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Brian Delozier - Experiencing the Opportunities within Obstacles

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

View of green mountain range at sunset.

Every one of us has faced obstacles in our lives–they’re inevitable and unavoidable. We’re able to conquer most of these obstacles, while others require more muscle, determination, and endurance.

Then there’s a unique kind of obstacle–one so large and overwhelming it threatens everything–our livelihood, our purpose, our very lives. Not all of us face this kind of obstacle, so when someone does–and conquers it– we take note.

Brian's story

Brian Delozier was an extremely active and optimistic teenager–the kind who played as many sports as he could and participated in lots of physically-engaging hobbies. Growing up, he says, he felt most purposeful when he was engaged in physical activity. Finding it hard to sit still, Brian dreamed of life filled with extreme adventures.

Until one winter’s night changed everything.

One evening in February 2002, Brian, 16, was attempting a ski-slope jump– a jump that ended in disaster. Midair, Brian lost his bearings and fell 20 feet to the ground, landing directly on his head.

“I knew I had done something serious, and instantly started having these feelings of regret”, he recounts.

Brian broke two bones in his neck, one slicing his spinal cord. He couldn’t feel anything below his neck. After multiple surgeries and an extended hospital stay, he underwent months of rigorous physical therapy to learn how to function again.

With the help of physical therapy, Brian began to experience twitching and movement in his limbs. Those new sensations gave him something he desperately needed: hope.

But, as Brian’s physical improvements began to plateau, he realized he’d probably never again be who he was or who he had wanted to be–and he began to lose hope.

“I lost passion for where I was in life–for the future–and I kinda just felt completely lost”, he shares.

And so Brian entered the darkest time he’d ever experienced in his life–a time of complete despair. Amidst that despair, a thought came to Brian: “Life is too important to sit here day after day and feel sorry for myself.” Brian was determined to live his life again, and not let this obstacle get the better of him.

“There’s still something I can find to put my energy to use–to find purpose, to find some passion,” he realized.

His new mindset gave him something else–an openness to a new kind of life, a new hope. Brian began to view his obstacles as opportunities. And so this new mindset sparked a chain of events that Brian himself couldn’t have foreseen at the time.

In 2007, Brian packed up all his belongings, left his family and friends behind, and moved to Hawaii. There, he met an amateur artist, Jason, who helped him discover a new way of life and, eventually, a new passion and purpose: art.

Jason’s many attempts to convince Brian to draw were usually met with frustration. Then, one day, Brian gave in–and everything changed.

“He’d ask me all the time, and finally it got to the point where he kept bugging me . . . I finally was just like ‘Okay, you wanna see me make art? This is what I got’. I started making dots. Within the first two minutes, the frustration I had about the situation transformed, and I could feel something special.”

Brian's Dots

Brian knew instantly that art was his destiny. He created entire, complex pictures using only dots–a form of art known as pointillism. Brian focused solely on his new art, practicing and creating as he traveled the country to attend art festivals. It was at these festivals that Brian was began to display and sell his art. Even more importantly, he was able to share his incredible story and meet others who had learned to recognize opportunity in suffering.

That was the beginning of Brian’s Dots. For over 12 years now, Brian has been creating art. He continues to sell his art at festivals and galleries, as well as on his online store. He’s even created a clothing line inspired by his art–and he has no plans to stop.

Opportunity within obstacles

Brian’s life was radically transformed by the unforeseen, the uncontrollable. But what would become of his life–whether that change would be for better or worse–would be Brian’s decision.

Not only did he overcome the obstacles in his life, but he recognized the opportunity within those obstacles–the opportunity to discover and develop his passion. In that pursuit, he found a purpose beyond anything he believed would be possible.

Opportunities are everywhere–in every circumstance, in every obstacle. It just takes a shift in mindset to be able to spot them. Like Brian, we need to change our mindsets to be able to recognize opportunities hidden within obstacles–those can be some of the greatest gifts of life.

Even more importantly, we need to act on them.

Visit Brian’s website to learn more about Brian’s Dots–and be sure to check out his online gallery.

To discover more on how to be your best self, check out the Power Series or watch Carl explain vital principles of growth and purpose in his 2-Minute Insights.


Video: About Brian's Dots – Brian's Dots at

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