No Excuses Club: Massimiliano Sichi's Unlimited Perseverance   

Original author: Rahil Arora
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They told me that I would never have either a girlfriend or a job, that I would not be able to drive a car, ” says Massimiliano (“MacsHG”) Sich. “ Every challenge I have overcome is a direct result of what someone told me:“ You cannot do this . Born in Sardinia (Italy) with Fokelia — a rare congenital deformity in which limbs are underdeveloped or completely absent — the 31-year-old founder of the No Excuses Club (“Club of those who are not looking for excuses”), who lectures on motivation, is used to hearing the word “ not".

However, thanks to his perseverance, determination and a share of healthy humor, Sich changed what could be perceived as a tragic situation, turned it into opportunities available to other people around the world. The story of the "armless gamer" "MacsHG" began in a dark, fiery dungeon. Well, not literally, of course. His journey began with video games.

“If it were not for the games, I would not give this interview in English,” Sichi laughs on Skype from his home in Sassari. There are many ways to learn English, but few can claim to be completely indifferent to video games. For the first time the Sich provided a computer at the age of four years - to help in communication. His parents thought that this would be the only way to allow him to write or learn. Being an innovator in character, Sich learned to write with his feet and hands. Over time, this began to mean that his computer is quite suitable for something else: for games.

“For me, games are a search for solutions,” he says. - This is the same as in my situation. I have to find solutions in my body to get to the next level. ”

Thanks to the game panel, controlled by the left foot, and the mouse under his right hand, Sich was able to start playing online games at international tournaments. And, as in any competition, a verbal skirmish is half the battle.

“The game makes you use the language in very interesting ways,” he says. “This is a combination of formal, everyday language and slang — from game scenarios to buying items and teasing other players.”

What began as a hobby turned into incredible skill over time. The Sich achieved a “diamond” status in the League of Legends, which only 0.1% of the 67 million players can have. In addition to the right to boast of the achieved success, the game was for the Sich a means of helping to realize something very important: he could achieve everything he had in mind. And it didn’t matter that he didn’t look like other players; he possessed the necessary skills, wit and charisma to achieve what he wanted. It was then that he decided to record his game and publish it in video services like YouTube and Twitch. Revenues from these posts Sich donated to the charity campaign "Save the Children."

“I always wanted to help people, so I decided to use games to support worthy initiatives,” says Sich. “That's when it dawned on me: what if, instead of simple donations, to create something that people could experience for themselves?”

Thus, No Excuses Club was born - a motivational coaching program initiated by the Sich that leads people along the path of self-awareness and growth. It all started as a simple NO EXCUSES T-shirt. Now it is a solid three-month course of personal and professional development.

“For a start, I asked people to concentrate and write what it means for them not to have excuses in life,” he says. “It gave them the opportunity to motivate each other and demonstrate that this is not about me at all - everyone can become an example for someone else.”

The number of followers of Sich on the Internet has grown exponentially: on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Instagram it has reached a total of hundreds of thousands. The key turning point was that he received video messages from two players from Brazil and Greece. Sich watched their videos and noticed that they are always shot from a specific angle - the camera looks upwards. “It didn’t immediately occur to me, but it turns out that they, too, had no hands,” he says. “Later they explained that my videos, which showed my disability in full perspective, inspired them to the courage to show themselves in a“ true light ”.

This was made possible thanks to the power of online communities that bring Sich so much satisfaction. In general, the technology has transformed the Sich. For example, using his ThinkPad laptop, he can communicate with his community, prepare lectures for speeches and, of course, still play video games.

Friends of the Sich are constantly offering him new gadgets for use - as a well-known gamer and technologically savvy user. So far, he has chosen the ThinkPad and tested it for several months. He says that, ultimately, the developers of this notebook follow the same design principles: durability, ingenuity, and, in spite of everything, they are always working on finding solutions.

Currently, Sichi is engaged in coaching for almost full time. When asked what his usual day is, he laughs and says: “I just cannot speak even more.” Being constantly on the move, the Sich divides his time between lectures and coaching, workouts in the gym and leisure activities with his younger brother Simon. He went a very long way, considering that when he was growing up, he wasn’t even sure if he could attend school.

In the future, Sich plans to develop the No Excuses Club on a global scale. By his modest character, you will never guess that he is an Internet celebrity. “The club helps people realize and realize their inner strength,” he says. - That's what it means to me. There will always be problems and obstacles, but there is nothing that you could not achieve. No matter where you start, there is always a good reason to be happy if you follow what you like. ”

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