The Research and his mother, was one

The concept of humanity can be
explained through the different dimensions of personality theorists. These dimensions
include “determinism versus free choice, pessimism versus optimism, causality
versus teleology, conscious verses unconscious determinants of behavior, biological
versus social influences on personality, and uniqueness versus similarities among
people.”(Fiest). The concept of humanity can be viewed as good or evil.  In the case of Stephen Hawking, he is one of
those people who strives for the better of humanity. He persevered through his debilitating
disease, not only to finish his life’s work for himself, but also to educate
the world of his outstanding findings. I have tremendous respect and admiration
for Mr. Hawking. After watching a documentary on him many years ago, his words
of wisdom will forever be my mantra in times that seem almost impossible to get
through. “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do
and succeed at it.” (Jha). This quote had a huge impact on my life. I became
interested in emulating parts of my life after him. I refuse to fail in
whatever path choose to take and I am no longer afraid to go against the grain within
the societal norms of life.

Stephen Hawking was born on January
8, 1942 in Oxford, England. (SHB). He grew up in financial turmoil and violence
during the times of World War II. His mother and father met at Oxford
University. His father was a research biologist that later became the chief director
of parasitology at the National Institute of Medical Research and his mother, was
one of the first women to graduate from Oxford University. Stephen Hawking was
the oldest of four siblings. He has two sisters and an adopted brother. The impact
of the war made him, and his family move from one area of England to another because
of the bombings in civilian territories. His family settled in St. Albans,
Hertfordshire. There he began his primary schooling at an all-girls high school
at the age of eight. Boys could attend this school until the age of 10. The
family placed a high value on education and wanted their son to go to Westminster
School, which was regarded for the highly intelligent and eccentric learning
atmosphere. But, without the financial means to attend Westminster, he remained
at St. Albans. This school was the commencing point of his interests and
foundation for his intellectual personality.

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One of the most significant people
in his primary years was his math teacher, Dikran Tahta. Together they built a
computer out of old clock parts and phone switchboards, sparking Hawking’s
interests on learning extrasensory perception, how stuff works, and overall concepts
of what happens outside the classroom, rather than the standard education
inside the walls of the school. although he wasn’t academically successful, his
friends called him “Einstein”. When is was time to move on to university, his
father wanted him to study medicine. Stephen went against his father’s wishes
and wanted to study mathematics. At the time math was not offered as a major at
Oxford, he settled for physics and chemistry.

In the beginning of his undergraduate
years, he described it as “bored and lonely”. He didn’t find the academic work
presented to him challenging enough, referring to it as “ridiculously easy”. His
physics tutor explained, during an interview, “It was only necessary for him to
know that something can be done, and he could do it without looking to see how
other people did it.”(Robert Berman). A change occurred after his third year at
Oxford. He made a change within his social context. Instead of wallowing in his
boredom and loneliness, he joined the crew team. This transformation helped him
develop into a popular, lively, and witty member of the collegiate community.
He became interested in classical music, science fiction, discussions on religion
and politics. He became known as a daredevil for his unorthodox way of thinking.
Hawking admitted that in his three years at Oxford, he studied for approximately
1000 hours. During his final exams, he chose only to answer questions that
pertained to theoretical physics. His professors did not take to kindly to his
unimpressive study habits and response to their exams. At this time Hawking
thought he was viewed as a lazy and difficult student. He was given one last
chance to prove he was worthy of graduating. They administered an oral
examination in which he was to describe his future plans. His response shocked
the committee and they granted him a first-class honors degree in natural
science and advancements to move on to graduate school at Trinity Hall,
Cambridge.

His first year as a doctoral
student at Trinity Hall was difficult and life changing. Hawking developed
feelings of inadequacy in the field of general relativity and cosmology. At the
age of 21, he was diagnosed with a debilitating muscular neuron disease, ALS.
This progressive disease affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord
eventually leading to malnourishment of vital muscles within the body. As his
body degenerated, he lost his ability to speak and move. Eventually, he will
lose the ability to breathe on his own. The doctors gave him two years to live.
Stephen fell into a depression and thought there was no point to finishing his
work. His colleagues encouraged him to return to work and he began his quest to
know everything there is to know about the origins of life on Earth. He lived
beyond the allotted time given to him and at the age of 74, he is now a world
renown theoretical physicist and cosmologist still expanding on his work on the
laws of black holes.

Stephen Hawking devoted his life to
investigations into the unknown, and finding the answers to the mysteries of
life. He enjoys a fine mind, and is an analytical thinker, capable of great
concentration and theoretical insight. He enjoys research, and putting the
pieces of an intellectual puzzle together. Throughout his life, he is described
as being capable of highly creative insight and practical solutions to
problems. The people close to him knows he enjoys his solitude and prefers to
work alone. He needs time to contemplate his ideas without the intrusion of
other people’s thoughts. When his concentration and solitude are interrupted he
becomes frustrated and irritated. He is a person who lives by his own ideas and
methods. As a result of his necessity for solitude, his close associations are
difficult to form and keep. This is evidenced by his two marriages which both
ended in divorce and his estranged relationships with his children.

According to the Meyers-Briggs Personality
Type Indicator in collaboration with the analytical theory of Carl Jung,
Stephen Hawking falls under the category of the “Architect” type, INTP. These
types are known for seeing things from a world-wide perspective and
tend to have a clear vision of future possibilities. (Myers, CPP. 1998). Stephen Hawking has spent his entire
professional life working on understanding the universe. If he believed it was
possible, he would pursue it, leading to exceptional progress in theoretical
physics and, more specifically, black hole physics. INTJ Type is also known for
trusting their insightful connections, regardless of the popular opinion of the
day. Throughout his professional career, Stephen Hawking never feared going
against the grain of popular opinion. Whether it was his theories on black
holes or on the origin and functionality of our universe. His lifelong
commitment to understanding the universe, and humanity’s role in it, has helped
push public interest into the stars and beyond. (Myers, CPP. 1998).

Stephen Hawking’s personality correlates with Alfred Adler’s concept of
humanity. Adler believes that people are responsible for their own unique style
of life who are motivated by goals both consciously and unconsciously. Hawking
falls into Adler’s “striving for success” dynamic as the force behind his
actions. Stephen Hawking strived for success in spite of his physical
disabilities without losing his personal identity. He didn’t let his
inferiorities get the best of his conscious and unconscious mind. Hawking’s behavior,
throughout his professional career, was directed toward a single purpose:
understanding the universe and humanity’s role in it. Stephen’s creative power
could stem from his parents’ high value on education, his math teacher’s
influence on creating something out of nothing, and the people he surrounded
himself with who supported his unique dreams. According to Adler, this is a
product of heredity and environment that are the building blocks of personality.
But the ultimate style of life is shaped by people’s creative power which is the
ability to freely choose a course of action.

I believe that a person is capable of doing anything they put their mind
to. If one should fail at a task, then one should look towards other ways of
accomplishing that task. Throughout my life, as many others’ lives, hardships
and experience are the foundation for one’s personality to be shaped. There are
significant events and biological forces that could contribute to a developing
trait within someone’s personality. I feel people who can adapt their
personality and way of thinking in times of necessity, will be the ones to prosper
becoming successful in whatever it is they choose in life. We have all seen the
perseverance of successful people and most strive to be that. Others tend to
think it will just fall into their laps or all hope is lost. I am truly
thankful I was brought up by a strong, courageous woman like my mother. If it weren’t
for her, I don’t think I would have the strong will I have to day to become
successful and progress beyond what I thought was unattainable.