8 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Bruce Springsteen, Even If You Were Already 'Born To Run'

In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream, at night we read through the quotes of glory said by Bruce Springsteen.

"Born To Run" was released on Aug. 25, 1975, and the record was eventually sold to millions of "tramps like us" across the globe. Legendarily, during a subsequent tour, Springsteen even lived out his claim of being "born to run," hopping the fence of Graceland and running to Elvis' front door. Unfortunately, Elvis wasn't home and security got to Springsteen before he could even knock, but as he explained later in a concert:

I used to wonder what I would have said if I had knocked on the door and if Elvis had come to the door. Because it really wasn't Elvis I was goin' to see, but it was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody's ear and somehow we all dreamed it. And maybe that's why we're here tonight, I don't know.

I remember later when a friend of mine called to tell me that he'd died. It was so hard to understand how somebody whose music came in and took away so many people's loneliness and gave so many people a reason and a sense of all the possibilities of living could have in the end died so tragically. And I guess when you're alone, you ain't nothin' but alone. So anyway, I'd like to do this song for you tonight, wishing you all the longest life with best of absolutely everything.

We aren't meant to run alone. There are too many thunder roads out there to run across by yourself and, at the very least, you can use Springsteen's music to get you home.

For those who want to live more like "The Boss" -- for the girls who comb their hair in rearview mirrors and the boys who try to look so hard -- this one's for you. Here are eight quotes gathered from Springsteen's songs, interviews and speeches, that'll guide you back to glory days.

1. Figure out how to actually pursue your goals.

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"Badlands," 1978: "Talk about a dream, try to make it real. You wake up in the night with a fear so real. Spend your life waiting for a moment that just don’t come. Well don’t waste your time waiting."

2. Nothing will be handed to you, go out and conquer.

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"Lucky Town," 1992: "When it comes to luck you make your own. Tonight I got to dirt on my hands but I'm building me a new home."

3. Always keep your previous experiences in mind.

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The Guardian, 2009: "The past is never the past. It is always present. And you better reckon with it in your life and in your daily experience, or it will get you. It will get you really bad. It will come and it will devour you, it will remove you from the present. It will steal your future and this happens every day."

4. Even if a feeling of happiness is fleeting, it's worth it.

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Time, 1975: "The music is forever for me... It's a stage thing, that rush moment that you live for. It never lasts, but that's what you live for."

5. Be a little paranoid about the competition.

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“The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town,” 2010: “If you’re good, you’re always looking over your shoulder... That’s the life – that’s the gunslinger’s life. Yes, you are very fast, my friend. But there’s some kid in his garage, and about 10 minutes from now..."

6. Sometimes you have to embrace contradictions.

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SXSW, 2012: Open your ears, open your hearts. Don't take yourselves too seriously and take yourself as seriously as death itself... Don't worry. Worry your ass off. Have iron clad confidence. But doubt! It keeps you awake and alert. Believe you are the baddest ass in town and you suck. It keeps you honest. Be able to keep two completely contradictory ideas alive and well in your heart and head at all times. If it does not drive you crazy it will make you strong. Stay hard, stay hungry and stay alive."

7. Don't hold yourself back and just make it happen.

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SXSW, 2012: "There is no right way, no pure way of doing it. There is just doing it... We live in a post-authentic world. Today authenticity is a house of mirrors. It's all just what you are bringing when the lights go down, its your teachers, your influences, your personal history. At the end of the day it's the power and the purpose of your music that still matters."

8. Know who you are.

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"Born to Run," 1975:


The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody's out on the run tonight
But there's no place left to hide
Together Wendy we can live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
H-Oh, Someday girl I don't know when
We're gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go
And we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
Baby we were born to run

Oh honey, tramps like us
Baby we were born to run

Come on with me, tramps like us
Baby we were born to run

Here's to "The Boss," a man who was also born to dance.

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All still images Getty.



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