116: Michael O'Brien | My Last Bad Day

Michael O'Brien, Author of Shift

Michael O'Brien (@RoadieOB) is former pharmaceuticals executive turned leadership consultant and the author of SHIFT: Creating Better Tomorrows. After recovering from a horrific cycling accident involving a speeding SUV and coming within minutes of death, Michael shares with us the process he's gone through to give his life true meaning.

"One big thing that came out of it is a greater sense of purpose – why do I want to pursue the things I want to pursue?" – Michael O'Brien.

What We Discuss with Michael O'Brien:

  • Michael's career path before his horrific accident.
  • His 'Last Bad Day'.
  • The road he traveled to recover from his injuries.
  • Why he practices meditation to focus on living in the present and being grateful.
  • How he uses his experiences to inspire company leaders.

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The Two Rule Foundation helps inspire professionals to live gratefully and commit more of their resources to help those in need. The foundation can help you determine who you should give your money to and how.


More About the Show


Michael was in New Mexico for a big company meeting that would last several days.


He had it all planned out. Instead of resorting to the lack-luster hotel gym, he’d bring his bike, and cross a state off his cycling checklist.


It was July 11, 2001, and Michael discovered a two-mile loop originated at the hotel that he could ride before the day’s meetings began.


Three laps went smooth as planned. Michael was enjoying the sunshine and dry roads. On his fourth lap, as he rounded a bend in the road, an SUV going the opposite direction crossed over into his path, hitting Michael head on at 40 mph–himself going around 20 mph.

In an instant, his life would forever change.

As the SUV made contact with Michael’s body, his momentum hurled him over the hood and face-first into the windshield, then coming down in a thud, while sliding several feet on the asphalt.


The accident shattered the bones in face, snapped his scapula, cracked ribs, broke his arms and wrists, and shattered his left femur. As he was being medevaced to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery, he learn he’d severed his femoral artery and was bleeding out.


He was given 34 units of blood, and spent dozens of hours in surgeries to mend his broken everything.


“The doctors told my wife... if I was 10 years older or not in good shape, I would have certainly passed around before he’d gotten to the hospital.” O’Brien recounts.


Get Michael O'Brien's book SHIFT: Creating Better Tomorrows. All the profits go to support girls in Africa through World Bicycle Relief.


THANKS, Michael O'Brien!


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