5 Tips on How To Get More Out Of Life (from a man born without limbs) This week’s “Coffee with Colm”​

Born without any limbs – can you imagine?

That’s how it was for Nick Vujicic; born with no arms and no legs meaning that his was one of the toughest starts imaginable.

I was talking with two groups of teens during the week; one aged 14/15 years, the other 16/17 and we were discussing their futures, entering a world that is changing at a rate of knots, where the likelihood is they will have up to 10 careers because the only constant they will know is change itself.

Our conversation led into a handful of things I felt they should consider as they experience second-level education in preparation for life ahead and as it did I was reminded of Nick and what he taught us from stage at Pendulum Summit in Dublin a few weeks ago.

To find out what lessons I took from Nick’s story, a variation on which I passed on to the next generation, watch the short video (3:51), listen to the podcast (3:51), or read on below…

Nick Vujicic, born into an unforgiving world with no limbs was fortunate to have been born to parents who, upon realising they wouldn’t always be around to look after his needs, decided not to molly-coddle him and pushed him at every opportunity to figure things out for himself. He shared with us five lessons that he has put to very good use in his 36 years.

Lesson 1: Be more grateful. Most of us have more in good stuff in our lives than bad; but where do most of us focus most of our attention? I believe we have a tendency as human beings to spend time wallowing and bemoaning those handful of elements which are not as perfect as we’d like them to be. In doing son we are missing the point completely in relation to the vast swathes of our life for which many others would feel blessed.

Lesson 2: You don’t know what you can achieve until you try. How’s that for a truism? Perhaps in this next week you might stretch yourself and try something outside your comfort zone? Have you always wanted to try something? As a friend of mine, Pat Slattery, asks, “When, now, is a good time to do it?”

Lesson 3: When (not if) you fail, get back up. You are going to fail at something – make peace with that fact – and since you are going to fail, fail early, the get back up and go again. Can you imagine how rare a golfing hole in one is? Yet most people start new careers, new businesses, new relationships on the largely false premise that this is the one, this is it, I’m sorted now! When (not if) you fail, get back up!

Lesson 4: Failure is education. Sometimes I win and sometimes I learn! The professional sports teams out there don’t suck their thumbs and go home crying to Mammy if they don;t put enough points on the board to ‘win’ the game; instead they go back to the dressing room, lick their wounds and watch video footage to see what they can learn about their performance that they can improve so they have the best shot at winning next time out. Sometimes I win and sometimes I learn. Failure is education.

Lesson 5: Obstacles are not barriers. The Universe wants you to live the life of your dreams; no question, but it will test your worthiness of same. That’s it’s job! Remember those Lotto ads of a few years ago, showing various eejits living the millionaire lifestyle, tempting you and I to buy a ticket, otherwise it might be them? (I never did by the way). In a similar way, a dream lifestyle can be achieved but only by way of overcoming the obstacles life (the Universe) must throw in your way to ensure, should it grant your wishes, that said life is in good hands. Obstacles are not barriers.

Quick recap:

  1. Be more grateful
  2. You don’t know what you can achieve until you try
  3. When (not if) you fail, get back up
  4. Failure = education
  5. Obstacles are not barriers.


Thanks for thinking with me.

Yours truly.


Watch | Listen | Read | Think.

Did you enjoy that? Fancy a sip of some of my recent “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:

  • 4 Lessons we can learn from Jim Warny – one of the heroes of the Thai Cave Rescue – click here.
  • Mind The Gap (Or what Ruby Wax taught us from the Pendulum Stage) – click here.
  • An Admiral Never Makes Suggestions! (Or how to coach your reports to make better decisions) – click here.

HIRE ME TO SPEAK. Consider me speaking at your event, launch, awards, or as your after-dinner keynote. Find out more here.

WORK WITH ME OR THE COBM | SOUNDING BOARD TEAM. Need help with your business? Check out the areas I and The Sounding Board of trusted experts can assist with. Find out more here.

FREE AUDIO BOOK. If would like a complimentary copy of my book “Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks” in audio, narrated by yours truly so you get all the nuances, feel free to grab one here.

DEEP DIVE. If you would like to go deeper in your own personal journey, you can review the first step in my “12 Steps to Create the Life You Really Want” for FREE. Check it out here.

LinkedIn. Perhaps the thing to do right now is simply to hook up professionally on LinkedIn – if that’s of interest, click here.

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2 Responses to “5 Tips on How To Get More Out Of Life (from a man born without limbs) This week’s “Coffee with Colm”​”
  1. Kevin

    Insightful as ever Colm, thankyou for your continued words of wisdom, and motivation.

    Regards Kevin

    • Colm O'Brien

      Thank you Kevin. It’s my pleasure ‘thinking out loud’ – delighted it helps at times. Stay well and stay in touch. Colm

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