Mankind has a nasty habit of starting things and not finishing. For example, people start a new diet plan, a reading plan, a spending plan, or a new gym membership; however they end up getting off course. What is lacking is diligence. There can be a number of reasons for stopping something that was intended to yield good results; it could be lack of time, a new relationship, etc. These reasons can be used to become excuses.
Excuses are progress stoppers. The sole function of an excuse is to halt (not hinder) progress. To hinder would imply that progress is still being made, but with much difficulty. So it important to avoid excuses like a virus.
What is diligence? One of the definitions of the word that is applicable to the discussion is persevering application. To persevere means that excuses are ignored. Excuses can make a lot of noise, however perseverance will ensure that progress is being made, not heeding the demands of excuses to come to a halt. Diligence is what keeps any person on track.
Consider this example of the gym membership, excuses and perseverance:
At the beginning of the year you decide to start a gym membership to enhance your physical body (as well as your mind). However you soon find that work has become more demanding and stressful. Additionally, home is pretty busy with children, projects, dogs and cats, new relationships, etc. Those are reasons. Do those areas need attention? Sure they do. Do they make noise? Absolutely. However, that is not the issue. The issue is there is something telling you to stop going to the gym, because you simply do not have the time. That is an excuse using reasons to stop progress.
Perseverance at work would acknowledge the reasons, but avoid the excuse. Perseverance however could make use of the excuse in the following way: Excuse did present what was lacking. Perseverance will then take that information and do something with it. Excuse said that time was lacking. Perseverance will then begin to work at adding more time to the day. Perseverance begins to wake up earlier or go to bed later. Perseverance begins to cut back on idle time such as TV watching and cuts back a bit on social scene.
Diligence pays off in the end. Through perseverance you continue to go to the gym and your body shows it!
Oh, there is an added bonus to applying diligence. Consider the gym again. You will find that after some months of diligence, going to the gym will become a ‘good’ habit. There are days that you will find yourself driving to the gym, without any effort. You have formed a habit, a good habit!
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