Whether you’re just starting your career or you’re a seasoned veteran, there’s always room for growth and making sure that you’ll reach your maximum potential in your field. And sure, there are contextual and external factors that affect you that are out of your control, but the key to unlock your future is in your hands.

The first step is to ask yourself some explorative questions about how you define happiness and personal excellence. Do you need to develop or change any habits to get there? For example, do you lack self-discipline or positive thinking? And don’t forget the importance of a well-rounded life—balancing your workload with hobbies, personal pursuits and socialization. Distractions outside of work can help you focus when you are at work.

Here are the things you can control in your career to help you reach that pinnacle of your career every day.

1. Focus on strengths.

Don’t waste time and energy focusing on your weaknesses. Instead showcase your achievements and nurture your talents.

2. Focus on now.

You can’t change what happened in the past, nor can you fully influence what happens in the future. Put your full focus and attention on today.

3. Focus on priorities.

Have a to-do list every day and stick to it. Maintain a sense of direction and align your goals today and this week with your long-term objectives. Don’t waste time!

4. Focus on results.

Remind yourself what you’re working towards to help you overcome frustration and setbacks. Imagine the sense of accomplishment you will feel when you reach your end goal.

5. Focus on your contribution.

Consider your work to be more than just a job; it’s helping to make the world better in some way. The best version of yourself will emerge when you believe that what you do matters.

6. Focus on your network.

Surround yourself with a trusted group of supportive people who will push you and encourage you. They might be experts in your field or they might be friends and loved ones. Do the same with social media. Initiate and maintain contact with helpful people in a personal and professional way.

7. Focus on structure.

Build a system of daily habits that will help with self-discipline that will pave the way to your goals. Small, incremental actions count as progress even if you don’t immediately see grand results. You’re building your career brick by brick.

8. Focus on first impressions.

When you have an interview or important meeting, be prompt and dress well. Be serious and professional, but also enthusiastic.

9. Focus on learning.

In addition to extra credentials and certificates and seminars that look good on resumes, show your colleagues and that you take responsibility for your mistakes and seek to learn from them.

10. Focus on persistence.

Quitting is not an option, and if you do quit, it’s a slippery slope until it becomes habitual. Practice diligence and perseverance.

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