Lessons From Springsteen On Broadway
By the time Bruce Springsteen released his first album, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, in 1973, he’d already had almost a decade of playing experience under his belt. He’d started playing back in 1964 with a band called The Rogues, then another, then another, ultimately morphing into the now famous E Street Band.
That first album met with critical acclaim but little commercial success. The one after (The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle) fared pretty much the same, and he didn’t really achieve commercial success until Born To Run was released in 1975.
His career after that, of course, is one for the history books. He has sold more than 135 million records worldwide, won 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, a Tony Award. He is also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
But all of that came later - it took him a decade to get to where he needed to be, and that wasn’t even achieving commercial success. By the time Born To Run came out, he was 26 years old.
The point is, he’d dedicated himself to his craft, his calling, from a very young age, and he didn’t let go of it, despite years of playing in bars, little success and not a whole lot of money.
The point is, he was trying to build something. Something bigger than himself, something that reflected the yearning he felt inside, to deliver the music he heard in his head.
The point is, he got into the game without just thinking about his pocketbook or making money.
He could see, feel, sense what he wanted, where he needed to be. In his own words, “All you had to do to get a taste of it, was risk being your true self.”
“All you had to do to get a taste of it, was risk being your true self.”
Think about that for a second. How many of us do that? How many of us feel - and then respond - to that calling?
More often than not, we’re risk averse, caught up in how things look, looking for our Plan B’s, our alternate way out in case things don’t work out. Or, we’re taking the safer road - the road more often travelled, if you will - because that’s the “right” thing to do. Fuck that.
Let’s look at things a bit differently. Instead of looking at the downside, let’s look at the opportunity. Let’s do what we want. Let’s believe in ourselves.
Because, all you have to do to get a taste of it, is risk being your true self.