BeYourOwnIcon: Nick Vujicic
“If you can’t get a miracle, become one”- Nick Vujicic.
The most beautiful thing about life is that everyone holds the key to their own destinies. No matter the circumstances, everyone has the power to conquer his or her challenges and to live their dream lives. The story of Nick Vujicic is a true example of the possibilities that can open up if you decide to turn your pain into power. Several times, we may not be responsible for the sad situations that befall us. However, that doesn’t give us the excuse of throwing a pity party and feeling sorry for our realities. Vujicic was not responsible for the misfortune that befell him. He could not understand why he was to be the one to suffer from the tetra-amelia syndrome. Nevertheless, he threw down the pity attitude and picked up the courage to move on with his life, appreciate what he had and become the best version of himself.
Vujicic is a renowned televangelist, motivational speaker, author and actor. He is the founder of an NGO called Life without Limbs which reaches out to young people through motivational speeches and hosts events and talks on courage and faith in God to overcome any adversity faced in life.
EARLY CHILDHOOD AND STRUGGLES
Nick Vujicic was born to Dushka and Boris Vujicic in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia. He was the second of three children. Although he was an otherwise healthy baby, Vujicic was born with a condition called tetra amelia,a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. He only had two small feet, one of which had two toes. When he was born, his mother was so shocked that she refused to look at him or hold him as the nurse pleaded with her to do so. After some time however, his parents accepted his condition, terming it as ‘God’s plan for his life’.
When he became old enough to go to school, a Victoria state law prevented him from attending a mainstream school due to his physical disability in spite of a lack of mental impairment. However, Vujicic became one of the first physically disabled students integrated into a mainstream school once those laws changed. At school, his lack of limbs made him a target for school bullies, and he fell into a severe depression. Vujicic prayed incessantly that God would give him arms and legs.
Initially he had told God that if his prayer remained unanswered, he would stop believing in God. At age eight, he contemplated suicide and even tried to drown himself in his bathtub at age ten; his love for his parents prevented him from following through. He also stated in his music video "Something More" that God had a plan for his life and he could not bring himself to drown because of this.
A key turning point in Vujicic’s faith came when his mother showed him a newspaper article of a man dealing with a severe disability. Vujicic realized he wasn't unique in his struggles and began to embrace his lack of limbs. After this, Nick realized his accomplishments could inspire others and became grateful for his life.
In high school, he was elected captain of MacGregor State in Queensland and worked with the student council on fundraising events for local charities and disability campaigns. When he was seventeen, he started to give talks at his prayer group, and later founded his non-profit organization, Life without Limbs.
Vujicic gradually figured out how to live a full life without limbs, adapting many of the daily skills limbed people accomplish without thinking. He writes with two toes on his left foot and a special grip that slid onto his big toe. He knows how to use a computer and can type up to 45 words per minute using the "heel and toe" method. He has also learned to throw tennis balls, play drum pedals, get a glass of water, comb his hair, brush his teeth, answer the phone and shave, in addition to participating in golf, swimming, and even sky-diving.
In 1990, Vujicic's determination and courage impressed the world, and he was felicitated with the 'Australian Young Citizen Award'. In 2005, he became one of the contenders for the 'Young Australian of the Year Award'. Later in 2010, he won the 'Best Actor in Short Film' award at the 'Method Fest Independent Film Festival' for his performance in the role of Will, from the movie 'The Butterfly Circus'.
Regardless of his disabilities, Vujicic has become one of the world’s most famous motivational speakers. His books are sold worldwide and his religious sermons have ministered to several people even outside the Christian faith which he identifies with. Vujicic has proved over and again that limitations are a mindset and that a world of possibilities awaits those who would dare to dream bigger than their circumstances. For overcoming his physical limitations to achieve a dream that many would have though was beyond his reach, American Sunglass would like to recognize him as a World Icon!