“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, April 2015
I’ve always admired Stephen Hawking. His story is a powerful one. It is one of courage and perseverance.
Speaking at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday, through a 3D Hologram from Cambridge University in the UK, he offered this powerful advice.
Within each of us there is a powerful story, even if you might not realise it. And no matter how insignificant you think you are, one day your story will encourage someone else to keep plodding on. I could not have said it any better. It means everything that you do not give up.
Whatever the doctors say, whatever your teachers say, whatever the people who matter to you say, you are the true author of your own destiny. You cannot finish if you throw in the towel.
In my book Living the Best Life with Fibromyalgia, I encourage all fibromyalgia patients to find whatever it is they’re good at and do it. I have heard from many patients who have said ‘I can no longer do x, y or z because of my illness. It has taken my life from me.’ I know that chronic illnesses like ours can steal out dreams. But as Hawking rightly says there is always something we can succeed at.
If you had asked me ten years ago, I would not have imagined that I would not be practising journalism, which is my heart’s dream. I started at the age of 16 for a small newspaper in Trinidad, before moving onto becoming a familiar face in the 7pm newscast. Driven by my passion to become a better journalist, I left the media to study the journalism at university for my BA and then Masters Degree. Following graduation, I found that my mind was ever willing but my body could not cope with the pain, exhaustion combined with the rough terrain of journalism. I was gutted. I decided to do what I could. So I ventured into writing books.
I have not abandoned my dream. And neither should you. Aside from actually working towards my goals, I remind myself of what my dreams are. When dreams are forgotten, we risk the chance of not accomplishing them. Though it is easy to forget when pain takes hold, and complacency cripples us, we must not give in to our challenges.
Hawking’s words are ever true and they will remain so 10, 20, 50 years from now. Steel yourself and get back to work my friends.