When Nick Vujicic, world renowned motivational speaker born without arms and legs, ascended the dais in the ballroom of Kempinski Muscat hotel earlier this week, the overwhelming turnout of young and not-so-young professionals lapped up every word of his presentation and begged for more.
Vujicic was in town as one of the two key speakers of the Global Leadership Forum held on January 22 organised by Smart Waves International with Muscat Daily as its strategic partner. The other speaker was Dr Adriana Marais, an inspirational astronaut and theoretical physicist, better known as one of the hundred individuals chosen internationally for the ‘One Way to the Mars’ project, set to go to red planet one way.
Vujicic, the author of Life Without Limits and many other bestsellers, who has come to Muscat for the second time for a similar motivational talk, addressed the gathering in two sessions – ‘Lead your 2020 business and personal life into an exceptional glory’; and ‘Embrace the crisis and lead your team like a champion’, both of which held the audience spellbound by his sheer mastery over public speaking.
Only one person stands between yourself and your success, and that’s ‘You’, said Vujicic stressing on the need to value oneself, identify one’s talents and potential and believe in oneself. Let not the turmoil of consequences dissuade you or weigh you down even before embarking on a new initiative or project. “It is you alone who are your biggest encourager and discourager,” he said, calling on the audience to first identify ‘Who are you?’ before attempting to shape one’s dreams.
Believe in yourself
Vujicic pointed out that most people lack confidence in themselves and are unable to recognise their own abilities, which is one of the biggest hurdles in their path. He said, he, too, had never ever thought that he would someday be a successful motivational speaker when he faced much criticism and ridicule as a young boy in school who was different in many ways than the rest. “Only one person looked me in the eye when I was 17 and said ‘Nick, you’re going to be a great speaker, you’re going to share your story with the world – the janitor in my school,” he said, adding that it was only then that it dawned on him that this was possible.
Fear is a natural obstacle but it is the most common factor that prevents most individuals in pursuing what they would like to, said Vujicic, adding, “Fear is the most crippling disability one can have. Around 85 per cent of all businesses in the world fail because of the fear of failure.” He, however, said that the first biggest fear in the world was ‘public speaking’, and the second was ‘death’ and that most would almost die if they had to speak in public.
Stressing on the need for conviction in pursuing every dream, he said, “If you don’t have conviction, even if you are successful, you won’t be happy. Conviction motivates, conviction inspires.” He shared his own conviction to work only 35 days a year to be able to earn enough money to take care of all the needs of his family. He pursues that conviction diligently every year despite the fact that he gets around 35,000 invitations a year to give talks around the world.
Is anyone perfect?
“If I want to do something and I fail once and don’t try again, it only means I did not want it bad enough,” said Vujicic, exhorting the audience, “Is it okay to fail, Oman – Yes! Is it part of the process – Yes! Does everyone fail – Yes! Is anyone perfect – No! Then, why do you feel ashamed when you are not perfect and you fail?”
He also exemplified an instance from his early pursuits to be a public speaker when he had approached 52 schools with a proposition for a talk and was turned down every single time. That did not stop Vujicic from trying for the 53rd time and was finally invited to address school students.
Define your risks
“If you don’t want obstacles, if you don’t want risks, you will never do anything. When you define your success, you first define your risks and then you define the obstacles. Many young people I meet say they have high ambitions but they do nothing to get there. If you really want something, you’re gonna do everything to get ready for it,” Vujicic said asserting, “When you know why you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do then approach your obstacles not in a negative way but to say, ‘okay, I’m gonna figure it out’.”
Nick harped on the importance of communication and appreciation of the little things in life as two main factors that lead to happiness and compatibility in a marriage. And, if you can do the same in your business, it would yield successful results, he quipped.
Sharing little tidbits from his own life, Vujicic explained how he maintains good communication and transparency in everything he does with his wife and children and keeps a substantial part of his time every day for them. Besides being there for sharing every evening with his family, setting his mobile phone aside once home, appreciating the role of his wife towards raising their children and regularly bringing her gifts and flowers, he also makes it a point to tell his family every day that he loves and cares for them. Vujicic added that we need to live each day (doing one’s best in everything) as if it was one’s last day.
Figure it out
Giving several examples from his own life, Vujicic demonstrated that one should not be discouraged by obstacles, but turn them into opportunities. He related an incident when as a little lad he had asked his mom for a book placed on a high shelf and she told him that he needs to figure out how to get it himself. Despite risks of falling and hurting himself, Vujicic climbed up and procured the book that day, but learnt a lesson for life that he needed to figure out ways to meet his requirements instead of relying on ready help from others.
“Despite my disability, I consider myself as the most blessed person in the world,” Vujicic said, elaborating on how he managed to convert all the discouraging elements in his life to his advantage, instead of fretting and fuming over what he did not have. Even though he had once been totally frustrated and attempted suicide by trying to drown himself in a bathtub, he acknowledged the fact that God had other plans for him, which eventually came to the fore and made him assert his own existence. And how!
“If today was my last day, I would die successful,” he said calling on the audience – which comprised a mixed bag of budding professionals to seasoned businessmen and businesswomen – to be thankful for everything they receive and not regret the things they are deprived of. “I have seen more poor people who are happy than rich, because they are thankful,” he added.