"The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you (diligently) do.” say’s Bill Phillips. A few months back I was on a three-day hiking trip with a group of guys. After the first day, I decided to help with the stragglers at the end of the line to see if I could motivate them to keep pushing towards the goal. After all my encouragement and coaching there was one guy that just wasn't getting it. His comments were continually negative - “I’m trying, but it’s too hard." He wanted to quit so bad that he just sat on the ground refusing to continue. Now, his stopping wouldn't have been too bad if the rest of the group waited up for us but they kept trudging leaving us in the middle of nowhere. I was frustrated with several hours of this nonsense of "I can't....". When I had heard enough, I snapped by responding to his next comment with, “Don't say, I can't anymore! Close the mouth and put one foot in front of the other! We will rest when we make it to the end. Let's do what we must do!"
We can be the same way with our goals, stuck in the "I can't..." and going nowhere. When we are there we cancel our own abilities. The only thing that will help us reach the end is diligence. Diligence is the continual persistent effort we put into each step to be successful in the long run.
3 Angles of Diligence
1. Constancy – If we want to get strong results, we must be willing to consistently overcome strong challenges. The hiker in my story wanted to reach the goal but he didn’t want to overcome the constant struggle of making the steps in his mind and with his feet.
Carrying your load and doing what you might not feel like doing is a part of being diligent. Face your obstacles and learn to overcome them. Don't be afraid to mess up and fail, but also don't fail to get up, learn from it, and try again. Develop the constant “I can do it attitude”. Push and pull yourself to be better than who you were yesterday. Constancy is the only way to long-term success.
2. Meticulous – A great writer once said, “Winners actually do sweat the small stuff; because they know that getting the details right is the difference between success and failure.” So often it's easy to pass over the hard stuff to avoid conflict, but passing a step can be detrimental to long-term success. We must keep the details in view of what we are doing.
Be diligent about covering the right components of your projects. Comb through the details and then align yourself with what's required. Always be willing to make time to reflect on details.
3. Hard work – David Bly said, “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” We have become numb to the concept of "hard work". If we're honest we all probably try to avoid hard work. However, for continuous success, we must always be ready to work hard. I’m convinced that the faster we accept hard-work the quicker we can achieve our goals.
Overcome your fear of hard-work by embracing the challenges that you face. Be wise in how you take on your challenges. If hard work is done in the wrong direction it will cause the wrong results. Therefore, be efficient and effective with your efforts. The amount of harvest is determined by the amount of hard work you put into planting the right things.
Summary – Diligence is the constant, persistent effort of working hard to achieve a goal. Achieve your success by diligently applying the right details to the proper tasks for success. Be diligent!