This is the guideline I am following in my life, or honestly putting in an effort to follow. Text is a repost of the list I found years ago and adopted it. Original author is unknown to me.

Are you a professional?

Tuned, reliable, complex but precise, clean and oiled – Rolex Swiss watch

How you look, talk, write, act and work determines whether you are a professional or an amateur. Society does not emphasize the importance of professionalism, so people tend to believe that amateur work is normal. Many businesses accept less-than-good results.

Schools graduate students who cannot read. You can miss 15% of the driving-test answers and still get a driver license. “Just getting by” is an attitude many people accept. But it is the attitude of amateurs. Don’t ever do anything as though you were an amateur. Anything you do, do it as a Professional to Professional standards.

If you have the idea about anything you do that you just dabble in it, you will wind up with a dabble life. There’ll be no satisfaction in it because there will be no real production you can be proud of. Develop the frame of mind that whatever you do, you are doing it as a professional and move up to professional standards in it. Never let it be said of you that you lived an amateur life. Professionals see situations and they handle what they see. They are not amateur dabblers.

“So learn this as a first lesson about life. The only successful beings in any field, including living itself, are those who have a professional viewpoint and make themselves and ARE professionals” — L. Ron Hubbard

  1. A professional learns every aspect of the job. An amateur skips the learning process whenever possible.
  2. A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. An amateur assumes what others need and want.
  3. A professional looks, speaks and dresses like a professional. An amateur is sloppy in appearance and speech.
  4. A professional keeps his or her work area clean and orderly. An amateur has a messy, confused or dirty work area.
  5. A professional is focused and clear-headed. An amateur is confused and distracted.
  6. A professional does not let mistakes slide by. An amateur ignores or hides mistakes.
  7. A professional jumps into difficult assignments. An amateur tries to get out of difficult work.
  8. A professional completes projects as soon as possible. An amateur is surrounded by unfinished work piled on top of unfinished work.
  9. A professional remains level-headed and optimistic. An amateur gets upset and assumes the worst.
  10. A professional handles money and accounts very carefully. An amateur is sloppy with money or accounts.
  11. A professional faces up to other people’s upsets and problems. An amateur avoids others’ problems.
  12. A professional uses higher emotional tones: Enthusiasm, cheerfulness, interest, contentment. An amateur uses lower emotional tones: anger, hostility, resentment, fear, victim.
  13. A professional persists until the objective is achieved. An amateur gives up at the first opportunity.
  14. A professional produces more than expected. An amateur produces just enough to get by.
  15. A professional produces a high-quality product or service. An amateur produces a medium-to-low quality product or service.
  16. A professional earns high pay. An amateur earns low pay and feels it’s unfair.
  17. A professional has a promising future. An amateur has an uncertain future.

The first step to making yourself a professional is to decide you ARE a professional.

Are you a professional?


Another attribute of a person on which I put high value. Even though is not that easy to be clear about actual meaning of word smart. If you try to look for the definition on the web, you will open Pandora’s box of opposite opinions. Following quote by Josh Fechter is closest to my understanding of it.

How to identify smart people:

They ask you questions. When you answer, they ask you more.
When you start using big words, they ask for clarification.
When they can’t understand anything you’re saying, they ask for you to explain it to them as if they were a five-year-old.
When you say something intriguing, they write it down in their notebook or phone.
These people are not naturally more intelligent. They’re better learners which makes them more intelligent.
Why do they learn better?
They’re genuinely curious and ask questions from a humble standpoint. I’ve met highly successful people who’ve said, “explain it to me as if I were a five-year-old.”
This simple phrase has changed my life when it comes to learning.
It comes back to the famous Chinese proverb: “He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.”
As soon as you stop asking questions, you stop learning.
As soon as you stop writing down ideas, you forget them.
The hardest part of becoming intelligent is not bullshitting yourself about what you know; it’s being humble enough to ask questions. If you can do this, then people will see you as intelligent, too. – Josh Fechter

How to identify bullshit sold for smart

I just love what this guy did! Take your time and listen carefully.