People were looking at me, people were pointing their finger at me and laughing.
I was born this way, and no doctor knows why I was born this way. My parents don’t know why I was born this way. Lady Gaga don’t know why I was born this way. In my life, seeing everyone with arms and legs, my brother and sister have arms and legs. I never imagined that I would be happy, but we’ve got to understand that brokenness is brokenness, but hope is hope.
Some people say, “Well, all you need is just to be positive.” Well, it’s easy for you to say, that’s what I’m thinking. People who have arms and legs, it’s easy for you. I just want you to know though that there is something I have come here to prepare a message for you, to let you know that there is hope beyond what you see.
When in life, we have things in life that come and we try to figure out, well, who am I and what am I doing, and what’s my purpose? Is there any purpose at all to my life in the end?
I stand before you without arms and legs telling you right now that I am absolutely not disabled. There is something greater, something greater than the disabilities around you, or the limitations around you. There is HOPE.
Overcoming Hopelessness by Nick Vujicic
His parents fought so much they neglected him, so he spent many years in foster homes as a child. The doctor severed a nerve in his face when he was born, leaving him partially paralyzed with slurred speech. He struggled at school, and was always in trouble. He was expelled from 14 different high schools.
In the early 1970s, he moved to New York City to follow his dream of being an actor, but could only get small parts. He had to work at a zoo cleaning lions’ cages and as an usher at a movie theatre. He was so broke, for 3 weeks he slept at a bus station.
One day, he watched a boxing match that inspired him to write a screenplay about an up-and-coming boxer. He stayed up writing for 20 hours straight and finished the whole screenplay in 3 days.
“It was either do that movie or rob someone, because I was at the very end of my rope.” ~ Sylvester Stallone
When he tried to sell the script, nobody wanted it. He couldn’t afford to feed his dog Butkus, so he sold him for $50 and walked away crying. He had $106 in the bank and his wife was pregnant. He finally met producers who wanted to buy the script but he refused to sell it unless he was allowed to be the main actor. He felt only he could bring the passion the role needed, but the producers wanted a real Hollywood star.
They offered Stallone $125,000 for the script with the condition that he wouldn’t play the lead. He refused, so they offered him $250,000 and then more, for just the script … still he refused. Finally, the producers relented, bought the script and let him star in the movie but only paid him a fraction of their initial offer.
Right after he sold the script, he bought Butkus back for $3000. Rocky won 3 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The Rocky movies have made over $1.4 billion, making it one of the most successful franchises of all time. It is one of the most successful movies in history, making $200 million off of a $1 million budget.
“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving on. That’s how winning is done” ~ Sylvester Stallone
Starting a company is like staring at the abyss and eating glass, and there’s some truth to that. The staring into the abyss part is that you are gonna be constantly facing the extermination of the company, because most start-ups fail. It’s like 90% ~ 99% of start-ups fail. That’s the staring into the abyss part. You’re constantly saying, “if I don’t get this right, the company will die.” Which can be quite stressful.
The eating glass part is, you’ve got to work on the problems that the company needs you to work on, not the problems you want to work on. So you end up working on problems that you really wish you weren’t working on, so that’s the eating glass part.
On the big picture, you know where you’re generally heading for, and the actual path is gonna be some sort of zig-zaggy thing in that direction. Try not to deviate too far from the path that you want to be on, but you’re gonna have to do that to some degree.
You’ll hear something, “Well, I feel fear about this, and therefore I shouldn’t do it.” It’s normal to feel fear. There would have to be something mentally wrong if you didn’t feel fear. I feel it quite strongly. But there are just times when something is important enough, you believe in it enough that you do it in spite of the fear.
FACE YOUR FEARS
His family was so poor, he had to deliver 1300 newspapers a day. Then his father would take away all the money. His brothers ran away because they were fed up with the hardships at home.
~All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me.~
At the age of 19, he started an animation company – his lifelong dream. He failed to sell a single cartoon. His company went bankrupt.
~Everyone falls down. Getting back up is how you learn how to walk.~
He started an animation studio in an old garage. He spent the next 5 years working with no income. In 1928, he finally found success with a short film, but lost the copyright to his own characters. He was crushed. He had nowhere to live and little money for food.
~When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way – implicitly and unquestionably.~
He tried again with a new character, but the audience was not impressed with his film. Still, he made a second film, but he could not find a distributor. Finally, he found success on his third attempt. His character Mickey Mouse became a hit.
~If you can dream it, you can do it.~
He then wanted to make a feature-length animated film, but everybody said it was a bad idea. The movie took three years to make, and cost the equivalent of $25 million today. Disney ran out of money, and had to mortgage his house.
~The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.~
Once released, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” was hailed as a masterpiece. It made the most money of any movie that year – the equivalent of $134million today.
In his life, Walt Disney won 22 Academy Awards, and was nominated 59 times. Both marks stand as records to this day.
~All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.~
She said to me, out of the blue: “I’m the ugliest girl I know.” And I said, “Huh?” And she was like, “Yeah, I look like a boy with long hair.” And my brain went to, “Oh my god, you’re six. Why? Where is this coming from? Who said this? Can I kick a six-year-old’s ass? Like, what?”
I went home and I made a PowerPoint presentation for her. And in that presentation were androgynous rock stars and artists that live their truth, are probably made fun of every day of their life, and carry on and wave their flag and inspire the rest of us. And these are artists like Michael Jackson, and David Bowie, and Freddie Mercury, and Annie Lenox, and Prince, and Janis Joplin, and George Michael, Elton John. So many artists. Her eyes glazed over.
But then I said: “You know, I really want to know why you feel this way about yourself.” And she said: “Well, I look like a boy.”
And I said: “Well, what do you think I look like?” And she said: “Well, you’re beautiful.” And I was like: “Well thanks!” But I said when people make fun of me, that’s what they use. They say that I look like a boy, or I’m too masculine, or I have too many opinions, or my body is too strong.
And I said to her, I said: “Do you see me growing my hair?” She said: “No mama.” I said: “Do you see me changing my body?” “No mama.” “Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?” “No mama.” “Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?” “Yes mama.”
Okay, so, baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl, and we help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty. All of you, thank you for being your true selves and for lighting the way for us. I’m so inspired by you guys. Keep doing it, keep shining for the rest of us to see. And you, my darling girl, are beautiful, and I love you. Thank you guys. Good night!