Nicholas Vujicic challenges the lukewarm standard of belief and faith for our own lives, and the impact we can have on others by addressing:
- Brokenness in the homes of families
- Ineffective tactics for fighting against that brokenness, which is passed onto school environments
- Our own lack of action – living out of God’s intention for us and calling others to do the same through very practical means
When you look at a person with a handicap and he or she is doing something that you can’t do, it attests to the fact that the real problem is in our perceptions of what can come out of our lives with what we have, and our ability to figure it out. It’s a brokenness of the mind and the heart that handicaps over any physical circumstance.
You don’t get a miracle, you can be a miracle.
[00:47] Welcome to The Ziglar Show, where we inspire your true performance. I’m your host, Kevin Miller, and today we bring you a truly amazing, amazing man. We all come into or end up in this world with some challenges. Just because someone else’s challenges might seem bigger, it doesn’t negate our own. We all want to know how to deal with them better. With more joy, peace, and success, right? Well, we have a guy who is flat out anointed in this area. Nick Vujicic was born with no arms and no legs. Stop and think about that for a minute. What could you do with no arms and no legs? What hope would you have for your life? Yet Nick is one of the most sought-after speakers on the planet, often getting 100 speaking requests per week. Literally. Why? Because he’s one of the most overcoming, inspirational people you will have ever heard. More than 10 million follow him on social media, and his Youtube videos have over 600 million views. But it’s real-world stuff, folks. He almost committed suicide. This isn’t some pollyanna face on hardship. I’d tell you more, but, trust me, you won’t want to miss this interview that Tom Ziglar and I had with Nick.
[01:56] Nick has a new online course called “Rise Above,” where he goes into further depth about how people can turn obstacles into opportunities and gives guidelines to overcome fear, among other impactful topics. The course gives people an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with Nick in their own home with over three hours of brand new content, complete with workbooks and guided learning instruction. Check it out at zigshow.com/rise.
[04:15] OK, folks, here Ziglar CEO Tom Ziglar and I bring you, Nick Vujicic!
[04:23] Nick, to begin with, I’m told you get nearly 100 speaking and interview invitations…per week. So incredibly honored that we made the cut, thank you for giving yourself to us today.
[04:34] Any association with this Ziglar family, big fan, amazing legacy. God bless you all and thanks, Kevin.
[06:20] Right off the bat, I know the Reverend Billy Graham was a role model and mentor to you. I imagine his passing away just two days ago gave you some pause. Can I ask where your head and heart went when you heard about it?
[06:45] In 2011, we had the privilege and honour of being with Billy Graham face to face in his home. He wasn’t taking any visitors, but he saw me speak as a spiritual leader at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland…and she said, “Would you come in and maybe, you know, encourage my daddy?” and I’m like, “What? Are you serious? I’m not going to encourage him!” And so I said if that door of opportunity was just a fellowship in that time, if that’s something that you think would be great, then we would be most on it. And so, me and my wife, we were engaged at the time, so we were both here and, you know, I love how he finished strong, I love how he kept integrity, I love that he focused not on the bright lights of the dull life. And he kept the Gospel the Gospel. He didn’t add to it and never subtracted from it. And I’ll never forget the fact that, I mean, me, as an evangelist also traveling the world, and sometimes going into countries where there are no Christians or Christians are the minority of all the other religions, he said, “Nic, don’t ever preach against other religions — just preach the Gospel. The Gospel is powerful enough.” And so, how he lived his life, how God used him, he is the number one and always will be the number one role model of a ministry that was an amazing steward of what God told them to do by His grace.
[08:39] No matter who you are or what you have to deal with, you had two kids, and just two months ago you had twin girls. You went from two to four kids, but even more so, you have two in diapers, which I’ve experienced. So how has this stretched you recently?
[09:02] You know what, we’re going to be married six years, and in six years — if you go back even seven-and-a-half years, seven hundred feet is to find the confirmation that you found your soul mate, getting engaged, get married, buy a house, have four children, all in seven and-a-half years, plus a ministry that takes you to eighteen presidents — I was just with Mr Trump on the weekend. And so, when you are on the front line of God, zombie taking over territory for His Kingdom and trying to plant seeds of love, hope and faith, and the influences around you, you can imagine how I stretch a bit, but I’m going to tell you, on the context of what you were saying now, man, I got the easy end of the deal. We got Kanae the help that she needs because she’s the one rockin’ the babies and taking care of all that, but I am enjoying mostly my oldest son right now, where we can have conversations, we can go on show trips. He can come with me on trips and, and I just go see the world a little bit, and so we are blessed. It’s always been stretched — but blessed — and there are different seasons ahead. One of the things that I know Tom was really concerned about when he saw me and his family was, “Nick, you’re running fast, and you’ve got to find your pace of being healthy and putting family in priority…” So, that was a big effort, Kevin, as you can imagine, to try to find that balance of doing everything you feel like you need to do, yet making sure that the good and excellent things of this world, and even the ministry, won’t ever distract you from the most important things.
