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Quotations for Motivation #26 --- Diligence

Updated on November 4, 2015

Quotations on Diligence

In this era of life, particularly in this country, the habit has been developed all too generally of rushing through with affairs of every kind in the easiest and quickest way. Men make up their minds to reach a goal and they start on the road to it with a hustle and a bustle that makes for anything but perfection. They often achieve what they are apt to look upon as success, the realization of their dreams, but most of the things accomplished in this way lack permanency. A slack hand has been used in the building of them in one or more of their essential details. These mistakes are not noticed in the process of the making, but when the structure is completed, it is soon found that there are many weak members in it. It totters and frequently falls to a complete destruction. Then it is often too late for the beginning of another to take place. And so the man who has worked in this way finds that his efforts have resulted in a failure. There are many self-evident proofs that this is true in the history of each day. To no one but the victims of their own carelessness and slackness does the realization come stronger that their efforts might have been crowned with a lasting and material success if they have used the utmost diligence in the laying of the foundations for it and also in the working out of every particular of the superstructure which they desired to have so substantial. Observation will show that the men who have achieved success of the right and permanent sort, successes which need not necessarily be measured by a great amount of money or property, but even this kind are within bounds of this discussion, are those achievements which have not come hurriedly. They have arrived slowly and surely, and chiefly because of the unfailing practice of great diligence in all things. The diligent man, no matter what his work may be, is the one who will always make a success of the lasting sort. A fellow worker may occasionally pass him by for the time being by slacking things which are not immediately observable, but, in the long run, the plodder, the careful, the diligent man will win the victory, pretty much after the style in which the tortoise defeated the horse in the famous race.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., March 14, 1909.

“Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11.) In the diligent pursue of one’s own business is included the letting alone of other people’s. Such diligence is the queen-mother of success and achievements of men. The man who does earnestly and speaks resolutely the things that concern him, who steadily and intelligently pursues his end, must be successful. But in order to do this, fervency of spirit is necessary. Effort without earnestness is like the stream from a pump, maintained only by a dead lift at every moment, and which must soon cease from weariness of arm or exhaustion of the cistern. For a perennial stream, a living fountain is needed. Perpetual fervency alone will secure perpetual diligence. This earnestness is not necessarily spontaneous; it may be cultivated.

---Calvin P. Pease, Burlington Free Press, Burlington, Vt., Aug. 5, 1859.

What does it mean to be diligent? It means doing our very best at whatever we are doing. While we do not insist on perfection, we will be dissatisfied with less than the best we can do. We will refuse to be deliberately sloppy in our work or play. One of the positive benefits that comes to us when we are diligent in our daily life and work is a fine personal satisfaction. It is gratifying to realize that we have done our best in some particular task. A person cannot have much respect for himself if he knows that he never really tries to do his best in anything. Another positive benefit of living diligently is that it encourages others to make the best use of their opportunities and abilities. Some people think that the mark of real sophistication is a studied lack of enthusiasm about almost everything. If we have the courage to be diligent, we can do a great deal to effectively counteract such an unworthy attitude and its influence on other people. Diligence should not be confused with perfectionism. Some people are so concerned about excelling that they almost worship excellence for its own sake. This attitude can develop in several unfortunate directions. Some people become overly cautious. They are so concerned about excelling that they refuse to attempt anything unless they are convince beforehand that they can do it better than anybody else. Being too anxious and too cautious produces the same result as not caring enough. Things that needs to be done are not done or are not done well. Another bad effect of the perfectionist attitude is that the motive for work becomes unwholesome Instead of doing a thing in order to have it done, it is attempted in order to gain superiority over others. The satisfaction of doing a thing well may become the unwholesome satisfaction of being better then someone else. Diligence is wholesome. Self‑seeking superiority is not.

‑‑‑B. Hoyt Evans, Presbyterian Journal, Weaverville, N.C., Jan. 29, 1969.

Diligently comes from Diligo, which means to love. Mark the interest one takes in doing something. He is diligent who loses no time, who keeps close to the work. Diligence is steady application. The diligent person has no reluctance in commencing the labor. Diligently includes: Carefully, Sedulously, Industriously and Assiduously. Carefully is to have care, Sedulously is persevering; Industriously is with zeal; Assiduously is unremitting regularity, with close and constant application to [one's] work.

‑‑‑John McMurray, Messenger, Minneapolis, Minn., July 1959.

Diligencr is a diamond in the rough with several sparkling crystals. It has in it the elements of promptness, alertness, carefulness, intensity, swiftness, earnestness and persistence.

