"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, “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 this wouldn't have been too bad but the rest of the group wasn't stopping and we were in the middle of no where with several miles to go before a rest point. After several hours of "I can't....", I replied with, “Don't say, I can't any more! You CAN put one foot in front of the other! You CAN make it!"
We can be the same way with our goals, stuck in the "I can't" and going no where. When we are in that zone we cancel our own abilities and opportunities to succeed. The only thing that will help us reach the success we desire is all in diligence. Diligence is the continual persistent effort we put into each step that's required to be successful. Let's look at three concepts of being diligent.
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 that he could do it and then put his feet to do what his mind had established to on the ground.
Constantly 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 don't fail to get up, learn from it, and try again. Develop the constant “I can do it attitude” all the way, continuously pushing and pulling yourself to be better than who you were the moment before. This is your 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 details. Comb through the details and align yourself with the requirements. Schedule time to reflect on the details. As you develop this skill you will learn that the details do matter in your daily journey to success.
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 were honest we probably would turn the other way if we saw difficulties coming. However, to obtain success we must be ready to work hard. We must be willing to bleed, feel uncomfortable, and be hurt a little for what we desire. 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 challenge. Seek to gain an understanding of the reward for the effort. Keep in mind, if hard work is done in the wrong direction it can cause you to arrive at the wrong place. Therefore, make sure your hard work is on point by continually aligning yourself with your goal. Remember, the amount of harvest is determined by the amount of hard work you put into cultivating, planting, and nurturing the right things.
Summary – Diligence is the constant, meticulous, 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!