6 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Learn from Hippies

6 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Learn from Hippies

Hippies—they’re so annoying. Any slacker who thinks that standing outside, holding a cardboard sign changes the world deserves to be arrested. If these patchouli-smelling, black-footed, naïve potheads had their way, we’d self-destruct and be taken over by the Chinese, because these sheltered, anarchist morons don’t understand global politics. Shockingly, there are a few lessons hippies can teach us, if they’d only shut up about veganism and hemp long enough to see who they really are.

1. Your beliefs are important.

jennifer-aniston-paul-rudd-wanderlust-lifehack Versability Brian Penny

    Next, let’s try downward doggy style…

    If you’ve ever talked to one of those WWE fans on the side of the street with tweets handwritten on cardboard signs, you’ve likely heard some tinfoil conspiracy about aliens and our divine selves taking the world back from the darkness of the Zartan clan. No matter what you’ve personally seen in your life, these sandaled nature-Nazis know the “real truth.”

    This gets annoying with a quickness, but it’s also a great way to be. It’s important to stick to your beliefs, because that’s what’s really important in life. People live and die for their beliefs, so stand up for you and your lane.


    2. Money isn’t important.


      This car is all sorts of ratchet…

      Hippies hate currency, and I viewed money as the root of all evil way before it was cool. Economies are as real as hopes, dreams, and a good-looking male who cooks and cleans. I’ve never seen a dollar in nature, so how important could it really be?

      Despite the pyramids, castles, and other monuments you’ve seen, the richest and most powerful humans in history still treasured their own personal lives and experiences over any material possessions. You don’t need to fully switch over to Moonbeam’s communist barter system, but you can pursue more fruitful endeavors than the empty search for money.

      3. It’s great to be different.



        I’d gladly slap on some patchouli to join this scene…

        There’s an old Japanese proverb—the nail that sticks out gets hammered. You’re taught at a very young age to do as you’re told, and hippies hate being told what to do. You’re taught how to walk and talk. You don’t need to be a hippie and completely disregard every instruction just to look cool, but you do need to put your own personality into it.

        Rather than tie-dying your clothes and wearing only organic hemp like everyone else around you, do something different. The best adventures are the ones that veer off the beaten path.

        4. Sometimes you have to break the rules.


          I wish more women were as into activism as J-An…


          While an Occupy rally isn’t necessary every time someone fails to pay their bills, an occasional U-turn in a no-turn zone is necessary. A California stop at an empty intersection at 3 a.m. is actually better for the environment than obeying the signal, and if you’ve ever been on a road, you know everyone else speeds too.

          I’ve broken quite a few laws, but I’ve never committed a crime. The difference is in the justice of the law. Hippies may go entirely too far in their rejection of authority, but disobeying unjust laws is a right every man should have.

          5. There’s always another way.

          Wanderlust Versability

            Are you going number 3 or 4?

            Despite their insistence on being the least competitive people in the possibility of existence, there’s literally nothing you can do that a hippie can’t do better. If you eat a burger, they’re vegetarian. If you’re vegetarian, they’re vegan. If you’re vegan, they’re gluten-free.


            Although this passive-aggressive anti-competition is unhealthy and laughably pretentious, it does illustrate that there is always another path. No matter what you’re used to, there’s another way to do things. You may be the best at living the lifestyle you live, but it doesn’t make yours the one true lifestyle.

            6. Art is important.

            wanderlust-the-movie Versability

              Let’s sing a campfire song…anyone know Fashion Killa?

              While the U.S. is focused on STEM classes in school (except Texas, where football and cheerleading rules), the arts are important. Sure those dreadlocked sand-people lack rhythm, and the pan flute and bongos aren’t likely to become the next turntable and guitar, they’re right in their pursuit to preserve the arts.

              Look around your office, listen to the music in your car—the beauty in how your senses engage with the world isn’t in the math, it’s in the experience. Encourage creative endeavors in your life and those around you.

              Hippies have wisdom hidden behind the cloud of patchouli and tie-dye. Their beliefs may be insanely uneducated but at least they stick to them. A hippie may be useless in body, but they understand art, disruption, and the evils of greed. You don’t have to invite them into your home, but you can enjoy getting in touch with your own inner hippie.

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              The Gentle Art of Saying No

              The Gentle Art of Saying No


              It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.


              But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.


              What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.


              But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

              1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
              2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
              3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
              4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
              5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
              6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
              7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
              8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
              9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
              10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via


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