5 Important Lessons Stephen Hawking Taught Us About Life

“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.” - Stephen Hawking

I guess you have heard that name before…? Well, Stephen Hawking was one of the most admired scientist in the world we know of and is regarded as the most brilliant theoretical physicist of all time.

Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in England (Exactly 300 years after the death of famous astronomer Galileo Galilee). In early 1963, he was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and was given just 2 years to live. Although it may seem tragic but it was this incident which shaped the life of this famous physicist. Let us learn some of the valuable life lessons this beautiful soul left behind. Although he was diagnosed with ALS, he had trust in himself and continued his efforts for knowledge. He overwhelmed his disability by his determination and turned it into his fortune.

1. Never let your limitations define your future

"It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven't done badly. People won't have time for you if you are always angry or complaining." - Hawking

No matter what the circumstances are, just keep a strong mindset towards your goal. It may be waiting for you down the line.


2. Be Curious

Stephen Hawking was filled with immense curiosity since his childhood. He started studying physics because he was addicted to gaining knowledge about the universe.

Science is not only a disciple of reason but, one of romance and passion. - Hawking

It was only curiosity that guided Man to invent fire. It has been guiding us long since the dawn of mankind, to explore the very purpose of his existence. We must never forget where we came from, and must continue an effort to understand the mysterious universe we live in.

Also Read: All the 30 Articles of Basics of Astrophysics Series

3. Be Hopeful And Never Give Up

When Sir Hawking was first diagnosed with ALS in 1963, he fell into a deep and totally understandable depression. What he had was just hope for a better future, which managed to keep it alive throughout his suffering. If he had given up right when he was diagnosed, then the world would have truly lost one of the greatest revolutionaries.

“Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted,” Hawking said in a lecture. “They are not eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole, both to the outside and possibly to another universe. So, if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out.” - Hawking

Never ever worry about the consequences, just work with a pure heart. Just remember, when life gives you lemons, chill and make lemonade.

Stephen Hawking
Hawking with his first wife Jane and their son and daughter.

4. Grades Don't Define Your Intelligence

Although Stephan hawking is known as one of the brilliant minds in existence, he was terrible at getting grades in school. He ranked among the worst in his class when he was nine, and he couldn’t push his grades beyond average despite his efforts. He was interested in how things worked and kept fueling his passion, which eventually helped him become an intellectual individual.

“Grades are just alphabets and numbers that define how well you performed in an artificial arena for a small time”

Never ever let anyone demoralize you because of your bad grades. You have one of the most powerful tools in the entire existence, your brain, and no one can define your limitations except you. There is a difference between people who are smart and people who get good grades.

Also Read: How to become an Astrophysicist?

5. Never Lose Your Sense of Humor

  “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” - Hawking

Hawking cherished humour more than his intelligence. Make sure that you never lose your humour and laughter while working towards your goal as it’s the only medicine which can melt away stress from your mind.

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. Just stay curious and keep fuelling your passion, success may come behind you.

Stephen Hawking

Also Read: Top 10 Astrophysicists of All Time

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