I finally got to see the Elvis film last week, compliments of my dear friend Steph. I would imagine like many, I was left feeling intensely sad. Elvis was was my hero growing up. I know where I was on the day his death was announced and I remember I burst into tears. In my record collection I still have a limited edition album of his plus some 45s handed down to me by friends of my Grandma (I bet they wish they had kept them).
The last few concerts he gave were truly shocking. His huge frame bloated and sweating was a far cry from the vibrant fit young man of Jailhouse Rock fame. But there is a message which is bigger for all of us in his demise. Now we understand the sheer control Colonel Parker had we get to realise why his life spiralled so miserably.
The man he trusted to look after him used him mercilessly. Colonel Parker controlled Elvis and his career beyond what was necessary or compassionate. Like a circus animal he exploited him until he was on his knees and broken.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot just recently. How many times have you allowed a family member, friend or acquaintance influence your decisions? Ringing in our ears we may have heard “Don’t be an Actor, you’ll always be out of work. Your father and I think you should become a Doctor like your sister, it’s a good job. Don’t move to London the crime rate is awful. Just put your head down at work and don’t rock the boat”.
I’ve always been accused of being wilful, both as a child and an adult but for me there really is only one way to create the life of your dreams and that is by using the full palette and your brushes. Under the guise of care those close to you deflect their own view of life. Don’t get trapped into a picture which someone else has created for you.
My good friend Allan Holender Author of Zentrepreneurism and my old Radio Boss used to say we all know what it is we are here to do. One of the first things he said to me when we met was “think what you loved to do at the age of 8 and you will probably have the answer to what you are here to do”. Apparently Yehudi Menuhin asked for his first violin when he was just 4 and then got very angry when a toy one was given to him! Those certainly were the seeds of his reason for existing in this world. We all have those seeds, not all of them have germinated.
The road to our real self is sometimes a bumpy one. We meet many obstacles along the way and sometimes real road blocks. But keep your eyes ahead for it is motion which helps us reach our destination and not stagnation. At crew radio (my other business) we have a jingle ‘No borders just horizons’. What a life lesson that is, when you set your sight on the horizon the obstacles don’t seem so big in life.
Be bold, listen to your own inner voice and make sure the passengers you take on the ride with you are headed for the same destination or at the very least enjoy the ride.
I leave with you a photo of one of my favourite spots in the world. My go to place when I want to ground myself. We all have one of those places and sometimes it is not a million miles away..