If anyone can truly be said to have experienced this world to its fullest, that person is Hunter S Thompson. As a journalist, he talked his way in and out of some of the most important events in American history. He made a conscious effort to get the most out of every experience and to explore the depths of all of life. His writing reached millions of people across the world and his reflections on life are still widely popular.
“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” – The one thing that you need to get through life with any sense of satisfaction is a sense of humour about it. Accept that the world can be awful and don’t take anything too personally. Find the joy in every situation and enjoy life in whatever way you can.
“I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” – The opinions of the people we care about will always have some kind of influence over the decisions we make. But ultimately their opinions are only theirs and you have to decide for yourself if you’re happy with the person you are, with your actions and your morality and your choices. If you are comfortable with yourself, it need never matter what anyone else thinks.
“Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” – Life can be difficult. Life can be so difficult that it can seem like you won’t make it out the other end in one piece. But no one ever succeeds it they don’t first try, and it’s not worth throwing your life away waiting around for something that will come easy.
“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” – When life presents you with an opportunity to do things your way, it is up to you to take it and to make the absolute most of it as long as it remains available. Refuse to make a decision or dither too long in the thinking of it and someone else, whether they mean to or not, will take over your choice. Something that should be yours – that could be whatever you choose to make of it – will be snatched by the universe, if you don’t make the most of your chances when they come to you.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!’” – Famously known as Thompson’s most popular quotation, this roundly sums up what he found to be important in life – the experience of it all. To be able to say that you have done everything you ever wanted to do, to die without regrets and with nothing left that you yearn for. To be able to say that, above you, you loved your life, because it was exciting and interesting and, more than anything else, your own.