Example that Choosing to Live is Better!

I was combing through the BBC Website when I came across an article that caught my eye. It was something familiar to me, in a sense, because I had heard a little bit about this man who does amazing things despite what most people would call “A major handicap”. You see, the man in question is Nick Vujicic; otherwise known as “The man without limbs”.

If you’ve ever had an injury to your arm or leg, you know how helpless you feel and how you constantly want to curse your bad luck. You just can’t wait till the day the doctor declares that you are healed. Now stop for a second and imagine having never had those hands or legs. How would you even survive?


Nick Vujicic’s Story

Nicholas James Vujicic was born with a physical disability which doctors admitted was very rare. He has therefore lived the whole 32 years of his life without arms or legs.

Not many people would have made it through all those years without – what many people feel are – the necessary tools for survival in an already difficult world. Indeed, not even young Nick expected to survive with the reality of his life. He was born “different” and despite all the love he received from his family and friends, he already felt disadvantaged. This cloud of negativity hung over him for a long time and he became depressed. At only 10 years of age, he attempted to commit suicide. Thankfully, he failed.

The struggle to cope with his physical, mental and emotional struggle took a great toll on the young man as it would for many of us. Though life offered him moments of joy, it was the bad moments which really weighed heavily on him. Therefore, he tried to commit suicide a few more times. Thankfully, again, he failed each time.

At age 17, he was inspired to become a public speaker and it was during his first attempt that a sobbing girl’s gratitude changed his outlook on life. As Nick says in one of his websites attitudeisaltitude.com, “I realized that we all need love and hope and that I was in a unique position to share that with people around the world”.

Choosing Your Attitude toward Life


Nick now has several organizations such as LifeWithoutLimbs and AttitudeisAltitude which seek to help people in their lives through inspiration and by providing perspective. It is by no means a stretch to say that Nick Vujicic has helped millions of people. After all, how would you respond if someone handicapped was doing more in his life than you were with all your limbs and faculties intact? Yet, here is Nick, who can swim, type, speak in front of thousands of people, and even goes sky diving. He is happily married and has a child, just like any “normal” person.

Nick’s circumstances would have overwhelmed many people but he chose to have a positive attitude even when negative thoughts threatened to derail his life.

Many people give up when life continually throws obstacles their way. No one can stand in another man’s shoes and claim they would respond positively to any negative circumstances. The interesting thing though, is that positive attitudes and unshakeable willpower trump life’s obstacles any time.

It is difficult when dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide. But as Nick Vujicic shows, your life is important. Just like him, you can turn your negative circumstances into a story that can inspire others to choose life over death.

Just from following Nick’s example, you can lay claim to the attitude that the future holds something positive for your life. So choose life today!


Negative Thoughts That Lead to Suicide Pt.1

We have all perhaps come across comments from those who attempted suicide and survived. Those comments go a little bit like this:

“I felt that it would be for the best if I just died.”

“It’s all my fault; I deserve to die.”

“No one is going to miss me anyway.”

You get the idea.

Some of these statements are usually borne from frustration, trauma and mental health issues such as depression.

It could be heard from someone who was isolated; someone who did not have any support system to see them through whatever crisis was engulfing their lives.

The statements could be from someone who had given up. Someone who had tried everything to succeed in life but things never worked out as they had been envisioned.

All these thoughts, frustrations, traumas, and mental health diseases lead to this one question: What is the point of living?

What is Really Going On?

All things in life emanate from the cradle of our minds. Our minds are powerful, and we rise and fall depending on whether our thoughts are positive or negative. At the root of all suicides, there is a pattern of negative thoughts that precede them.

Here are some of the thoughts that are prevalent:

  1. “No one loves me”

We all – in different ways – crave love from those close to our hearts. Unfortunately, sometimes we feel that our love is unrequited. It’s such a painful feeling to bear. In turn, we might start harbouring thoughts of how unworthy of love we are. It seems as though we don’t exist; we are all alone.

