[Updated: March 14, 2018]
By HYMA PILLAY
Shortly after his 21st birthday, Stephen William Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease, and was told that he only had two years to live. He lived till a fruitful age of 76 (Jan 8, 1942-Mar 14, 2018).
Hawking is a name that does not need much introduction. Known as one of the most brilliant minds in the world, he is famous for his theory on black holes and time.
Other than his genius equations and theories, Hawking was also well known for his positive spirit.
Despite being bound to a wheelchair and not having any control over his movement, he constantly gave a positive vibe.
He never allowed his disease to get in the way of his work and always kept up a great sense of humour.
Hawking pushed through his most difficult times and went on to gain countless great achievements.
I believe that Hawking had the perfect mathematical equation for happiness, and here is how we can too.
This might interest you: How You Can Design Your Own Happiness
1. There will always be new things to learn from, if you’re curious enough
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” – Hawking
This world we live in is constantly growing and developing in many ways. If we look out for it, there are countless new things we can learn every day.
Learning never stops. Look around your surroundings, even the people you spend time with.
There is so much out there to learn from. Read a new book, meet a new friend, or sign up for a new class.
If you pay more attention to the things around you, you might even learn something new just by going for a walk outside.
2. Don’t set limits for yourself
“Concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.” – Hawking
Despite his disease, Hawking never backed down from his research. He always found ways to conduct his work, and went on to publish numerous books, including bestsellers A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell.
Never set limitations for what you can achieve. Self-doubt and self-limitation often get in the way of achieving our goals.
Instead, start believing in yourself. If you truly set your mind to something, believe that you can achieve it through diligence and perseverance.
“It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years.” – Hawking
When things don’t work out the way we want it to, giving up always seems like the easiest option.
Our mind and body are conditioned for survival, therefore it is only natural to think “run” when the obstacles placed before us are too big to overcome.
Obstacles are just temporary, and personally, I believe that difficult times are the best teachers in life.
They make you stronger and wiser. When you face your next obstacle, instead of running away, run towards it!
4. Share your knowledge
“I hope I have helped to raise the profile of science and to show that physics is not a mystery but can be understood by ordinary people.” – Hawking
Hawking was always a firm believer that knowledge should be shared.
Through his books and lectures, he made it easy for people to understand his theories by communicating it clearly.
We have different skills and different things that we learn from (especially if we put point 1 to practice).
Put your wisdom to good use and share it with others. I believe that knowledge is one of the most precious gifts one can ever receive.
Hawking was a man who defeated the odds and pushed through huge obstacles. He is an inspiration and an excellent role model to many. If Hawking could do it, so can you.
To be content and happy, both in your career and personal life, one should add curiosity and learning, multiply hard work and perseverance, subtract self-limiting beliefs and divide knowledge to others.
“There should be no boundary to human endeavours. However bad life may seem, while there is life, there is hope.” – Hawking
In an interview with WIRED UK in 2013, Hawking stated that he would be an ideal villain for a James Bond film.
“My ideal role would be a baddie in a James Bond film. I think the wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part.”