That is utter nonsense. Sometimes the path really is easy and the key then is to enjoy it. We’ve all experienced that. To even give a “basic rule of thumb” for growth is hubris. Growth is growth because, by definition, when we’re growing we have no idea what we’re doing, because it’s all new.
And anyone who has truly “made it” (whatever that is to you), and is honest about it, will admit that luck played a role in their getting there. It’s not all one thing, it’s about being flexible and accepting enough to thrive in whatever life throws you.