How to Be Great? Just Be Good, Repeatably

Steph Smith on June 13, 2019

This article was originally published on my blog, where I often write about personal growth, remote work, learning to code, and women in tech. ... [Read Full]
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Super fabulously articulated Steph. This is a really motivating one!


Thank you, Ben! Really appreciate hearing that.


I really appreciate this article, it's specially useful for me on a process I'm going through right now, excellent work!


Thank you, Mauri! Wishing you the best.


Inspiring, Motivating and beautifully crafted.

To put it simply in code - :-P

let good=[];
let great=Array(100);

while (good.length !== great.length ){



console.log("Something Great Done!")


Thank you, Varun! I love the translation into code. 😍


Searching for instantaneous greatness is same as watching hurricane on TV. The momentum catches people, not before, not after.
Too bad, our life goes slowly and full of tedious choose that don't always make show.

As hurricane kills few, the instantaneous success or luck hits only a handful people.

For most of us, habit counts. It forms a pattern, which shapes how we feel, how we think and talk, and eventually sees what we do and what we become.


Completely! The thing is, most of the stories we hear are formed by the media and are romanticized and not an accurate depiction of reality.

That's why most people think success happens in certain ways, when realistically, most success is not that flashy.


Wow! I often read or watch stuff about this topic, but you managed to summarise and explain it in a single article. Really well written!
I'll make sure to bookmark this and read it at least once a week. Thanks for that!


Thanks so much, Marcos! Really hope it helps you moving forward.


It was a really good article to read and to take seriously in life, so I'm gonna read it over and over again to be as GREAT as you are, nice post it really inspired me, thanks!


Thanks so much Yehanny! Really happy to hear that you'll be reading it moving forward.


Thank you so much for taking the time to write this article Steph. It really helped me re-evaluate what I see as success, as well as how to get there. You also gave me a few great books that I added to my reading list that I have not read before. Thank you for this, truly.


Thanks so much, Jaco! It’s so rewarding to get comments like this which indicate the post had a legitimate impact. All the best! πŸ’«


Thank You very much for writing such an amazing and motivational article!

I just wanted to point out that phrases like "Be Good, Be Great, Become Great" etc probably can hurt someone who is currently on the stage of identifying him/herself with his/her actions.
I had such a problem and I'm in continuous progression to stop doing this ("I am enough" by Marisa Peer is really helpful :)), but I've noticed a lot of people are feeling bad about themselves because of what they do.

So maybe You could somehow make it a bit more clear that "Be Great" or "Be Good" doesn't mean that we are currently bad and that it's more accurate to say "Be Great at something/Be Good at something" and that we're great "by default" :)

Kind regards!


Thank you, Roman!

I hear you. I think sometimes those phrases can be detrimental, but part of the reason I wrote this post is to encourage people not to compare themselves to others and instead to focus on progressing themselves. You yesterday should be your baseline for tomorrow.

I also think it's good to stay encouraging, but not give people a false sense of accomplishment. If we use our "yesterday selves" as the point of comparison, we all have room to grow!


Hey Steph, I loved your article.

I picked it as one of the highlights of my latest video.

I discuss your article and I add some of my own thoughts.

Check it out here:


Thanks so much, Marek! Enjoyed watching your video.


Steph - really loved the article! I also dug into your website and got very inspired, so you have at least one new subscriber to your newsletter!

I was going back over the article and thinking about it and I'm curious - do you mean repeatably good or repeatedly? I can make the argument for both, but I will admit, I first interpreted it as repeatedly only to realize later you wrote repeatably.



Thank you, Stephen! It's so nice to hear that you found my other articles helpful too.

I've had this question asked a few times now and is something I'm not even 100% sure about (both pre- and post- publishing). I think it could be either, but I went with repeatably instead of repeatedly because repeatedly speaks more to something having been done, while I think repeatably refers more to the concept of doing things that can be repeated in the future. It's not only the act of doing something over and over, but developing the right processes which can be repeated (ie: focusing on things that are repeatable).


Super Like! Candidate for repeated read.
Thanks for writing and sharing such "good" articles, keep doing it "repeatedly"..... :)


Exactly! Thank you for the kind words.


This is very impressive. I think I and many others will get a lot of use out of it for years to come.


Wow, thank you! I really hope it is useful moving forward 😊


I already read "Power of Habit" and "Algorithms to live by", two extraordinary books!

I liked so much your article. Many claps !

I suggest this book to your list: "Thinking Fast and Slow" , You can't change your habits without understanding your brain and the decision making process it generates.

And this quote :
β€œWe are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” Aristotle


Thank you for the suggestions!!

I've read half of "Thinking Fast and Slow", but I really should finish it.

The Aristotle quote is really great too.


I would repeatedly say that this article is great. Wonderful job!


This might be one of the best & most practical articles I've ever read about self improvement.

I am sharing this ALL over the place.

Thank you.


Wow, thank you Sherri! Really appreciate the support.


I really needed this.
Thanks for this lovely article.


Such an amazing article! I didn't expect to find something like that on dev.to, happy to be a part of the wide community discussing different topics :)


Thank you, Andrey! Agreed - I love the diversity of topics on here. πŸ™Œ


Wow Steph. Just Wow.

β€œUntil you work as hard as those you admire, don’t explain away their success as luck.” - James Clear, Atomic Habits

What an article. Will share on SM :) Keep Writing. . .


Why can I give this article just one Unicorn?
You really deserve zillions of πŸ¦„


Hahah if only. Thank you, Yaser! πŸ¦„πŸ¦„πŸ¦„


Steph, thank you for writing this article! I will share this with a few friends.You break down what I have been trying to explain for years so perfectly. Thanks for the hard work!


This article is superb. I really needed this, thank you!


Thanks Silvija! Glad it found you when you needed it πŸ™Œ


Thank you for the great article! A good dose of motivation in the morning 😊


Thank you! Happy that you found it motivating 😊


Wow! Great article and really motivating! I never thought of greatness/success like that.


Thank you! Glad it opened your mind to a new way of thinking. 😊

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