“…it is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it. There is more to it than that— no one HAS to do something he doesn’t want to do for the rest of his life.”
Those are some of the last lines in a letter Hunter S. Thompson wrote to his friend Hume Logan, who had asked for some life advice.
The gist of the letter is that there is no single “right” goal.
Thompson writes about how when we set goals, “we seek to understand the goal and not the man”, which means to say that as we grow and change, we see the goals we have set in a new light.
And instead of shifting the goal, we force ourselves to stay on the same path, heading towards a goal that we may or may not desire any longer.
Thompson writes, “…it would seem foolish, would it not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal we see from a different angle every day?”
“We must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal,” he continues.
He comes up with a kind of formula for life ie. “A man must choose a path which will let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES.”
Rather than living one’s life with the sole purpose of reaching a “pre-defined goal”, Thompson suggests choosing a way of life you know you will enjoy.
Although the letter was written in 1958, I think the advice still applies today.