“Do what you want. Life is short. Don’t waste it by pursuing fabricated ideals which force you to do things you hate”.
It’s an increasingly common maxim. Allan Watts asked, What if money was no object? Steve Jobs urged to “to find what you love.”
Bohemians, hippies and other types of free-thinkers are known for their proclivity for placing artistry and freedom of self-expression above financial wealth, social status and conformity.
As such, they have been inspiring generations with their books, paintings, poems, lectures, and music.
Here’s what lies at the heart of living a more free life, with a selection of the most famous bohemian quotes of all time.
A while ago the quote; work hard, play hard, was everywhere. Recently the ubiquitous quote evolved into a less absurd version; work smart, play hard.
Still though, in reality ‘work smart’ often means that you ain’t got time to do the things you really want in life because you’re busy working smart for 50 hours a week. If that’s the case and the realization is gnawing at your existence, take an example of these folks.
“When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” ― Bob Dylan
“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.” ― Satchel Paige
“All I’m gonna do is just go on and do what I feel.” ― Jimi Hendrix
Play hard / Be crazy
Trade shame for courage. Embrace those in your life who accept your weirdness. Accept your own quirkiness for it makes you you. Realize that those who frown upon your eccentricities are subconsciously commenting on themselves. Your weirdness may open you up to opportunities you never considered possible. Weirdo is a badge to wear with honor.
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”. ― Hunter S. Thompson
“I’d rather play here
With all the madmen
For I’m quite content they’re all as sane as me” – David Bowie. Lyrics from All The Madmen
“You have to forget about what other people say, when you’re supposed to die, or when you’re supposed to be loving. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on & be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.” ― Jimi Hendrix
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” ― Jack Kerouac
“You’re either on the bus or off the bus. If you’re on the bus, and you get left behind, then you’ll find it again. If you’re off the bus in the first place — then it won’t make a damn.” ― Ken Kesey
“There was madness in every direction at every hour. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right… and that we were winning” ― Hunter S. Thompson
Unshackle from sheep’ism. We’re all unique yet we act like we’re all so much alike. We’re selling ourselves short by doing so. Which is what the following free spirits well understood.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”
― Mark Twain
“I’m a girl from a good family who was very well brought up. One day I turned my back on it all and became a bohemian.” ― Brigitte Bardot
“I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ― Robert Frost
“If I’m free, it’s because I’m always running.” ― Jimi Hendrix
“If you want to be free, be free. Cause there’s a million things to be.” ― Cat Stevens
“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. …You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.” ― Jim Morrison
“I do my thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.” ― Frederick E. Perl
“All the time, I’ve felt that life is a wager and that I probably was getting more out of leading a bohemian existence as a writer than I would have if I didn’t.” ― Christopher Hitchens
“My dream is to become a farmer. Just a Bohemian guy pulling up his own sweet potatoes for dinner.” ― Lenny Kravitz
“Long hair is considered bohemian, which may be why I grew it, but I keep it long because I love the way it feels, part cloak, part fan, part mane, part security blanket” ― Marge Piercy
“It was my mom and I against the world. We lived in New York in this bohemian lifestyle where an extended group of artists and photographers were like my aunts and uncles.” ― Brooke Shields
March to the beat of your own drum
If you don’t you’re wasting your life.
“When you’re choosing furniture for your home that’s supposed to express who you are, what you are also saying is you want other people to infer what you want them to infer. What if they see something different? Wouldn’t it be really depressing if you’re trying to be bohemian and instead they see you as Rush Limbaugh?” ― Sheena Iyengar
“I used to be frustrated about being called bohemian, but I don’t really care now. If that’s what you are, you should celebrate it.” ― Alice Temperley
Once we thought the Earth was flat (some rappers still do). Now we are convinced the world is round, or oval-shaped actually. But who’s to say we’re right? Wouldn’t that be ultimately arrogant? Quantum mechanics currently indicates that the universe only exists because of our consciousness. To put it bluntly, it seems that it may all be some sort of dream.
“My real fantasy if I was to drop out would be to live in a mobile home and be a hippie and drive around festivals and have millions of children – children with dreadlocks and nose rings – and play the flute.”
― Rachel Weisz
“Dreamers are mocked as impractical. The truth is they are the most practical, as their innovations lead to progress and a better way of life for all of us.” ― Robin S. Sharma
“…see the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars,…and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of ’em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures.” ― Jack Kerouac The Dharma Bums
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined.” ― Henry David Thoreau
There’s one more I’d like to add:
Live different. Because ‘normal’ doesn’t make sense anymore.
What’s your favorite bohemian quote?