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Michael Caine Quotes

Sir Michael Caine

Michael Caine quotes: life lessons from the long-time actor.

“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”

“My biggest piece of advice to anyone just starting out, or to anyone who feels like they are taking a wrong turn along the way, is this: find something you want to do and learn how to do it really well. Take what you got and make the most of it. Learn how to do something, whatever it is, you would choose to do for nothing. Whatever it is, when you are doing it, it makes you feel amazing and most yourself. Throw yourself into it. Challenge yourself to be the best you can be. We can’t all be famous actors. But, if you can find something you love and if that something will also pay the bills, you will be on your way to your own personal paradise.”

“I feel that I helped the working class by just saying there are no barriers, which I consider to be true. I come from the slums; I come from a hard background; I come from a poor family; and I was a soldier.”

“When you are prepared, you are able to subdue your fear, control your nerves, channel your energy, and enter that state of highly alert relaxation that is spontaneity’s best friend.”

“Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy; easy doesn’t enter into grown-up life.”

“You’ve got to be flexible.”

“Use the difficulties—if you can’t avoid them.”

“My view is that you should always remake failures because then you’ve got nowhere to go but up.”

“I never listened to the people who said I should give it up, which is the main advice I got.”

“I’ve always got to have one impossible dream on the back burner.”

“A lot of people said, ‘Who do you think you are?’ I told them I know exactly who I am and I’ll tell you exactly where I’m going.”

“When you reach the top, that’s when the climb begins.”

“You’ve got to keep a sense of humor because anger destroys you.”

“You lose your temper in front of people you do not know, you lose their respect and it is almost impossible to win it back. You must keep control. If you cannot control yourself, then you have no chance of controlling others.”

“I learn the whole time. I think it would be dull if I thought I was going to work and wouldn’t find something new. We always learn.”

“I don’t have to work, really, but I do enjoy working, and I do enjoy getting paid. I suppose I should retire. But I enjoy working.”

“What happened is I enjoy it so much that I just can’t stop. Things go up and down and you do what comes along. You have to make a living.”

“I can’t really act. I’m just trying to make as much money as I can before anyone finds out.”

“I don’t worry about the last shot or the next shot. I concentrate. Every shot gets a clean slate. And when a shot is over, I wipe it out absolutely. Tell a joke or something. If you worry about how you looked, how well you did, you’ll go insane.”

“I enjoy making people laugh. The trick is to tell them jokes against yourself. If you praise yourself, your stories aren’t funny.”

“I’m looking for me to disappear, and the acting to disappear, and all you see is a real person.”

“I spent my life in the library reading books. Books were my window on the world. I read books like mad, but I am careful not to let anything I read influence me.”

“I’m every bourgeois nightmare: a Cockney [a native of East London] with intelligence and a million dollars.”

“You have to remember, I never became successful or wealthy till I was 30.”

“I was so poor for so long that I didn’t use anything. I didn’t drive cars, I didn’t eat very much. So, I figured the world owed me a debt, so I’ve been eating very well and have had a very big car for a long time. But I still haven’t caught up with my youth.”

“Since I was 19, I’ve had the most fun possible every single day, even when I had a rough life. It was the army which taught me about life, and the theater which taught me how good it could be.”

“If someone asked me if I wanted to live to 100, I’d say no. And they’d say: why not? And it’s because I couldn’t afford it. If I had to stop working, I have a very high standard of living, and I couldn’t keep it up. I’d rather die than go back to when I was young, living in a tiny room with nothing but a bed.”

“I did everything. I ran my life exactly as I wanted to, all the time. I never listened to anybody. I’m pig-headed.”

“I don’t want to screw up today’s work and tomorrow’s worrying about yesterday’s and I don’t want to focus on what it looks like on the outside when the performance has to come from within me. I want to be in the moment now, getting it right from the inside.”

“I don’t have any regrets because I’m very optimistic, and live each day as though it’s the last. I never regret anything. I always said that when I’m old, I want to be sitting there regretting the things that I did and not the things that I didn’t do; and now I’m old, and I don’t regret anything! I had fun. I had fun, and I’m still having it.”

“I don’t feel nostalgia. I never look back. I feel extraordinarily lucky, not about my talent or anything, but about the timing.”

“I’ve had such a great time, I’d like to come back as me, and do it all over again.”

“Do I believe in God? Yes I do. When you’ve had a life like mine, you have to.”

“I think life has got to develop as you get older, and I don’t want to be wandering along doing the same old thing. I want more out of life.”

“It’s vital to have your own space so you aren’t constantly in each other’s pockets.”

“To me, growing old is great. It’s the very best thing, considering the alternative.”

Age to me is in the mind. I’ve seen 70-year-olds who are already dead and 90-year-olds who can’t stop themselves living. I stay young by refusing to be old.”

“I want to stick around with the big boys. I don’t want to be in the old folks home.”

“I have been rich and I have been poor. I know which one I prefer.”

“Save your money. You’re going to need twice as much money in your old age as you think.”

“You start pretending to have fun, you might have a little by accident. Learn to enjoy what you’ve got.”

“It’s a lesson in life: don’t look back, you’ll trip over.”

“In the end, if I could give you one bit of advice, it would be to find what you love and do it as well as you can. Pursue your dream. And, even if you never catch it, you’ll enjoy the chase. The rest comes down to luck, timing, and God. Even if you don’t believe in Him, He believes in you.”

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