VISION ’21 Keynote Speaker Spotlight
Nick Vujicic and the Unbelievable Power of Choice
Life is unpredictable and full of curve balls. We booked Maye Musk as our keynote speaker for VISION ’21, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she was unable to make it to the event. We needed a replacement, and we needed one FAST …
So we put our heads together, and landed a remarkable man by the name of Nick Vujicic. And ‘remarkable’ is an understatement; since Nick delivered his powerful keynote on Thursday of last week, we’ve been flooded with positive feedback — people can’t stop talking about the profound impact Nick had on them. There’s no doubt in our minds that lives were changed.
We want to highlight Nick’s message and share his story with our community of MSPs, business owners, IT pros, and everyone else who reads our blog. The more people that hear about Nick’s approach to living a happy, successful, and fulfilling life, the better!
Who is Nick Vujicic?
Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1982. His parents were shocked to discover that their newborn son lacked both arms and legs. Nick was born with an extremely rare disorder called tetra-amelia syndrome, which is characterized by the absence of limbs. His mom and dad knew life wouldn’t be easy for their son, and this scared them, as it would any parents.
And life wasn’t easy for young Nick. Kids can be cruel, and at school, Nick got called “freak” and “alien.” He did his best to fit in, refusing to let his condition keep him on the sidelines. He swam, he skateboarded, he made friends. But growing up is hard for anyone, and with the unique challenges that Nick faced, he eventually “hit a wall.” As he shares in his book, Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life, “I was depressed, overwhelmed with negative thoughts, and didn’t see any point in my life.” Things got so bad he thought about suicide.
How did he get from there to where he is now? How did the depressed adolescent become the loving husband and father of four, the successful entrepreneur, the life-changing motivational speaker?
He discovered the power of choice. Our lives are our own to shape. As Nick himself puts it, “We can choose to dwell on disappointments and shortcomings … Or when faced with hard times and hurtful people, we can choose to learn from the experience and move forward, taking responsibility for our own happiness.”
At VISION ’21, we were lucky enough to hear Nick unpack his worldview in detail. He gave us six points to live by — six principles we can all follow to take control of our lives and make the world a better place …
Six Points to Live By: Nick Vujicic’s Secrets for Success and Fulfillment
Point #1: Process Your Emotions
At VISION ’21, Nick reminded all of us that it’s OK to feel bad sometimes. In fact, feeling bad can be a good thing, as there are insights, power, and wisdom that can be ‘extracted’ from our darker moods. Take anger, for instance. If we’re not careful, anger can make us yell at people, act aggressively, etc. But if we are mindful, we can choose to leverage our anger for good. Anger can make us braver and more honest in the workplace, for instance. So don’t feel bad about feeling bad, but commit to using your negative emotions to bring about positive changes.
Point#2: Have an “Attitude of Gratitude”
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions there is, because it not only lets us appreciate what’s good in our lives, it also prevents us from sinking too low during difficult times. If you can embrace the following idea, you’ll experience immeasurably more joy in your life: Gratitude is not a reaction, but an action. Grateful people aren’t those who have more good things happen to them; grateful people are those who’ve made a choice — or many choices — to focus on what’s good, even in situations where the ‘good’ is a needle in a haystack of bad. You can start cultivating your own gratitude today — this very moment! If the ‘big things’ in your life aren’t going well, start with the small things. You can breathe. You’re alive. You have the ability to make choices. That right there is enough to build the foundation for your attitude of gratitude.
Point #3: Reset Your Goals
Resetting goals can mean adopting new ones. But ‘resetting goals’ has a deeper, subtler meaning that Nick Vujicic clarified at VISION ’21: Resetting your goals can mean reassessing how you’re going about pursuing what you want to achieve. Think about whether your current habits are conducive to getting where you want to go in business and in life. If they’re not, it’s time to build some new habits!
During his keynote, Nick described a habit as a “forceful decision that doesn’t feel good at the beginning.” This reminds us of something vitally important about chasing goals: sometimes you need to change yourself before you can accomplish what you most desire, and doing that requires that you go through some discomfort. Change is hard, but stay strong, because it’s like Nick said at VISION: “You never just go through things. You grow through things.”
Point #4: Dream BIG!
Don’t let “dreaming” be something you only do at night when you’re fast asleep in your bed. Nick recommends setting aside at least half an hour each week for dreaming. Step away from your day-to-day responsibilities and let your biggest, boldest hopes come to the surface. Take your own dreams seriously. This means making concrete plans. Break your dream(s) down into smaller tasks, and get STARTED. If you want to write a book, commit to writing a page a week. If you don’t prioritize your dreams and manage your time accordingly, you’ll spend your whole life wondering what you could’ve done.
Point #5: Obstacles = Opportunities
In Life Without Limits, Nick writes, “I’m officially disabled, but I’m truly enabled because of my lack of limbs.” He means it, too. It was his condition that drove him to become a motivational speaker and coach, and those decisions have allowed him to touch the hearts and minds of millions.
Nick’s success didn’t come overnight, and as he reminded us at VISION ’21, he failed many, many times. In fact, when he first started out and was making cold calls to book speaking gigs, he was told “No” so many times, when he finally did get a “Yes,” he almost didn’t register the response! Bottom line, failing doesn’t make you a failure; in fact, winners fail more than anyone else because winners get out there and TRY. Business owners take heed! You will fail, and it probably won’t feel good, but remember — there is value to be found in negative emotions. So let “failure be your classroom”!
Point #6: When You Don’t Get a Miracle, BE a Miracle!
Nick shared a moving story at VISION ’21 about meeting a boy who was also born without limbs. As luck would have it, Nick’s own mom and dad were there, too. The two families had lots to discuss! Now, although Nick and his parents never had the good fortune to meet with a family in their circumstances during Nick’s upbringing, they were more than happy to be that family for this young boy and his parents.
The lesson is simple: instead of always focusing on what the world is giving (or not giving) you, turn your attention and energy to what you can give the world. And yes, this applies to entrepreneurs, too. It applies especially well, in fact! Successful businesses identify customer needs and problems and offer solutions that make people’s lives easier, better, etc. Stop thinking about your profits all the time, and start thinking about your service. If you can do that — if you can truly inhabit the mindset of a giver — you’ll be amazed by how everything else falls into place.
A Final Thought
Curve balls happen. But sometimes, it’s for the best. Sometimes, the person you found in a time crunch — the person no one in the audience was expecting to see up on stage — faces the curve ball, takes a swing, and knocks it out the park.
Do you know what will happen in the coming year? Do you know how much your business will grow? How many new clients you’ll take on? You don’t. But you do know this much: you have the power to choose action over fear, hope over despair, and compassion over resentment. If you embrace that power, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.