You probably made resolutions at the beginning of the year. Whether you have achieved your goals or not, there is no need to feel sorry for yourself. You still have time to comply with these resolutions. But you would still have trouble getting there if you don't adopt the appropriate mindsets. In my view, these are 5 attitudes that remain paramount when it comes to raising to the next level:


1. Staying honest with yourself

To acquire a know-how, a skill, a recognition, etc., it takes time and a lot of practice. At first, you will have to acknowledge that you do not know much about how things work. As long as you don't accept the fact that you do not have the required abilities (yet), you will keep an invalid perception of reality. Don't be fooled by the flattering comments or the admiring amateurs. Get closer to knowledgeable people who are way ahead of you and who are willing to mentor you.


2. Starting with the basics

Competition generally tends to highlight different levels of proficiency, and each level has its specific features. Those of the lowest level remain the most important ones, as they constitute the basis of your skills. You will need to take the time to master these basics.


3. Asking questions

There is no such thing as a dumb question. The best approach is to record the answers on the medium of your choice. However, I can assure you that your brain is not the place where you should record them. You must have a (paper or electronic) notebook where you will mark everything that will be useful for your evolution. This will ensure that you won't need to ask the same questions several times. Asking the same question twice to the same person is like giving them a motive to stop answering your questions. It would be unfortunate to lose people who have agreed to mentor you.


4. Accepting criticism

This will always bring you back to point 1. Only by accepting criticism will you be able to identify your weak points in order to overcome them.


5. Working hard, paying attention to details

If you only believe in innate ability, you are doomed. I don't know much about academic studies relating to human abilities, however my field experience strengthens my conviction that the most important factor for success is hard work. And in order to move forward through work, you need to pay close attention to details.


[Translated from a contribution by Jean-Patrick Ehouman]