Solomon’s 4 Steps To Be Diligent
So, how to be diligent? How do we bring Solomon’s concept of diligence into our lives? Being truly diligent takes time, and requires making a habit of using diligence daily in the important areas of life. The good news is you don’t have to wait years, months or even days to start applying diligence to your endeavours. Solomon gives us four steps we can use quickly to begin to bring diligence into our jobs, our careers, our marriages, our parenting, even the spiritual arena of our lives.
Step #1 – To Be Diligent Wake Up to Reality
“How long will you lie there,” he asks. “When will you get up from your sleep?”… poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” Prov.6:9-11.
We think that we have more time than we really do to achieve our personal and professional goals. So we procrastinate doing what we know we should do. For example, almost 80% of Americans are now overweight. Nearly every one of them thinks they will start losing weight next week, next month, or next year. They plan on eating better, exercising more and taking better care of themselves. But year after year, they don’t quite get around to it. Getting into better shape remains only a dream for them, because they are asleep to their own reality. Similarly, husbands and wives, moms and dads plan to make their marriages and families better…later! Solomon says, WAKE UP, and STOP DREAMING!
Don’t be asleep to the realities around you. Solomon asks us to wake – up to the real world, with its constraints, its demands and its opportunities. The clock is constantly ticking, and every day that slips away is a day that can never be retrieved. And every day that passes brings us one day closer to the end of our limited time on earth. Wake up and bring diligence into your life now. Your opportunities will be multiplied! It is time to take responsibility for your life, your attitudes, your values and how you spend your time.
Step #2 – Define Your Visions
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 28:19, “Without a vision, the people perish.” Said another way, where we have no vision, we lose our direction, our motivation, our joy, our passion, our energy, our creativity and our commitment. Fortunately, the converse of this Proverb is also true. Whenever you introduce a true vision into any area of your life, you gain new energy. You will discover direction, motivation, joy, passion, energy, creativity and commitment. Defining a vision is an essential component of diligence. In fact, it’s impossible to be truly diligent if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. By ringing diligence into your life is the single most important step you can take. In Proverbs 6:6, Solomon tells those who lack diligence to look closely at the ant. The ant “has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” In other words the ant is so mission oriented that even without supervision or direction, it does exactly what it needs to do, for its benefit and the benefit of the entire colony. When you gain a clear vision for what you want to do, and when you have a detailed plan to accomplish that vision, like Solomon’s ant, you will take the initiative and gain the diligence to accomplish it.
Step #3 – Effectively Partner
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Prov. 15:22.
In any worthwhile endeavour, it’s impossible to be diligent without seeking outside counsel and effectively partnering. We all know a little; no one knows a lot. Most of us are only deeply knowledgeable in a few things; and we’re totally ignorant and incapable in millions of other things. Yet true diligence demands excellence in every step we take. The only possible way to achieve excellence in the areas in which we lack the necessary talent or know-how is to seek out counsel and/or effectively partner. When I talk about partnering, I’m referring to asking the help of advisers, counsellors, mentors, and anyone else that can provide us with the knowledge and skills we need to achieve excellence in fulfilling our vision.
Throughout history, no one has achieved any worthwhile goal, significant project or impossible dream without effectively partnering and seeking outside counsel. If the most successful people in history have needed the help of counselors and partners, why would you think that you can accomplish anything worthwhile withouttheir aid. The fact is, none of us can. The truly diligent do not seek counsel simply when an endeavor is in trouble; rather they seek counsel from the very beginning, before they begin an effort. This greatly reduces the risk of failure, and significantly increases one’s probability of success.
Step #4 – Pursue Wisdom; Build Your Life Upon It.
“How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.” Prov. 16:16
The final component critical to becoming a diligent person is to pursue wisdom, and build your life upon its foundation. Solomon tells us to seek wisdom as if it is a hidden treasure. True wisdom is rarely found lying on the ground in plain view. Rather, it’s a treasure that must be searched out and those seeking it must often dig beneath the surface. But it’s not a difficult pursuit. It’s fun to search for buried treasure, and it’s wonderfully rewarding to find it. As you will see in the last chapter of this book, the rewards of gaining true wisdom are literally beyond your imagination.
Knowledge to Wisdom
Are you diligent in your job? Your marriage? Your parenting? Your career? Use this checklist to measure your level of diligence in any important area of your life. This checklist will help you determine when and where you’re lacking in diligence. The skills you’re going to learn in the next two chapters will help you to bring diligence to any endeavor you pursue.
CHECK LIST TO BE DILIGENT:
___1. Have a clear and precise vision for what you want to achieve?
___2. Creatively Persist through disappointments and failures?
___3. Work SMART?
___4. “Rightly” Plan?
___5. “Rightly” Perform?
___6. Work Expeditiously (with target dates)?
___7. Work Efficiently?
___8. Work Effectively (achieving effective results)?
___9. Produce an end result that reflects a quality outcome?
___10. Attain true excellence?
Authors Details: How To Be Diligent – Steven K. Scott – Excerpt ‘The Richest Man Who Ever Lived. ‘ Web Site