This week’s focus: Over 50 years later than doctors had predicted, Professor Stephen Hawking sadly passed away this week. In a life that was so fully and brilliantly lived, Hawking overcame the paralysis and physical deterioration of Motor Neurone Disease to create ground-breaking new scientific theories and thinking, write a best-selling book, become the most famous scientist on the planet and inspire fellow scientists and non-scientists alike.

Hawking once said that while MND had left him disabled it had not handicapped him. In other words, he made the most of what he had rather than being defeated by what he lacked.

Hawking’s incredible intellect, his driving ambition to build on Einstein’s work, his desire to share his ideas with the widest possible audience (which other theoretical physicist appeared on The Simpsons?) and his passion for life enabled him to change the world.

It can be easy to focus on what we don’t have and bemoan the hand we’ve been dealt, but people and organisations are at their best when they make the most of what they have.

Like Professor Hawking, we succeed and soar when, rather than being obsessed by our weaknesses, we focus on, build on and make the most of our strengths.


Off The Record: Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3) by Ian Dury and The Blockheads

I’ve always loved this song. When I first heard it, as a teenager, it just felt like a fun, sing-a-long pop song. But over the years I’ve realized that Dury’s list of what made him happy was very deliberate, specific and poetic. I think the lyrics are a thing of beauty and agree completely with Nick Hornby who once wrote that this song should be the UK’s national anthem!

The juice of a carrot, the smile of a parrot,

A little drop of claret,

Anything that rocks!

Elvis and Scotty, the days when I ain’t spotty,

Sitting on a potty,

Curing smallpox!


© Stuart Cross 2018. All rights reserved.