Cam Taylor

Be inspired. Be focused. Be tenacious.

Diligence – GIYC part 1

Since birds have no teeth, they need a way to digest their food which is why they have a “craw” or gizzard in their throat. They fill it with grit – small stones, grain and sand which serves to grind up food before it reaches the stomach.


In life, we need grit in our craw (GIYC) to help us digest what we are called to eat. According to Robert Luckadoo*, there are eight qualities needed to successfully digest the challenges of life. I want to share these eight in the next several posts as a way to encourage and inspire you to hopeful living.

The eight qualities are as follows: diligence, tenacity, optimism, flexibility, discipline, resilience, confidence, and purpose. May you grow and learn to be more successful in chewing what you’re handed to eat.

The Foundation

Underlying the eight qualities is a belief that adversity and hardship are opportunities for growth not just an interruption to the way your life “should” be. “All sunshine makes the desert” (Arabian Proverb). “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man be perfected without trials” (Danish Proverb).

It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Fractures well cured make us more strong” and Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Adversity is the mother of progress.” Your problems and challenges are actually opportunities for growth if met with the right attitudes and actions.

Grit in Your Craw Quality 1: DILIGENCE

Diligence is defined as “constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken.”

Diligence is the quality of perseverance and focused attention to a predetermined end. Luckadoo tells the story of his grandfather (who he calls “Paw-Paw”) who grew cotton in the hard North Carolina clay. He used mules to plow the fields. Every day he would rise early and guide his mules back and forth across the hard packed soil.

Paw-Paw, as he led the mules across the hard clay, encountered various obstacles including rocky ground, scorching heat and nasty horseflies. The mules wore blinders and over time, learned to look only to the other side of the field as their short term goal and not at the goal for the day. Diligence for the mules was all about breaking down the big task into a bit size and manageable piece they could accomplish.

I’m applying diligence to my work. The soil is a little hard, having been off the radar for so long to recovery, so I’m needing to practice diligence to re-activate my coaching practice to a sustainable level of success. Diligence includes breaking down the desire for harvest time into single passes across the field. I’m learning to put my blinders on and deal with the horseflies of dead end conversations, self-doubt, resistance, and determining who I should help. As I make one pass across the field at a time, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. I learn as I go, regroup, and do the next pass.

I do not see the harvest just yet but I know it will come. Now is time for plowing and sowing. I am determined to practice diligence and give consistent effort to the work I am called, trained and gifted to do. The harvest will come in time.

Final thoughts

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! — Proverbs 6:6

Diligence and hard work sensitize you to recognize opportunity. — David P. Ingerson

What challenge are you facing that requires diligence?
Who has been an example of diligence in your life?

*Grit in Your Craw: the 8 Strengths You Need to Succeed in Business and Life, by Robert Luckadoo

Image source: Free image courtesy of

About Cam Taylor

Life and leadership coach, transition & change specialist, husband, dad, leader, writer, life long learner.

5 Replies

  1. Shirlene Henning

    Very wise words, again Cam. Spring, a time to plow and sow. Getting older, can slow down diligence, it can be a challenge.
    An example of diligence, is ,you and Vicky, a slow process of recovery, but, recovering with diligence is showing, harvest , bit by bit.

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