‑‑‑C.P. Roney, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., June 6, 1921.

Diligence is good, old‑fashioned hard work. There is nothing unspiritual about hard work. Diligence means we must not delay, we must attend to each detail and we must endure until the work is finished.

-‑‑James Semple, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 6, 1985.

We should remember that work is necessary. When united with pure motives, diligence will be rewarded with success. Inspiration has never been given to encourage idleness. The world is full of opportunities. Whenever we see a man who is proficient in his work we know that his achievements are the result of his own diligence. We should be systematic in all that we undertake and better results will follow.

—James E. Talmage, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 7, 1891.

Diligence is a combination of good management and industry; it is being perseveringly attentive; and it is giving careful attention to all aspects of the desirable and worthwhile life. Our capabilities may be relatively limited, but being diligent will enable us to make the best of them. When we have done this, by the best standards we know, we are personally successful. We can live with this, and be happy in it. If we are indolent, sluggish and lazy, we are in trouble always. In this condition of life, we will mismanage our money, our time, our expenditure of energy; and keep ourselves out of reach of the personal success we desire and should have.

-‑‑Bob Wear, Hereford Brand, Hereford, Texas, Aug. 14, 1985.

If we did but half we are able to do we would be surprised at the sum of our diligence.

---Amboy News, Amboy, Ill., Feb. 2, 1889.

What we hope to do with ease we must learn first to do with diligence. The expectations of life depend upon diligence. The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Work while it is called today, for you know not how much may be hindered tomorrow. One today is worth two tomorrows. Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. While we glory in the records of great accomplishments, we cannot live on past records. Today is the important day in our lives. In all departments of activities to have one thing to do and then to do it is the secret of success. He who labors diligently need never despair for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.

—John Longden, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 18, 1955.

Diligence means constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken. ... Enduring is another way of explaining diligence--constant, earnest effort. ... There are many who can start with a flash of brilliance but their holding power is weak and they soon sputter and fade away into mediocrity. They expend most of their energy by reaching an "earnest effort level," but lose the value of it by failing to keep it constant. They always travel in low gear or don't travel.

—M. Elmer Christensen, Reaper, Zurich, Switzerland, August 1969.

My many years of diligence, with occasional brief have impressed upon me two things: First, the absolute necessity of diligence if one means to be or do anything or get anywhere; secondly, the luxury of those intervals of relaxation, so different from all that habitual laziness can afford.

—Joseph Wharton, Friends' Intelligencer, Philadelphia, Pa., June 21, 1902.

Diligence is a steady application of thought, will power or action. ... Perseverance is the continued application of anything which one has begun–a going on until success is met with.

—Dean Carroll, Millennial Star, London, England, March 1951.

Diligence traces back to a beginning word meaning love. The worker who finds his greatest enjoyment in work which he loves, in employment which has such fascination that it is a pleasure to begin, a joy to continue and a regret to leave off, has solved one of the important and knotty problems of life. Diligence has a quality which is grounded--most commonly--in some past experience or experiences which brought to light the negative results of lack of thoroughness, or in some positive experience which showed the great value of having a friend upon which absolute reliance could be placed. Failure of something on which dependence has been placed, occurring at a critical moment, often has impressed upon a plastic mind the need of thoroughness in preparation, no matter what the task. Diligence is that attribute which builds into character the values that will last.

—Burton C. Bean, Specialty Salesman Magazine, Atlanta, Ga., September 1930.

Industry means habitual diligence, with emphasis on the word habitual.

—George H. Brimhall, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, December 1922.

Diligence is timeless for it is unceasing thought and action. It is not limited by six or eight-hour days. One may be employed or "putting in time," yet not be diligent. Diligence would discipline the mind to ponder useful thoughts while the body and brain perform tasks of physical labor. Diligence knows no physical handicaps, for it finds a way. Adversity is accepted as a challenge. ... It is the will to be diligent that overcomes handicaps. Diligence is not a trait of character that one is born with nor is an inclination to be idle. Habits of one or the other way may be cultivated in his life by practice by anyone of normal intelligence. Inherited or native talent or ability means nothing if diligence is not practiced. Diligence is perseverance. Diligence is self-impelled. Labor forced upon one by someone else is not diligence and would more than likely be idleness. It is what one disciplines one's self to that counts. If diligence counts for so much in success and happiness, then a man with the desire to acquire the habit of diligence should want to know how it is acquired. Here are a few simple steps: 1. Desire what activity one should be diligent about. 2. Seize the very first opportunity that comes along to practice being diligent. 3. Do not suffer any exceptions to occur. 4. Do not spend energy and time on matters that do not contribute to the important end which one has chosen to be diligent about.

