Yes, everyone loves calling himself or herself 'very professional', and I am no different! What defines professionalism? Let me make an attempt.
One, the ability to do your work in the best possible manner, and to deliver what's required of you, as scheduled or even before! Two, to be highly skillful in what you do. Three, to be very knowledgeable about your line of work. Four, to be very quick at your work, simply because you've become so adept at it -- like it is second nature.
Some others could be: conforming to the work related standards of your job in a highly focused manner. Perhaps, being deeply involved in any activity as a source of your livelihood or career; an example, blogger. Or even, doing performances for a fee, such as tennis or soccer stars. Maybe, even some having great skill in some activity; an example, a Kung Fu exponent like the late Bruce Lee.
Well, what does it take to be a professional. Blood, sweat and tears! Or, the three Ds: discipline, dedication and devotion!!
You've to put in long hours of practice at your profession. There's a saying that goes something like -- anyone should never be concerned about the thousands things that you do, but that person will surely be concerned about that one thing that you do a thousand times! Hope, I've got the meaning right! :)
What does this mean? You become very good at something specific -- for example chess. Or, you are simply exceptional at the trapeze. How did you achieve this? By hours and hours of practice. And, constant practice! They say, practicing is boring! Hey, those long boring hours eventually lead you to great success.
Just take a look at some folks who are experts at gaming. They've achieved this status by constant hours of practice. The gaming industry is thriving because of them. I am reminded of one such friend, Jambi Reyes, my ex-colleague in Global Sources. He is a class act! Wonder, why he's not yet taken up gaming as a full time profession!
Right actions, along with the right approach and attitude, will lead you to success as a thorough professional! And, a leader!!