Word Of the Week #59: Diligent

April 22, 2009 by  

Diligent: a steady, earnest, attentive, and energetic effort.

Can you remember the last time you were diligent about something? Was it with regard to work or was it with regard to a hobby or sport?

Laurent, Mary, & Alexander
Laurent, Mary, & Alexander

I love to play golf, however, if I am not diligent about practicing and playing, I don’t play very well. I have to set aside time for lessons and play at least once a week to see improvement.

There are a number of reasons why I don’t make that happen. The biggest one is the time commitment! A round of golf takes four to five hours, the way I play. I have also lost a couple of my golf buddies, as they’ve moved out of the area. It always helps when I have someone who calls me to play.

My niece Mary, the marathoner, says, “I see diligent as being aggressively consistent and sometimes pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. I see being diligent as following through and staying focused on a specific goal or plan of action.”

I especially like the words attentive and energetic. When we put our attention on, and feel energetic about a project, it’s more enjoyable and fun.

This week focus on those areas in your life that you are diligent about. Are there other areas in your personal and/or professional life where you’d like to be more diligent? What would it take for you to be more energetic and more attentive in those areas?

Reader Responses

“Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate receiving these weekly editions and regularly forward them along to our team as timely reminders and for inspiration.  I have been talking a lot lately with our team about “rigorous diligence”, so “attentive and energetic diligence” was quite timely. Keep ’em coming!” — Mark Porter

” When we are assigned a project, diligence is needed to do it right. Not half ways. If we don’t do the job energetically and with enthusiasm, it really shows. I think you and I have seen workers in restaurants who take their sweet time clearing tables or taking orders. I always find myself paying attention to those workers who have a smile on their face and are attentive to the customer. You know that they will do the job right the first time. It may not be the easiest job in the world or the best paying, but those are the employees who will usually get the biggest tips.  I read somewhere that whatever job it is, no matter how menial, do it the very best that you can. As if you were the most important person in the position. Having that attitude shows up in how we go about our tasks. The one thing I have learned in life is that PEOPLE NOTICE! It all goes back to our actions speaking louder than our words.” — Joe Moran