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Diligence and Industry 1

© Mark Liston, 2015

 

Introduction: 

 

Will you devote the next few minutes to think about how Diligence and Industry relate to your life? 

 

Movie Clip #1: “The Pursuit of Happyness”

 
  

Quotations:

 

King Solomon [Proverbs 10:4] - “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.”

 

Sir Winston Churchill – “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

 

Dr. Samuel Johnson - “What we hope to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.”

 

Presentation:  Developing Your Industry and Diligence, Part One

 

Chris in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” must work very hard under difficult circumstances to succeed.  His diligence on the road to success made his arrival sweet, enabling him to experience the joy of fulfillment.  

Diligence is the consistent application of effort to a worthwhile task.  Webster defines industry as “diligence in a pursuit; steady or habitual effort.”  Diligence is the essential character strength for many aspects of life, but especially for work. 

Bennett says, “Work is effort applied toward some end.  The most satisfying work involves directing our efforts toward achieving [goals] that we ourselves endorse as worthy expressions of our talents and character.” 

If we want to be happy in this life, we must be happy in our working life.  We spend about 25-30% of our adult life at work, preparing for work, or getting to or from work. 

To be happy at work, two tasks must be accomplished:  First, we must find a vocation we like and at which we excel.  Second, we must diligently apply ourselves both to be trained in and to work at this vocation.

The opposite of industry and diligence is laziness, sloth, and idleness.  Industry and diligence are two of the keys to being a good worker as well as accomplishing any task one might undertake.  Ben Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack stole a quote from Algernon Sidney [1622-1683], “God helps those who help themselves.” 

Seligman and Peterson say, “Finishing what one has started, keeping on despite obstacles, taking care of business, …staying on task… – all refer to the strength of character we identify as …industriousness.  Not as flashy a strength as bravery, [diligence] nonetheless shares with it the mustering of will to perform in the face of contrary impulses.  Here it is not fear that threatens action but boredom, tedium, frustration, and difficulty, on the one hand, and the temptation to do something easier and perhaps more pleasurable, on the other.”

Where do teens have to be diligent and industrious five days a week, 180 days per year?  Where do we have to work very hard to apply this character strength?  At school.  How many times per day, while you are supposed to be working, do you think about the TV show you want to watch, the video game you want to beat, the sport you want to play, or the food you want to eat?

Your school is your job.  How you apply yourself and show diligence in your schoolwork is how you will work when you get a job.  So how are you doing?

Mark Liston, the creator of C2, says, “When writing this curriculum, it was so hard to stay on task!  I’m hyperactive and easily distracted anyway.  Thus I really struggled to stop doing the interesting things I like to do and sit down at the computer and write these sessions.  I wanted to quit so many times or just to goof off rather than write, but I kept coming back to it and staying with it. 

“It took me over 2500 hours to develop this curriculum, more than a year of full-time work, but I believe it will be used to transform lives.  That’s why I did all that hard work:  To help you.  To do this job required a high level of diligence.  I never would have done this if I had not been steadily building diligence into my life for many years.”

 

Key Notes:

 

1.    Diligence is the consistent application of _______________ to a worthwhile task.

 

2.    If we want to be happy in this life, we must be happy in our ______________ life. 

 

3.    Martin Seligman says, “_______________________________ what one has started, keeping on despite obstacles, taking care of business, …staying on task… – all refer to the strength of character we identify as …industriousness.” 

 

4.    How you apply yourself and show diligence in your _______________________ is how you will work when you get a job. 

 

Next:  Learning to Enjoy Work

 
 

Diligence and Industry 2

© Mark Liston, 2015

 

Introduction: 

 

Will you devote the next few minutes to think about how Diligence and Industry relate to your life? 

 

Movie Clip #2:  “The Pursuit of Happyness”

 (Please double click the video for full screen)

 

Quotations:

 

Menander (342 BC-291 BC) Greek Dramatic Poet - “He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.”

 

Richard Whately - “A man who gives his children habits of industry [hard work] provides for them better than by giving them a fortune.”

 

Sir Joshua Reynolds - “If you have great talents, industry [hard work] will improve them: if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency.”

 

Benjamin Franklin - “Industry [hard work] pays debts, despair increases them.”

 

Review:

 

Diligence is the consistent application of effort to a worthwhile task. If we want to be happy in this life, we must be happy in our working life.  Martin Seligman says, “Finishing what one has started, keeping on despite obstacles, taking care of business, …staying on task… – all refer to the strength of character we identify as …industriousness.”  How you apply yourself and show diligence in your schoolwork is how you will work when you get a job. 

 

Presentation:  Developing Your Industry and Diligence, Part Two

 

Since nearly half our waking hours will be spent at work [and for some of us, a few of our sleeping hours, also!], we will be much happier if we enjoy what we do.  Enjoying our work is a big part of enjoying our life.  The Jewish and Christian scriptures state in Genesis that, ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humankind has had to work for a living.  The fact that we have to work doesn’t have to ruin it for us.

Many adults enjoy their work, yet this requires effort.  We don’t naturally enjoy it because work takes effort, diligence, and always involves a degree of frustration.  Yet it is the challenge of work that keeps us interested in it and gives us a sense of accomplishment when we complete a task.

            How do we learn to enjoy our work?  First, we find aspects of the job that we enjoy.  Say you work at McDonalds in food preparation and you hate it.  You like people and think you would enjoy the job if you took customer orders.    Then ask the boss if you can change jobs.

A second way to enjoy work is to work with someone who enjoys it.  If a teen is just starting a new job or career, he would be smart to find a mentor or coach to help him learn the essentials of that job.  The best mentor is someone who really enjoys his work, has the talents that help him be successful at it, is industrious and diligent, and works hard.

