This life is rife with chilling challenges. In the whole scheme of things, some people rise up to the occasion to change scars into stars. Such people become points of reference to all and sundry. A classic case is Nicholas James Vujicic — a speaker par excellence born in Australia in 1982.
In the recent past, we saw Nick posing for photos with Mama Rachael Ruto in State House. The inspirational images went round on social sites. Nick’s story is full of God’s glory. Nick is a true testament of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
He was born without arms and legs. But through the strength of faith, he can punch 43 words per minute on a computer. He can swim, surf, skydive and speak in public. He is a perfect practitioner of the Philosophy of Possibility Thinking attributed to Dr. Robert H. Schuller — the putative author of You Can Be the Person You Want to Be.
Nick was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, which is a rare case characterized by the absence of arms and legs. He has a small foot on his left hip, which helps him attain body balance. When life gave him lemons, he did not cry for oranges. Instead, he made lemonade. He is now a bright ray of light and a bedazzling beacon of hope to plenty of people.
Peter Bowes penned a piece for BBC in 2015 revealing how Nick struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts while still young. When he was 17, his mom showed him a soul-stimulating story of a woman with a severe disability who defied all odds to pursue purpose in life. The piece inspired Nick to view life from a different perspective. He started delivering pep talks to infuse lives with hope and help.
Preaching and delivering powerful pep talks became his newly-found purpose. He has visited over 50 countries to speak to people. We are glad that God made Nick understand his reason of existence. Every person can find a way to serve God and His people. Maybe, Nick came to this awareness and awakening because he read the Bible. I guess. He also read the heroic book by Rick Warren titled Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
Like other children, Nick went through formal education to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes. It is important to note that at the age of 21, he graduated with a degree in Commerce — majoring in Accountancy and Financial Planning at Griffith University.
In 2002, Nick moved from Australia to California in the United States. He decided to settle there. It is where he decided to become passionate about public speaking. What is this passion? It is when what you do is what you love, and what you love is what you do. Mike Murdock put it aptly, “What generates passion and zeal in you is a clue to revealing your destiny. What you love is a clue to something you contain.” Without passion, man or woman is just a mere latent force and a possibility, like the flint that awaits the shock of iron before it can give forth its spark. The observation of Tim Redmond adds it some weight: “There are many things that will catch my eye, but there are only a few things that will catch my heart… It is those I consider to pursue.”
Consequently, in 2005, in order to act as a pipe of hope, Nick started Life without Limits — an international non-profit organization. Through it, he has touched the lives of plenty of people with powerful programmes revolving around talks and training services.
Again, in 2007, he started another organization called Attitude is Altitude — a life-changing motivational company. Digging deeper, the name of the organization — Attitude is Altitude — is in perfect agreement with the wise words of Zig Ziglar: “It is your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude.”
Attitude is equal to mindset plus beliefs. Aptitude is a natural ability. In the Geographical language and lingo, altitude is the height above sea level. In this context, altitude is the far we can see and seize. It is the epic peak; the crest of great achievement.
It is wonderful to write that in 2008, Nick lived in Texas close to Dallas. In 2012, he met the love of his life — Kanae Miyahara. They had a tour of hearts. Nick said I do because he felt he was done. As Chinua Achebe once put it, ‘He fell for her, and she fell for him, and they called it a game’. As a couple, God has blessed them with four children.
Fortunately, in 2010, the Method Fest Independent Film Festival feted him for his short film — the Butterfly. He scooped the highly-coveted award for his peerless performance. He paid the price for the awesome award lending credence to the saying, ‘No price, no prize’.
Above all, Nick has published books worth reading. They include: Life without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Great Life (2010), Your Life without Limits (2012), Limitless: Devotions for a Ridiculously Good Life (2013), Unstoppable: the Incredible Power of Faith in Action (2013), the Power of Unstoppable Faith (2014), Stand Strong (2015), Love without Limits (2016) and Be the Hand and Feet: Living Out God’s Love for All His Children (2018).
Finally, Nick is a miraculous man with a lot of sense and substance. He has changed the lives of many people across the world. Therefore, it is advisable for decision-makers to create for him crucial chances in schools, colleges, corporates and churches For his story forms part of what people should hear in order to melt mountains of impossibilities that impede progress and success. Through his story, they will change their obstacles to miracles. As perfectly put by Henry Ford, “Obstacles are frightful things we see when we take our eyes off our goals.”
© Victor Ochieng’
The writer is an editor, author, and peripatetic speaker.
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