Go search this name: Nick Vujicic. And be ready to be amazed.
Saw him last night, and I’m amazed at his positive outlook in life despite not having arms and legs. He was born this way and at 8 years old, he attempted suicide. He was bullied. Teased. Called names. And he was depressed at a young age. But what kept him going was this: love. His parents loved him, and they continued to pour love on him amid his unique condition.
His story is one for the books–actually, he has written several now. After hearing him narrate his gut-wrenching stories–some quite funny as he pokes fun at himself–I have no reason to complain about my life. This guy has went through everything–even a panic attack two years ago, which was caused by burn out and having been through a speaking circuit. Last year, he got married and admitted that he waited until he got married. Nick is perhaps the happiest person I’ve met in my life. He is genuinely happy. No buts. No ifs. Just that: happy for his life. Happy to be speaking in front of a 20,000 Filipino crowd at the Smart-Araneta center. Even actress and co-host Rica Paralejo was so impressed, she got to hug Nick several times, as he answered questions from the crowd.
It was no accident that I found myself listening to Nick last night. A friend and mentor “forced” me to watch his talk because he wanted company. And before the lights went out for Nick, another man appeared on stage: Chinkee Tan, a man I met that morning. I thought, “What a coincidence!” But I believe things happen for a reason, and there are no accidents in life. God works in mysterious ways.
So while I listened to Nick (we had no chair so we stood for more than an hour), I realized I was not taking notes! But I took mental notes of what he said. One that struck me the most is this: failure equals education. And perhaps these words hit me like a brick. Having gone through a lot of failures over the past 3 years and 9 months, I’ve picked up lessons. I’ve known myself more, and my limits. But also, I found real friends who stuck by you no matter if you’re up there, or down there. No one is perfect in this life. But I’ve always gunned for excellence–and I do it with dignity and honesty.
Chinkee talked about staying away from negative people to be able to live a positive life. Reality check. It’s hard. You’re surrounded by negative forces. It’s part of nature: the Yin and the Yang. The good cop and the bad cop. The protagonist and the antagonist. But the point is perhaps negative people can change your mindset–and that’s the point that Nick and Chinkee are both saying. We all want to be happy. But we also need to know the purpose of our lives. For Nick and Chinkee, they’re both good at speaking. They’re great storytellers. That’s where they thrive and that’s their God-given talent. And they’re using that to send out the message of love, happiness, and peace of mind.
Failure equals education. Why do we want to be challenged? Because we want to win. But nobody wins in a game without going through failures. Stories abound about people who have gone through failures but have managed to eventually win after trying again, and again.
In the end, Nick’s and Chinkee’s life lessons are nothing new. But hearing them again with 20,000 other people in Smart Araneta tells you that it’s okay to feel down when you don’t make it. It’s okay to feel alone. It’s okay to feel scared. Which is why you also need to surround yourself with people who love you –and never be afraid to appreciate someone who loves you back. Love them back. Because love is patient, is kind, is not jealous. You know the line.
Nick is coming back next year with his wife and kids. I hope to catch him again and be inspired–forever.