The Road to Success

Michelangelo, Hard Work

Michelangelo speaks the truth. If you look at this work, you know good and well that he wasn’t just born knowing how to create the masterpieces he is famous for. His talents and enormous discipline intersected with a fateful opportunity:  the recommendation of a painter named Domenico Ghirlandaio that he move into the palace of the powerful Medici family…and one thing lead to another, to magnificent accomplishments and fame. What if Ghirlandaio had recommended somebody else?

Have you ever stopped to think about where you started and where you are now? Where your capabilities intersected opportunity? Who had your back, or might have helped you along your path, sometimes in ways that you did not even know you needed help at the time? You didn’t really get there strictly by yourself did you? Did you have mentors – or people who opened doors for you – or helped you along your way? Have you ever taken the time to thank them?  Do not assume they will be here tomorrow… do it now. Do not ever miss an opportunity to say thank you.

Who Are Your Mentors? What have they taught you?

“Can you make a list? If you know them personally, have you thanked them? People who have shown you the way at some point and the beautiful mastery of life made sense in their hands. Inspiration is contagious. It fuels you up. You owe them a mention on your lips and in your heart; and you must pay it forward and become a way-shower to someone else.” –Jessica Hagy

helping others, jessica Hagy, forbes,

The above graphic made me laugh out loud. Also wise words of Jessica Hagy, it is from a wonderful article in Forbes.

The universe works in funny ways- people help us, and if we are wise, we complete the cycle and help others.

“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know. ”  -W.H. Auden

What Goes Around Comes Around

Have you ever noticed that the people who are more gracious also happen to be the people who appear to get more “lucky” breaks? Perhaps they are more evolved. It is as though they have a broader perspective than the others, a bigger picture mentality which realizes that helping others will not subtract from their own good. There is plenty of success to be had for everybody; no reason for jealousy, negativity or snarkiness amongst peers… save that for the smaller minded people.

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ ” -Brian Tracy

It is a good idea to reflect upon our present place in life and how we arrived at this place. I do know that I have so much to be grateful for … which means I have many people to thank. How about you?

correspond, thank you note, gratitude


  1. Yes, Joann and I talk about this all the time. I totally agree. Every friend, colleague, family member, stranger is a connection that I’m grateful for and has definitely contributed to my success!

  2. Excellent reminder, we do not live in a box and the world does not revolve around us. I think it was Paul Anater who taught me my first valuable lesson regarding blogging and this whole social media thing. We all started at the bottom, be eager to help and give freely to others – in other words pay it forward.

    Share or elevating someone else will always come back around. People know and want to know people who embrace gratitude. Even if it might seem silly, saying “thank you” is a gift worth giving.

  3. I love this post and want to say thank you for being my friend and for all the ways you have helped me along the way since I’ve met you! I think I am going to sit down and try to list everyone who has helped me along the way and find a way to thank them even if it is just a note. Truth be told, I’ll bet a lot of people who help others don’t even realize they are helping it just comes natural to them. Great post!

  4. Courtney, I like your post! Your words are so true. I just listed the ones who helped me in life but unfortunately there were some on the road that made it bumpy! I love the ones where help and support comes from the heart and naturally!

  5. Great post Courtney! Being of service without expecting anything in return is the measure of a true soul. Love it!

  6. This article is awesome. If we’re not helping others I feel it almost defeats our entire purpose of living. Though our choices make us different, our ability to choose makes us all the same. We should help others not because we have feel we have to, but because we choose to and because we want to. Love is all; Love is everything. Great article Courtney, it was very uplifting and inspiring. Thank you.

  7. It’s so funny that you posted this. I had the most telling dream this week. In the dream, I had an opportunity to go on an amazing trip. I missed the first trip because I was late for the plane. I missed the second trip because the transport to the airport made an arbitrary decision not to transport me. For the third trip, all the circumstances fell into place; however, I decided, that the circumstances weren’t right for me, and that I would take the risk that another trip would be offered when everything would work out right. Kinda like life, right? Sometimes, we get in the way of ourselves. Sometimes others do, whether justly or not. And sometimes, we are faced with difficult choices and have to go with our gut even if we’re not sure of the ultimate outcome. The bottom line I firmly believe is that you have to keep working at it with all you’ve got and help others along the way. Just like Michaelangelo.

  8. “There is plenty of success to be had for everybody; no reason for jealousy, negativity or snarkiness amongst peers…” is my mantra and I need to do a better job communicating it. I will start by thanking you for being so supportive and encouraging! It means a lot to me and I’m excited to see where the future leads us.

    Laurie’s dream is intriguing, especially because it reminds me of the path life took along the way to meeting you. How many times were we thisclose to meeting before the universe conspired to introduce us thousands of miles from home? Life delights me with gifts like that all the time and I am so grateful!


  1. […] Never miss an opportunity to say thank you. I wrote a whole post on this. In today’s world, a hand written note really stands out. Have some Cranes on hand, you might […]

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