A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great…
Tip: You are like Elvis!
It is a new year and the possibilities are endless! Someone once wisely noted that we are only limited about the things we do in life by our own limited thinking! I think that is true! (Pun intended!)
My father used to say to me, “Robert, from the neck down a person is worth a dollar a day – you can always find somebody to do manual work that needs to be done – but from the neck up – well – that’s what makes a person a success! What do you think about? What do you say with your mouth? What do you watch with your eyes? What do you listen to with your ears? From the neck up…that’s what makes a person a success!”
After all these years, I have come to see that my father was exactly right!
Well, what does all that have to do with Elvis? I am about to tell you!
Elvis Presley was born January 8, 1935. We can only imagine what he would have looked like had he lived to reach his 70’s or 80’s. His poor health habits killed him at the young age of 42. He was a world changer for sure and his untimely death was senseless and tragic. However, there was one little known fact that makes Elvis Presley a lot like you and me. He didn’t let the failures that he experienced growing up keep him from reaching his ultimate destiny in the area he most loved, namely music.
Elvis was not a very good student academically. His report card comments always called him “average”. When he started dressing differently from the other students he became somewhat of a loner. One article I read stated, “He was usually too shy to perform openly, and was occasionally bullied by classmates who viewed him as a ‘mama’s boy’.” During his junior year in high school, he grew out his sideburns and styled his hair with rose oil and Vaseline. He started entering talent shows at school and that was when everything began to change. He once stated, “When I came on stage I heard people kind of rumbling and whispering and so forth, ‘cause nobody knew I even sang. It was amazing how popular I became after that.”
But, here is the amazing part that completely caught my attention, which makes Elvis a lot like you and me. In school, Elvis only ever failed one class and do you know which class that was? You guess it…music! Imagine that – the only class Elvis Presley ever failed in school was music! Yet, what is he most remember for? His music! I find that so ironic and simply amazing! He failed at something he loved and want to accomplish! He once stated, “I wasn’t popular in school. I failed music, the only class I ever failed.”
Later when he tried out for a local vocal quartet, the Songfellows, he was rejected. He explained to his father, “They told me I couldn’t sing.” Songfellow Jim Hamill later claimed he was turned down because he did not demonstrate an ear for harmony at the time of the audition. Imagine the rejection and hurt he felt from being turned down at such a young age when he was first trying to get started in the music business.
I suppose you have also known the fact that Elvis once auditioned at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville. After the audition he was told, “Son, the best advice we could give you at this time is go back to Memphis and continue to be a truck driver for Crown Electric Company.” Probably the worst advice ever given to another human being!
It seems like to me that the only person who had the ability to keep going in the face of all that rejection and adversity was Elvis himself!
Now let me ask you some questions: What have you failed or done poorly at something in life that you loved and wanted to accomplish? What do you wish you had better understood at an earlier age? What do you wish you could do over? What bad investment or broken relationship do you wish you could change? Did you ever hear another person give you some bad advice or hurt your feelings with his or her comments about something you wanted to do? Has another person’s opinion of you held you back from attempting to do something you felt destined to do?
Well do I have some good news for you! What somebody thinks of you is none of your business! Stop letting other people rent space in your head for free! It is time for you to begin to take steps towards fulfilling your own destiny!
If Elvis had listened to the experts, he would have never become a household name as well as one of the most important figures of the 20th century. I once read a humorous fact that said: When Elvis Presley died in 1977 there were 35 Elvis impersonators in the world. Today there are over 250,000. If this rate continues, by the year 2035, one out of every 3 people in the world will be Elvis Presley! Pretty funny thought!
I realize he wasn’t a perfect person and made lots of other mistakes. I don’t agree with everything he did. But, I don’t agree with everything I do either! But please don’t lose the point here. Regardless of what you think of him, the fact that he didn’t give up just because he failed music class or was rejected by other groups of people should help you to see the importance of seeking to live for your own dreams and accomplish what you believe is your own personal destiny, regardless of the failures you have experienced in your past.
It is a brand new year. What better time to begin to renew your mind and walk in a new direction? Get your feet and your mind coordinated this week and have them start working together on the same team. Who knows what may happen? And you may end up being the one who is most surprised of all! I promise you it will be well worth the effort! As Elvis would say, “Thank you…thank you very much!”
Tip: You are like Elvis!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm