Lessons From Elvis (or Ed Sheeran)?

Yes. Lessons from Elvis! What sort of lessons are we suggesting from this iconic singer who gyrated his way onto television and the big screen?

The anniversary of the death of ‘The King’ is August 16. Elvis left behind, a huge fan base, music and movie memories and…………..lessons.

Elvis 1957

Believe it or not, entertainers like Elvis, can show us how to follow our dreams, how to persevere and make things happen. Lessons on how to utilise our ideas, push forward and to chase our goals no matter what. Few successful entertainers would have let anything stand in the way of achieving their goals.

Often, our younger generations who are looking for guidance in development and career directions, like to be stimulated with the achievements of those that they can be ‘more in tune with’. As they embark on their own journey, future generations need inspirational ideas that reflect more modern times.

Looking towards a bright, successful future

Entertainers are perfect examples of the traits required to succeed. Just think about their careers in the entertainment industry. They constantly have to be better than the rest and better than their last performance, otherwise their careers are in jeopardy. They may have a team of assistants, but everything ‘rides’ on their own personal performances. That’s a lot of pressure!

Traits for success

Look at the following traits: Ambition, ideas, determination, goals, boldness, conviction, dedication, energy  and self-confidence. Entertainers would have to posses all those traits and more to be successful in their careers.

How did Elvis do it?

Elvis had to overcome an embarrassing stutter, so it wasn’t all ‘smooth sailing’ on his journey to stardom. In 1953, Elvis went to Sun Records to record songs ‘supposedly’ as a gift for his mother. Later, biographers suggested that Elvis chose to go to Sun hoping to be discovered. If this was the idea he had in mind, then Elvis clearly displayed  a very clear thought process with a goal in mind. It was a great idea! He had singing and acting talent, but without the traits to go with that talent, he would not have succeeded.

Rejection and Persistence

Elvis had to deal with several rejections at the beginning. He failed an audition for a local vocal quartet. They said he couldn’t sing and did not have an ear for harmony. After another audition as a vocalist, Elvis was rejected and was advised to continue driving trucks because he would never make it as a singer.

Did Elvis give up?

Just a year later on July 19, 1954, Elvis released his first commercial single, “That’s alright” and as they say, “the rest is history”. Elvis never wavered from his belief and what he wanted to achieve. Clearly, having the right attitude and desires, helped Elvis to reach his goals and to maintain consistency in the entertainment industry for many years.

Elvis Presley is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, and he was dubbed “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply, “the King”. 

Activity – have some Elvis fun in the classroom!:

  • When and where was Elvis born?
  • When was Elvis given his first guitar?
  • What was the nickname of Elvis’ manager, Tom Parker?
  • How old was Elvis when he received the Lifetime Of Achievement Award?
  • Open discussions about today’s entertainers. Who is a worthy entertainer that has displayed the traits to succeed? eg. Ed Sheeran is a remarkable performer, or is he?. 

Ed Sheeran

Fast becoming a modern day philanthropist, Sheeran has performed for many charities. His relaxed approach displaying a true selfless attitude toward others including his fans, makes Ed Sheeran an entertainer our younger generation can look up to. Both in terms of his mild-mannered success and his ability to share his life without expectations is inspiring.

These historical greats and their achievements are a solid foundation of proof for teachers, parents and students, that determination, hard work and commitment pay off. This provides an effective way of reinforcing work ethics and an appreciation of how others have, not only changed our world, but truly encouraged and inspired our generation.

Explore how Meridian High School has been raising aspirations by becoming an AMAZING PEOPLE SCHOOL!

Visit Amazing People Schools

Invite Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Michelangelo and others, into the classroom. Inspire pupils with their stories.

Character Education Through The Power Of Storytelling!

We put amazing stories into the hands of students. Amazing People like Marie Curie, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman and Mahatma Gandhi, demonstrated integrity, passion, courage, tenacity and vision. These are just some of the characteristics that inspire students to achieve amazing things.

Our interactive story world and resources have been developed to support cross-curricular learning, character education and inspire the amazing people of tomorrow.  Within our new Amazing People Schools site, you will find both Teacher and Student Zones, packed with engaging and unique resources!

Demonstrations and trials available. Please contact our education team HERE.

You can download our handbook HERE.


Amazing People Schools is a division of Amazing People Worldwide – a global organization that helps individuals and businesses achieve their full potential. 

FOUNDER – Dr Charles Margerison is a Chartered Education Psychologist and has consulted widely for major organizations in the fields of organizational and educational psychology. He was previously Professor of Management at Cranfield University, UK, and the University of Queensland, Australia. Dr Margerison founded Amazing People Worldwide in 2006 and is supported by a dedicated global team. He previously co-founded Emerald Insights, and Team Management Systems and has authored more than 30 books.