Did you know?: Elvis was a cyborg ass-kicking machine. And his story will help your career.
If you look at the progression of Elvis’s dance moves throughout his career, you’ll see a lot of hip-gyrating/air humping (cover your eyes, 1950’s moms) from around 55’ – 59’ followed by nothing short of a radical change in movement and overall dexterity from 1960 forward. Changes like these don’t appear out of thin air. In fact, being the wikipedia Elvis historian that I am, I pinpointed the exact events leading to his breath-taking forward lunges, front kicks, and air punches.
On March 24th, 1958, Elvis joined the Armed Forces in Fort Hood, Texas. He would go on to serve his country in Germany, while also being introduced to Shotokan Karate, a stylized version of one of the first traditional martial arts characterized by deep stances intended to build power and strengthen one’s legs.
Almost 14 years later, and countless hours of training, Elvis received his honorary 8th degree black belt — one of the highest honors in the world of martial arts.
Through his devotion to an entirely different craft, and regardless of his insane touring and media schedule, Elvis slowly gained high level martial arts knowledge that translated into mesmerizing, almost tribal like movements on stage. His original intention of staying busy and fit while in the army crystallized into a life long obsession that had positive effects on his career.
Elvis knew what was up.
If we are fortunate enough to have a job/internship at this point in our lives, it is absolutely vital to do something outside of work that keeps us competitive, creative, and productive. Personally, I’m a little like Elvis in that I’ve been doing martial arts on and off my whole life. Although I won’t be translating my skills into a life of shoobydoowopping, kicking and punching pads (and occasionally, people) has helped tremendously in keeping me centered, stress-free and sharper in terms of creative and analytical thinking.
Find your “pre/post work passion,” so you can make generic, accurate forecasts like that guy!
Everybody must find their shotokan karate in order to take their stage presence to the next level. Watching reality TV, ESPN, going to happy hour, and playing Call of Duty, unfortunately, do not count.
As I was explaining my idea for this post to my dad, he immediately responded, “I just signed up to volunteer at a charity triathlon, and it turns out the majority of the other volunteers are from a local real estate company.” Boom. He’s in the same industry. Good is done, a network is made. Clearly, his intention was to keep busy and give back, but when you do good for others and/or for your own well-being, the world will pay you a larger dividend than when you’re sitting on your ass doing nothing.
If you don’t already have something that you commit to that pushes either your mind or body in ways that your normal day jobs don’t, here are a couple of points to think about when choosing your style of karate:
1. Are you thinking in a different way than you do during your day job (i.e., If you’re in field where you’re crunching numbers, do some writing, paint, find an unconventional way to workout, etc.)
2. Does the activity allow you to de-stress? Raised levels of cortisol because of your day job = fat you, sick you, not fun…you.
3. Does it take you out of your comfort zone, at least a tiny bit. If you’re not a little bit nervous about something, then you’re probably not doing something that you haven’t already experienced in one way, shape, or form. Jitters are good. (I still get scared every time I have to spar at my kickboxing center, but that healthy fear pushes me to train hard and smart regardless of my stress at work)
4. Do you truly enjoy it? (This will take some time as most people don’t truly enjoy a new activity until they’re at least proficient with the fundamentals)Follow The King to greatness and make sure you’re spending your time in ways that will keep you happy and active so you can begin to operate on a higher level.
Do you like motivating content? Check this out: What is Rock Bottom, Fear, Risk & Financial Ruin? (From the Founder of Bonobos)
(Thanks to Mike & Jerome at DCBfit (www.dcbfit.com) for staying late last night to let me throw some extra kicks while while my iPhone failed to shutter fast enough for a good action shot)