The consistent work enhanced my act. I learned a lesson: it was easy to be great. Every entertainer has a night when everything is clicking. These nights are accidental and statistical: like lucky cards in poker, you can count on them occurring over time. What was hard was to be good, consistently good, night after night, no matter what the circumstances.
Coding Horror recasts this as: strive to be consistently good, and the greatness takes care of itself. I don't know, though, I think it actually comes out as: Great happens, good takes work.