Monday is the hardest day of the week for many people. But only because so many people unfortunately are clocking into jobs that they simply tolerate or downright despise.

We all need something to pump us up, a morale booster that will set us off on the right course for the days ahead.

And that is what I hope the story of Nick Santonastasso will do for you.

Nick is 12-years-old.

But unlike us, he was born with a rare disorder that affects only 11 other people on earth.

So Nick was born with no legs and only one arm with a single finger attached at the end of it.

His parents could have fallen into a depression as many parents would have under such stark adversity.

But they didn't. They decided they would not treat their son differently. And that decision has paid off beautifully all these years later.

Nick, himself, could have fallen into a deep depression, too. Imagine facing life as difficult as it can be...and without three of your limbs.

Most of us would be tempted to curse God and the universe and collapse deep within ourselves.

But Nick was raised that "anything's possible" and he has lived that mindset. He has played football and baseball. He can do a headstand on a skateboard. He can type on a computer and even play the drums.

And he even helps in the kitchen!

How many of YOUR kids help in the kitchen?? How many of US wake up with the love for life that Nick does??

The answer is: not enough, unfortunately.

Our excuses? I'm too poor. Too overweight. I'm not pretty enough. Smart enough. That stuff happens for OTHER people, but never for me. I'll take the chance later...just not today.

Unlike us, Nick has REAL excuses if he wanted to use them. Hmmm. I can't play baseball because I HAVE NO LEGS AND ONLY ONE ARM AND ONE FINGER!!

Shouldn't we feel a little silly now when we come up with our endless excuses each day? Hasn't Nick taught us that we should get off our unmotivated behinds and DO SOMETHING!! Take action!! And do it NOW!!

Ever see severely handicapped people with GIANT smiles? Ever stop and wonder sometimes how it is that someone facing such enormous adversity could find the will to be HAPPY??

Shame on us. They are happier than we are, really, even as we run around with two healthy legs. Why? Because they believe in themselves ultimately more than we believe in ourselves. They are at peace with life, something most of us only strive for but rarely achieve on any given day.

Nick recently entered an art contest for which he drew a large tree. "The roots of a family are..." were written above the tree. And below the tree?


The one simple word that makes everything possible. Love of family. Love of life. Love in the belief that anything's possible.

Because as young Nick has proven to all of us, it really is true.

Next time the kids or your spouse of a friend complain about something, share with them the story of Nick Santonstasso. They should stop the complaining very, very quickly.

Life is what you make of it. So make it EXTRAORDINARY!