“I am thankful to have been born 30 years ago with no arms and no legs” is the opening sentence on Nick’s webpage. With such an amazing attitude it is no wonder he now spends his time touring the globe as a motivational speaker. This wonderful attitude came about not through some innate joy that had always filled his soul, but through overcoming adversity and more importantly through a conscious decision on his part to appreciate his abilities and his loved ones.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, he arrived in this world without limbs and only a left foot, which he affectionately calls his “chicken drumstick”, to manipulate objects. A supportive family tried to provide him with a relatively normal life and a loving environment, but Nick could not in visage a bright future ahead and became depressed. At age 10 he decided to end his life by drowning myself in a bathtub. However, after a couple attempts, he realized that he did not want to leave his loved ones with the burden and guilt that would result from his suicide.
The real change in his attitude came at age thirteen, when he injured his foot, which he uses for many things like typing, writing and swimming. It was this injury, that could well have been the final straw for most people. Instead it made him decide to be more thankful for his abilities and be less focused on his disabilities.
At age seventeen he was convinced by a school janitor to speak to people about his motivation and beliefs. After a few small engagements he found himself in front of three hundred students. His nerves soon subsided as he realized that within minutes half the girls were crying, and most of the boys were struggling to control their emotions. One young girl raised her hand: “I am so sorry to interrupt, but can I come up and hug you?”. As she hugged Nick, she whispered in his ear, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. No one has ever told me that they loved me and that I am beautiful the way I am.”
This touching moment inspired Nick to venture on a speaking tour that spanned 44 countries and 2,000 engagements. He realized that we all need love and hope and that he was in a unique position to share that with people around the world.
He worked with a speaking coach on developing his presentation skills: “He especially worked on my body language as my hands flew everywhere at first!”.
So if you are ever feeling down on yourself, feel like something is out of your reach or just want to give yourself a boost, then watch the video below. In Nicks words: “Dream big my friend and never give up. We all make mistakes, but none of us are mistakes. Take one day at a time. Embrace the positive attitudes, perspectives, principles and truths I share, and you too will overcome.”