Do you ever get that nagging voice somewhere from deep within that says, “there is more that you are meant to do in this world?” The older I get, the louder these voices seem to be. I call it my “inner hippie” speaking. Sometimes I listen, sometimes life seems to get in the way. But it is always there for me. I know that this is not necessarily how most would define “hippie,” but it is what it means for me.
In the early part of the 2000’s, I lived in the suburbs of Houston, Texas (a US-politically conservative stronghold) for about 3-1/2 years of my life. I still stay in contact with many of my friends there, and I have lasting good memories of our days of raising younger children together on those cul-de-sacs.
There was one particular friend and neighbor with whom I would often engage in deep conversations about spirituality, purpose and life in general. As background, she has many deeply held and engrained religious and politically-based beliefs, which I respect. And, often, there was a lot that we agreed upon and believed in, but simply came at from a different perspective. It is in these times when she would jokingly remark, “Oh…this is the granola crunchy side of you, isn’t it?”
Despite this, I still always took pride in my “inner hippieness,” and smiled when my friend would make that comment. When we moved to San Francisco – the so-called center of Hippiedom, I had the sense that I had finally come home. This came as no surprise to those who know me best.
Funny thing is, I never really showed this side of my personality in my 20+ years of business dealings. In my mind, at the time, the business I was involved with would not tolerate discussions that started with “but what are we doing to make this world a better place?” There might even have been some judgment and criticism. Possibly, there would be a defense put forward on how job creation and improving manufacturing productivity is what contributes to a better world. And, I do believe in many of those things as well…under certain circumstances, but it is not something that I connect with to my core.
I’m finally accepting the fact that this is ok. Even more than that, I can be proud to approach things from a unique perspective. And, that’s why I’m now involving myself in businesses that BEGIN with: “How can we make this world a better place?” – THEN leads to: “And, how do we make this effort into a sustainable business?” Now, that is where I feel more connected and motivated.
And although I don’t think I’ll be sporting a tie-dyed shirt or John Lennon glasses anytime soon, I know that the inner hippie in me will continue to guide my efforts in helping to make my new business endeavors successful.
Peace out. ✌