Life advice from Hunter S. Thompson

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Letters of Note has a wonderful letter that Hunter S. Thompson wrote to a friend when he was only 20-years-old. While full of good advice, a few quotes stand out:

    *In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires—including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter.

    *As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: a man must choose a path which will let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES.

    *In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a pre-defined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he KNOWS he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important.

    *Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN—and here is the essence of all I’ve said—you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.

    *But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life.

TL;DR:
– Life has to be meaningful
– Use your skills to create the life you want
– The end goal isn’t as important as enjoying the process
– Find your own path
– You do you

I think that is pretty sound, timeless advice.