The world knows Bruce Springsteen as the all-American rock star celebrity, but what not so many people know is his story and what makes him tick.
The story of how The Boss made it — and what drives him now
Although Bruce Springsteen’s life seems to exemplify the "everybody can make it" story… Springsteen underlines hard work is important, but that luck also plays an important role.
Springsteen: the early years
Bruce Springsteen was born into a working-class family, the son of a bus driver who was mostly unemployed. His mother was the main breadwinner. Until he was 7, his grandmother raised him, without providing boundaries.
It was a household often beset by poverty and emotional chaos. Bruce had a difficult relationship with his father, who called him “outcast weirdo misfit sissy boy”. Fortunately he has a very loving mother.
Springsteen went to a catholic high school in New Jersey and he was at odds with the nuns. In third grade, a nun stuffed him in a garbage can under her desk because she said that’s where he belonged.
From there he transferred to a public high school but did not fit in either. Bruce was a loner who wanted nothing more than to play his guitar for which his mother took out a loan for her 16-year-old.
He did complete high school but skipped his own graduation ceremony because he felt so uncomfortable. He briefly attended College, but dropped out.
Bruce is known for being highly socially involved
The title song of his most popular album "Born in the USA" denounced the treatment of Vietnam veterans. The song made a huge political impact, as he was advocating for the rights of the common working-class man.
In 1988, Springsteen held a concert in East Germany that attracted 300,000 spectators. Some claim the massive success of the concert helped contribute to the fall of the Berlin Wall the following year.
The rock star recently opened up about his long history of depression, and how being on stage has been a part of his "therapy". Springsteen often promotes social causes during his concerts.
Helping those at the bottom has always been important to The Boss
Springsteen’s own Thrill Hill Foundation focuses on human services and anti-poverty efforts. He also supports veterans and worked with Stand Up for Heroes.
Although Springsteen’s life seems to exemplify the "everybody can make it" story… Bruce underlines hard work is important, but that luck also plays an important role:
"I don’t think the American Dream was that everyone was going to make it or that everyone was going to make a billion dollars… but it was that everyone was going to have an opportunity and the chance to live a life with some decency and a chance for some self-respect."
How to Overcome Adversity Like A Boss
Adversity is more than just one difficulty or setback; it's a series of misfortunes that keep you from achieving your goals and finding happiness. This may include social injustice and personal tragedy, like illness or loss. These experiences can lead to hopelessness and depression. Everyone will experience adversity at some point in life, but like The Boss, you can overcome it with the right attitude and hard work.