They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Indeed, life’s bumps and bruises teach valuable skills and strengthen character. As a teenager, disc jockey Tom Nash contracted a disease that resulted in a quadruple amputation. After an arduous journey relearning how to use his hooks and prostheses to do even the simplest tasks, Nash emerged full of optimism for life and with a renewed appreciation for the benefits of managing adversity. With dry wit and self-deprecating humor, he explains how tribulations build character, boost creative problem-solving abilities and promote considered risk taking.


Adversity can provide several unexpected benefits.

Children often mistake disc jockey Tom Nash for a pirate. He contracted an acute disease at the age of 19 and required a quadruple amputation. Nash ended up with two hook hands and two prosthetic legs. The ailment also left scars on his face. When curious kids ask if he’s a pirate, Nash playfully replies, “Yes!” Rather than bemoan his fate, Nash has come to understand that in many ways, his disability has been beneficial. His physical limitations force him to view his problems from a fresh vantage point. For example, when he was relearning how to walk, he could no longer step up a curb straight on as he had done previously. After days of failed attempts, it occurred to him to stand perpendicular to the curb and use his hip mobility to hoist his leg. It worked.

As a youngster, Nash...

About the Speaker

Tom Nash is the founder of a successful entertainment business and is a sought-after international speaker.

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