Don’t Give Up – A Lesson From “The Boss”

Don’t Give Up – A Lesson From “The Boss”

Bruce Springsteen is a great artist whose music represents a great piece of America. I have been listening to his audiobook version of Born to Run.

Born to Run is a great autobiography of how Bruce started from nothing and became what he is today. In the book an underlying theme is that Bruce struggled for many years but never gave up.

One of my favorite tales from the book comes in chapter 25. Bruce is about 22 years old, broke, about to get evicted. He has a friend who can borrow him $35 if he can make the trip from Jersey into New York City, where the friend is. Bruce describes collecting up all the loose change he can find, borrowing his girl’s car, and pumping a few bucks of gas in for the trip. He makes his way to the gates of the city, the toll booth, with only pennies left to pay to dollar toll for entry. The toll booth prominantly displayed a sign reading “NO PENNIES”. In the middle of the road with cars lining up behind him, Bruce hands his pennies over to the toll booth attendant who says “we don’t take pennies”.

Bruces explains that is all the money he has and he doesn’t have enough gas to make it back if he has to turn around. Reluctantly the attendant chimes back, “ok but you are sitting right there while I count all of these”.

The minutes tick by, horns blasting behind Bruce, as the attendant counts 99 pennies and one Canadian penny. She says “I am sorry but you will have to turn back, I cannot except this”, while triumphantly pinching one Canadian coin between two fingers and holding it up like a prize.

Bruce spends the next few minutes tearing apart the car searching for one stray penny. Eventually, he finds it, while listening to an enraged chorus of horns from angry drivers waiting to get through the toll booth.

99 Cents is Not Enough!

“Lesson: In the real world, 99 cents will not get you into New York City. You will need the whole dollar.”

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run — Audible version! 🙂

I love this quote. It really captures the experiences that Bruce describes throughout his book. He struggled for money and to survive for much of his early life. That struggle pushed him to be as great as he is. To become “The Boss”!

This is also a powerful metaphor for life. In the real world, people will need to give their all to go after the things they want. Sure people can live without chasing a dream and people can survive by not going all-in, however, those folks won’t ever know what’s on the side where they take chances and go after the things they want.

As we face challenges today, remember, 99 cents won’t cut it when you’re at the gates of the big city! To get in, you gotta pay the entire toll. Born to Run is a great book by one of my favorite artists of all time. Springsteen’s book is a great tale of perserverance! Check it out anywhere books are sold. I got my copy on Audible.

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time, be happy and healthy my friends!

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