By Roshan Shah, New Age Islam
15 April 2016
Life without Limits
Author: Nick Vujicic
Publisher: WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, Colorado
From his beatific smile and his doe-like eyes that greet you on the cover of this book you wouldn’t have a clue about the horrors that Nick Vujicic has faced. Born with no feet or hands, he has experienced rejection and derision, shame and self-hatred, a feeling of being useless, the trauma of being dependent on others for almost every small thing and the fear of a hopeless future. His searing ordeal even led him to attempt to kill himself. And yet, as he tells us in this simply un-put-downable book, God led him to triumph over the hurdles that appeared his way and flower into a source of inspiration and hope for many.
Today, Vujicic is an internationally-known motivational speaker, travelling across the world (he’s been to India too), meeting people from different walks of life, telling them that with faith in God and a positive attitude they, too, can enjoy the sort of ‘life without limits’ that he has been blessed with. He visits schools and prisons, slums and homes for children orphaned in disasters and places where women are kept in sexual slavery, telling them about another, God-centred, way to live. He does that through his writings, too, this being one of several books that he has penned.
No human life can be bereft of challenges. We cannot hope for a problem-free life. While we cannot control everything that happens to us (including through other people), what we can control is the way we respond to difficult situations, Vujicic tells us.
Responding to difficulties positively, taking challenges not as obstacles but, rather, as a means for our inner development (helping us to grow in faith and strength), is key to ‘living without limits’, he suggests. He tells us how despite not having hands and feet he learnt to do many things by himself, not wanting to be unnecessarily dependent on others. Faith in God enabled him to climb out of the pit of self-pity and hopelessness and to use his ‘disabilities’ to become a finer, stronger person, fired with an irrepressible positivity that is clearly evident in every page of this book.
Our ability to spend this one, short life of ours in this positive way depends on the purpose we have set for it. A life dedicated to glorifying God’s Name and doing God’s Will is a truly meaningful one, Vujicic suggests as he invites us to allow God to guide us in discovering our purpose. He reminds us how valuable we are as God’s creation and that we all have something positive to contribute, no matter what challenges we face. If with faith in God and God’s goodness Vujicic was able to triumph over tremendous odds and lead a ‘life without limits’ there’s no reason why the same won’t work for others, too.
As he grew in his a life of faith, Vujicic realized that what he (and others) had considered to be his ‘disabilities’—his lack of limbs and all the attendant ‘problems’—were actually a powerful means for him to grow spiritually and become an instrument to call others to God and to lead a positive, God-centred life. It enabled him to realize that true wealth lies not in material possessions but in faith in God, in leading an ethical life and in reaching out to others with that message of faith and hope.
The trauma that Vujicic has been through enabled him to develop compassion for others placed in difficult situations, thus turning his disabilities into abilities, or, in his own words, into ‘Attitude with Altitude’. It taught him that one way to overcome our problems is to seek to help others overcome theirs. When you focus on other’s hurts and try to serve them, you overcome your own hurts, he tells us.
Sharing his amazing life-story with us, Vujicic describes how he found happiness and a deep sense of purpose despite the many immense challenges that he faced. We have, he says, a choice—we can choose to dwell on disappointments and shortcomings, to be bitter, angry or sad. On the other hand, 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. In short, we can choose to destroy our lives or to beautify them, depending on the attitude we select to adopt towards the challenges that life poses.
Trust in God is central in moving towards a ‘life without limits’, Vujicic tells us. “Through my faith in God, I face each day with confidence and place my future in God’s hands”, he says, adding, “I talk about FAITH as an acronym: Full Assurance in the Heart. I may not be able to produce evidence for all that I believe in, but I feel fully assured in my heart that I am much closer to the truth by living with faith than I would be by living in despair.”
This is definitely one of the most beautiful (that’s the most apt word here) books that I’ve ever read. It’s a treasure-trove of spiritual wisdom, straight from the heart of someone who has experienced enormous trials and has emerged from them victorious, empowered to bring the message of faith and hope and good cheer to many others.
Vujicic has an amazing way with words—communicating deep spiritual truths in a relaxed way with a very generous dose of humour. While he is a Christian and some of his views reflect specific Christian doctrines, Vujicic’s story as well as his spirituality have a universal relevance and resonance.