Work-Life Lessons from Stephen Hawking

Last update: March 25, 2018

As the world mourns the loss of Stephen Hawking, one of the prominent physicists, cosmologists and authors of our time, who passed away on March 14, 2018, let us reflect on what we can learn from his life.

  1. Question relentlessly. "I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking 'how' and 'why' questions. Occasionally, I find an answer." Hawking's words remind us to remain curious; he was of the view that we can discover the answers to our questions by constantly searching for them. Therefore, in order to be successful, remember to repeatedly question what you are doing, and find new ways to improve yourself and your work.
  2. Never give up. Hawking served as a prime example of someone who never gave up. He was told by his doctor that he had two and a half years to live, and in the nearly five decades after that, he accomplished so much, despite being confined to a wheelchair due to the fact that he suffered from ALS, a motor neuron disease. Therefore, never lose sight of the belief that solutions do exist, no matter how difficult the obstacles you face at work or in your personal life.
  3. Communicate simply. Despite its complex subject matter, Hawking's A Brief History of Time has been read far and wide because he made it so clear and comprehensible. Had he not simplified the content and managed to communicate his concepts so simply, the information in his mind would never have reached such a wide audience.
  4. Be ambitious. Hawking said: "My goal is simple. It is the complete understanding of the universe... and why it exists at all." Although it is wise to set achievable goals, thinking big, being ambitious and setting even higher goals that may seem unachievable can drive you to accomplish them.

Needless to say, Hawking will be remembered for his extraordinary role in propagating determination, positivity and love for life.

- Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, e-learning.

This article was originally published in Dawn Newspaper (Pakistan)

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