Friday, August 14, 2009


Having graduated college and determined to become a criminal defense lawyer, a young man had his heart set on working for a particular foundation located in a ghetto that provided legal defense and other social services for its community. This was to be his training ground and leg up to get into the law school of his choice. With no experience, the foundation would not hire him. Nonetheless, he showed up week after week, insisting they accept him as a volunteer intern for one year. Finally, they relented.

For one year, he learned legal research, interviewed witnesses, did absolutely anything ask of him and learned everything he could. Near the end of that year, he received a rejection letter from the only law school he wanted to attend. Having given his all, working long hours and devoting himself to the foundation, the community and the work, he was devastated. Upon learning the news and unbeknownst to him, three young attorneys from the foundation had secretly and immediately set a meeting that very afternoon with the dean of the law school. Putting their reputation and that of the foundation on the line, they surrounded the dean, insisting she grant a wild card admission on the spot. Champagne in hand, they returned to deliver the surprise news.

I was that young man. And I was amazed to the point of being speechless. These three attorneys canceled their court calendars for an entire afternoon to do everything in their power to deliver my dream. This was their way of expressing their appreciation for my persistence and dedication, for the value I contributed to make their work and the foundation’s mission a bit more successful, for being a positive and consistent presence, and for volunteering my best.

Have you ever been amazed by people going out of their way to do something extraordinary for you? Have you ever wondered what inspires people to take such action and be so generous of spirit? Can you conjure up the feelings of wonder, appreciation and joy that flow from being on the giving or receiving end of such bold and generous moments?

I’ve always been fascinated by people’s willingness to go above and beyond, to make choices and take actions that might well be considered ‘extraordinary’.

That moment was a powerful reminder of something so central to a successful life. Much hinges on the quality of relationships we create for ourselves, and how fully and authentically we invest ourselves in these primary human relationships. As Aristotle said: “In the arena of human life, the… rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”

Author's Bio
Gary Goldstein is author, speaker and Hollywood movie producer. The skills Gary brought to bear in climbing the ladder from newcomer to up-and-comer to mega-success in his business can be used to empower any business or career path.

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