A determined person gets far in life. Implied in determination is a goal, for why would we be determined if we have no objective? Determined people set out to do something. They’ll always get farther in life than the undecided or ambivalent. Implied is resolve. Implied is single-mindedness. Implied is the application of energy and movement. Implied is drive. Drive and determination go hand-in-hand.
Diligent people set their minds to do something and sustain their determination indefinitely without lag or loss. They keep fires burning. They’re like short order cooks. They don’t squander time. They make the most of it. In fact, they race against it. They don’t watch time from the grandstands like a parade as it goes by. Diligent people plan ahead. They’re prepared. Their brows drip from sweat, but they keep going. It’s a great feeling to see progress.
The disciplined are singularly focused. They’re unswayed by sideshows. You’ll not find them on rabbit trails or gazing into the sky. They’re all business. They don’t engage in small talk. They’re intense. They hate beating the air. Discipline is the engine of determination and diligence.
The detractors would say to all of this activity that you’ve got to stop to smell the roses sometimes. There are generations that can only pull this off for a few years before they must tour Europe. But the determined, diligent, disciplined person says instead that you can’t rest on your laurels. There’s another mountain to climb.
Read these words from the most determined, diligent, disciplined person I know. An apostle named Paul.
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Just a few words of warning on the application of another set of “D’s,” dedication and devotion. It’s dangerous to apply oneself wholeheartedly as described above for an organization or a boss. The favor may not be returned. All your work may turn out for naught. Always be aware that you are expendable. This may put you in a position to have to reposition yourself with another company or enterprise for which these industrious traits will be appreciated and remunerated! A good example is Jonathan. His father King Saul wanted David dead, leaving him a choice between loyalty to the king or God’s anointed. He chose the latter.
Here’s the key. Paul says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” In this way, you’ll not regret leaving it all on the field.