Category Archives: Inspiring…
One morning I wasted nearly an hour watching a tiny ant carry a huge feather across my back terrace. Several times it was confronted by obstacles in its path and after a momentary pause it would make the necessary detour. At one point the ant had to negotiate a crack in the concrete about 10mm wide. After brief contemplation the ant laid the feather over the crack, walked across it and picked up the feather on the other side then continued on its way.
I was fascinated by the ingenuity of this ant, one of God’s smallest creatures. It served to reinforce the miracle of creation. Here was a minute insect, lacking in size yet equipped with a brain to reason, explore, discover and overcome. But this ant, like the two-legged co-residents of this planet, also shares human failings. After some time the ant finally reached its destination – a flower bed at the end of the terrace and a small hole that was the entrance to its underground home. And it was here that the ant finally met its match. How could that large feather possibly fit down that small hole? Of course it couldn’t. So the ant, after all this trouble and exercising great ingenuity, overcoming problems all along the way, just abandoned the feather and went home.
The ant had not thought the problem through before it began its epic journey and in the end the feather was nothing more than a burden. Isn’t life like that! We worry about our family, we worry about money or the lack of it, we worry about work, about where we live, about all sorts of things. These are all burdens – the things we pick up along life’s path and lug them around the obstacles and over the crevasses that life will bring, only to find that at the destination they are useless and we can’t take them with us.
Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around someone, no hands to experience touch, or to hold another hand with. Or what about being born without legs? Having no ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand on two feet. Now put both of those scenarios together: no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that effect your everyday life?
Meet Nick Vujicic… Born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia, without any medical explanation or warning, Nicholas Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich) came into the world with neither arms nor legs. Having had an uneventful pregnancy and no family history to expect this condition, imagine the shock his parents felt when they saw their first born, brand new baby boy, only to find he was what the world would consider imperfect and abnormal. A limbless son was not what nurse Dushka Vujicic, and her husband Pastor Borris Vujicic had been expecting. How would their son live a normal happy life? What could he ever do or become when living with what the world would see as such a massive disability? Little did they know that this beautiful limbless baby would one day be someone who would inspire and motivate people from all walks of life, touching lives all over the world.
Throughout his childhood Nick dealt not only with the typical challenges of school and adolescence such as bullying and self-esteem issues; he also struggled with depression and loneliness as he questioned why he was different to all the other kids surrounding him; why he was the one born without arms and legs. He wondered what was the purpose behind his life, or if he even had a purpose. After a lot of frustration and feeling like the odd one out in school, at seven years of age Nick tried out some specially designed electronic arms and hands, in hopes that he would be more like the other kids. During the short trial period of the electronic arms, Nick realized that even with them, he was still unlike his peers at school, and they turned out to be much too heavy for Nick to operate, effecting his general mobility quite significantly.
As Nick grew up he learned to deal with his disability and started to be able to do more and more things on his own. He adapted to his situation and found ways to accomplish tasks that most people could only do by using their limbs, such as cleaning teeth, brushing hair, typing on a computer, swimming, playing sports, and much more. As time went by Nick began to embrace his situation and achieve greater things. In grade seven Nick was elected captain of his school and worked with the student council on various fund-raising events for local charities and disability campaigns.
According to Nick, the victory over his struggles throughout his journey, as well as his passion for life can be credited to his faith, his family, his friends and the many people he’s encountered during his life who have encouraged him along the way.
After school Nick went on with further study and obtained a double bachelor degree majoring in accounting and financial planning. By the age of 19, Nick had started to fulfill his dream of encouraging others by sharing his story through motivational speaking. He found the purpose of his existence, and also the purpose in his circumstance. Nick wholeheartedly believes that there is a purpose in each of the struggles we encounter in our lives and that our attitude towards those struggles that can be the single most effective factor in overcoming them.
In 2005, Nick was nominated for the “Young Australian of the Year” Award, which is a large honor in Australia. The award honors a young person for their excellence and service to their local community and the nation, as well as their own personal accomplishments. Nominations for this award are only given to truly inspirational people.
Now at 27 years old, this limbless young man has accomplished more than most people even twice his age. Nick recently made the massive move from Brisbane, Australia to California, USA, where he is the president of an international non-profit organization, and also has his own motivational speaking company; Attitude Is Altitude. Since his first motivational speaking engagement back when he was 19, Nick has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions of people, speaking to a range of different groups such as students, teachers, youth, business men and women, entrepreneurs, and church congregations of all sizes. He has also told his story and been interviewed on various televised programs worldwide. However, Nick’s speaking engagements have gone beyond purely motivational speaking, he has had the opportunity to speak with several leaders, including the vice president of Kenya. This year alone Nick is set to speak in over 20 countries.
People ask Nick, “How can you smile?” Then they realize there’s got to be something more to life than meets the eye if a guy without arms and legs is living a fuller life.
Nick shares with his audiences the importance of vision and dreaming big. Using his own experiences in worldwide outreach as examples, he challenges others to examine their perspective and look beyond their circumstances. He shares his view of ceasing to see obstacles as problems, but instead begin to see them as opportunities to grow and reach out to others. He stresses the importance of how attitude can be the most powerful tool we have at our disposal and illustrates how the choices we make can have a profound effect on our lives and the lives of those around us. Nick shows through his own life that the major keys in fulfilling our biggest dreams are persistence and choosing to embrace failure as a learning experience, rather than allowing the guilt and fear of failure to paralyze us.
