Be 100% Responsible for Your Life
When Gabby, my first-born, came home from the hospital, I cradled him in my arms and danced for joy with my wife by my side. I was all smiles, as he came out a normal and healthy baby.
In stark contrast, Nicolas “Nick” James Vujicic was born on December 4, 1982 and as he shared, the first reaction of his mother when she saw him was:
“Take him away”
Nevertheless, his parents came to their senses and took care of him. Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia with the rare Tetra-Amelia disorder: limbless, missing both arms at shoulder level, and having one small foot with two toes protruding from his left thigh
They made fun of him in school, as the first disable child to be accepted in mainstream education in Victoria State. At age 8, he increasingly was frustrated and depressed about his disability. He often shared:
“I had to be bathed by someone. I had to be carried to the toilet when I need to. How would you feel if it were you? I questioned God saying if I was created in Your image, then WHY you created me this way. In Jeremiah 29:11, you promised a good life, what good can come out from something like this?”
At age, 10 he attempted to drown himself in 6 inches of water but decided to stop. He remembered the love of his parents. At age 15, he heard a preacher speak that the reason the blind man from Siloam was blind from birth was to glorify God. He then started praying to God to have arms and limbs. He promised God he will go to the ends of the world to preach the Good News. He argued with God that this must be His plan. If suddenly arms and legs grew from him then, surely he will be a powerful witness to the whole world.
It was only at age 17 that he started to embrace and transcend his disability. He realized he did not need arms and legs to be a powerful witness for Christ. He decided to take ownership and be responsible and accountable for his destiny. He stopped blaming God and refused to make excuses for not achieving his goals although he did not deny his physical disability. In NLP this is an example of a powerful life reframe.
“I started to learn how to get a glass of water, comb my hair, brush my teeth, and use the computer using my “heel and toe”. I even learned how to swim, “throw” tennis balls go surfing and play soccer.”
Nick graduated from college at the age of 21 with a double major in Accounting and Financial Planning. ,He formed the non-profit organization: Life Without Limbs.
He has now traveled to 24 countries on 5 continents and spoke to over 3 million people. He speaks to both corporate audiences and school. In 2005, he was nominated for “The Young Australian for the Year Award”.
He has his own television show and has written a book “Life Without Limbs: Inspirations for a Ridiculously Good Life as published in 2010. In this same year, the short film “The Butterfly Circus” won the Best Short Film award in Hollywood and Nick winning the Best Actor in a short film.
At the early part of his life, Nick,
... blamed God for his disability.
... blamed his parents for bringing him into this world.
... made his disability an excuse and lived a miserable life.
This choice made his life a curse! It was only when Nick decided to take ownership and responsibility for his life that he converted it to a wonderful blessing. Now he is a powerful motivational speaker. He life, changes lives. His disability is now a blessing. It is now a challenge to all of us who have full limbs and arms that we can achieve our dreams.
Life Reframe -- Be Pro-Active
In Greek, the meaning of pro-active is two words:
Pro-active is forward action. Our choice for a blessing needs forward action. No action automatically results in a curse. That is why winners have a bias for action.
I like, what Stephen Covey said in seven Habits, pro-active people are responsible people. Responsible means:
Response – Ability
For any stimulus or event, we have the ability to respond. Jack Canfield further gave a nice formula in his book Success Principles to explain being pro-active:
Events are anything that happens in our life, a blessing or a curse, good things or bad things. Sunny or stormy day. A good boss or bad boss, good health or sickness. The rise or fall of the stock market or economy. Anything that is outside of our influence is an event.
Our response will determine the outcome or result. The result can be a blessing or a curse. Here are two more stories of people who chose to make it a blessing despite the events
Deliver Medicine despite Riots?
In May 1998 in Jakarta, Indonesia, there were riots in the whole of greater Jakarta. Many fell victim as mobs looted shops, burned cars, stores. Any vehicle that went out to the street was looted and burned by the protesters.
During those times, I was leading a large pharmaceutical distribution company and calls from hospitals came asking for life-saving medicine to be delivered. It was a great dilemma. How can we deliver the medicines because, for sure our trucks will be burned and looted as they leave, however, the hospitals badly needed the medicines.
Using principles of E + R = O, creativity prevailed and an ingenious plan was coined by the team. We asked the hospitals to send their ambulance to pick up the medicines from our warehouses. This enables us to deliver despite the riots!
How do we Sustain a Pro-Active Mindset?
Nick had difficult situations and yet they were able to sustain positive action each day and change their lives. How did they do it ? What was the formula? I propose a formula can explain our behavior. A formula is simple and simple to understand. It goes like this:
Our action or behavior is dependent upon our state of mind and body, the values and beliefs that we have and our capability in terms of skills and applied knowledge (wisdom) to do it.
How do we use this formula?
This formula can help us reflect. It is a simple way to systematically find out which of the four areas is preventing us from changing our action or behavior.
Is it the state of our mind/emotion or physical health?
Is it our beliefs preventing us from change?
Is it our values?
Is it our capability?
In our next articles, we shall now learn more NLP techniques to manage our state, optimize our values and beliefs and make us learn 3X faster by using our subconscious mind.
Learn more from Jojo Apolo in our upcoming Performance Leadership Workshop on 27 Feb to 01 March and 8-10 October in Singapore or 01-03 July in KL, Malaysia. While, we are running Leapfrog Your Business & Yourself Seminar on March 7-9 and June 7-9 in Manila, Philippines or November 1-3 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Both courses include NLP Basic Practitioners Certification Course.
About the Author Jojo Apolo. Asia’s Revenue Breakthrough Leader. Author. Public Speaker. NLP Master Trainer. His passion is to help people and businesses get what they want by teaching Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). He managed major FMCG companies in Indonesia and start-ups in the brink to become profitable. He developed the New Breakthrough Selling Advantage for Sales Professionals using NLP that has resulted in doubling a business from USD 500 million to USD 1 billion in 3 years. He established a 500,000 direct outlet coverage via 300 distribution networks with real-time sales & stock systems. He pioneered the use of IPAD’s for salesmen, use creative “Quantum Sales” games and established same-day delivery service guarantees for pharma products. He has given numerous seminars on sales, personal & spiritual development in Southeast Asia. He is a certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP from the National Federation of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, USA and the American Union of NLP, USA, Certified NLP Practitioner Trainer of NLP Academy, UK under John Grinder co-creator of NLP. He spearheads the REFORM program for Drug Rehabilitation across the Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Health and numerous religious organizations. He is the author of the book “Be Free from Painful Memories and Traumas in 30 minutes, 7-Step New Breakthrough Selling Advantage, i-Thrive: 7 Keys to a Fruitful Life and co-author with Dr. Romy Paredes of Awaken the Doctor in You.