Broken, Bitter, and Alone ... and Only 8 Years Old

John Wood here, your guest editor of The Writer’s Life this week, with an inspiring story …

His life was hopeless.

He was broken and bitter.

He felt there was no point to his life and that he was all alone. The only thing that stopped him from going through with a suicide attempt was the thought of how it would hurt his parents.

All this at only eight years old.

Who could blame him, though?

He was born with a rare disorder. Both arms were missing. And he had no legs. Just one foot with two toes.

Today at age 28, Nick Vujicic, an Australian man of Serbian descent, sings a much different song.

"I love living life. I am happy," says Nick.

The turning point in his life came when his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability.

From that day on, he decided to embrace his disability – and move beyond it.

He taught himself to write by using the two toes on his left foot. He learned to use a computer … throw tennis balls … comb his hair … brush his teeth … shave … answer the phone … and so on.

After graduating from university with a double major in accounting and financial planning at the age of 21, he became a motivational speaker. In 2005, he was nominated for the "Young Australian of the Year" Award.

Today, he travels around the world, using his story to inspire people and remind them that if they fall down, they only fail if they stop trying to get up.

No matter what we try to achieve in life, it's sometimes easy to get caught up in the "enormity" of some of the challenges and obstacles that confront us as we move forward on our success path.

But the next time you think you'll never be a six-figure writer because you're just "not smart enough" …

 … or that you'll never create a residual income stream by writing a money-making website because you don't know a thing about building a website …

 … I invite you to think of Nick Vujicic.

A man who has every reason to be bitter, but isn't. A man whose handicaps could have crippled him emotionally, but instead he sees them as an opportunity.

A man who has chosen to focus not on the things he can't do in life, but on the things he can – and has found a way to achieve more because of it.

And if you have overcome an obstacle that got in the way of your own success, I want to hear about it. Share it with me by posting a comment below.

I was inspired to write about Nick because of something I read in Richard Wiseman's book, The Luck Factor. Wiseman says that “lucky” people often compare themselves to people who are less fortunate. Not to relish their misfortune, of course, but to instill a sense of gratitude in themselves for the things they do have and enjoy in life.

Up to this point, I really didn't think too much about luck. But I've come to believe that there is more to luck than, well … luck. I think you can actually take positive action to improve your luck, no matter where you are in your career and life right now.

To find out how, please read an article I wrote called “17 Ways to Be Luckier in Business and in Life.”

And keep reading this week as I reveal techniques and strategies to help get you closer to the writer’s life by making your own luck.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: August 22, 2011

3 Responses to “Broken, Bitter, and Alone ... and Only 8 Years Old”

  1. I heard Nick tell his story at The Rock Church when I was in San Diego for the Web Intensive. You're right, he's a very inspiring guy.

    Steve RollerAugust 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm

  2. member sent Nick's web page- Nick site is www lifewithoutlimbs.org

    pcoffeyAugust 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

  3. I know the Nick Vujicic story well. His story can make your eyes well up while at the same time inspiring you.

    In fact, whenever I start to complain about little aches and pains and discomforts I say to myself "what about Nick?" and that shuts me up real quick.

    Guest (Philip C)September 7, 2011 at 12:46 am


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)