“If you can’t get a miracle, become one.”
I was born in Melbourne, Australia on December 4th 1982. A very healthy and radiant boy but with an extremely rare condition of autosomal recessive tetra-amelia, which is a where the child has no limbs at all, except feet with just two toes. I was normal in every other way except for my deformity. But who are we to judge what is normal and what is not?
Today I am a motivator. When I turned seventeen, I started delivering speeches in my church group, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, specializing in financial planning and accountancy, from the ‘Griffith University’ in Queensland. I have travelled to more than sixty countries around the world, and spoken to many different people. In 2005, I was able establish an NGO ‘Life without limbs’, which has its headquarters in Agoura Hills, California. I starred in a movie called “Butterfly Circus” which won several awards, which was about a limbless man and how he succeeds in life. I’ve released a DVD of a documentary movie, titled ‘Life’s Greater Purpose’. It’s about my life, how I achieved what I have achieved today and how I’ve never given up. In 2010, I wrote a book ‘Life without limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life’, under the banner of publishing company, ‘Random House’ along with another DVD titled ‘Biography of a Determined Man of Faith’. I’ve also spoken at the ‘World Economic Forum’.
So I’ve told you about some of my key achievements in life. Wonder how lucky I am and how motivated I am? I am a miracle and I am a wonderfully successful limbless man?
It was not easy. Nothing in life is easy. And I wasn’t lucky or motivated my whole life.
When I was young, it was quite difficult for my parents to handle me not having limbs because I couldn’t do anything for myself, nobody would even take me to a school even though I had no problem with my IQ. I didn’t see a purpose for my life, and the age of ten I wanted to end my life. It was the period where I didn’t have a day where I didn’t think about dying. I saw no future and my life was an endless misery. Ultimately how much ever people try to help, it’s all in our hands to survive. To break it through, but you see, I had no purpose. I couldn’t even eat or drink alone or wash my face. I used to curse myself for being born this way and ask god what I did to deserve this treatment. And day after day I saw death. “We’re all looking for something. We’re all looking for hope. Hope you can’t just have just because you were born with hope. No, we’re born with pain. We’re born and live through difficulties.”
We never forget the harsh words we hear. There are many people who have kept wounds within themselves for many years. Words hurt. Bullies can make you want to give up. And I’ve had my fair share of it. The thing is I didn’t have faith. So I tried to give up. At age 10, I tried to drown myself in 6 inches, or 15 centimeters of water, in my home. I told my dad I just wanted to relax, but really, I wanted to end my life. I had enough. I was holding my breath and wanted the water to fill my lungs. I wanted to end all the bullying and teasing. But I thought about my mom and dad crying at my grave along with my brother. I knew they were having trouble with me having no limbs, but should I give them the pain of losing me. I thought I should be the guy even without limbs who never gave up. The thought of not giving pain to my family stopped me from committing suicide that day.
The thing is when you don’t have faith and see a future for yourself; it’s as good as ending your life, like I tried. And the greatest thing is love. When we feel we don’t have enough love we lose the strength to live. I had parents who loved me and encouraged me to be myself no matter what others said. But words can do much because it starts dragging you down. If you are a having a good day and you hear bad words it drags you down. If you are having a bad and you hear worse words you are put in to a worse situation. Nobody cares most of the time. But are they to blame?
You are to blame. There’s always a choice you can make. Either let the pain over take your mind or let it go. Let the bad feelings go away and embrace the good ones. It is in your hands after all. Life was not butterflies and unicorns for me; I had walls built around me which I had to overcome. I had to make my walls, doors; I had to create opportunities for myself.
I can be angry at god for what I didn’t get, or I can be thankful for what I did get. There’s always a choice. So what are you thinking about right now? No matter how many times you’ve been hurt or put down, you have to have faith and stand up.
If I fail, I try again, and again, and again. If YOU fail, are you going to try again? The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. Be the miracle you dream to be, because you can, and have enough potential. It matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?