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What motivates daredevil Nik Wallenda


Nik Wallenda, world record holder acrobat and daredevil


Sarasota, Florida


Nik Wallenda, a member of the seventh generation of the Flying Wallenda acrobatic family, was born to delight audiences. His last stunt was crossing the tightrope over an active volcano in Nicaragua. Although known for his fearlessness, his latest book, Facing Fear, is about his recovery from a pyramid stunt accident that nearly cost him his career and instilled seeds of doubt and fear in his head.

My favorite quote is …

“Life is on the line and everything else is just waiting.” My great-grandfather Karl Wallenda said that in the 1960s. I think everyone is on a wire trying to get to the other side of something in life.

My secret to overcoming fear is …

control my thoughts. If my thoughts want to go to a negative place or a place of fear, I can counteract that negativity with something positive.

The best movie I’ve seen lately is …

The documentary about the social dilemma on Netflix. Part of my book is about cutting out the negativity. We don’t realize that we are constantly feeding garbage into our minds, and we also feed negativity into our minds

My morning routine is …

Immediately read something positive, whether it be a positive book or a scripture from the Bible.

I couldn’t live without the app …

Relax tunes. It’s a monotonous sound that I sleep with. I use it for white noise wherever I am in the world. I can sleep anywhere. I grew up in the circus and lived in a mobile home. There was an air conditioner on the roof. With this buzz, I sleep like a baby before every walk.

In 10 years I hope …

still motivate people. This is the direction my life has gone. This is my passion right now, so I hope I can keep doing it.

I am working towards this 10 year goal by …

Spending time with people in general. When a homeless man is on the street, I go to him and speak to him to hear his story. I love people. How do you motivate people? You spend time with them. Everyone has a story.

People would be surprised to hear from me …

I love physical work. I love to work hard. I have a couple of rental properties and I was on the roof yesterday to do some plumbing on a rental property. My wife would tell you that I am addicted to physical labor.

I define success as …

leave a legacy with positive effects. Our life is short. So when I know that people are still reading my books or quotes, or watching my walks and using them as inspiration, I believe I have lived a full and successful life.

My ‘aha moment’ came when …

When I realized that I could be my worst enemy When I’m depressed, I’m in control of being depressed. When I eat too much, I am in control of what I eat. Or if I’m scared, I can control it. It is not easy. I’m not saying that it is easy and it just happens. But I’m back in control of it.

This article originally appeared in the March / April 2021 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photos courtesy of JNik Wallenda; © Tim Boyles Photography; © c.Cliff Roles

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