World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76 but his legacy will live on forever.

He is a true inspiration and one of the greatest thinkers of our time. He is the epitome of having a positive attitude and the will to live life and not to ever give up.

Hawking has said we are all different but share the same human spirit.

Throughout his career, Hawking has helped us better understand the planet, and at the same time, ourselves. Here are some thoughts he’s shared that have had a profound impact on me.

“I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.” ~Stephen Hawking

He reminds us to stay as curious as we once were as children. He shows us how to be courageous. Life itself is one big question mark, and we’ll never truly stop asking others and ourselves for the answers.

“If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.” ~Stephen Hawking

Like everyone else he’s still a dreamer. His longing to do things he might never be able to do shows how he’s just like the rest of us. We’re all human at the end of the day, and as humans, we can only do so much that our minds and bodies will let us. Again, he’s the perfect example of never giving up.

“The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” ~Stephen Hawking

This is a reminder about how important living presently actually is. We are in charge of the limitless possibilities. We have the power to do amazing things with our time on this Earth but they can only be accomplished in the now.

“The quality I would most like to magnify is empathy. It brings us together in a peaceful, loving state.” ~Stephen Hawking

This really struck me as it is a common quality in the greatest impact leaders of today.

Hawking has stated, “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression.”

He noted that the act of aggression may have had its advantages in surviving during “caveman days,” but it now creates a threat to humanity. He then elaborated on the importance of empathy.

He explained that empathy is ultimately what can counter aggression.

Rather than some complex mathematical calculation having to do with the universe, empathy, according to Hawking, is what will save mankind.

Empathy means to have a feeling of understanding and the capability to share another person’s experiences and emotions. This is something we all have the ability to express and feel but it can be numbed by culture. It takes practice to strengthen it.  That practice can lead to great and positive change.