The end of the year tends to be a reflective time for most people -- a time of looking back at where we've been, assessing what we've learned, and looking toward the future. And even though he might have a cooler hat collection (not to mention more guitar-playing ability) than most of us, Slash is no different -- as evidenced by his recent column for Esquire, titled 'What I've Learned.'

Basically a list of lessons Slash has taken from his life on and off the stage, the article contains a few drops of wisdom for anyone following a dream -- and a few quotes about the glory days of his tenure with Guns N' Roses and his feud with Axl Rose, to boot.

"I never want to draw attention to myself, but that's all I do," began Slash, going on to compare guitars to women ("you'll never get them totally right") and offer a glimpse of what drives him as a musician: "It's a constant quest to find that harmony, to connect with it, where everything that you want to come out of it comes out. Those moments are rare, but they're like drugs: Once you get going on it, you're constantly jonesing for it ... It's not something you can find. There's a moment you arrive at — there's no words for it. A bunch of people come together at this place where a note hits your heart and your brain tells your finger where to go. It's an otherworldly thing, like when a painter gets the right combination of colors together."

It goes without saying that Slash felt that harmony with GNR, if only for awhile. "When I see footage of Guns N' Roses, I see that f---ing hunger and attitude. You could not f--- with those five guys. It was just raw. It was this lean, hungry thing on its way up. It was as sincere as any rock 'n' roll that I've ever heard, and I'm proud of that," he wrote. But as we all know, personality conflicts (not to mention assorted chemicals) drove them apart.

"Axl and I came from completely different backgrounds. Because of that we made an interesting pair trying to figure each other out," Slash mused, adding, "The split between Axl and I was a quiet one. But because there was so much attention on the breakup — and are we going to get back together? — it got built up into this monster that led to a kind of animosity that wasn't the focus for me. Neither one of us wants to be down each other's throats for no reason. At this point, I'm trying to put it to rest. So I try to avoid the subject."