I went to my first Bruce Springsteen concert Thursday night. Now according to his website, he was on the 5th concert of this leg of the tour, after having been in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand for most of February. Now, I mention this only because it would have easy to mistake the Nashville concert as the first night of a tour after a long, enforced break with the Boss eager to see his fans again. His enthusiasm never flagged as he sang the songs he’d sung only two nights before and two nights before that. He leaped into the crowd, body surfed, pulled people on stage, and barely stopped moving the three hours he was on stage. The same was true for the entire band. It was not just a concert; it was an event. And as I learned as I listened in on the conversations behind me between two Springsteen veterans (twenty concerts between them), this is just what Bruce does. He brings it every single time.
I left the concert wanting to join the E Street Band. Unfortunately, I can’t sing or play an instrument. So I decided to try to be more like Bruce and approach more tasks with that kind of unbridled enthusiasm.
Now some might say it’s easy for Springsteen to be enthusiastic about his job; after all, he’s a rock star. And I don’t disagree, although I’m sure some elements of his job are as repetitious and boring as anyone else’s: rehearsing songs, answering the same interview questions, singing the same hits over and over. And believe me, I’ve gone to enough concerts to know that not everyone plays with such intensity every night. But Springsteen pours himself into his work, and we can all do that.
So this week, when you’re about to do the same task or answer the same question for the 500th time, remember Bruce belting out, “Hungry Heart” for the millionth time but still with a big smile on his face. I bet you’ll be able to manage a little smile yourself.