Growing up, I was never much of a Bruce Springsteen fan. I had nothing against him; I just wasn’t a fan of much of his music. I knew a few songs, “Born in the USA,” “Glory Days,” and a few others. About two months ago when tickets went on sale for his concert at the Baltimore arena, my brother-in-law asked me if I was interested in going. At first I didn’t have much interest, but after thinking about it for a few minutes, I thought it would be a good date night for my wife and me, so I decided to purchase tickets.
As the concert date approached, there wasn’t much of an internal build-up of excitement. My intention was to go to the show with my wife and enjoy the night out.
On our way to the concert, my wife and I looked at each other questioning why we were even going to the event as neither one of us knew many songs. I told her to look at it as a cool, expensive date night, and to just go and enjoy the show.
At approximately 8:00 p.m., Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band walked on stage and the crowd went nuts. As you can imagine, it was a mature crowd but a fair share of younger people were there as well. Bruce opened with “The Ties That Bind,” a song I had never heard before despite it being off his 1980 album “The River,” and went on to play for three and half hours straight — no intermission, no breaks of any kind, just one song after another, with a few stories between, usually a tale that would lead into the song he was about to sing.
Bruce owned the stage. He body surfed and engaged the crowd. He took advantage of the stage layout, walking from a ramp that extended out from the stage, across the floor to the other side, where he would climb back to stage. He took a few selfies along the way as he stopped and shook hands with the crowd. It was an amazing scene.
At one point during the show, Bruce summoned a young girl to dance with him on stage. Then another and another until seven young girls were on stage with him dancing and singing. Could you imagine that experience, or a friend or parent snapping a picture of you to save for a lifetime of memories? If the girls were old enough to know who Courtney Cox is, the “Friends” star whose debut was being pulled from the crowd to dance in the “Dancing in the Dark” video filmed at a 1984 Springsteen concert, they may have been imagining big futures for themselves.
As I said, I didn’t know many songs but I stood and watched and took it all in. Bruce would start a song and then the crowd would take over and sing along with him. There wasn’t a fancy light show of any kind — no lasers or high-tech gimmicks; just Bruce being Bruce. The crowd was into every song and the energy was amazing.
I ran into a client of mine before the show and told him I had never seen Bruce Springsteen before and I didn’t know many of his songs. He told me not to worry, by the end of the night I would be transformed. To my surprise, the first words Bruce spoke when he grabbed the mic were, “Are you ready to be transformed?”
Afterward, I knew what my client meant about being transformed. I was transformed into a Bruce Springsteen fan, a fact that became obvious three and a half hours later. But something else was happening internally as I heard my client’s words in my head. I thought about all the personal growth seminars I had attended over the years. I thought about the books I have read and the CDs and tapes I have listened to. I thought about what being transformed really meant to me.
In today’s society most people conform to what society wants from us or expects of us. Very few people allow a transformation to take place. Conformity begins on the outside and works its way in. By contrast, transformation begins on the inside and works its way out. When transformation takes place, we are allowing what is really in our hearts to come to the surface, thus we are transformed into who we were meant to be. That’s a huge order because the fact is and the numbers suggest only 3 percent of society is willing to take the journey of transformation.
As I continued to take in the concert, I realized I was watching a 66-year-old guy bringing it with all he had. Bruce Springsteen has been playing music for over 40 years. I am fairly confident that at this point, he isn’t playing for the money. I don’t know that for sure, but I will say that it looked to me that he was playing because that is what he loves to do.
Yes, he is an entertainer and his profession requires him to bring the energy, but his energy was off the charts. He wore his heart on his sleeve. The effect he has on a crowd is immeasurable. The inspiration from his lyrics and his energy are nothing short of high-impact. Bruce is living his passion and his purpose.
I continued to think and dwell in the moment as I watched and listened. I questioned whether I was living my purpose and being who I want to be or whom I was created to be. I shifted my thoughts and pondered what’s still to come and how I can inspire and impact people going forward.
I sell real estate for a living and I am an example of someone who built a successful real estate career from the ground up. As part of that job, I inspire and impact people every day. It’s a great feeling to help people realize their dream of home ownership. I also have the opportunity to influence and inspire other agents in this business through my success.
But I want something else — something more elusive and bigger than buying and selling real estate. I want to help people fulfill their potential as I seek to achieve mine.
My dream is to impact and inspire people to believe in their dreams and to realize those dreams through perseverance and impassioned action. I try to do this through my speaking and writing. I want to get out there and do what I am called to do — with passion and purpose. My hope is when I am 66 years old, I am still bringing it and living with that same energy and purpose. If Bruce, an angst-ridden, working-class Jersey boy, can do it, then so can I, and so can you.