Nick Vujicic is a man on a global mission. And boy is he creating waves wherever he goes.
At the tender age of 31, Nick is a motivational guru, evangelist, and author of several bestselling books. A celebrated speaker, he gets invitations to speak from all over the world - Australia (Melbourne was his childhood home), Europe, US, China, India, Africa, and South East Asia (including Singapore). He is also an avid swimmer, surfer, sky diver, and actor.
The most amazing thing, however, is that he accomplishes all of this despite being born without limbs. Afflicted with the ultra rare tetra-amelia syndrome, Nick overcame severe disability and depression (he once harboured suicidal thoughts) to become a living testimony to many. As a committed Christian and a minister, Nick has also spread God's message of love and hope to many, and brought light in a world full of darkness.
Subtitled Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life, Vujicic's bestselling book Life Without Limits is part autobiography part motivation. Chronicling various episodes of his life - childhood, teenage, to adulthood - the book's inspiring chapters weaves personal heartfelt stories with valuable life lessons. They cover topics like purpose, hope, faith, self-acceptance, attitude, courage, managing change, relationships, failure, opportunity seeking, risk and giving.
With a wickedly disarming sense of self-deprecating humour (pun un-intended), Nick candidly revealed how his physical handicap compelled him to be bold and to speak confidently to adults and other kids when he was young. Because of his uniqueness, he is able to touch the lives of many who are drawn to his universal messages of living beyond life's limits.
Most of Nick's life lessons are simple to understand but difficult to master. They cover universal themes like persevering over immense odds, being optimistic in all situations, overcoming change in one's life, and displaying empathy in whatever one does.
Let me share some of the "quotable quotes" from his bestselling book:
On Self-Acceptance - "Instead of dwelling on your imperfections, your failings, or your mistakes, focus on your blessings, and the contributions you can make, whether it's a talent, knowledge, wisdom, creativity, hard work, or nurturing a soul."
On Attitude - "You and I may have absolutely no control over what happens to us, but we can control how we respond. If we choose the right attitude, we can rise above whatever challenges we face... Optimism is empowering - it gives you control over your emotions. Pessimism weakens your will and allows your moods to control your actions."
On Opportunity - "To pursue your dreams you have to take action. Move it or lose it. Act or be acted upon. If you don't have what you want, consider creating what you want."
In my opinion, the most moving story was the one where Nick worked with his parents and siblings to device innovative contraptions to allow him to live a more independent life. It is staggering how tasks as simple as taking a shower, visiting the toilet, brushing teeth, and changing clothes can be such a challenge for somebody like Nick. My heart also leaped with joy when I read how he managed to achieve mobility via a motorised wheelchair which he can operate with his left foot (affectionately named as his "chicken drumstick").
The greatest takeaway for me was the lesson on giving. Nick actually praised God when he learned that 150,000 copies of his DVDs were illegally made and sold in Indonesia. This was because he cared more about people hearing his message than about making profits.
I was also touched by how he gave away $20,000 of his meagre savings when he made a mission trip to South Africa, and provided orphanages with presents for kids, books, blankets and beds despite having very little then.
Life Without Limits is highly recommended for anybody seeking to find meaning, purpose and hope in their lives. While not all of us could lead "ridiculously good" lives like Nick Vujicic, there are invaluable lessons in the book which we can draw from. Ultimately, the most important thing in life is to have faith and trust in God, our loved ones and ourselves wherever we may be.
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Labels: book review, Christianity, God, inspiration, life lessons, Life Without Limits, motivation, Nick Vujicic, religion, spirituality