I want, I just react. I go against it.
  12. I believe in love at first sight. You want that connection, and then you want some problems.
  13. It’s always wonderful to know women with the joy and the depth. If you can make a woman laugh, you’re seeing the most beautiful thing on God’s Earth.
  14. Art is about trying to find the good in people and making the world a more compassionate place.
  15. You have to change your life if you’re not happy, and wake up if things aren’t going the way you want. 
  16. Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things.
  17. Our saving grace! As a species, we can be pretty warm and fuzzy. But maybe for this, it’s adaptability, or the heart and soul. We’re not all that bad. I don’t really know!
  18. Multi-culture is the real culture of the world — a pure race doesn’t exist.
  19. The person who was holding me back from my happiness was me. 
  20. Energy can’t be created or destroyed, and energy flows. It must be in a direction, with some kind of internal, emotive, spiritual direction. It must have some effect somewhere.
  21. It’s fun to be hopelessly in love. It’s dangerous, but it’s fun.
  22. Try to be wrong once in a while, it’ll do your ego good.
  23. Kissing someone is pretty intimate, actually very intimate, and your heart always kind of skips a beat before you do that.
  24. I guess living without love, without experiencing it or being able to give it is pretty strong punishment.
  25. Nothing ever truly dies. The universe wastes nothing, everything is simply transformed.
  26. Sometimes I go out and hear people talk about irrelevant things and then I tell myself, this is why I don’t go out.
  27. I thank the earth and the sky every day for the opportunities I’ve had.

What a way to approach life! Right here is a man whose spirit cannot be broken, and is such an inspiration to so many people. Best wishes to him. And I hope his quotes inspire all of you to live your very best lives. 


  1. “Keanu Reeves”, Wikipedia.
  2. The Tragic Life of Keanu Reeves“, Snopes. December 2016.
  3. Keanu Reeves: The three billion dollar man“, Daily Mail.  
  4. River and Keanu“, My River Phoenix Collection.
  5. Keanu Reeves interview“, The Telegraph.
  6. Keanu Reeves’ Life Is More Tragic Than You Think“, Cheat Sheet. January 2019.
  7. 29 Quotes By Keanu Reeves That Will Give You A Different Perspective On Life“, Truth Theory. September 2019.
Stacy Robertson
Writer and researcher
Stacy Robertson is a writer and researcher with a B.A and an M.A in English Studies, and a strong will to literally touch all areas of life. Stacy has authored several articles on a range of different.