My name is Nick Vujicic and I am thankful to have been born 30 years ago with no arms and no legs. I won’t pretend my life is easy, but through the love of my parents, loved ones, and faith in God, I have overcome my adversity and my life is now filled with joy and purpose. I reside now in California with my wife, Kanae, and we both love seeing people’s lives changed for the better or touched in some way. It is my hope that your life is positively impacted by my story.
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and it was a shock to my parents that I arrived without limbs. There is no medical reason for it. My parents did their very best to keep me in the mainstream school system and give me every opportunity to live to the fullest. I was blessed to have a brother and a sister as my best friends too.
We later moved to Brisbane, Australia, where I lived for 14 years before I made the move to California. At age eight, I could not see a bright future ahead and I became depressed. When I was ten years old, I decided to end my life by drowning myself in a bathtub. After a couple attempts, I realized that I did not want to leave my loved ones with the burden and guilt that would result from my suicide. I could not do that to them.
I wasn’t depressed my entire childhood, but I did have ups and downs. At age thirteen I hurt my foot, which I use for many things like typing, writing and swimming. That injury made me realize that I need to be more thankful for my abilities and less focused on my disabilities.
When I was fifteen years old, I sealed my faith in God and from there it has been an amazing journey.
A janitor at my high school inspired me to start speaking about my faith and overcoming adversity when I was seventeen. I spoke only a dozen times to very small groups over the next two years. Then I found myself in front of three hundred sophomore (grade 10) students and I was very nervous. My knees were shaking. Within the first three minutes of my talk, half the girls were crying, and most of the boys were struggling to hold their emotions together. One girl in particular was sobbing very hard. We all looked at her and she put her hand up. She said, “I am so sorry to interrupt, but can I come up and hug you?”
She came, hugged me in front of everyone, and whispered in my ear, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. No one has ever told me that they loved me and that I am beautiful the way I am.”
Her gratitude inspired me to go across 44 countries and speak 2,000 times. I realized that we all need love and hope and that I was in a unique position to share that with people around the world.
While majoring in both accounting and financial planning at a university, I also worked on developing my abilities as a speaker. I worked with a speaking coach who helped to cultivate me as a presenter. He especially worked on my body language as my hands flew everywhere at first!
I spoke on motivational topics after creating the company, attitude is altitude. I also launched a non-profit ministry, life without limbs, to spread my messages of faith and hope around the world.
Whoever you are, wherever you’re from and whatever you are dealing with, I hope that you will be inspired by my story and my message.
Dream big my friend and never give up. We all make mistakes, but none of us are mistakes. Take one day at a time. Embrace the positive attitudes, perspectives, principles and truths I share, and you too will overcome.