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James Caan Quotes

James Edmund Caan

James Caan quotes: on integrity, family, acting and more.

“Success is the result of a clear goal, unshakable confidence, proper planning, enthusiastic action and consistent persistence.”

“Nothing is handed to us on a plate.  Success comes from hard work, drive, passion and determination.  If you’re not happy: change things.  Your main goal in life should be happiness.  If you have that you can take on the world.”

“To succeed, you have to be willing to lose.”

“Obstacles are only opportunities to succeed or fail; how we handle them determines what will happen.”

“The world needs dreamers.”

“You’re the only one who’s closing your eyes at night.  There’s no one else who can do it for you.”

“Stay calm, stay focused, work with the people around you, share the strain, find the solution.  Give yourself a chance, not a coronary.”

“Sometimes it seems like this is the choice: either kick ass or kiss ass.”

Never stop asking yourself whether you can do things better.  Keep testing every aspect of your business to the nth degree, and challenge every one of your assumptions.  The tougher you are on yourself now, the tougher your business will be out there in the real world.”

“Observe the masses and do the opposite.”

“The main pearl of wisdom I give these young kids is that you shouldn’t make your career your whole life.  No matter what heights you achieve, the slide is coming, sure as death and taxes.  So if you put everything into that one basket, you’ll wind up hurting yourself.”

“Showing up every day isn’t enough.  There are a lot of guys who show up every day who shouldn’t have showed up at all.”

“You have to be very careful when you let someone win.”

“Someone’s always saying, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose,’ but if you feel that way, you’re as good as dead.”

“The most talented people invariably are the easiest and nicest to get along with.”

“I never did anything else.  In college I switched majors every two weeks, and acting was the only thing that held my interest.”

“I had great, great times as a Little League coach.  People were talking about me quitting acting, and they would say, ‘What about your creative juices?’  Coaching is creative, because you could take a kid who thought he wasn’t any good and, within four minutes, change his mind.  And I didn’t have to wait six months for them to put music to it.”

“My least favorite phrase in the English language is ‘I don’t care.’  If you ask somebody and they say, ‘I don’t care,’ well, f*ck you then.”

“Unless I love something or hate it, I don’t want to deal with it.”

“I think we have to believe in things we don’t see.  That’s really important for all of us, whether it’s your religion or Santa Claus, or whatever.  That’s pretty much what it’s about.”

“I never saw my dad cry.  My son saw me cry.  My dad never told me he loved me, and consequently I told Scott I loved him every other minute.  The point is, I’ll make less mistakes than my dad, my sons hopefully will make less mistakes than me, and their sons will make less mistakes than their dads.”

“What I do quite honestly and seriously and not in any way being humble is not as important as what the garbage collector does.  People make actors important.”

“I never rode a bull.  I’m not that stupid.”

“I’ve been lucky.  The critics never went out of their way to single me out for doing bad work.”

“I didn’t have parents I could take a million dollars from.  We were a lower-class family.”

“There’s a big difference between wanting to work and having to work.  And I had to learn that the hard way.  Now money is very important to me.  So I’ve retired from having to work.”

“When I make a film, the money I make is not gonna really change my life, but the gratification I get from people saying, ‘Jesus, I loved your film,’ is so much richer I think.”

“I’ve never missed a day’s work in my life, even through all the sh*t.”

“I’m only working when there’s something that comes along where I feel I can take a sense of pride.”

“I like to do good things, and I like to be with good people.  And I like to have fun.  If I can’t have fun, then I don’t need it.”

“A lot of young actors look up to me, and I wouldn’t trade that for any money in the world.  I don’t want to lose their respect.”

“I lost my passion for work.  No, that’s a negative statement.  I just had a bigger passion for something else, for my son, and growing up with him.”

“Sometimes it takes tragedies in your life to make you realize certain things.  I lost my sister to leukemia.  She was my best friend.  I had a health problem at one time.  When all of that bad stuff happened, I realized the most important word is passion.  You have to care.  So I said, whatever integrity I got left, I’m going out with it.”

“Sure, I want to be the best actor in the world.  But my life is my family, my son, my friends.  I don’t know how anyone can find fault with that.”

“It’s about how we don’t recognize the little things in life, or appreciate the little things in life like belonging.  A sense of belonging is a big thing today.”

“Why would I leave?  I like it here.”

Related: Marlon Brando quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.