1 WORK HARD!!!
What a let-down... But the reality is that after all is said and done, if you want to be good at anything, you have to work hard. You also need some natural talent, a good attitude, emotional intelligence and to love what you do, but... you will never excel at anything unless you put in a lot of hard work. I have heard many people who have been successful in acting, athletics, teaching, business and sales talk about their careers. Yet I have never heard one of them say that 'it was easy' or 'it just happened' or 'I didn't really have to work hard'. One of the constant messages from those who have excelled in any walk of life is that you have to work hard over a long period to be successful. You have to persist even when the going gets tough. The world is full of people who never realise their potential. Don't let that be you.
2 Love your Job
Life is too short to work in a job that you don't enjoy. Yet there are many people that actually hate their jobs but stick at it anyway!! Sure, there are usually practical considerations such as mortgages, bills and car payments, so I would never suggest quitting your job on a whim. What I would suggest is to ask yourself a simple question: 'Do I enjoy coming in to work each day'? If the answer is 'no' then it may be time to do some soul searching. This is a challenging process, but pays big dividends in the long run. The bottom line is that finding the type of work that you really enjoy will take your career to the next level.
3 Keep Positive
Yes I know you have all heard this one before but that doesn't make it any less true. Now most people don't have the slightest idea of what positive thinking is. They understand the term on a purely intellectual basis and that's about it. They are all 'up and about' and thinking positive when things are going well, but as soon as things go a bit pear-shaped - as they will from time to time - they bitch and moan. The real test as to whether or not you are a Positive Thinker is being able to focus your thoughts in a certain way when things are tough. This means reminding yourself that things will get better, focusing on what you can control and not focusing on the things outside of your control, and generally trying to stay upbeat, even though you may feel like crawling under your doona...
4 Choose a career that you are suited to...
It may sound a little obvious, but unless you have some basic god given talent for the task at hand it is unlikely you will ever excel at it. Athletes are a good example. Take Roger Federer; number one player in the world for a record number of weeks, most Grand Slams in men's singles history, most prize money - you know the story. Now the point is that some people would have you believe that it's all due to hard work, and that to achieve what Roger has you simply need to work hard.. Ahhh, no. There are literally tens of thousands of young tennis players working hard to make it into the pro ranks yet only about 100 players ever do, let alone reach the heights of the great players. So the reality for a professional athlete is that you need to be blessed with a lot of natural talent to succeed. The same is true with our own careers. Make sure that the type of work you do fits with your natural strengths and abilities.