People underestimate the importance of diligence as a virtue. No doubt this has something to do with how supremely mundane it seems. It is defined as “the constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken”. There is a flavor of simplistic relentlessness to it. And if it were an individual’s primary goal in life, that life would indeed seem narrow and unambitious.
Understood, however, as the prerequisite of great accomplishment, diligence stands as one of the most difficult challenges facing any group of people who take on tasks of risk and consequence. It sets a high, seemingly impossible, expectation for performance and human behavior. Yet some in medicine have delivered on that expectation on an almost unimaginable scale.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
People underestimate the importance of diligence as a virtue
From Better by Atul Gawande.