What’s Your Excuse?

When Borislav and Dusanka Vujicic were told they would have a baby, they could hardly contain their joy. It was a dream come true. The pregnancy period was full of joyful anticipation. When the delivery day finally arrived, on December 4, 1982, Dusanka delivered her delightful baby, or so she thought until she asked the nurses about the health of her son and they couldn’t respond. When she directed the same question to the doctor, he revealed that the baby had a Phocomelia syndrome. She had worked as a midwife, so she knew what the term meant. The baby had a rare disorder resulting in the absence of arms or legs! Shocked, she refused to see the baby or hold him when the nurse held him out to her. She couldn’t understand how three sonograms did not reveal any complication. Eventually, Borislav and Dusanka accepted their son’s condition and raised the child as a dedicated Christian.

However, this article is not about Borislav and Dusanka; it is about Nicholas James “Nick” Vujicic, the limbless child. The parents might have overcome their initial shock and accepted Nick but he had his entire life ahead of him. As a child, Nick struggled mentally, emotionally and physically. He battled with loneliness, depression and bullying. He consistently wondered why he was different from other children. Finally, he came to terms with his condition and found his strength in God. Gradually, he converted his obvious limitations to his greatest asset. He found his purpose in giving hope to the hopeless.

Stop to think for a moment. You have hands and feet you are practically taking for granted. You stand and walk without even thinking. You eat with ease. You comb your hair. You type on your computer. You use your phones. Imagine for a while the limitations you would encounter without your hands and feet. Someone else would rather be dead than live like that but not Nick.

Without hands and feet, Nick Vujicic graduated from Griffith University at age 21 with a Bachelor of Commerce. He had his first speaking engagement at age 19 and has since spoken more than 3, 000 times. Nick has spoken in more than 57 countries on five continents and has met with several government officials and presidents. He founded a motivational speaking company, Attitude is Altitude. He is also a Christian evangelist. Nick also starred in a short film that won an award at a film festival. He has appeared on several TV shows and has authored several books. More importantly, he is happily married with two children.

Out of curiosity, I watched some of Nick Vujicic’s videos on YouTube and could not believe my eyes when I saw him swimming, playing gulf, typing, surfing and skydiving. I couldn’t help but wonder what else Nick would have done if he had hands and feet! Obviously, he is not allowing anything to limit him while we are busy looking for reasons why we can’t achieve our goals.

Nick 3                         Nick 4       Nick 5

Here are a few lessons I learnt from Nick:

  1. Life may not be fair but it is waiting for your response. It is not what life offers that matters but what you do with it.
  2. Never live a life that is dependent on people. Stand on your feet and take responsibility for your life. You are not a liability but an asset.
  3. Never settle for an average life when you can be the best. If Nick merely survived, we would have commended him for perseverance. However, he went far beyond that; be became a reason for others to hope.
  4. Life and circumstances only suggest limitations to you; you are the one who imposes the limitations on yourself.
  5. You can find your purpose in your situation, no matter how tough.
  6. You may be rejected by many but you are someone’s masterpiece.
  7. Succeeding in spite of your challenges makes you an inspiration; giving up robs you of your honoured place in history.
  8. People who are ‘less fortunate’ are making the most of life; if you don’t, you don’t deserve your good fortune.

I believe there are several people out there who have beat the odds to achieve the impossible. It may be as simple as passing an examination people said was impossible to pass or as complex as surviving a terminal medical condition. This article is dedicated to you. Please comment below or send me a message and I will share your story on this page. Other people need to know that IT IS POSSIBLE!