Those who have been in this situation will understand how easy it is to crawl back to the ‘safety’ of our minds and isolate ourselves from the unloving world. No one is ever wise to the shadows that lurk in the mind though. As much as our mind is a creative force, it can also be an all-consuming power.

As author Christopher Paolini once said, “The monsters of the mind are far worse than those that actually exist.”

Insidiously, the mind will ravage its victim every waking moment till there is only one possible way out: Suicide.

The Truth: Sometimes people don’t know how to express love. Others think it is enough to tell someone that they love them. The reality is that what you do and how someone else feels is always the difference. You can show love to someone but they don’t feel it.

There is a saying that “If you want love, then, you should give love.” Fight the urge to retreat to the recesses of your mind. Branch out and seek out people you can show love. Tell those around you that you’ve been feeling unloved and you will see them make attempts to show you love. Give them a chance to love you the way you feel you need to be loved. Love someone else the way you desire to be loved.

In life, the intangible things we yearn for are never given out to us; we learn them. If you want patience, you will have to learn to be patient with someone who makes you want to pull your hair out. If you want love, you will unfortunately have to go through a painful process to learn what love is.

As author and self-help expert, Stephen Richards, once said, “It sometimes takes a state of solitude to bring to mind the real power of companionship.”

But when you do learn, you will be better for it. Your life will be better for it. So give love and give life a chance.

  1. “No one will miss me”

One of the negative thoughts that lead to suicide is based on the idea that no one cares what happens to you. In truth, people spend most of their time dealing with their own struggles to the point that they don’t notice what other people are going through.

We are all different. There are those who seem capable of dealing with any problem plaguing their lives. For others, however, the breaking point comes sooner rather than later. What may seem like a minor problem to you can appear to others as an overwhelming mountain of pain. As you know, when you get to that point in life when you can only see obstacles instead of solutions, then you are in big trouble.

This “no one cares” mentality is at the heart of many problems in life. It is the basis for the R U OK? Campaign. The campaign is about asking people to make an effort to listen and share with others in order to establish whether there are those who are not coping well with the pressures of life.

Many people suffer in silence. When suicidal thoughts enter your mind, you look around and think to yourself, “If anyone cared about me, they would know how much pain I’ve been in recently.” Hence it leads to a simplistic portrayal in the mind that: If no one cares then no one will miss me.

Bad Analogy

The Truth: The saying that, “You don’t know what you have until you lose it” applies to not only things, but also to people. In our world today, we are faced with multiple distractions and responsibilities that it gets to the point where we don’t give as much time to the people we love as we should.

I’d wager that if everyone was asked, they would probably say that they can do better in terms of spending more quality time with their friends and loved ones. But everyone reverts to the excuse that there is just not enough time.

The pain of losing a loved one takes a great toll on people. Every day, you wish you could get just a few minutes with that person for one last time. The feelings of guilt are overwhelming; you pore over every moment in your life that you could have spent more time with your loved one but didn’t.

If you ever get to a point in life where you feel that no one would miss you if you died, then take a moment and rethink it. Then rethink it again and again and again till the only other option you have is to ask those people to their faces whether they would miss you. And, God forbid, if they ever said they would not miss you, then there is someone in your future that you are meant to meet who will have lost the opportunity to know you, to love you and to care for you the way you would want. Your actions now will affect many lives in the future.

You are here in this world for a reason. Everything you do impacts many lives across the world in imperceptible ways. The world is already different because you are here. You the individual. You are IMPORTANT!

Even if the people closest to you don’t see your value, you are valuable to the world. You have something to contribute. Even if it takes time for you to discover what that contribution is, eventually you will make a difference to someone’s life. The world is already different because you are here. You are important!

To be continued…

Interesting Quotes on Mental Health

As one of you pointed out recently when I posted the quotes on life and suicide, I did not mention mental health and highlight its importance. Many people are suffering silently in our world. The major stresses such as work, relationships, and access to basic needs, have pushed many into depression. But there is a more sinister threat, though, one that is rarely mentioned when people turn to suicide to alleviate their suffering: Mental health.



