Punching Your Inner Hippie


From PUNCH YOUR INNER HIPPIE by Frank J. Fleming Copyright © 2014 by Frank J. Fleming. Reprinted courtesy of Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

So I was working with someone who was really trying to tap his full potential, but his inner hippie kept pulling him down any time he tried to succeed. I think he was an accountant or something—all these people complaining about their problems just blend together. Anyway, let’s call this man “Bob,” as that’s what I called him. I told him, “Bob, if you want to get anywhere in life, you first need to defeat your inner hippie.”

“But I don’t know how,” he said. “It’s not like I can just punch myself.”

“Well, I can punch you,” I said, “and I will, because I like to help. But I won’t always be there. Instead, we need to find a way for you to really lay the smackdown on your inner hippie to silence its call to failure, and doing that will take some extreme measures. Come with me, Bob.”

“My name’s not Bob, by the way.”

“I don’t care. Come along.”

I took Bob to the zoo after hours and headed toward the gorilla pit. “See that gorilla, Bob?”

“Wow,” Bob said, “he’s massive.”

“Pretty intimidating, huh?”


“Is that gorilla anything like a hippie?”

Bob thought for a moment. “Not really . . . except he probably doesn’t bathe regularly.”

“Correct. A gorilla is nothing like a hippie,” I said, “and yet here is the thing: I want you to go punch him.”


And then I pushed Bob into the gorilla pit. The gorilla immediately became angry, since Bob was invading his territory. Bob started to panic and tried to find a way to escape. “No, Bob,” I told him. “You need to stand your ground and just uppercut that stupid gorilla. I mean, just knock him out cold. Show him who’s boss, okay?”

“Why?!” Bob screamed.

“Because it will be awesome, that’s why. And I’m going to film it on my phone and put it on YouTube, and it will blow everyone’s minds. Punching out a charging gorilla—that is so awesome. Just wrap your mind around that, Bob.”

“I don’t understand!” he pleaded.

“You will in time, Bob. You will in time.”

“My name’s not Bob!” he yelled, now in tears.

“Whatever, Bob.”

You may have noticed that so far there has been a lot of emphasis in this book on punching, especially the punching of hippies. Scientists have long studied exactly how punching cures hippie-ism. The general consensus is that the blunt impact of the fist to the nerves of the face causes a surge of stimulation to the brain, often shocking it out of the poor, hippie-type thinking. Other scientists believe that hippies simply don’t like to get punched, and thus punching them just gets them to shut up. Whatever the reason, a punched hippie is a much less annoying one and is much less of a drag on society.

But how do you punch your inner hippie?


The hippie inside you is the worst hippie of all, the one whose whining will drag you down the most, because he is always there and always trying to suppress you in his lazy, annoying ways. And one punch won’t do it; that will shut up your inner hippie for a bit, but he’ll soon be back in force, whining at you to give up and be mediocre. Instead, to defeat your inner hippie, you need to deliver him a constant and thorough beating so he never, ever has a chance to utter a peep.

But, of course, a physical bludgeoning isn’t an option, because your inner hippie is a metaphysical concept. That’s what is frustrating here. He’s the worst hippie of all and constantly bothers you, but he’s out of reach of your knuckles. Being that he’s a metaphysical concept, one way to deal with the hippie would be to find some place comfortable to relax where you can imagine this hippie inside and then visualize yourself hitting him over the head with a trash can. The problem with that is that the whole meditation thing seems kind of hippie-ish itself. Instead, there is a much better way to punch your inner hippie. And that is by being awesome.

Anytime you shake off the shackles of mediocrity and do something awesome—like just wallop a gorilla and knock him out cold as I was trying to instruct Bob—it’s a punch to the face of the hippie inside you. Of course, to be awesome, you don’t have to punch a gorilla. Instead you could punch like a moose or a rhinoceros. Or you could do something that doesn’t involve punching at all; it just has to be awesome in a mind-blowing way, because that is how you defy that inner hippie telling you lies, like the lie that you’re unable to punch out a large charging ape. And when you live a life filled with awesome, then it’s like you’re constantly curb-stomping the hippie inside you. You do that enough, and he shuts up. And with your inner hippie out of the way, you will be unstoppable. That is our goal.


image illustrations via Shutterstock / MyImages – Micha / Arend Trent