How to Inherit a Fortune: Appreciate the Masterpieces Right in Front of You

They thought the painting was worthless. No one liked it. So, it had been sitting in Mom's basement for years. Ned, Roger and Steven Landau thought the painting was creepy but decided not to sell it at the garage sale because they thought it might be worth a few hundred dollars.

So, they decided to hold an auction in 2015 for this and a few other belongings. The auctioneer started the bidding at $250. However, when the bidding started escalating by hundreds of thousands of dollars, the auctioneer realized that there must be something he didn't know about the painting. Finally, a Frenchman bought the picture for $1.1 million. (That he later sold for $4 million.)

The painting was a lost Rembrandt, “Unconcious Patient (Allegory of Smell)” where two men are attempting to revive a woman with smelling salts. Rembrandt was just a teenager in the mid-1620's when he decided to do a series of allegories on the five senses. This “weird” painting was one of those five and was a lost masterpiece.*

excellence impress others impress you

Recognizing the Masterpiece

Masterpieces walk among us each day. Every single one of them is unique, utterly astounding in composition and ability. Unfortunately, we treat these living masterpieces like some weird painting in Mom's basement that we should discard.

The most excellent people among us recognize the masterpiece.

Some of the most significant moments of my life are when I have been allowed to recognize a person's unique talent and bring it to the forefront. And then, somehow, the onlookers realized there must be something of great worth they don't know about that person.

Once someone notices and appreciates a person's value, that person's worth escalates in the eyes of everyone – particularly their own.

People begin to appreciate that person like never before.

If you want to be excellent, stop trying to impress others. Let them impress you.

Do things to make others feel important and recognize their worth.

If you're going to make fun of someone, make fun of yourself.

Begin to recognize the masterpiece of each living, breathing portrait of humanity in your life.

You might just inherit a fortune.

This post is day 30 of 80 days of excellence. I've created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.


*Strange Inheritance – Lost Rembrandt found in New Jerse strange inheritance

* New Jersey family surprised to sell creepy, long-lost Rembrandt painting.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere