“As long as you don’t expect it to come easy, then you’re fine”

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen was on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast on January 2. It’s a fascinating conversation about life, and struggling, and success. A great listen to kick off the new year.

Here’s what I took away from this episode:

Know the difference between beating yourself up and being hard on yourself

It’s an important distinction.

  • Beating yourself up is saying “I suck and I will always suck.” It’s self-fulfilling. It’s complaining with no effort to do anything about it.
  • Being hard on yourself is saying “That sucked and I know I can be better.” It keeps you accountable and on track.

Don’t beat yourself up. Be hard on yourself.

Lose your anger

Anger is part of being human. It’s unavoidable. But when it hangs around for too long it’s dangerous. It will drag you into the ground.

To lose your anger, first understand it. Is it helping your progress in life, or hindering it?

Understand that:

  • Some relationships are irreconcilable. Let those ones go. Now focus on saving the relationships that matter.
  • Anger is fuel. “…chaos, tumult, disastrous relationships, humiliation, feeling disempowered…”. There’s a lot in life to make you angry. Until…“…suddenly things start to burn, burn, burn. … And when that burning starts, if you take that flame and you aim it towards the right thing – powerful weapon.”

So get angry. Welcome it. Then use it, or lose it.

“Work is a project of self realization”

Our work – what we put out to the world – is how we discover who we really are, what we’re truly capable of. Do our best work to become our best selves.

What are you good at and most passionate about? For Bruce Springsteen it was (is) music. For me it could be web development.

Now measure your progress by how well you do that thing. Is your work getting better? Are you getting better? Do the things that you do align with the person you are, with who you want to be?

Realizing yourself and putting yourself out into the world can be scary. But “your hunger has to be greater than your fear.”

You have to do it. You’ve got to put in the work to get what you want out of life.

(Aside: I think this ties into Gary Vee’s “your talent isn’t enough“.)

You’ve got to put in the work to get what you want out of life.

“As long as you don’t expect it to come easy, then you’re fine.”

Go check out the episode. Get it on the WTF website, or search ‘WTF podcast’ in your favourite podcast app and find episode #773.