5 Life Lessons We Learned from Stephen Hawking

5 Life Lessons We Learned from Stephen Hawking

Nearly two weeks ago, Stephen Hawking passed away. Hawking was not just a figure of pop culture; he was a scientist and mathematician who directly impacted how we think of space, the universe, and even existence.

In the Lunar office, we’ve been thinking about the ways Stephen Hawking impacted us and the lessons we could learn about his life. (And that includes everything we learned from his incredible contributions to science and math; this is a great summary of everything Hawking discovered in relation to space and the “reality” of particles.)

Here are 5 life lessons we learned from Stephen Hawking.

1. Appreciate people.

The universe is large and mostly mysterious—but even Stephen Hawking, with his incredible intelligence and ability to solve math equations that prove that particles are ultimately not real (I’ll take a moment to pause and let you digest that fact. It’s fine, I’ll wait), knew that the most important part of the universe is the part we know the most about.

That’s mind-blowing, right? Stephen Hawking, who understood more about physics than probably anyone else in the world, knew that the most important part of the universe is us. It’s our friends and family, our coworkers and colleagues. It’s the people we see every day at convenience stores and our favorite restaurants. The barista who makes our morning coffee. The Uber driver who makes sure we get home safe.

People matter. And no matter how big our questions are, or how important our work is, centering that work around people will always lead us in the right direction.

2. Stay curious.

It’s easy to get comfortable in life. To find a niche where we succeed and to stay there, doing well, but not doing extravagantly well. It’s easy to go stagnant, to not take chances anymore, either out of fear or complacency.

Here at Lunar, we’re specifically passionate about learning every single day—and we love that Stephen Hawking was too. Even when you know what you’re doing every single day, you can always learn more: staying curious and staying invested in always improving is one of just many life lessons we are so glad we learned.

3. It’s important to love your work.

Every at the Lunar offices has had a bad job or two (or perhaps even more). We’ve all had to take on tasks we don’t always enjoy or unwrap mistakes that are pretty unpleasant. But ultimately, we love our jobs: we get to talk with some of the best businesses in Oregon; we get to help those businesses continue to succeed; and we get to learn every single day.

Loving the work we do is important to our satisfaction. Stephen Hawking knew that too. It’s very easy to say that if you don’t love your job, to leave it; but there are ways you can make the work you do more fun, even if it’s not exactly your life’s calling. Finding the good in people, and working to help people, are two things that provide universal satisfaction.

4. A sense of humor is not only awesome but absolutely necessary.

I first saw Stephen Hawking on the Simpsons, one of my absolute favorite TV shows growing up. For many in the Lunar offices, they had similar experiences. So we’ve grown up knowing that Stephen Hawking was not only super intelligent but funny too. If you haven’t watched the Stephen Hawking interview from Last Week with John Oliver, we highly recommend it.

Being able to accept all life’s challenges with humor, wit, and a good attitude will take you a long way in life. That’s what we try to remember in the Lunar Logic offices, especially when one of us goes to get coffee and the pot is empty.

5. Nothing can hold you back.

We’ve all had moments where we wonder if we’re really as good at something as we think we are (or wish we were). Hello imposter syndrome. These moments of doubt are almost universal in their scope. We all have challenges to overcome and, most importantly, it’s important to remember that you can overcome them. Nothing is too difficult, as long as you surround yourself with good people, good humor, and enough curiosity to get you through the difficult times.
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