Stay On One Lilly Pad


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Mark Twain was a gifted author and speaker. His books are still read by schoolchildren and adults to this day. Yet, despite all of his fame and the financial abundance his success produced, Twain was mired in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy towards the later part of his life.

Henry Huttleston Rogers, a close friend and astute businessman, took control of Twain’s finances late in Twain’s life, saving him from certain bankruptcy.

What put Twain on the brink of bankruptcy was his penchant for investing large sums of money in anything that caught his eye.

Mark Twain suffered from Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.

Individuals who suffer from Bright Shiny Object Syndrome are easily distracted by the latest fad or get rich quick proposition. They continuously shift their focus from one thing to the next, never seeing any one thing through.

They are like frogs leaping from lilly pad to lilly pad, never settling on one for very long.

One characteristic of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study was their ability to focus on one thing for a very long period of time – ten years, twenty years or even a lifetime.

As I learned from my study, success takes a long time.

Unfortunately, most people never succeed because, when something does not immediately pay off, they move on to the next bright shiny object.

These Bright Shiny Object Syndrome sufferers never experience success because they lack dedication, grit and persistence.

Success requires a significant amount of time to overcome failures, mistakes and many obstacles, all of which lead to growth.

Those struggling with Bright Shiny Object Syndrome, never grow enough to learn what to do and what not to do. They quit and move on when the next bright shiny object catches their eye.

Those who focus on one singular thing for a long time, build a strong foundation for success.

In fact, the longer success takes, the greater and more permanent the foundation will be.

We live in an age of instant gratification. This desire to achieve immediate success is a Poor Habit.

In my Rich Habits Study, it took the average self-made millionaire, who was pursuing a dream, twelve years to become rich and successful. That’s a long time and requires a lot of patience.

Those who seek instantaneous success, realize little success, because the foundation upon which their success is built is weak and shallow.

They never give themselves enough time to figure out what to do and what not to do.

They never become Virtuosos in what they do because they are constantly moving on to the next get rich quick scheme.

Success requires a laser-like focus along with relentless persistence. This takes time. The longer success takes, the longer it lasts.

Forge the Rich Habit of devoting yourself to something which makes your heart sing and never quit on that one thing. Eventually, you will figure it out and you will be rewarded with success.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Staying on one ‘lilly pad’ seems to make a ton of sense. Thanks for sharing, Tom.

  2. Hey Tom,
    I needed to read this… I was on the verge of giving up on my business because the game has changed and I’m surround by negativity!! But it’s doesnt feel right! I stop listening to my gut along time ago. But, I’m going on my gut feeling today and not giving up!!! It just doesn’t feel right!!!!!

  3. Sir very good advice !
    We look forward to such valuable advice.

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