[11:10] Nick, you are here because you are a dramatic success story. You are a massive success story by any measurement, to the point where your handicap could be looked at as a benefit, and I imagine you do see it that way to a great degree. But let’s go back. You say, “I was depressed as a child… At age 10, I tried to drown myself in the bathtub because I felt I had no hope… I hated God for years. At 15, I read a chapter in the Gospel of John. I realized, “if God has a plan for a blind man, I believe He has a plan for me.”
There are many people who have been at low points. While they may not have been born without limbs, and not to minimize that…but they had their relevant ordeals. Is there anything in your upbringing you feel prepared you…helped to open the door to you having that revelation at age 15?
[12:28] It’s the journey of being brought up in a home of faith. I definitely didn’t like, go hot on the idea of God for several years, because His love didn’t make sense to me, and I would actually hate hearing my dad preach from the pulpit about the love of God when his own son was born this way, and who cried out to God for a miracle, who’s the God of miracles and unconditional love — where is the miracle? But affirmation, persistent, resilient love in action from my parents, helped me to be sustained in many, many ways. In fact, that was the only reason why I did not go through with the attempted suicide at age ten. I attempted, but I didn’t go all the way, not because I couldn’t do it but because I did not want to do it. In my mind, I saw a visual of my parents crying at my grave, wishing they could have done something more. Because of their persistent, relentless love for me in action, I decided to stay in by the grace of God. I had no idea that broken pieces can be put in the hands of God, and that when you don’t get a miracle you can still be a miracle and beautiful things come from broken pieces when you give your broken piece a chance. So, age ten was definitely a difficult point in my life, and just because you become a Christian it doesn’t mean you don’t have any other low points. At age twenty-one, I share in my books about how I went through a big, big low point in my life at that time and then in 2011, I went through a personal financial crisis and just burned out as a single guy at the time, dating my wife certainly around that time, actually. We were only dating for three months and I lost all my money and was in panic attacks for thirty days straight. You know, not eating, not sleeping, it was, it was crazy, yet through that all, when I told my wife that, “Hey, Baby, I lost all my money,” she said, “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll get a nursing job and support the both of us.”
And so, those difficult things, now when you look at the bowling aspect now, using that and what had happened, now I see how all things come together for the good. Now I’m speaking to governments — national governments, state governments, here in America where we are on the front line against bullying, and saving people’s lives. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but forty percent of attempted suicide in America in teenagers is because of bullying at school. That’s on a stat of two hundred ninety schools anonymously surveyed by me personally. And so, when we see that, that’s amazing how one who nearly committed suicide because of a bully now is using the hands of God to save lives, and sometimes you get to save lives before you are used by God to save souls.
[27:58] Well, so when you look at purpose, that aspect of purpose, and again, look at your own story and you know what gave you motivation, is there a point of looking at your — what you had overcome, a physical handicap, as that being, did it help you when you looked at this? We have so many people — we recently interviewed Mandy Harvey, the incredible singer who is deaf, and Eric Weihenmayer, who went to Mount Everest and he’s blind and, to some degree, feels like those who don’t have an acute handicap, are they handicapped more because it doesn’t give them that reliance that drives them towards the Lord? Did the handicap help clarify your purpose?
[28:42] You know, I’m going to change the perspective and put it inside-out so you see the tapestry that I see. First of all, I tell teenagers all the time I believe it’s worse being in a broken home than having no arms or legs. Now, the only conscious logical thing that could be good, that could come out of such a tragedy, that is first in our minds, subconsciously, is that I hope that, then, I don’t make the same mistake. I hope, then, that I am not like that person, and I hope that I’m going to learn from those mistakes. That’s as good as it gets when it comes to good and that brokenness. Now, when you look at somebody who has a physical handicap, who is now skydiving, golfing, fishing, swimming, eighteen presidents send government changing laws, some of them to actually integrate special needs children into society for the first time. Now we say, “Well, wow, look at that person that can do something that I couldn’t do with actually less than what I have.” What I’m trying to say is, it’s got nothing to do with physical disabilities, it’s about the brokenness of the spirit and the tragedies of our life and brokenness of our lives and hearts.