How does Nick Vujicic feel about his disability now? He accepts it, embraces it and oftentimes pokes fun at his own circumstance as he shows off his many tricks. He meets challenges with his special blend of humor, perseverance and faith always encouraging those around him to examine their perspective as they develop and define their vision. Using those new definitions he challenges each person he meets to make changes in their lives so that they can begin the path to fulfilling their biggest dreams. Through his amazing ability to connect with people from all walks of life and his incredible sense of humor he captivates children, teens and adults alike, Nick is a true inspirational and motivational speaker.
“If I fail, I try again, and again, and again. If YOU fail, are you going to try again? The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. It matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?”-Nick Vujicic.
You are a distinctive and individual ex-pression of a Creative Force. You are not a blueprint or a carbon copy or a ditto of anyone past, present, or future. You are you and there is no one quite like you in the world.
You don’t look exactly like anyone else, you don’t live exactly like anyone else. There are things you can do better than anyone else can do them, and there are qualities and talents that no one else can possess in exactly the same way that you do. There are thoughts that are your own special revelation. That which makes you YOU is personal, unique, and exclusive. All of this is a reflection of a world and a life within.
Talk about how to be a success! The successful person is simply the one who does his or her best with the things he or she can do better than anyone else.
Talk about living well! Who lives better that the ones who are true to their own inner light?
Talk about being interesting! What is more interesting than the person who is being him or herself?
Talk about how to be happy! The happy, self-unfolded people are those who, with a will to believe in the world and the life within, have found that the secret of really getting the most out of life is to make the most of the qualities that are innately their own.
This inner world grows as we will to believe in it. It is not through searching or feverish groping that we enter into it. It is through the gateway of our will to believe. You will to believe that because you are an individual ex-pression of God there is purpose, real and meaningful, in your life, and you will to believe that to achieve this purpose you are also equipped with the talent and potential necessary for its achievement. Will to believe it!
There is that within each of us that makes us great–I do not mean greatness in the sense of getting one’s name in the headlines or making a million, but greatness in the sense of coming to terms with God and life. We might call it getting hold of what we are and have and want to be. For it is the originality in each of us ad not our uniformity which gives life its deepest meaning.
In this world within, your world, you are the most important figure. There is a place that no one else can fill. There is an influence that no one else can impart. There is a life that no one else can life quite as well as you can live it. What you do with your life within, in terms of self-realization, self-awareness, self-denial and self-ex-pression, is the greatest challenge that can come to you.
Race, Life’s a race
And I am gonna win
Yes, I am gonna win
And I’ll light the fuse
And I’ll never lose
And I choose to survive
Whatever it takes
You won’t pull ahead
I’ll keep up the pace
And i’ll reveal my strength
To the whole human race
Yes i am prepared
To stay alive
I won’t forgive, the vengance is mine
And i won’t give in
Because i choose to thrive
I’m gonna win
Race, it’s a race
But i’m gonna win
Yes i’m gonna win
And will light the fuse
I’ll never lose
And i choose to survive
Whatever it takes
You won’t ṗull ahead
I’ll keep up the pace
And i’ll reveal my strength
To the whole human race
Yes I’m gonna win
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Win! Win! Win! Win!
Yes i’m gonna win……..
The Olympics have a way of turning ordinary people into heroes. Track and Field star Oscar Pistorius won’t need any help with that. The 25-year-old has been without both of his legs for most of his life, and despite this setback, Pistorius will race for his home country of South Africa in both the individual 400-meter dash and the 4×400-meter relay. He will become the first amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games, after a long battle with the international governing body of track and field, who declared Pistorius ineligible in 2007 because of his prosthetics. They overturned their decision in 2008, when Pistorius took his case to the Court of Arbitration. Now he looks to fulfill his dream of competing in the 2012 Olympic Games. Pistorius was born without fibula bones and had both of his legs amputated before he was even a year old. Despite his defect, Pistorius was a natural athlete growing up in Johannesburg. He played water polo, tennis and rugby in his younger years. A serious knee injury in 2003 sidelined Pistorius, but during rehab is when he found his true calling. He started running and never looked back. Pistorius began his track career with a bang, and won a bronze and gold medal during his first Paralympic Games in 2004. He got even better during the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, when he won gold in three events, including the 100, 200 and 400 meters. He failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, narrowly missing the qualifying time for the 400-meter sprint, and he barley missed cut for the 4×400-meter relay team.
I tried to qualify for the ’08 Olympics and missed it by a quarter of a second, which was extremely frustrating at the time. And that opportunity gave me a taste, I really don’t want to let it go and slip between my fingers again.
Now, Pistorius will get his chance in the grandest stage of them all. He already has proven he can compete with the world’s best in the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, winning a silver medal.
The Cheetah Flex-Foot blades that he now wears on both legs were the source of the ire from competitors and media pundits, and some argued that the 16-inch J-shaped limbs on both of his legs gave Pistorius an unfair advantage over others.
You can count former track star Michael Johnson as one who thinks that Pistorius shouldn’t be allowed to race against able-bodied runners. Johnson shared his sentiment in an interview with the London Telegraph
I consider Oscar a friend of mine, but he knows I am against him running. Because, this is not about Oscar; it’s not about him as an individual, it is about the rules you will make and put in place for the sport which will apply to anyone, and not just Oscar.
The argument over whether the blades give him any type of advantage will likely be ignited again, if Pistorius were to medal in these Games.
His chances of getting a medal may be slim against the best runners in the world, but Pistorius has defied odds greater than this before.
Best Wishes To Him…..