"There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope." - Stephen Hawking
After last summer was filled with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, ALS has for a moment at least gotten the attention it deserves. I had never heard of the disease before and I can't even for a second imagine how getting a diagnosis like this must feel like. I watched a lot of these short clips and it just saddens me that there still isn't a good treatment option for people who are affected and that they feel like this is because they aren't profitable enough. It really is about time that we question our corporate world and do something about it.
In a nutshell, "The Theory of Everything" is a film showing us Stephen Hawking's life from right before he was diagnosed with ALS until he was invited for an audience with the Queen. You see his devastating physical decline, his and his families struggle to adjust to the progressively worsening conditions and you can see how his mind, trapped in his weakened body, stays as sharp and intelligent as ever. While his body fails him, he still has theories to test and a job to do.
I don't know how often we get overwhelmed by things that don't go as they were planned, but compared to this, most of us are pretty darn lucky, right? It's okay to feel this way, but I often feel that we let ourselves drown in our misery and forget to take a sharp look at what we have and what we can change. Don't like your job? Get a new one. Trapped in an unhappy relationship? Break up. Not happy with how your body looks? Start making better food choices and a workout routine.
Obviously, life isn't always as black and white like this and some things are harder to change than others. However, life is way too short to be trapped in a routine that makes us question who we are and that prevents us from being happy.
Yes, not all things will always work out, but we will never know unless we try.
There are things relating physical pain as well. I have had aches and pain for as long as I can remember and most of the time you simply ignore it and move on. Then there are those things that just hurt a little more or make you feel more unwell. Those things where you ask yourself why it's always you. A friend of mine once said to me that practically everyone is in pain all the time. Some people just deal with it better than others. This may sound drastic, but I think there's a lot of truth to it. We surely all experience illnesses of any kind, some people invest a lot of thinking into it, which most of the time makes matters worse. Others simply take it as it comes. I've always spent way too much time listening into my body and practically looking for any inkling that something wasn't right. The second I found something I consulted my trusty friend google and all of the sudden I had all those horrifying diseases. No matter what symptoms you search for, you barely ever get success stories. Everything is very negative. So that's how I drove myself crazy at times.
Now coming back to the movie and having said all of this, I feel that we can all learn from "The Theory of Everything" to never give up, to take things as they come and to focus on the things we can do instead of obsessing about the things we can't. Life is there to be lived and unless we are stricken with disaster, we are all pretty darn fortunate to have the lives we were given. It is up to us to make the best of our time here, but no matter what life throws at us, there are things in it for every one of us. So if you ever feel like life is not fair, just know that there are several billion other people who feel the same way. If you think you are in pain, know that you are not alone. It's all a part of life. How you deal with it is how you live.
Happiness is not a destination. In order to be happy we must invest a little bit every day. Sometimes it means acting silly in a situation your are in, other times it means flying to the other end of the world. Whatever it is, never forget that there are always reasons to be grateful and things to live for. Attitude is altitude.
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