Yesterday, I did lots of professional (sort of) stuff, including taking an online survey funded by ICA (International Communication Association) about "graduate student characteristics." The aim of the study, from what I gather from the questions, has to do with identifying those characteristics most commonly perceived as indicators of success (or something like it) in academia. Most of the questions were write-in. For the question about the most common characteristics of "excellent" graduate students, I wrote something like "capacity for obsessiveness and a consistent willingness to work hard." (ftr: I don't think these observations are exactly newsflashes.) I also believe that good writing, big thinking, and all those qualities are somewhat indispensable, but they are (in my experience at least) slightly more teachable than the two I listed.
Another thing I did yesterday (last night after Odyssey) is read the introduction to Eve Sedgwick's Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. No sooner than page 2, I encountered this line: "I'm fond of observing how obsession is the most durable form of intellectual capital."