What does it take to be a successful IT engineer. Indeed there is no magic potion that could do the trick. The way I see it, you improvise through continuously renovating or evolving yourself. I think this is best achieved by pushing oneself to the brink of his/her comfort zone. Imagine a circle of which the interior to be considered as your comfort zone. An ideal position would be to be right on the circumference of this hypothetical circle.
Falling inside the circle would make you lethargic, sluggish and gradually degrade your performance. The thing about comfort zone is that it feels just great and you like to be right there. It goes on with work getting easier, getting comfortable with the people around you, less variation and more mundane tasks. If you get lazy pulling yourself out of this situation, you might never succeed in doing so. Being inside the circle gradually squeezes out your ability to evolve.
Being outside the circle constantly would mean that you never get settled and are always thrown into difficult situations. This would wear you off after significant time and deplete your motivation to succeed.
The best position would be an equilibrium of both, sort of a status quo. It is important that you constantly reflect on yourself and be sure to pull yourself back to the circumference. This would let you evolve your skills constantly and at the same time reward yourself with your accomplishments and motivate to achieve even more.