You’ve been part of something IMPORTANT.

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Wow.

Let’s say that again: Wow.

I’ve mentioned before on my main blog that my mission statement in life is “To do cool shit with cool people.” And I’d just like to say that the Badass Project conference, which we held for free last Thursday and Friday, was the perfect embodiment of that mission.

If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. We hosted 18 speakers — folks who are some of the best, smartest, most badass thinkers online. The conference itself was like putting on a rock concert. It was like riding a rocket sled down a hill. We switched presenters every 20 minutes and the time absolutely flew. I was inspired and on a high the entire time, and that feeling has persisted. If you were there, I’ll bet you felt the same way. [Read more...]

The Badass Project conference is January 26th & 27th. 18 speakers. Online. Totally free.

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So you like the idea of being a badass? You’re sold on badassery? You admire people who are badasses, and you want to become more badass yourself?

Are you sold on the idea that excuses suck, that most excuses are bullshit, and that the minute we learn to master our own true abilities is the minute our lives become amazing and virtually unlimited?

Well, lucky you. By joining us online for the Badass Project Conference 2012, you can immerse yourself in an insane amount of badassery — taught by 18 amazing speakers — for FREE.

Here are the details on the conference.

So, I just want to make sure we’re clear about this.

This is virtual (online), meaning that you can attend from anywhere with an internet connection.

18 amazing who believe in our cause are joining us: Leo Babauta, Carole Brown, Brian Clark, Jonathan Fields, Charlie Gilkey, Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz, Matt Glowaki, Seth Godin, Joe Hall, Thor Holt, Warren MacDonald, Anissa Mayhew, Jon Morrow, Amber “Miss Destructo” Osborne, Amber Rae, Julien Smith, John Unger, and Tommy Walker.

They’ll be speaking about topics that will help you achieve your maximum level of badass… things like getting through fear, overcoming resistance, and eliminating excuses.

And IT’S ALL FREE.

Check it out, then block off the time on your calendar. You absolutely don’t want to miss this.

We’ve put together something I’m very, very proud to be a part of. I hope you’ll join us.

Do what matters and quit your pointless crap

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My son Austin is seven. He likes to play any game involving Mario, whose last name is apparently Mario because he’s one of the “Mario Brothers.” Or “Mario Bros.” if you’re a purist.

Every time Austin faces a challenge that gives him trouble, like passing levels and unlocking characters in the Mario games, he gets all pissed off. And so his defense mechanism is to announce that it’s just too hard, and that he’s never going to be able to do it.

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Things are now more badass at The Badass Project

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Let me tell you a story.

The story begins with the small spark of an idea: to profile amazing disabled people who refused to settle for what life and society wanted to give them. We wanted to spotlight people who were awesome, and who lived their lives without excuses. By doing so, we hoped to get others (disabled or not) off of their own lazy asses. We wanted to get them to stop making lame excuses and to take command of their own lives.

But something happened. You can’t always control how people will interpret your message, and we found that our visitors were getting us wrong in two big ways:

1. People thought we were a charity

and

2. People who visited this site (that would be people like yourself) watched the interviews and thought, “Wow, these people are cool!” but then went right back to what they were doing without getting the message: that the story they’d seen wasn’t just a feel-good spark to interrupt the tedium of their day. They didn’t realize that it was, in fact, their own story.

This project set out to inspire action, but all we were inspiring was video-watching.

See, this isn’t a charity site. It’s not a disability site, either. This is a “living without excuses” site. The disabilities here aren’t the primary things. The primary things are the big old excuses that aren’t being used.

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Angela Irick – Fashion Designer, Women’s Advocate

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Angela Irick, here’s what you should know about Angela…

At age 14, Angela Irick was a normal teenager until a spinal cord injury from a car accident left her a quadriplegic.  On a ventilator for nearly a year, her recovery was a long, arduous process with uncertain results.  But her determination – even at such a young age – was stronger than any prognosis given to her by medical professionals.

“I was told I wouldn’t eat, breathe, hold my head up, much less take steps on my own ever again,” she reveals.  “And I said, ‘Watch me.’”

[Read more...]

Matt Glowacki – Diversity speaker

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Matt Glowacki, here’s what you should know about Matt…

Although Matt Glowacki was born without legs, it doesn’t seem to slow him down very much.  By his senior year of high school, he had earned the rank of Eagle Scout – the highest rank in Scouting, served as the Governor of the State of Wisconsin’s Key Club District, and managed his own business.  Matt went on to study at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he played wheelchair basketball and developed and administered a community awareness program entitled, “What It Takes: Cornerstones for Success.”

