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Bruce Springsteen

The Most Exciting Habit In Life- Do You Enjoy It Often Enough?

Bruce Springsteen

I was in the taco queue prior to the Bruce Springsteen concert last weekend when the guy behind me said something totally inspiring. It reminded me of what makes for an exciting life – and an awesome career. Do you have it?

My colleague R was frustrated last week. “I was sitting next to a dull man at lunch. There is just no excuse for dullness. DO SOMETHING! Stand for something! Believe in something! Fail massively at something! Have something to say!!! Just whatever you do- don’t be dull!”  It struck a chord. Then while queuing at The Boss, an American voice behind me said to his queue companion: “Oh yes, I was here last night. In fact I travelled here from Hawaii for these concerts. I am a huge Bruce fan. Tonight is the 152nd time I have seen him live.”

And that is what inspired me. That Springsteen devotee had something in his life that we all need. It’s what R was looking for. Without it, we are dull- in life, at work, in everything. Here it is. How do you score?

Make sure you have ‘great enthusiasms’ in your life- always.

OK- maybe 152 Springsteen concerts is a tad too far for me…but then again, why the hell not! He loves Bruce. He knows every word, every chord. He travels the world. He lifts on the power and beat. He flies high. Good for him- go for it!

Toad of Toad Hall had constant ‘great enthusiasms,’ throwing himself deeply into something- … he’d get hugely passionate, obsessed, loving every second of it, shooting up like a rocket, crashing to earth a burnt stick. And that’s okay too. You don’t have to do the ‘152 live gigs’ with every passion- it’s fine to park them, and move on.

There’s an 11 year old I am close to. He’s like Toad. Huge waves of enthusiasm… Star Wars, Lego, football, cricket, Top Gear … whatever it is, he gets totally enthusiastic, buys the gear, downloads the apps, sticks up posters, knows all the names, all the fixtures, the songs. He moves from one to the other seamlessly- packs away one lot of gear, dusts off another, and away he goes. 100% raw, unadulterated passion- every time.

And then there’s Peter. He is passionate around every single event, every day. When he cooks pasta, he does it with Italian opera pumping out, olives to nibble while cooking, ice cold Peronis at hand, and a bold Chianti breathing for the main course. And all followed by a rip roaring Italian classic movie to stir the juices. You ARE Italian for those three hours. He taught me when I was 19 to dive head long in to the experiences of life, and to make even routine moments ‘special.’ It has been a priceless gift.

Dave loves surfing so much he has named his company ‘Third Wave.’ Jonathan has a spare room in his house devoted to, wait for it, his collection of sneakers- hundreds of pairs. Dean rides the Tour De France course before the professionals race it, every year. Awesome!

Apart from family, for me it’s all about making a difference and leaving a legacy of inspiration with people I care about, it’s about learning and growing (I read constantly and always with an eye out for the new learning), grand old Colonial style hotels, gardens, Leonard Cohen. The list goes on. I am always hugely passionate, but light on in my knowledge. Lots of passions, little depth in any. I like it that way.

And what about you? Do you have full-on, hard core, heart thumping, yelp out loud, goddam I just LOVE this stuff passions– passions that excite and fulfil, that grow and evolve? Go on- list them out now…write them down. Do you spend enough time enjoying and exploring them? Do you have enough of them?

Or are you the dull person R sat next to at lunch last week? Come on now- the truth…….

Postscript

Alex and Anouk both shared this quote with me. It’s worth a read. I know what I want to be. You?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt (American 26th US President (1901-09), 1858-1919)

Bruce Springsteen

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18 Responses to The Most Exciting Habit In Life- Do You Enjoy It Often Enough?

  1. Hannah March 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    I love this! I totally agree with R that those without passions must lead a dull life. I have a few. Books – I will read anything, and then I review them on my blog. Cats – Talk about them too often and know lots about them. And NRL, mainly Manly – know as much as I can remember about the team.

    Great post!

    • Chris Savage March 6, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      And what about your dear old Uncle? Is he not a passion and someone who you hold in hero like status?

  2. Tony Spencer-Smith March 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    Hi Chris

    What a lovely rollercoaster ride of a piece! Who else would think of combining Bruce Springsteen, Toad of Toad Hall and Peter of the pastas and bold chianti? A fine piece of passionate writing.

    • Chris Savage March 6, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      Thanks Tony!!

  3. Phil March 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    I have an 11 year old very similar to yours Chris – just add Minecraft to the list. The enthusiasm and curiosity of finding new ways to learn, expand and do things (mainly via YouTube) shows the resourcefulness and commitment….

    • Chris Savage March 6, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      Love you Phil!

  4. Alison March 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Greetings from South Africa

    Love it! Thanks for the inspiration. My work life feels dull and too full of responsibility and an endless mountain of work. My ‘great enthusiasms’ live more in my private life. Hmmm – gotta fix that…

    • Chris Savage March 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Thanks Alison!

  5. Jim March 5, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    One of your best Chris.
    Rugby union fires my belly and I’ll never forget the rooms post Grand Final and moreso pre. Nothing like the bond that is in the air, pricesless!!!
    Conversely the sight of the ocean is another. The quiet swelling moving mass that it is, phenomenally intimidating.

    • Chris Savage March 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Thanks Jim!

  6. Debbie Taylor March 6, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Thank-you. I needed that. Today more than ever. My passions have taken a back seat and I have let that happen, I was becoming dull. You have reminded me of what it is like to have that ‘fire in the belly’. I love many things, I have enjoyed and I have been passionate, I had forgotten. Thank – you

    • Chris Savage March 7, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Thanks Debbie!

  7. Susan March 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Thank you, Chris. I only recently realised I am not doing ANY of my passions and instead doing an awful lot of things I don’t get a buzz out of. Not hiking, reading, dancing, learning languages, listening to music, travelling, nothing. Just ‘obligations’ that I agreed to somewhere along the line. This stops now!

    • Chris Savage March 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Good to hear from you Susan. Go for it! I hope you do take that action, then the post is totally worthwhile! Chris

  8. KerryAnn Bartle March 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Another fabulous post Chris one of your finest! I live my life full of passion and am so lucky that my work is creative, and to create is something is what I am most passionate about, so in a nutshell it is the most rewarding 24 hour job, my mind never switches off always thinking up ideas and searching for new creative ways to approach my work.

    Also a blast from the past with Bruce Springsteen he is one of the great legends, a 152 concerts around the world now that is a very passionate fan hats off to him.

    Like the 11 year old you speak of I am always enthusiastic to get the most out of life and enjoying every minute of it so passion follows me around like a shadow! Life is too short to be dull.

    • Chris Savage March 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Thanks KerryAnn- sounds like you don’t need any reminding about being passionate! Chris

  9. Tam March 12, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    As adults we make excuses, age…money… mainly time but that 11 year old is a great example that passion goes beyond those obstacles. What a great post and a reminder of how I don’t want to live this life just plodding along. Even Bruce Springsteen agrees – didn’t he say we were “Born to run”?

    • Chris Savage March 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      So true. Born to run… Keep going!

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