I’m sure most of you have heard of him, or read some of his work. “A Brief History of Time” is fascinating, and it’s fascinating on two different levels: 1) his thoughts and ideas are incredible, and 2) he presents extremely complex information in a way that most readers can understand. He’s not only a physicist, but also a successful teacher and presenter of material. That’s a rare combination.
But I was reading about him and I remembered writing an “Inspiration of the Day” post about Helen Keller and how she listened to people by placing her hands on their faces (that post ishere). Stephen Hawking is just as amazing.
Hawking lives with (I think “lives” with is more apt of a phrase than “suffers” with) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease). He is wheelchair-ridden, and can no longer move his mouth efficiently to speak. Yet, he has written multiple books.
Here comes the inspiration…he was given a machine called the “Equalizer” which allowed him to select words using only his hand. This is amazing enough, because he gave lectures like this, and wrote “A Brief History of Time” using the machine. He averaged 15 words per minute. Think about how quickly most people can type, and how few books most people write because it’s too difficult and time-consuming…
But then Hawking lost use of his hand, and now controls the machine using only the muscles in his cheek. He averages 1 word per minute with this method, and he has written at least 6 books entirely using this method. ONE word per minute.
I know this is the extreme, but his courage and persistence really makes you think about how far we can push ourselves. What setbacks are you dealing with in your life? When you look at a person like Stephen Hawking, you have to wonder about how much those setbacks really get in the way, and how much you let them get in the way. Remember that anything negative in life only affects you as much as you will allow it to affect you. A disability doesn’t disable you, because “disable” means that it makes you unable to do something. Only your mind and your attitude can disable you. IRRATIONAL LIVING, LLC
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