Lessons for a LifeCoach

The best lessons I receive are unintentional.  As a LifeCoach, these can often come from my clients, friends or colleagues. The unintentional lessons I want to talk about now, are the lessons I learned from Stephen Hawking.  He was known as a great thinker, an incredibly brilliant scientist, an author, a professor, a ground-breaking physicist. I’m afraid the lessons I learnt weren’t as a result of his book A Brief History of Time.   I did read it, well ok, I read the first couple of chapters.  I was lost.

Lessons from Life

The lessons came from his life.  I could talk about the inspirational life lived with the challenges of Motor Neurone Disease; of being given 2 years to live at the age of 21 and making a mockery of that prediction.

Lessons from Gratitude

Maybe it’s the way he talked about gratitude: “Although I was unfortunate to get Motor Neurone Disease, I have been very fortunate in almost everything else.  I have been lucky to work in theoretical physics at a fascinating time and it’s one of the few areas in which my disability was not a serious handicap.

Lessons from Depression

Perhaps it could be the way he dealt with depression.  I particularly loved the way he referenced it in a lecture at The Royal Institution in London in 2016: “The message of this lecture is that black holes aren’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought.  Things can get out of a black hole both on 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.”  Imagine if you were sitting in the audience, as someone who suffers from depression, it must have been incredible to hear this.

THE Lesson

It could be all of these things, but the one that strikes me most, the lesson that granted me the most learning is his humour.  What a cracking sense of humour that guy had!  So mischievous!  The sketches and skits he got involved in for charity events, choosing a new voice for himself as celebrities auditioned; the appearances on the Big Bang Theory or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy or The Simpsons.  He once said “It’s also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life may seem because you can lose all hope if you can’t laugh at yourself and life in general.”

To me, these were the wisest words of all.  Confined to a wheelchair, unable to use his own voice, to be completely dependent on others for everything.  Everything!  Yet he could laugh.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Truly a lesson for us all.

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Stephen Hawking seeks a new voice