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Niek van den Adel

International speaker on resilience

This is not another story about someone who gets into an accident and sees the light.

This is Niek’s story. A story about love, resilience, power, a puppy, inclusivity, perseverance, humour and success. Aged 28, Niek van den Adel takes a nosedive while riding his motorcycle. It causes paraplegia, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. Plus something extra: he has a syrinx, a cavity within the spinal cord that continuously threatens the body parts that do still work.

According to Niek, paraplegia and a syrinx are the perfect combination for only the toughest guys. But as long as you can live with it, you’d better do so, he says. And in that case, you’d better do it good. So five years later, he is married to his occupational therapist, has become dad of twins, has a house being built, delivers speeches to thousands of people as a facilitator and motivator, teaches senior-level executives about learning from failures, resilience and writes an insanely popular blog. His motto: happiness is not in your legs.


Niek takes his audience on a journey you will never forget. How do you (re) find your purpose when you lose everything? What can we learn from our failures? How can you still achieve all your dreams although life seems to work against you? In this inspiring Keynote Niek will share his lessons on resistance to resilience, which he believes, might also be the formula for a fulfilled and happy life. There’s no question about it; you will feel motivated and inspired after this storyteller.

Spreker Niek van den Adel

“Niek’s stories lasted months in our organization” - Unilver Netherlands

5 success factors in resilience

As a resilience speaker, Niek likes to share his 5 success factors, researches and all his experience that he gained from researching people and companies, so that you can get started right away tomorrow. He talks about resilient people, the adaptability of teams and agile organizations. Changes, stress or setbacks can throw us off balance and it doesn’t matter whether that happens at work or at home. A coffee machine is moved, your partner has invited friends home without consultation, your four-legged friend has pooped in the house (also without consultation). Resilience is moving along with change. It’s a muscle you can train and Niek teaches you how.

Accept what you cannot change, change what you cannot accept.

It ensures that you remain the owner of your own future. “As long as I breathe, I can handle any problem in my life.” That is what Niek wishes you the most. That you are strong enough to dance with the ups and downs in your life.

Imagine: You and your company embrace all change, because you know it brings you purpose and a fulfilling life at the end. You turn every setback into an opportunity, you no longer know resistance, because you understand that the change that determines your happiness is not the company you work for. No, that’s really you!

"Those who want to be successful must have some bad luck." - Niek van den Adel