“I’m at that stage in life where I stay out of discussions. Even if you say 1+1=5, you’re right — have fun.”
Mary J Blige was right: “No more drama,” please.
Peace and quiet are seriously underrated. I love nothing more than digging through Keanu Reeves conversations to tap into my inner Yoda. It’s not easy as Keanu doesn’t say a hell of a lot. You have to really dig.
When you do, you find the weirdest remarks. You find many ellipses in the transcripts of his conversations. You find periods of silence in his interviews. You discover questions he simply can’t answer and doesn’t know why. This is my all-time favorite quote of his:
I’m at that stage in life where I stay out of discussions. Even if you say 1+1=5, you’re right — have fun.
The Keanu attitude applied to life
The shy introverted approach became popular thanks to Keanu. For every loud person screaming about how good they are to an audience of one, quieter voices began to get the spotlight. Keanu prioritizes his tranquility using these philosophies.
Don’t argue with people who aren’t listening
I get people wanting to rap battle me all the time in direct messages. One dude sent me a message yesterday and said “you didn’t quit your job. Prove it you liar.”
I thought to myself, yep you’re right, even though LinkedIn makes the evidence obvious, backed up by real-world recommendations from actual humans I worked with. It’s tempting to scream back at a screamer. But when you do, you move further away from the quiet life in the woods that billionaires pay a fortune for.
Listening is a prerequisite for a discussion. If you can’t get agreement on that, it’s not worth talking. You’re better off staying the quiet one.
Rate a person’s open-mindedness before moving forward
There are many writers I’ve stopped reading in the last few months. Their level of open-mindedness just isn’t there. They believe they are right based on their own experience, and to question them is an act of war. So, I simply mute their voice and move on to more open-minded voices.
Open-mindedness is sexiness — not because it makes your biceps appear bigger — but because open-mindedness is the gateway to understanding the world we live in.
Sometimes you hear the phrase “we’re living in The Matrix.” I used to label people crazy who’d say that. Then I started to wonder, “what if we’re all just characters in the game called “The Sims” and somebody else is running the show. What if the movie “The Truman Show” starring Jim Carrey wasn’t that far from the truth, and social media empires were the directors of our lives?
Crazy thoughts only sound off if you’re not willing to be open-minded to consider what they might be trying to tell you.
“He who knows does not speak”
This famous quote by Lao Tsu always makes me think. The people you encounter in life, who think they have all the answers, often know very little. The best wisdom can come from quiet observers who see the world rather than speak a lot to force what they see into reality.
The smartest leaders I’ve ever met don’t speak a lot. My former boss, Gandhi (nickname), didn’t say much when I met him for the first time. He simply listened to me and prodded me with his eyes to share moments from my life.
It’s what I call a “listening-first relationship.”
Tranquility of the mind occurs when the ratio between listening and speaking favors listening. I don’t learn a lot talking. It’s better to write and then listen to the feedback directed your way.
I’ve started reading comments on my social media posts a lot more recently. Keanu’s approach taught me that it’s okay to read feedback and not reply. The most accurate responses are typically left unsaid. A comment is an opinion, often, designed to gaslight you and turn on rage mode.
Rage mode is difficult to turn on when you don’t speak.
At a certain stage in life talking a lot simply isn’t important
That’s how Keanu probably feels — all the controversy, all the outlandish quotes, all the poking to get behind the scenes spoilers.
As the years create wrinkles in your skin you’re too afraid to accept are there, you move further away from the day you were born and closer to the day you’re going to die. Speaking doesn’t matter as much when the enormity of death faces you head-on. Tragedies like cancer or heart failure have more fun on older bodies.
They can come out of nowhere and end the Matrix movie you’ve been living. When you look at life like that, all the talking holds a lot less value. Talking too much can cause you to overspend the currency of time left in your life’s bank account.
You don’t always need an opinion on a subject
There’s a new pandemic: becoming over-opinionated. Why do you need an opinion? Often, in interviews, Keanu seems to have no answer to a question. He’s comfortable to hear the question, have nothing come to mind, and say “not sure.”
Imagine not having an opinion about every headline. Imagine seeing a headline and going “I don’t care about that” or “I have absolutely no clue” and moving on with your life. This is Keanu-level tranquility.
Bringing it all together
Over the years Keanu has dropped many one-liners that interrupt humanity’s collective thought patterns. “Even if you say 1+1=5, you’re right,” is a perfect example of that. It’s not ignorance. It’s using peace as a quiet protest.
Too much talking is a weapon of mass destruction in a culture addicted to outrage, trending tweets and salacious headlines.
What if being happier just meant reacting less to people who aren’t listening or refuse to be open-minded? Maybe Keanu has discovered the secret to life: saying nothing at all.