What’s Within You
The Essential No Barriers Book to Teach our Framework is Here
“What’s Within You Is Stronger Than What’s In Your Way.” No one believes this more than David Shurna and Tom Lillig, cofounders of No Barriers USA. In 2003, they launched this award-winning nonprofit with the mission to help people reach their fullest potential, no matter the obstacles they face. Now, in What’s Within You, they use the proven No Barriers framework to teach you step-by-step how to break through your own challenges and live a driven, purposeful life. This narrative guide will introduce you to world-famous barrier breakers like fellow cofounder Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind person to summit Mt. Everest, and Mandy Harvey, the deaf jazz vocalist whose America’s Got Talent performances captured the hearts of half a billion people.
Despite the barriers—both big and small—that each of us face, we can learn how to push past them, reconnect with our purpose, and unleash the best in ourselves and others.
100% of book proceeds go directly to No Barriers.
Praise for What’s Within You
“This is an incredibly inspiring book; stories of people who refused to give up their dreams despite the daunting obstacles in their way. Each one illustrates “the indomitable human spirit” which I always cite as one of my most profound reasons for hope for humanity’s future. And when you have read it, and been moved and uplifted, you will realize that you too have some of that indomitable spirit and that you too can overcome the barriers that loom ahead in your life.”
–Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE,Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
“How we respond to challenges is the biggest part of life. This book coaches us to tackle our barriers head on and reminds us that what’s within us is stronger than what’s in our way.”
–Lou Holtz, College Football Hall of Fame Coach, Speaker, Author, Analyst, National Champion Head Coach at the University of Notre Dame
“We’ve been fortunate to get to know the No Barriers organization and the many strong and resilient people in the community. Through its inspirational stories and how-to-instruction, this book guides us how to harness our adversity and unleash the full potential of the human spirit.”
–Bob and Lee Woodruff, Peabody and Emmy-award winning ABC News correspondent, authors, speakers, founders of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
“For years, I’ve seen these No Barriers principles change lives – from veterans to kids to corporate leaders. If you’re ready to embrace your quest for purpose no matter what is in your way then this book is for you!”
–Jamie Moldafsky, Chief Marketing Officer – Wells Fargo Bank
“No Barriers serves as a map and compass to navigate through storms and reach the Summits in our lives. It’s also a fast-growing movement,
showing us the power of Roping Up with great people to shatter barriers and Elevate the world. I know this book will help you tell your own powerful story and create a No Barriers Life.”
“No Barriers is an embodiment of inspiration, hope and perseverance. This book shares in depth how everyone can recognize the power they have to make a positive impact on the world, no matter who you are or what challenges you may face, and that’s what I love the most about the No Barriers message.”
– Maya Penn, Oprah Supersoul 100 Entrepreneur, CEO of Maya’s Ideas
“What’s Within You is a must read for anyone wanting to lead a purposeful, integrated life. The stories are compelling and serve to highlight the timeless, practical and life changing No Barriers concepts.”
–Greg Brenneman, Board Chair of Home Depot and former Chairman, CEO, President and/or COO of Quiznos Sub, Burger King, PwC Consulting and Continental Airlines. Executive Chairman of CCMP Capital.
Read More/Less Praise
-“The philosophy of No Barriers is interchangeable with the principles of what it means to be a TeamUSA athlete. I know the stuff in this book works because it unlocked an inferno inside me I never knew existed, and made me into a Paralympian! The single greatest regret I have in life, is that I didn’t find the No Barriers mindset sooner.”
–Billy Lister III, Paralympic Road & Track Cyclist
“I have always loved the No Barriers message and have been fortunate to attend many of their events. I know their programs transform lives for the better and this book delivers just as powerfully. Now more than ever, we need books like this one, to remind us that even in the face of tremendous obstacles, we must harness our challenges and unleash the power of the human spirit to unlock our infinite self.”
–Kyle Maynard, 2-time ESPY award winner and author of the New York Times bestseller No Excuses
“No Barriers challenges us to believe in a future that does not yet exist. And this book gives us the confidence to know we can get there.”
–Dr. Hugh Herr, Time Magazine’s Leader of the Bionic Age, MIT Professor and founder of BionX
This book teaches us to look deep within ourselves to find our strength, resilience and purpose. It shows us how to turn our big challenges into our biggest triumphs. Being a part of No Barriers has changed my life and I know people will be positively impacted by this book.
–Mandy Harvey, Award-winning deaf singer, songwriter and motivational speaker. Mandy’s performances on America’s Got Talent have been watched by over 500 million people.
““There are a few moments in my life I will never forget, and my first introduction to No Barriers is definitely one of them. I was at my first No Barrier Summit. I was surrounded by people who were blind, deaf, missing limbs—every sort of classic ‘disability’ you could imagine. Now imagine getting my ass and ego handed to me throughout the weekend while these same people outdid me in every competition and challenge we were presented. I quickly learned—and will never forget—that ‘what is within you is stronger than what is in your way.’ I preach and believe that nothing is impossible. The people of No Barriers and the lessons of this book demonstrate what it means to truly overcome your own impossible, and live a life with No Barriers.
-Mick Ebeling, one of Fortune Magazine’s Top 50 World’s Greatest Leaders and founder of Not Impossible Labs
“My work with No Barriers consistently reminds me that our greatest struggles may in fact be our greatest strengths–and give us the ability to create meaningful change in ourselves and the world. This book is a true testament that no matter how dark it may seem, the light of the human spirit conquers all.”
