I first heard of an Australian by the name of Nick Vujicic at a Tony Robbins Seminar in 2003. Although I was impressed, all the other astounding things I learned that weekend somewhat diluted Nick’s message.
But I saw his photo this morning and vaguely remembered. Being the ‘retired researcher’ that I am, I went down the rabbit hole – or rabbit ‘warren’ as my friend pointed out. Little did I know the many tunnels and passages my investigation would uncover.
As I listened to Nick’s story on YouTube, I couldn’t help but compare his saga to every other person, myself included, who had ever complained about anything. I thought about my own struggles throughout life of inadequacy and esteem, and my fights with procrastination, self doubt and fear.
After learning about this amazing person, I am greatly humbled.
You see, in 1982, Nick Vujicic was born with a rare syndrome that resulted in him having – or rather NOT having – any arms or legs. Doctors couldn’t explain it. He had normal siblings, but all he was given were two little toes on something he calls his ‘chicken foot.’
That description may remind some of the 1989 movie,”My Left Foot,” about Christy Brown (b.1932-d.1981) starring Daniel Day Lewis. Both men had parents who supported their physical independence, however that is where the similarity ends. The cause of their infirmity and how they lived lives differ greatly from one another.
Christy became an artist, author, and abusive recluse.
On the other hand, Nick Vujicic has helped millions of people suffering not only with disabilities of the body but also handicaps of the mind and soul.
His family loved him and challenged him to keep trying. “Stop complaining. Figure it out!” his father would say. Because of their support and insistence on treating him like a normal boy, he became the only child in Australia to attend regular school in a wheelchair. That was just the beginning.
We all know how mean children can sometimes be, but I can only imagine how hard it must have been for him to go to class every day and to withstand the teasing and laughing and to watch with longing the other children with two arms and legs at play. The fears he must have had about never getting a job, having a family, being a burden to his family, and being alone for the rest of his life are not hard to imagine.
He tried to do his best, but understandably, he suffered despair and depression and often wished he was dead. At the age of only ten, he attempted to drown himself in the bathtub. What stopped him was the thought of the grief his act would have on his family.
His parents loved him without reserve and told him that God had a special purpose for his life. Nick wanted to believe them, but it was hard to accept what he learned in Sunday School: that he just had to pray. Praying would not grow arms and legs, and if God was a loving Father, how could he have allowed this to happen?
He would look into the mirror and say to himself, “There’s got to be at least one thing that’s good about me!” He wished people could see who he was on the inside.
Nick didn’t know it at that point, but his character was being annealed in the fire of his adversity.
His relationship with God grew, and he cried out that he needed God to help him heal his broken pieces. He began to understand that he was enough, just the way he was.
The person who faced him toward his purpose was a 61-year-old janitor who was cleaning his high school bathroom. “You’re going to be a speaker,” the older man told him.
It didn’t happen overnight. The old man egged him on and he resisted again and again. But Nick finally promised that he would speak in front of just six people. He did, and his transformation began. He learned that if God doesn’t give you a miracle, he can use you to be a miracle.
A harder lesson for him was that in addition to diligence and persistence, he needed to be patient and ‘wait upon the Lord.’ He discovered that, “You don’t know what beautiful things can come from your broken pieces until you give your broken pieces to the Lord.”
That became his mission: To show what God has done in his life, and to give hope where there is no hope.
I found happiness when I realized that as imperfect as I may be, I am the perfect Nick Vujicic. I am God’s creation, designed according to His plan for me.
Nick not only finished high school but earned a college degree in Commerce and a double major in accountancy and financial planning. After graduating, he became a motivational speaker and developed a charming and unusual form of humor that can make even the hardest-hearted men laugh and cry. He is engaging, and his story is so filled with positivity and hope that he has brought his message to over 3500 audiences in 70 countries, and spoken to kings and presidents and the poor and heartsick alike.
He’s published six books and is worth an estimated half-million dollars. He funds worthy projects. He is joyous, eloquent, accomplished and energetic. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything, and doesn’t think his pain is more painful than yours. As he says, “Brokenness is brokenness! Fear is the biggest disability of all and it will paralyze you more than being in a wheelchair!”
I watched several videos of him before beginning to write this blog. One was a speech given in Dubai, another when he was inspiring prisoners in a jail, and a third was as a guest speaker at Rock Church in San Diego. He tailors his expressions and metaphors to his audiences, but the bones of the message are the same.
What would I have done with my life if I had possessed just one tenth of that man’s focus and faith? What would I have accomplished, completed, overcome? What would I have done differently? His limbs were his limits, and he pushed through them. What are mine? Even now?
One video about him lists his hobbies as ‘unknown,’ as if only a person with hands and legs can have a hobby. But Nick spends his time swimming, fishing, surfing, boating, golfing, writing, painting, canoodling with his wife (love that word) and cuddling with his children. Because, yes, he married a beautiful woman and has two sons and a set of twin daughters. When he met his future wife, he realized he “didn’t need to hold her hand, [he] just needed to hold her heart.”
The title was, “Life Without Limits.“
Stop complaining. Figure it out.
And be patient.
6 thoughts on “The title of this book made me cry.”
Hillary, that was amazing. Wow! Words which normally come naturally to me as breathing, fail me at this moment. This man is not only a humanitarian but a sensitive, caring individual. Thank you so much for this . Perhaps people will read this and see that there is always good and positive in what some would render a case of hopeless, hapless, despair.
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I’m so glad you liked it! When I started it on Saturday during our writing session, I had the YouTube video on where NV is speaking to the inmates of a California prison. (It’s a good one, if you get the chance to see it.) Watching those men reach out for his message of forgiveness and redemption was so beautiful. You know how I say I am not a ‘religious’ person, but I am a spiritual one? I saw for the first time what it meant to give someone who believes in nothing – a lifeline of hope. Still reeling when I think of it!
Great inspiration. I have seen him speak many times. He is such a joyous person, amazing!
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Beautifully shared! Nick is an inspiration! Thank you for reminding me to review his speeches. His inspirational message lights my path to clarity in writing. Don’t know why, but it does.
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After I posted it, I wondered if maybe I was one of the last to hear of him – considering he has spoken to so many audiences around the world. Many of my friends have commented and said, “Oh yeah, he’s really good.” But the point is that, even though I heard him speak back in 2003 when he was only 21, he didn’t make the impression on me that he did on Saturday. When I learned of ALL the wonderful things he’s been able to accomplish and the impact he has affected on people’s lives, I was bedazzled. Did you hear his story about the prostitutes in Mumbai? If not, you need to Google it and listen.
Truly an inspiration. Inspiring those girls to return to their nightmares in order to help others escape, and all with nothing but forgiveness in their hearts shows that there is hope in our world.
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