Monday, June 20, 2011

‘Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life’ by Nick Vujicic – Book Review

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I have been familiar with a young man by the name of Nick Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich) for about a year now. When I first heard of him, and saw a video of him on YouTube, I was amazed and intrigued. When I learned he put his story in book form, ‘Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good, Life,’ I knew I had to read it. And I am so glad I did!

Here is the synopsis of this book:

Life Without Limits Is An Inspiring Book By An Extraordinary Man. Born without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic overcame his disability to live an independent, rich, fulfilling life, becoming a model for anyone seeking true happiness. Now an internationally successful motivational speaker, Nick spreads his central message: the most important goal for anyone is to find their life’s purpose despite whatever difficulties or seemingly impossible odds stand in their way.
Nick tells the story of his physical disabilities and the emotional battle he endured trying to deal with them as a child, a teen, and a young adult. “For the longest, loneliest time, I wondered if there was anyone on earth like me, and whether there was anyone on earth like me, and whether there was a purpose to my life other than pain and humiliation.” He shares how his faith in God has been his central source of strength and explains that once he found his own sense of purpose – inspiring others to make their lives and the world better – he found the confidence to build a rewarding and productive life without limits.
Nick offers practical advice for realizing a life of fulfillment and happiness by building trust in others, developing supportive relationships, and gaining strength for the journey. He encourages the reader by showing how he learned to accept what he could not control and focus on what he could.  

Here is the biography of this author:

Nick Vujicic is a motivational speaker and the direction of the nonprofit organization Life Without Limbs. A longtime resident of Australia, he now lives in southern California.

Here is the trailer for this book:

And here is Nick featured on the ‘The 700 Club.’ Tears will flow!:

In the Introduction, Nick tells us about himself and what he hopes to accomplish in his book:

My name is Nick Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich). I am twenty-seven years old. I was born without any limbs, but I am not constrained by my circumstances. I travel the world encouraging millions of people to overcome adversity with faith, hope, love, and courage so that they may pursue their dreams. In this book I will share with you my experiences in dealing with adversity and obstacles, some of them unique to me but most universal to us all. My goal is to encourage you to overcome your own challenges and hardships so you can find your own purpose and pathway to a ridiculously good life. (p. vii)

Nick came up with a valuable list:

          To live without limits, I founded I needed:

          A powerful sense of purpose
          Hope so strong it cannot be diminished
          Faith in God and the infinite possibilities
          Love and self-acceptance
          Attitude with altitude
          A courageous spirit
          Willingness to change
          A trusting heart
          Hunger for opportunities
          The ability to assess risks and to laugh at life
          A mission to serve others first

Each chapter in this book is devoted to one of these attributes, explained in such a way that I hope you can put them to use in your own journey toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. I’m offering them to you because I share God’s love for you. I want you to experience all the joy and fulfillment He intended for you. (p. ix)

This is one of the most encouraging books I have ever read. Here is a wonderful example:

Life may be kicking you around right now. You may wonder if your fortunes will improve. I’m telling you that you can’t even imagine the good that awaits you if you refuse to give up. Stay focused on your dream. Do whatever it takes to stay in the chase. You have the power to change your circumstances. Go after whatever it is you desire. (p. 15)

Over 550 churches in Metro Detroit had an outreach this year called EACH - Everyone A Chance to Hear. There was a campaign 40 days after Easter called 2 Word Story in which we chose 2 words which defined our lives before and after Jesus. My story is ‘Hope? Hope.’ So I was especially interested in the sections of this book which deal with hope:

Time and again in my life and in my travels, I have witnessed the incredible power of the human spirit. I know for certain that miracles happen, but only for those who hang on to hope. What is hope? It is where dreams begin. It is the voice of your purpose. It speaks to you and reassures you that whatever happens to you doesn’t live within you. You may not control what happens to you, but you control how you respond. (p. 33)

Here is one more passage dealing with hope:

Hope is a catalyst. It can even move obstacles that seem immovable. When you keep pushing, refusing to give up, you create momentum. Hope creates opportunities you never would have anticipated. Helpful people are drawn to you. Doors open. Paths are cleared. (p. 42)

Doesn’t it make sense to be positive rather than negative about our circumstances?!

We all know the Bible tells us not to judge. Nick made this amazing observation; I had never thought of it this way:

When you judge yourself harshly or put intense pressure on yourself, you become judgmental of others. Loving and accepting yourself as God loves you opens the door to a much greater sense of peace and fulfillment. (p. 74)

It never occurred to me that we are harsher on others when we’re harsh on ourselves.

It is important that our worldview go beyond the barriers of our own life:

Whatever you want for yourself, do it for others. If you make even small acts of compassion a daily habit, you will feel empowered and liberated from your own hurts and disappointments. You shouldn’t expect to benefit from being generous or supportive to others, but good deeds can lead to surprising rewards.
I’m an advocate of unconditional generosity because it honors God and multiplies His blessings. Yet I also believe that when you do unto others, blessing come to you as well. So if you don’t have a friend, be a friend. If you are having a bad day, make someone else’s day. If your feelings are hurt, heal those of another. (p. 215)

Nick is an incredible man – what a spirit! Obviously, we know that amazing and indomitable spirit is actually the Holy Spirit. This man has the most incredible positive attitude. Many people will think, ‘If he can be happy, what’s wrong with me?!’ That thought has occurred to me when I see him speak. He has made the most of the life God has given to him, and he loves to share hope and encouragement with as many people as possible. As fate would have it, he will be speaking here in Michigan this week. I am trying to figure out if there is a way for me to see him.

I highly recommend this book. People of every stripe can relate to Nick, and can be inspired by how he has overcome the barriers that potentially may have disabled other people who did not have his outlook on life. His strong faith is also incredible. I am so encouraged! And I will be reading this book again and again, and passing it along to my husband. Everyone should read this book!

You can order this book here.

This book was published by Doubleday Religion, and was provided by them for review purposes.

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