A friend of mine recently shared a piece of writing by Hunter S. Thompson with me, which represented many of the concepts of IMT and the choices that we make in life. Thompson is writing to a friend who reached out to him seeking advice and the response is quite profound and generally applicable to any person. He begins with the notorious quote, “To be or not to be” of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and its relevance to the unavoidable decision of whether to “float with the tide, or swim for a goal.” However, if there is no goal, is it worth working towards something with no direction? Thompson’s answer to this question is that instead of trying to understand the man, we often try to understand the goal.
The goal ends up adapting the person instead of the other way around. He says, “Every man is a sum total of his reactions to experience.” This quote embodies IMT perfectly in that as a person gathers more information and has significant experiences, it takes them one step closer to reaching the final outcome and they can see it a little bit clearer. Hunter goes on to define that the goal or outcome is secondary to the path that leads to it, “Rather than bending himself to meet the demands of that which he seeks, he has bent his goal to conform to his own abilities and desires.” This quote aligns his credo further with IMT as the final outcome was always to occur only one way, but as he realizes his abilities and desires in life, he comes closer to recognizing the true preordained goal. The intertwined theme of the piece is to simply strive to be yourself and let the rest fall into place. If you choose a way of life that is enjoyable to you, you will reach the goal that you were meant to all along.