The Resilient Life - Stephen Hawking
A man known throughout the world for his scientific mind died last week. We lost someone who contributed many great thoughts and discoveries to our world. But, for me personally, I see one of his greatest contributions as being a role model for resiliency.
I am not a journalist. I could never do justice to Stephen Hawking’s life or his achievements. I leave that to sites like BBC News who can do that much more successfully and succinctly than I can. Their post is outstanding - http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43396008.
My post today is simply about how Stephen Hawking is an example to me of leading a resilient life. Look at what he achieved by being persistent. By just simply living. His life was filled with more daily challenges than many of us encounter, but he didn’t give up. I didn’t know him personally, but I am sure that, like every human being on this planet, he had days where life was too much. Where his pain and his disabilities made him want to scream at the mountains and maybe just walk away.
But he didn’t.
His comment to People’s Daily Online, June 2006 on euthanasia says a lot about his mindset. “The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope.”
I’ll just let that set for a moment.
And then I’ll repeat it.
“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope.”
I think that statement right there is the largest factor to anyone’s ability to be resilient.
In the MY LIFE AS AN ALBUM SERIES, the main characters are all struggling with some kind of loss in their lives. Loss of people. Loss of dreams. Loss of childhood. But, at the end of the day, they choose to get back on the bicycle. They choose to just live. One day at a time until life gets easier. Clearer. Happier.
I’ve had my own share of losses in life and yet I’m not an expert on either loss or resiliency. I can only offer a thought. Breathe. Get through the moment. Find something, anything, to focus your energy on. Get up each day and focus on that. Get up each day and just live, whatever that entails and even if it's done badly.
I hope that you can be as inspired by Stephen Hawking as I am.
“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...” (The Guardian, September 2005)
But he always found a way forward.
And I hope you find your own way forward through whatever your challenges are right now. Whatever is causing you to want to stop. Whatever is causing you to want to throw in the towel. I hope you find that something. That love. That person. That goal. That will see you to the other side. To a different life.
I’ll leave you with Hawking's famous quote about life from his interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, (June 2010). “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”
My wish for you today is that you find a path to living the resilient life that Stephen Hawking did.
Happy life and happy reading!
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