–Katie Hnida, author, speaker, first woman to play and score points in an NCAA Football game
This book captures the spirit of hope, possibility and courage that I feel we should all live by. It’s both inspirational and practical, providing powerful tools to help each of us break through the barriers we face. Love it.
–Luis Gallardo. Former Global CMO for Deloitte. Founder of the World Happiness Fest
The great Sir Winston Churchill once remarked that courage is the first of human qualities for it is the one that insures all the rest. In this book you will read of true courage embodied in the No Barriers philosophy – the courage to face down Adversity, the courage to overcome ones doubts and fears, and the courage to do what others tell you cannot be done. Here you will find inspiration – and lessons for a lifetime.”
–Dr. Donald Morel, Chairman and CEO (retired) West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.
This book is one of the most engaging texts I have ever read – the first pages will pull you in and ultimately empower you to change your life for the better. It is a window into the experiences, thoughts and souls of people who will profoundly inspire you. It speaks to your brain and your heart. It is a magical gift of fuel and direction for life – not a “how to” book. Read it at your peril – your life will likely not be same when you are done.
–George Heinrichs, CEO of Ande, Founder of Intrado, Inc.
“This book shows you how to find your passion and purpose and dream the impossible. The No Barrier spirit will remind you that you can’t ever fail if you never stop trying.”
–Rich Goodstone, co-founder of Superfly Productions and the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
“Gains are hard. We know this. From our relationships with our friends, co-workers, and ourselves, to the gym and how we interact with the ever-changing world, there are many obstacles that slow our growth. What’s Within You offers nerve and soul-stirring tales of perseverance and achievement through myriad challenges, inspiring hope and becoming a springboard to leading a more purposeful and fulfilled journey.”
—Mike Harmon, host with FOX Sports Radio and creator of FindYourWins.com
“We must always set goals and dedicate ourselves fully to achieving them. Tom and David remind us in this book that even when we get knocked down, we must bounce back up, ready to tackle our next challenge.”
–Rudy Ruettiger, inspiration behind the movie RUDY
Join our Membership Community: The No Barriers Membership community includes free weekly live content, mini-courses, a private discussion group to share, learn and grow with others, discounts on in-person events, and much more. It is the single best way to stay connected with our community and to continue to learn and grow.
Enroll in our Five Week Course: Apply the principles described in this book to your life right now by taking our virtual course. You’ll meet many of the people described in this book as the authors guide you through the process of directly applying the No Barriers principles to create your own compelling personal vision for the future. There is no better way to ensure you unleash your potential then to commit to this course. Whether you’re an experienced leader looking to break through the next plateau or someone who is committed to their personal development and wants to try something that really works, then this course is perfect for you.
Listen to the What’s Within You Playlist: Throughout the book there are many songs that are mentioned and many more that seem to capture the spirit of the book. We compiled several here and will be updating our playlist every month. You can submit your own song to the playlist by suggesting it on our No Barriers Facebook page.
Get Your No Barriers Flag: Our Flag is the symbol of the No Barriers tribe. People from all over the world send us pictures of themselves with their flags. You should too. The flag comes with a challenge: WARNING: DO NOT HANDLE WITH CARE. This is not a fragile item. It is as strong as your will and determination. For anyone seeking to accomplish goals that others may have thought were impossible, outrageous, audacious, ridiculous, worthless, a flat-out-waste-of-time, and/or silly, bring this along for your journey. When you arrive at YOUR summit, fly your flag, relish your triumph, and have someone snap a picture. Post it to our Facebook page or share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Authors
As the Board President of No Barriers USA, Tom Lillig has helped oversee its growth as a leading organization for unleashing human potential. A gifted storyteller who connects at the heart level, Tom has crafted groundbreaking campaigns for numerous global companies and organizations. Tom runs the Chicago office of Stone Ward, a creative agency dedicated to building good. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Cindy, and their three children, Coleman, Valentino and Matia.
David Shurna has been the executive director, co-founder, visionary, and chief growth architect of No Barriers USA for the past decade. Building both organizational and corporate partnerships, Dave has guided No Barriers to historic levels of both impact and revenue. An innovative entrepreneur and seasoned educator, Dave has spent more than twenty years in the nonprofit sector. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Gina, and their two children, Clara and James.
Submit Your Pledge
In What’s Within You, Pledges are a part of No Barriers traditions. A pledge is your commitment to your continued progress toward your Vison. As described in our book, pull out your Roadmap again and identify one of your Reach goals that you can achieve in the next fifteen to thirty days. If you’re striving for a habitual practice, choose something you can make into a daily or weekly routine in that time period. Here are some examples that we’ve seen from others:
● “Finding an expert, or Sherpa, to talk to me about how I can best carry out my Vision”
● “Prioritizing health as a part of my daily routine”
● “Taking a few hours a week to care for an important relationship that I’ve neglected.”
While your Pledge should be one of your Reach goals, we remind you that it is a declaration of your commitment to your ongoing personal growth and how you will Elevate others. Also, by taking this pledge, you become part of our tribe.
Submit your pledge below and receive your free virtual No Barriers Flag!
Share Your Story
In What’s Within You, we shared stories of some incredible people that we have had a chance to meet throughout our own journey, but we know there are millions more examples that are out there.
We want to hear from you. We want to learn about your story.
When you read the book, did something really strike a chord with you? Did a story in the book remind you of something in your own life? When you defined your Vision, did it change the way you lived your life? Tell us how this book is impacting your life.