[36:11] You know, speaking of the kids, I want to come back. You talk about brokenness of spirit and, you know, it’s not the body, it’s the mind. When you look at bullying — so, I do a lot of work, as Tom knows, in the health and wellness industry. We’ve got chronic illness and disease here in America going through the roof, and we really get down to what’s the cause? It’s our lifestyle. We’re growing, you know, the stuff that we look to the root. So, if bullying to the degree you’re talking about teen suicide attempts being who — I think you said forty percent is from bullying — that’s increasing; what’s at the root of it? What’s happened culturally? Talk about our spirits that is causing this,that’s a symptom, as we all know, the bullying is the symptom of what?
[37:09] When someone thinks that they’re better than somebody else, that’s when they do human, fleshly things, and it starts from pride, greed, and lust from a man’s point of view; there’s the big three hurdles of sin. The biggest ones of all, most common failure, and so it’s not just it’s a symptom from the fall of men, it’s always been there. Has they’re been more bullies since social media? That’s what everyone asks me, is Internet exploding social media? Well, it is more accessible now, and if there is a disease that has more doors to get in, then you can fit more of that disease in. It doesn’t mean, though, that more of that has begun. I think what’s happening is there are more ways to do it, just like this is the extreme level of the way that we got it, but sex robots, that’s going to be the biggest topic on everyone’s mind in five years from now. People are arguing that having sex robots is going to save more rapes on the kids or is, again, actually influencing more people to become pedophiles. That’s the discussion that is going to happen in five years. In ten years from now, a third of American jobs are not going to exist because of robots; fifteen million jobs alone not existing intact is in three thousand six hundred fifty days counting down now. When you look at the world and where we’re going, we are selfish; we self-preserve. Today we will do whatever we can to survive in many ways, and unfortunately, this human spirit is selfish. Coming back to exactly the human nature of what we kind of secure ourselves on, whether it’s addictions that we kind of get out of, whether it’s a secure future that we can provide, or whether it’s actually just doing things because we’re doing it. I think, actually, the biggest influence that brought bullying to the level that we’re at is the media, bottom line. It has been culturally acceptable, it has never been challenged, because even when it is challenged, it’s a cute campaign and no one really believes that bullying can actually stop. Because when you psychologically, as a speaker, want to actually do a persuasive speech, you’ve got to persuade me — and no students in a school are going to be persuaded to stop bullying until someone tells them the truth.
[51:38] So, you know, I have to say that we’re all going to leave a legacy, it’s either going to be by chance or by design, right? I mean what we do here with the time that we’re given, that’s our legacy, and I see so much intentionality in everything to do; I mean, that was one of the things that, I wake up in the morning, you know, what can I be intentional about today? What choices can I make? And I think for me, and probably for a majority of the people listening, it’s like you think if there’s a ten-thousand-foot level where you top, the snowball goes off the top, and thousands and thousands of people are impacted, and I just love it because it’s like, we limit ourselves before we even start the journey. And God is the One to provide as we go in, so I’m just curious; when you look — right now, I know God can change our direction or path to give us new visions and dreams. But what are the things that you have in front of you right now that you know if you can accomplish, or if you go as far as God will take you on, but are going to take that legacy out?
[53:03] You know what? I have to mention that the other three topics on the rise, of course, really, is creating a balanced life out of its own obstacles into opportunities, and then redefining “impossible.” It’s not that we’re trying to tell someone to do something. There are many listeners who are successful at what they do. However, redefining impossible could take us to a new level, and that’s kind of what’s happened in my life in the last kind of four years, where I’m like, how do you reach eight billion people? I bought those domains — eightbillionsouls.com — because Google says by 2026 we’ll have eight billion, and so we’re going to reach the world, so how do you do that? And so, for me, what’s in front of me to leave a legacy is I can just go speak, but what we’re doing in the next three years to create seven hundred videos.
[56:36] There you go, friends. You may have arms and legs, but you most assuredly have some struggles that are keeping you from being at your top performance. This show should have inspired you. Again, sign up for Nick’s Rise Above Course at zigshow.com/rise. If you got value from this show with Nick, please let us know by leaving a review in iTunes — and let him know! And let us thank you by sending you Zig Ziglar and Tom Ziglar’s book, Born to Win. An actual hard copy! Just email us at email@example.com and tell us the user name you used in iTunes.
[57:48] Coming up next in show 562 we, of course…go behind the scenes with Nick and go through the seven spokes of the Ziglar Wheel of Life and find out his challenges and healthy habits in each area. Some highlights: Physically he’s thankful for the holy spirit and caffiene! He eats only two meals per day, more veggies, but he’s an admitted carnivore. No sweets, bread, or dairy. He and his family grow much of their food and live off their land. He had a pretty deep financial crisis and learned that just because you have a vision and resources from God, it doesn’t always mean you have to move forward right now. He has a 10 year plan that took him three hours to create, with help. And 3% of his life has to be a gamble! But he doesn’t invent, he innovates! It was rich, as you can tell. So till then…