Today, Matt is a “Diversity Professional,” touring the country and giving presentations to audiences of all ages about three sectors that are of particular interest to him: “able-ism,” “look-ism,” and racism.  He helps audiences understand – particularly younger ones – the dangers of the words we use in labeling others, and that we all are very similar despite what we might look like on the outside.

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Sean Stephenson – Speaker, author, and coach

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Sean Stephenson, here’s what you should know about Sean…

Sean Stephenson has done more in 31 years than many do in twice that amount of time.  A coach, an author, a therapist, a speaker, he’s managed to forge careers in many disciplines, following his life’s purpose of trying to “rid the world of insecurities.”  It’s a daunting task.  But nothing seems too daunting for a man who wasn’t even supposed to be here.  Born with a rare body disease called osteogenesis imperfecta, Sean’s outlook was grim from the very beginning.

“The doctors told my parents at my birth that I was going to die within the first evening,” he says.  “And my parents just didn’t accept that.  It’s not that they were in denial that I had this condition, they just were not liking the prognosis.  So they thought, ‘We’ve got nothing to lose by praying, and being there and comforting him and holding him,’ and so my family rallied behind me at that young age.  And they continued and still do to this day.”

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Lorelle Chorkey – Survivor

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Lorelle Chorkey, here’s what you should know about Lorelle…

In the early morning hours of February 10th, 2002, a disgruntled young man broke into the home of an ex-girlfriend’s parents and attacked them.  The mother, Lorelle Chorkey, was shot – first in the chest and later through the head.  The stepfather was stabbed repeatedly.  While the intruder fought with her husband on the back deck of the house, Lorelle managed to place a call to 911.  When help arrived, Lorelle was found clinging to life.  Her husband, sadly, did not survive.

Lorelle spent the next 2 to 3 weeks in a coma.  When she awoke, she faced paralysis on the left side of her body and suffered from homonymous hemianopsia – partial loss of vision in both eyes.  While survival itself was nothing short of miraculous, the true test of faith, she says, was making it through the arduous recovery process.

“It was like crawling through a tube lined with razor blades it was so painful,” she says.  “I kept pushing ahead, a fraction of an inch at a time to find a way out of the darkness.  But it was so painful – yea, excruciating.  But I just kept pushing.”

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Brian Shaughnessy – Advocate, humorist, and squeaky wheel

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Brian Shaughnessy, here’s what you should know about Brian…

Brian Shaughnessy’s life story reads like an unbelievable novel.  At 14 years old, he was hit by a car and left to die in a ditch.  It took a month in the hospital to recover.  At 16, he received a $50,000 settlement.  When he was 24, he began experiencing numbness in his right finger and thumb.  In a month it had spread up his arm.  Medical testing revealed a growing cyst in his spinal canal and he was told by doctors that he needed surgery to remove it or he’d face paralysis. When he awoke from surgery, he discovered the procedure that was supposed to actually prevent the worst-case scenario may have exacerbated it.  Brian was paralyzed.

“Those first two to four years after breaking your neck or becoming quadriplegic – man, those are bleak, just awful times,” he says.  “But for my family, my girlfriend at the time, my friends, and my spirituality, I wouldn’t be here to talk about it now.  I’d have eaten a hundred valium and said, ‘Nevermind.’”

[Read more...]

Todd Thompson – Motocross racer

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Todd Thompson, here’s what you should know about Todd…

Todd Thompson grew up in a family of motorcycle enthusiasts, so a career in motocross seemed a very natural path for him.  On his first motorcycle at the age of 2, Todd spent his childhood riding and going to races with his father near their home in Northern California.  But an accident in 1998 at the age of nineteen derailed his budding career and put the inherent dangers of the sport in a new perspective.

During a race, a spill on a poorly-lit turn caused Todd to catch himself and come down on his right leg, shattering it completely.  After two weeks in the hospital, he and his medical team were faced with a harrowing decision.  They could keep trying to repair the leg with an unknown number of surgeries, with little guarantee it would work and with a real chance of infection setting it, risking the health of more than just the leg.  Or, they could amputate.  Todd chose the latter.

[Read more...]