A third way we learn to enjoy our work is through choosing our occupation and career.  We must choose a form of employment that uses both our skills and our interests and that provides adequately for our financial needs, both present and future. 

A fourth way is to prepare adequately for our vocation through education.  School through the twelfth grade is a challenge for many of us because the subjects bore us.  Yet when we go to college or vocational training, we get to choose our field of study, our major and minor, and many of our subjects.  Also we know we will be using what we study in our upcoming job, so we apply ourselves and are more diligent. 

Choosing our own classes helps make school more interesting.  Having the proper education for our work helps us be successful and to be better paid for our efforts.

            Where we first learn that work can be fun, though, is in the home.  One of the best gifts a parent can give their child in addition to faith is an enjoyment of hard work.  William Bennett says,

“Parents show their kids how to enjoy doing the things that have to be done by working with them, by encouraging and appreciating their efforts, and by the witness of their own cheerful and conscientious example.”

 

 

 

Key Notes:

 

 

5.    Enjoying our work is a big part of enjoying our __________________________. 

 

 

6.    It is the ________________________________ of work that keeps us interested and gives us a sense of accomplishment when we complete a task.

 

 

7.    How do we learn to enjoy our work?  We must

 

 

a.     find______________________ of the job that we enjoy.

b.     _______________________ with someone who enjoys it.

c.     __________________________our occupation and career

d.     _____________________ adequately for our vocation through education.

 

 

8.  William Bennett says, “Parents show their kids how to enjoy doing the things that have to be done by working with them, by encouraging and appreciating their efforts, and by the witness of their own cheerful and conscientious __________________________.”

 

Next:  How Work Can Make You Happy


 

Diligence and Industry 4

© Mark Liston, 2015

 

Introduction: 

 

Will you devote the next few minutes to think about how Diligence and Industry relate to your life? 

 

Review:

 

Diligence is the consistent application of effort to a worthwhile task. If we want to be happy in this life, we must be happy in our working life.  Martin Seligman says, “Finishing what one has started, keeping on despite obstacles, taking care of business, …staying on task… – all refer to the strength of character we identify as …industriousness.”  How you apply yourself and show diligence in your schoolwork is how you will work when you get a job. 

Enjoying our work is a big part of enjoying our life.  It is the challenge of work that keeps us interested and gives us a sense of accomplishment when we complete a task.  How do we learn to enjoy our work?  We must 1) find aspects of the job that we enjoy; 2) work with someone who enjoys it; 3) choose our occupation and career; and 4) prepare adequately for our vocation through education.

William Bennett says, “Parents show their kids how to enjoy doing the things that have to be done by working with them, by encouraging and appreciating their efforts, and by the witness of their own cheerful and conscientious example.”

Taking on a challenging task and doing it well gives birth to confidence.  Only by great toil can you win all that is worth having.

The keys to any change in your life are: 1) Want It:  How bad do you want to change?  Are you willing to sacrifice? 2) Get Help:  What help will you find?  This could be people, resources, or God; and 3) Don’t Quit: Churchill almost single-handedly held the fate of Europe in his hands during WWII.  As he said almost daily to his people, “Never, never, never, ever give up.”

 

Journal Questions:

 

[Please distribute a copy of the Journal Questions to each student.  You may explain, “The Journal Questions help us apply all we have learned to our life.  It is very personal, a time to be alone with our thoughts and record them.  Please reflect on each question and write down your best answer.” Please tell them that these sheets will be collected at the end of the period.  Assure them that you will not read their answers and that they will be kept in a confidential place so that they may be available for discussion in your next session.]

 

 

1.    In the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Chris must work very hard under difficult circumstances to succeed.  His diligence on the road to success made his arrival sweet, enabling him to experience the joy of fulfillment. Diligence is the consistent application of effort to a worthwhile task.  On a diligence scale of 1-10 with 1 being a lack of any diligence, how would your best friend rate you?  Why?

 

 

 

 

2.    In the movie, Chris had to be diligent under hard circumstances.  What is the hardest work you have ever done?  What did it teach you?

 

 

 

 

3.    In the movie, Chris was good at the two things needed to be a stockbroker.  The presentation said, “If we want to be happy in this life, we must be happy in our working life.  To be happy at work, two tasks must be accomplished:  First, we must find a vocation we like and are really good at.  Second, we must diligently apply ourselves both to be trained in and to work at this vocation.” 

 

a.     What do you want to do for a career?  If you don’t know, do you have any ideas or possibilities? _______________________________________________________

b.     Do you know what it takes to be good at it?  What? __________________________________________________________________

c.     Is it a vocation through which you can make enough money to live? __________________________________________________________________

d.     What are you planning to do for training in this field? __________________________________________________________________

e.     Do you have the diligence it takes to get the training you need and to do this job every day?  If not, how will you learn to be diligent? _________________________________

 

 

4.    In the movie, Chris said he had many ideas of what he wanted to become but he never completed any of them. 

a.     What do you want to become or change about yourself or your life? ________________________________________________________________________

b.     What are you willing to sacrifice to make this happen?  [Be specific] ________________________________________________________________________

c.     Where can you get the help you need to make it happen? ________________________________________________________________________

d.     Will you choose before you begin never to give up?  [Of course, you can change your mind if you find a better career] ___________________________________________________________

 

 

Next:  Discuss the journal Questions

 

 

 

C2: Character Challenge
Free Sample Lesson
Character Growth Index
About the Author
Who Uses C2?
Why Teens
Changing Lives
Order C2
Contact Us
FAQ
Free Character Videos