Professor Stephen Hawking was not only one of the most famous scientists on Earth but one of the most recognisable people in the World. What made him famous was not only the impact that he had on science, it was also the fact that he suffered from Motor Neurone Disease and he had survived far longer than anyone had ever expected. In an interview with Giles Whittell, Stephen Hawking said ” In my dreams, I’m always able-bodied”. It is this approach to life that made him stand out, not only was he an incredibly accomplished academic, he refused to allow the disease to define him.
As far as Stephen Hawking was concerned you are the limitation to our own success. He believed that as long as a human being can breathe, there is a possibility to achieve whatever you set your heart on. There was a man who from the age of 21 was diagnosed with an illness that, so science says, should have killed him. As he became confined to his wheelchair and then trapped within his body, he continued to use his mind. Everything was possible. If he couldn’t communicate normally, he did so through a machine. And as this became more and more challenging, he used the parts of his body that still worked, unbelievably one of the muscles in one of his eyes.
Just so that he would be able to provide his young family with support after his death, he wrote a book – A Brief History of Time. It was meant to give non scientific types an insight into cosmology. This little book sold over 10 million copies in 20 years. Even the legacy surpassed everyone’s expectations.
If we consider his considerable academic achievements, we start to realise that a person who does not have the physical capacity to do what we do, has in fact achieved much more AND with a phenomenal positive mental attitude sprinkled with huge amounts of charisma and humour.
So what can we learn from Stephen Hawking? In the face of extreme adversity, physical and psychological challenges there is always hope, there is always opportunity, there can never be any excuses – the only obstacle is YOU.
Susie Crolla CEO