—A. Lewis Elggren, Westate, Denver, Colo., June 1957.

No amount of toil misdirected could be classed as diligence; effort unmixed with intelligence is not worthy of being called diligence. Diligence is the opposite of lassitude, indifference, sloveliness, carelessness, shiftlessness. The diligent person has before him a definite goal and consistently seeks to press towards it, zealously availing himself of every aid calculated to expedite his progress. The truly diligent person will exercise ingenuity to get over, under or round about a stone wall, and will try to ascertain what a path leads to before blindly entering it. Diligence, in short, is common sense harnessed to industry.

—B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., June 28, 1919.

Diligence is devoted and painstaking effort to accomplish what is undertaken.

—Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, Aug. 2, 1925.

Those who are living up to what they know are diligent students that they may know more.

—B.J.W. Graham, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 20, 1918.

The word "diligence" literally means "haste"--not the haste of confusion, but the haste, urgency of concentration.

---E.D. Head, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 13, 1947.

The original meaning of diligence is haste-"which crowds every moment with continuous effort, and lets no hindrances entangle the feet of the runner." Where there is no urgency, no haste, there will be no growth.

—E.D. Head, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, July 8, 1954.

Diligence is a four-letter word called work.

—David A. Hooker, Advisor, Sutton Coldfield, England, May 1971.

A diligent person is someone who has no time to kill time.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 27, 1928.

Diligence is the application of the qualities and qualifications of the successful man. It is a "stick-to-the-job" attitude which finishes the job with the same starting enthusiasm.

—Brent D. Lee, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, September 1965.

Order and Diligence. These words are not synonymous but do go hand in hand as prerequisites to organization and preparation. To organize one's self, to establish order within one person, is the hallmark of character and a formula for success. With organization comes the characteristic of putting first things first, working when time to work, and playing when time to play. We will readily ascertain what we should do and when we should do it. We will tackle each worthy project because there is no conflict with our inner self. ... By attaining self-mastery, diligence becomes the vehicle to accomplishment. It is not the man that starts fastest that wins the race, but the man that is diligent in his steady pace. To obtain this organization and oneness with ourselves isn't just an overnight process. It is a process that will require much preparation--preparation in strengthening ourselves that we might overcome our base desires and thoughts. Preparation is educating and schooling our minds that we might be able to cope with adverse situations as they arise. Preparation is perfecting ourselves, our inner selves.

—Gerald R. Hill and Michael R. Francis, Accelerator, Sydney, Australia, June 1967.

The diligent person has something to do all the time, does one thing at a time and does it well, and never thinks any duty too small to do well.

—William B. McGarity, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Aug. 29, 1907.

Diligence is another way to say work. After you talk about something you must put it into practice or you have not the faith. It's not enough just to work, either; you have to work smart.

—Hartman Rector, Jr., Trumpet, Rome, Italy, June 1971.

It is less important to work by rule than to rule by work. Young people should not be impatient with jobs requiring great attention to detail; for it is in this field of detail that the individual finds the greatest opportunity to develop his fundamental capacities. Without such striving with detail, individual capacities lie dormant, and individual development stagnates. Hard, diligent work not only achieves the immediate objectives, but also expends capacity.

—Raymond S. McLain, Army Information Digest, Alexandria, Va., December 1948.

Diligently comes from Diligo, which means to love. Mark the interest one takes in doing something. He is diligent who loses no time, who keeps close to the work. Diligence is steady application. The diligent person has no reluctance in commencing the labor. Diligently includes: Carefully, Sedulously, Industriously and Assiduously. Carefully is to have care, Sedulously is persevering; Industriously is with zeal; Assiduously is unremitting regularity, with close and constant application to [one's] work.

—John McMurray, Messenger, Minneapolis, Minn., July 1959.

Diligence is measured not only in quantity but even more in quality. It drives a man to greater efficiency. It adds satisfaction to accomplishments.

—Lee A. Palmer, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 1956.

He who works with diligence seldom has time for despair.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 19, 1935.

Capacity for improvement and opportunity for usefulness involves accountability and demand diligence. When we think how much labor is required to make us what we wish to be, and to do for others what we should; when we remember that consequences which eternity alone can measure are involved, we know that there must be ceaseless activity.

—William Spry, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 1912.

Diligence may require inventiveness and imagination, but above all these it requires persistence.

The Spirit of Rowan, Stuttgart, West Germany, Feb. 19, 1963.


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