Do Diligence (Thoughts on creativity, inspired by Korea: Episode 206)

Do Diligence (Thoughts on creativity, inspired by Korea: Episode 206)

This message is inspired by the word that stuck with me after interviewing creatives in South Korea: The word was “diligence”.

Some people look at the economic success of South Korea and say: “It’s because they work so hard.” Or because they “work so much”. Some even say: “It’s because they work TOO hard, or TOO much.”

Sure, some South Koreans work way too much – they even have a word for working oneself to death: “kwarosa.” But the message of this text is not to be inspired by those who work too much but to be inspired by those who work diligently.

To be diligent is to have “the quality of working carefully and with a lot of effort.”

And according to the “sense (of the word) evolved through time from ‘love’ through ‘attentiveness’ to ‘carefulness’ to ‘steady effort’.”

So the original meaning of the word diligence was “love”.

Being diligent is not about “working hard.” It’s about putting in a lot of mental and emotional effort into what you are creating because you profoundly care about what you are doing.

If you ask me, the vast majority of creative people are diligent.

Not necessarily hard working, but diligent. That’s what make them so creative.

They put in a lot of effort into what they are doing.

The next time you feel that a creative project you are working on is not going the way you wish it would be going, then ask yourself: “Am I really being diligent with my work on this project?”

My trip to Korea inspired me to try to be more diligent myself.

So remember to do diligence.

This was inspired by a number of creative people I met while in Korea, especially a meeting I had with Amy (Jungyeon) Wee, founder of ACRES International.

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