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The cover image for Nick Vujicic’s new book, “Unstoppable,” puts the rest of us to shame. As we complain about putting our feet on the floor too early in the morning, or reaching for that last cup of coffee before a dreaded meeting, Vujicic is there – grinning on a water-splashed surfboard.
Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs.
But he’s a born leader.
Charging through life with gusto, Vujicic is a motivational speaker, evangelist and director of Life Without Limbs. You get it, right? This guy sees no limits in life, and for that, he is running far ahead of those who complain, moan and sit in neutral. This is what makes “Unstoppable” such a powerful read. You will be thinking about Nick Vujicic long after you put the book down.
Formerly from Australia, Vujicic now calls southern California home, where he and his wife, Kanae, help folks overcome whatever obstacles life has put in their way.
Vujicic’s main message is that God has created all of us for a purpose, and that He is always present. Specifically, faith in action is the key. And boy, does Vujicic take action.
Early on in “Unstoppable,” Vujicic relates a fascinating story about a business failure that brought him to the brink of despair. This is but one thing that makes the book so powerful: Yes, he is an overcomer, but it’s not a Hollywood plot. Nick Vujicic the gregarious motivational speaker doesn’t live with a candy-coated worldview. His riveting description of this period of his life makes him all the more inspiring.
“Depression set in,” Vujicic writes. “I didn’t want to leave my bed. Even though I felt like I was in no shape to be offering anyone motivation or inspiration, I had to fulfill several speaking obligations. I’ll never forget those appearances, because I only got through them with God’s grace and mercy. I cried for two hours in despair right before speaking at one motivational seminar. A friend was with me during that crying spell and then attended the speech. He said it was the best talk I’d ever given! I didn’t believe him until I saw a recording of it later. I wasn’t operation under my own power; God was hard at work that night.”
In Chapter 5 (“Body Weak, Spirit Strong”) Vujicic tells an absolutely striking story about the power of faith, love and example.
Rachel and Craig Willisson, after having trouble getting pregnant a decade after their daughter was born, were thrilled to learn they were expecting again. That was, until the doctor informed them that their baby had no arms, and her legs were much shorter than normal.
Rachel frantically scanned the Internet and there found the story of a little blonde-haired boy who had grown up to live a life of meaning and adventure. Suddenly, the doctor’s suggestion that “termination” was an option faded away.
“‘Everything he [Nick] said in those videos calmed me and gave me peace,” Vujicic quotes Rachel. “I realized God was settling my heart by telling me if Nick Vujicic could become a magnificent person, our baby could too! … God knew who to send me.'”
Soon, beautiful Brooke Willisson joined big sister Georgia. Today, not surprisingly, the two families are friendly – all because Nick’s parents thought he was worthy of life.
The sheer depth and breadth of “Unstoppable” makes it a superb book. Besides weaving his own story in with those of others, Vujicic addresses a host of issues and problems in our society. One of the most important ones is the increase in bullying. No one knows more about that than Nick Vujicic.
In Chapter 7 (“Fighting Injustice”) he lists several warning signs that your child might be the victim of bullying; among them:
- asking for extra money to take to school
- increased problems concentrating
- refusing to discuss the day’s events upon coming home.
Vujicic’s addressing of this hideous problem will give readers new and valuable insights. It’s probably obvious to say that his life’s circumstances have made Nick Vujicic wise beyond his years.
His level of discernment is something anyone of any age can benefit from: “You undoubtedly have to practice surrender in your own life – times when you have to give up trying to direct those things that are beyond your control and focus instead on doing your best, one step at a time, using all the gifts and talents and skills and brainpower at your disposal. You probably have done this without thinking about it. Maybe you’ve had to change careers because of the bad economy or a lost job. You didn’t quit. Instead, you just accepted that circumstances beyond your control had changed the situation. You adjusted your plans based on the opportunities that remained, and then proceeded with confidence in your ability to survive and thrive.”
Amen, Mr. Vujicic. Your ability to see life and its opportunities in all their splendor is an inspiration to the rest of us who’d like to be like you.