What would you learn from a person who survived for 55 years with an incurable disease which otherwise has an average life expectancy of 14 months post diagnosis.?
Never say die? (Almost literally)
Not giving excuses?
Ofcourse, it's a Yes for all these.
But what fascinates me was how he looked at his life post diagnosis which he beautifully summed up in the below quote:
"My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus."
No expectations. Read it again. No expectations.
And mind you, he is no Buddha.
But again, that's not it. By now you'd have guessed it that I'm going to add my learning and thoughts to it.
If I look at some derivatives of No Expectations, then a few things come to mind.
- No attachment with consequences
- No fear of failure
- No sense of entitlement
- No disappointments due to not getting something
I just asked myself a few questions.
Will I be happier if I don't attach consequences to every effort or action?
Will I do better if I don't fear failure?
Will I be more grateful if I don't feel entitled?
Will I feel more accomplished if I don't get disappointed?
More importantly, will I more peaceful if I lived a life with no expectations and being open to any and everything that it has in store for me.
I'm no Hawking. I can never be.
But I'm thankful to him for amplifying the human spirit. For making me look beyond limitations. To be open to new experiences. And not to be bogged down by sudden setbacks.
It's not easy. But I can be better than who I was yesterday.
I may crib and cry at times. But I'm going to remind myself about what I learnt from Hawking.
Because life is measured not by our limitations but by our infiniteness.
As Harivansh Rai Bachchan said,
"Jo mann se mile woh accha,
Aur na mile toh aur bhi accha
Kyunki, woh Ishwar ke mann se hai"
Let's aim to amplify the human spirit!