Here are some quotes on mental health:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

World Health Organization

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.”

Bill Clinton

The problem with the stigma around mental health is really about the stories that we tell ourselves as a society. What is normal? That’s just a story that we tell ourselves.

Matthew Quick

Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with.

Adam Ant

Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness.

Louise Hart

If you look at suicides, most of them are connected to depression. And the mental health system just fails them. It’s so sad. We know what to do. We just don’t do it.

Rosalynn Carter

We take our kids for physical vaccinations, dental exams, eye checkups. When do we think to take our – our son or daughter for a mental health check-up?

Gordon Smith

Mental health is often missing from public health debates even though it’s critical to wellbeing.

Diane Abbott

I was one of those people who put too much emphasis on work and career and material possessions, and it took its toll on all my relationships, on my physical health, my emotional and mental health.

Tony Shalhoub

There are so many clichés associated with mental health – such as the ‘fine line between lunacy and genius’ – which are, on the whole, a load of rubbish.

Jo Brand

“About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.”
C.G. Jung

Here is an unlikely one from Shakespeare’s book:

“Macbeth: How does your patient, doctor?

Doctor: Not so sick, my lord, as she is troubled with thick-coming fancies that keep her from rest.
Macbeth: Cure her of that! Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with some sweet oblivious antidote cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon her heart.
Doctor: Therein the patient must minister to himself.”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth

“What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it if it comes.”

Raymond Cramer

I have long recognized a link between fitness and mental health and I think we need to encourage young people to take part in sports and team activities because we know it has such positive results.

Tipper Gore

The last two quotes give a call to action and highlight what role we can play (very important):

“It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.”

Steve Maraboli

I’m convinced that we can shape a different future for this country as it relates to mental health and as it relates to suicide.

David Satcher

Feel free to add any quote on mental health that has touched you in some way. And please don’t shy away from asking someone close to you whether they are okay and if there is anything you can do to help. Sometimes people feel like nobody cares and they have no one to share their problems with. Be that person. A few minutes may help someone get the help they need. It may be a word of encouragement that changes their lives for the better. Or they may really need to go to the hospital to see a specialist. Trust me, getting all the money in the world will not feel as rewarding as saving someone’s life.

You are all welcome to comment on and share this post.







Interesting Quotes on Life and Suicide

There are people who, by virtue of their knowledge or experience, have made statements with a profound impact on society. Through their own life experiences, they have been able to share their thoughts on aspects of life and their views on one’s responsibility to that life. They are not afraid to talk about suicide. They have discussed their beliefs with regard to suicide and what life entails with a quality of speech that is not readily copied.

With a lot of people feeling disillusioned with life and thinking about suicide, perhaps some words may inspire them to see the world with different eyes. Here are some of these thoughts on Life and suicide:

On Suicide:

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Phil Donahue

To run away from trouble is a form of cowardice and, while it is true that the suicide braves death, he does it not for some noble object but to escape some ill.

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.
Albert Camus

“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.”
Albert Camus

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”

“You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be.”

Chuck Palahniuk

“Suicide sometimes proceeds from cowardice, but not always; for cowardice sometimes prevents it; since as many live because they are afraid to die, as die because they are afraid to live”

Charles Caleb Colton

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”

 Ben Okri

le métro se lève

On Life:

Leo Tolstoy

Without knowing what I am and why I am here, life is impossible.

Thomas Edison

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Nelson Mandela

The greatest glory in living lies in not ever falling, but in rising every time we fall.

William Dempster Hoard

Happiness doesn’t depend on what we have, but it does depend on how we feel toward what we have. We can be happy with little and miserable with much.

John Quincy Adams

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

Franklin D Roosevelt

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Don Quixote

Sanity may be madness but the maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be.

Peyton Conway March

There is a wonderful law of nature that the three things we crave most in life – happiness, freedom and peace of mind – are always attained by giving them to someone else.

Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Feel free to add your favourite quote and share!