Each of us has the opportunity to choose happiness unconditionally, and to build the skills that allow us to experience it no matter what.
My Turning Point
About a week before his dad died, Bryan Miller sat at his hospital bedside.
He barely resembled the man most people knew—a self-made billionaire who had worked his way up from an auto parts clerk to become the owner of more than 40 car dealerships, the NBA’s Utah Jazz, and a variety of businesses that employed thousands of people nationwide.
Instead, his long work hours, poor diet, habit of skipping breakfast and often lunch, lack of exercise, not visiting the doctor, getting little sleep, and living constantly under high stress had taken its toll.
His father’s legs had been amputated below the knee due to complications from diabetes. His eyesight was failing due to retinopathy. His body was ravaged from years of living with a host of ailments: kidney failure, gout, arthritis, sepsis, intestinal bleeding and a rare, painful and incurable disease called calciphylaxis.
At 64, he had literally worked himself to death.
Bryan sat there in the hospital, watching his father’s rapid demise, and asked himself a question that the outside world might have found preposterous: “Is this man successful?”
It was a profound moment. From that day forward, his life took a new direction.
For years to come, his desire to define success took him all over the world. He has had the privilege of learning from, studying with, and interviewing some of the world’s most respected thought leaders, including Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield and Marshall Goldsmith, among many others.
What he found is that the answer is not nearly as simple as the question. Defining success is a very personal experience. Only you can do it. But you can do it.
Success is not an elusive idea; it is an actionable practice. There are powerful tools and principles that you can implement to define and achieve the type of success you imagine for yourself.
He created the School for Good Living to share what he has, what he knows, and what he loves with others. He changed his name to Brilliant Miller in the process of living more authentically. Brilliant’s life mission is to help others learn how to live a Good Life.
Now, in addition to running his online wisdom school, Brilliant enjoys interviewing experts and gurus from a variety of fields on the School for Good Living Podcast. You can listen in on those conversations anywhere you tune in to podcasts.
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When studying in Chicago, the desire to change his name manifested in Bryan’s thoughts for the first time. The name was a playful and disarming idea, and something he knew he would never pursue.
On a frigid day in January, when departing New York City, the idea to change his name returned in a less playful way. Again, he ignored it. This time, however, he felt changing his name was something he was going to have to do.
Why change it? When is the right time? What should his name be? These questions again left his mind until his early forties when, in a sweat lodge ceremony, the ceremony leader asked, “What is wanting to be born? What is wanting to die?”
In that moment, Bryan knew he would exit the lodge with a different name.
Two weeks later, he shared his decision to change his name with his extended family.
Eleven years after his father’s death, while seated at his father’s grave, Bryan wrote a letter to his father. Following expressions of gratitude for his father’s sacrifices for him, he gave himself permission to be himself.
“Only you can grant yourself permission to be who you truly are. Only you can shed that which you are not,” he said, when telling of his name change. “Only you can come home to yourself.”
In June of 2020, Bryan legally became Brilliant.