Sunday, June 22, 2014

What's a hipster? I think this is pretty close...

Upon the return of my sister (who lives in Rome, Italy) to the states... She asks "So what is a Hipster...?" As we try to define it... I go to the internets... And find this fairly well written definition on Urban Dictionary (Fair Warning: UD can sometimes be NSFW, rude, crass & disgusting... But I thought this was interesting and well written. 
I submit it here for comment or agreement... 

From Urban Dictionary:
Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. The greatest concentrations of hipsters can be found living in the Williamsburg, Wicker Park, and Mission District neighborhoods of major cosmopolitan centers such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco respectively. Although "hipsterism" is really a state of mind,it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs. Such styles are often associated with the work of creative stylists at urban salons, and are usually too "edgy" for the culturally-sheltered mainstream consumer. The "effortless cool" urban bohemian look of a hipster is exemplified in Urban Outfitters and American Apparel ads which cater towards the hipster demographic. Despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities. Consequently many hipsters tend to have jobs in the music, art, and fashion industries. It is a myth that most hipsters are unemployed and live off of their parent's trust funds. 
Hipsters shun mainstream societal conventions that apply to dating preferences and traditional "rules" of physical attraction. It is part of the hipster central dogma not to be influenced by mainsream advertising and media, which tends to only promote ethnocentric ideals of beauty. The concepts of androgyny and feminism have influenced hipster culture, where hipster men are often as thin as the women they date. The muscular and athletic all-American male ideal is not seen as attractive by confident and culturally-empowered hipster women who instead view them as symbols of male oppression, sexism, and misogyny. Likewise, culturally-vapid sorority-type girls with fake blond hair, overly tanned skin, and "Britney Spears tube-tops" are not seen as attractive by cultured hipster males who instead see them as symbols of female insecurity, low self-esteem, and lack of cultural intelligence and independent thinking. Hipsters are also very racially open-minded, and the greatest number of interracial couples in any urban environment are typically found within the hipster subculture. 
Although hipsters are technically conformists within their own subculture, in comparison to the much larger mainstream mass, they are pioneers and leaders of the latest cultural trends and ideals. For example, the surge of jeans made to look old and worn (i.e. "distressed"), that have become prevalent at stores such as The Gap, American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Hollister, were originally paraded by hipsters who shopped in thrift stores years before such clothing items were mass produced and sold to the mainstream consumer. The true irony here is that many of the detractors of hipster culture are in fact unknowingly following a path that hipsters have carved out years before them. This phenomena also applies to music as well, as many bands have become successful and known to mainstream audiences only because hipsters first found and listened to them as early-adopters of new culture. Once certain concepts of fashion and music have reached mainstream audiences, hipsters move on to something new and improved. 
Because of the rise of various online photo-blog and social networking sites, insights into urban hipster culture is reaching sheltered suburban audiences at an exponential rate. Cultural "norms" have been deconstructed by hipster culture as a whole. Hipsterism is often dismissed as just an image thing by some, but the culture as a whole is effecting changes in society, leading to feelings of insecurity and resentment in people who are no longer a part of the cultural ruling class. For example, a lot of anti-hipster sentiment evidently comes from culturally-clueless suburban frat boy types who feel that the more sensitive, intelligent, and culturally aware hipster ideal threatens their insecure sense of masculinity. Anti-hipster sentiment often comes from people who simply can't keep up with social change and are envious of those who can.

Monday, January 27, 2014

RE-Post: Whats the next step? By Dr. Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D.

Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D. is a popular keynote speaker, author and corporate trainer recognized for his expertise in team building and human behavior. He uses a highly engaging combination of humor and illustrations to educate, motivate and train his audience. Dr. Rohm’s material is proven to increase productivity and reduce conflict. His message applies well for business and personal use. 
As a best selling author, he has written or co-written over twenty books. Over two million have experienced Dr. Rohm in live presentations, and over one thousand people have been through his certification training program at his corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. 
 His seminars are beneficial for corporations, small businesses, schools, churches and government agencies. His time-tested strategies work to improve results, lower stress, minimize employee turnover and dramatically improve communication. 

