Worthy Thoughts

Books, reading, life & other worthy thoughts

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Author: Michael Caine
Publisher: Hachette

What’s not to like about Michael Caine? He is utterly charming. If you have ever seen Michael Caine being interviewed on TV you know that he exudes that appealing mix of shyness, brashness and humour. His writing is very similar. He wrote an excellent autobiography a few years back, but his new book Blowing the Bloody Doors Off And Other Lessons in Life is so much more than an autobiography. On the surface, it appears to be a book filled with tips for acting, but actually, it is a book filled with tips on how to get the most out of life without too many, or in Caine’s case, any regrets.

My father gave me this book and said that there were some valuable life lessons to be learnt from this book. I could go through and summarised the book and highlight Caine’s eventful life and his experiences with greats such as John Wayne, Jack Nicholson and John Huston, but instead, I’ve decided to take the nine quotes that spoke to me. So, dad, this one is for you, here are the life lessons that I received from Caine’s book.

  1. I would never get caught giving less than 100 per cent. Why do anything if you’re not going to do it as well as you possibly can
  2. You are always auditioning.
  3. Any time you learn from a failure, it’s a success.
  4. Whatever form it takes, do your homework!
  5. The rehearsal is the work, the performance is the relaxation.
  6. The best directors, like the best leaders in other industries, achieve great things by gathering the right people around them, then trusting them to get on with the what they do best, giving them a quiet nudge whenever they need it to keep them on track.
  7. Bad directors are bad for all the same reasons other bosses are bad. They are not good enough at their jobs, they don’t work hard enough, or they are bullies.
  8. There will always be someone faster than you, cleverer than you, better-looking than you, richer than you, luckier than you. So forget competing with other people: it will just make you bitter, self-pitying, unhappy. Do your own thing and do it as well as you possibly can.
  9. The worst thing you can do to an enemy is to ignore him. To be angry is to be a victim. To move on is the only victory.

Blowing the Bloody Doors Off is a fun and easy read. Like the man himself, Caine’s writing is entertaining and honest. He writes frankly and unpretentiously about being famous. Caine admits that maybe he has remained the way he is because his success came later in life and because he nurtured friendships that kept him grounded – also pretty good advice. Caine looks back on his life with incredible insight. He doesn’t hide from his failures in life. Instead, Caine looks at what he learnt or what the experience gave him as a person. He has a gift for telling a good story and this book is a definite read for anyone who wants to learn how to get the most out of life or who just wants to be delightfully entertained.

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