The Elvis In All Of Us
The ethos of my company, Upping Your Elvis, is founded on the story of when U2 lead singer Bono was on his quest to eradicate third world debt, he used to turn up to big organisations and ask the question “so who’s Elvis around here?”
I believe we all have a little bit of Elvis in us, we just need to uncover it, shake up the status quo and bring energy to everything we do. The author Mark Shayler in his brilliant book ‘Do Disrupt’ also sees the Elvis in us. “Elvis didn’t want to be just a singer. He wanted to change music. We all have a little Elvis in us. Time to let him out”.
In a way one can describe the first step of freeing your internal Elvis as simply not worrying about what others think. Andy Warhol once described how he became a cult: In his earlier formative years he spent all his time chasing other people, wanting to be their friends and in essence, not being himself. Mainly because he had lost track of who he was and what made him unique. The minute he let go of that and decided in his head “that is was okay to be alone”, everybody wanted to be near him. The famous Andy Warhol following began.
To translate this into our everyday lives; if you spend all your time trying not to get fired, you will slow down to the speed that doesn’t get you fired. Then you have created a very dull job indeed. Stand up and stand out.
There is a certain threatening aspect to taking that first leap to finding your ‘Elvis’ but once you try it, you can’t stop.
Warhol found the “Elvis” in him. His own internal freedom.
As Charles Bukowski rather wonderfully puts it “The free soul is rare but when you are near it, you feel good, very good indeed”.
PS. This post is dedicated to an ‘Elvis’; Chris Bracey, the artist and designer owner of super inspiring Gods Own Junkyard, one of the largest collections of neon signs and sculpture outside of the US. I recently spent a few happy hours perusing his lifelong fascinating work and read that Chris sadly died at the beginning of November. A tweet was posted after the tragic event “Just wanna let you know that I am actually in Gods Own Junkyard”.