Tip: "The next step is...?"
Over the years I have tried to grow in the area of personal responsibility. As a child I was not a very responsible person. I believe I was basically lazy. I put things off as long as possible and when I finally did get around to doing something, I would only do it with a "good enough to get by" attitude. I look back at this immature attitude with regret. It was not until I was 18 years old and attended a military college that I began to grow up. Personal responsibility at a young age was not an easy concept for me to grasp. It was a lot easier to blame everyone else than blame myself!

Many countries throughout the world (Israel, South Korea, Singapore) believe that all men and women ages 18 – 21 should serve in the military in some capacity.  I often wonder what our country would be like if we adopted the same philosophy. Perhaps if that were the case it would help a person to grow up in a more responsible manner, love his or her country more, begin to understand authority and learn some self-discipline. Today we live in a society that is full of grown-ups who are still children in their attitudes, but that is a topic for another Tip.  Because of my own military experience, I believe that I understand much more about maturity, self-discipline, respect and personal responsibility. For that I am grateful.

I ask myself,  “Just how does a person really grow up to become productive?”  Why do some people seem to accomplish more of their goals and dreams while others seem to wander aimlessly through life? What is the real difference? Is it just luck or fate? I think not! Therefore the real question is: "What kind of experiences or what mindset will help us to become more efficient in all we do?" I believe I have found the answer.

The next time you begin to think about something you want to see accomplished, ask yourself one simple question, "The next step is...?" If you can answer that question you will be well on your way toward becoming more responsible and completing your goals or dreams. There may be a hundred things that need to be done, but in most cases you can only do one thing at a time; and in many cases each thing needs to be done in some kind of order. Let's face cannot put the roof on a house until you first have some of the walls in place! I find that is where people get lost. They see the “big idea” or the “big picture”,  but they just do not posses the wisdom and maturity it takes to get started then get from one point to another.

It may be that you do not know what the next step actually is and that becomes something to consider. In other words, if you do not know what to do next, then the next step is to find out exactly what that next step is.  One way to discover that is to ask someone who is experienced in that area. 

Recently, I had a real estate issue to arise in which I wanted to make some progress, but I am not a realtor. So, I called a friend of mine who is a real estate broker and he explained, in detail, everything I needed to know.  After our conversation I knew exactly what the next step was that I needed to do. 

Someone once said, "I may not have all the brains in the world, but I do know how to borrow brains from other people." Sometimes asking someone else what the next step is - actually becomes the next step!

Whenever I want to see something accomplished I simply ask myself the same question over and over again, "The next step is...?" In that manner my thought process begins to line up and suddenly, complicated situations begin to be less complicated. Issues that start out as confusing to me suddenly become very clear. I am much more able to reach my goals and dreams using this technique. I even have a 3 x 5 card that sits on my desk that reads: "The next step is...?" When I feel confused or when I feel as though I have lost my focus, asking myself that question soon has me back on track. It also will sometimes cause me to think of related ideas that will be helpful in attaining my goal. In most cases, I have discovered that everything relates to some thing! So, while I am working my way through one process, I may also learn additional, vital information that will help with a future project. In o ther words, everything relates to everything!

When working with other people, I have found that if I politely and appropriately ask them what they think the next step is - they suddenly begin to grow in their own ability to think more clearly as well. We all need a little help and this technique seems to do the trick!

This one concept has helped me complete projects, achieve goals and become a better leader.   If you want to be more productive in your life, start practicing this important Tip. It will not be long before you see things more clearly than you do right now. 

Knowing what the “next step is” helps insure success.  Other people will wonder about your seemingly "magical powers" in getting things accomplished! However, it is not magic at all. It is a mindset that will change everything that you do. If you feel “stuck” in any area of your life start practicing this technique and watch what happens. This is one concept you will want to share with as many people as possible!

Tip: "The next step is...?" 

Have a great week!  God bless you!  

Dr. Robert A. Rohm 
Personality Insights, Inc.