The Formula for Success is Scarily Simple But No One Does It

Do you have what it takes to be successful? A look at the simple formula of success that no one is doing.

The Formula for Success is Scarily Simple But No One Does It

Before we get started with today’s newsletter you might be wondering, “What the hell is The Curious Engineer and why is it in my inbox?”.

If you are receiving this email it is because you have signed up for either my Sunday Syntax newsletter or for my newsletter on Hashnode.

I have renamed Sunday Syntax to The Curious Engineer and am returning to a weekly post.


I was finding it challenging to come up with something interesting to say each week that was only related to software engineering and that I actually wanted to write about.

However, a lot of the content I consume is on entrepreneurship, business and self-development. So I am going to write about that (as well as software engineering) and hope that you will find it interesting too.

More on that in a minute but let’s get started with today’s newsletter.

Most people go through life without ever seeing the success they want.

Although it doesn’t always appear this way if you read anything online. The internet loves a good success story and will often gloss over the struggles the person went through to get there.

“It was an overnight success” you hear them say.

Yes, it was an overnight success that was 6 years in the making.

Whether it is a best-selling book, a YouTube channel with 1 million subscribers or a successful blog they all have one thing in common.

They produce a lot of content.

It is never your first video or article that is a viral sensation. It is usually the 54th video or the 100th article.

You have to put in your reps and get good at your craft before you are likely to see success.

This is how you take luck out of the equation.

This is how you beat the odds.

This is how you become successful.

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Steve Martin

This is why for 2023 I am setting myself a ridiculous goal. I am going to write 356 articles and produce 52 YouTube videos this year.

Very few people do this but the ones that do always win.

The formula for success is simple:

Confidence + Consistency = Success

You need to have the confidence that you are making the right choice and that even when things don’t look like they are going the right way you know that you are on the right path.

Consistency is where people always fall short. They give up too soon.

This is why the gym is always full this time of year but by March it is back to its pre-Christmas numbers.

People suck at consistency.

Very few people do this but the ones that do always win.

People say they lack motivation but it isn’t about motivation it is about discipline. If you want to be successful you need to do the work even when you don’t feel like it.

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.

Jim Rohn

People always shy away from hard work and blame life when they failed to be consistent. Sure you might have setbacks but as long as you get back up, brush yourself off and do the work that no one else is doing you will succeed.

One way to be outstanding and become more valuable is to do what others are unwilling to do.

Peter Voogd

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❤️ Picks of the Week

🎬 YouTube - Neil Gaiman - The Interview I Have Waited 20 Years To Do. I love Neil Gaiman’s work which is great because there is so much of it! Neil is a prolific writer and always gets up and does the work.

📝 Article - A Software Developers Guide to Writing. Ankur has written a great guide on writing for software developers. Writing is an incredibly important skill that you need to foster if you want to be successful. Never underestimate the importance of good communication.

📝 Article - The Arc of the Practical Creator. For anyone who wants to make a living out of their passion, this is a must-read. I am currently on Stage 2 of the arc but hopefully with enough effort this year I will make it to Stage 3.

📖 Book - The Art and Business of Online Writing (affiliate link). I read this book over the Christmas period and it is what has encouraged me to write more this year.

💬 Quote of the Week

A taste of freedom can make you unemployable.

From The Almanack of Naval Ravikant (affiliate link) by Eric Jorgensen. Resurfaced with Readwise.