What The Remarkable Requires

There are various theories and explanations regarding what it takes to become great at something. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell advances the 10,000 hour rule. Seth Godin talks about generosity, which when we unpack it entails doing our art early and often and pushing through "the dip."

But what does doing the remarkable again and again look and feel like? Listen to Slate's Working Podcast interview with Stephen Colbert. He takes us through a typical day and provides stunning insights into the minutiae of making a really funny show. The level of detail, the quality of collaboration, the questions, delegation, technical production, and everything in between. It's, well, remarkable. Those who think Colbert's success is mostly due to his comedic genius and a few good writers are blind to the technical and artistic symphony that goes on behind the scenes nearly 24 hours a day.

When we've been persistent and generous to the point of frustration, an interview like this is a good reminder of how much work accomplishing remarkable things actually requires.