People who are not of a "great" nature only wish for things. They wait for the proverbial ball to "come to them." Great people find a purpose or multiple purposes and pursue a lifetime of service to these purposes. The purpose becomes the "motive" for driving the things they say and do. They become "enslaved" to the purpose and manifest from idea and ideals to works and physical manifestations through their labor. Thus, they become "known" for their association with the purposes, principles, and philosophies in which they subscribe their service. The reason they become great is because people see the manifestation of ideas, ideals, principles, and philosophies through the life of those who serve them. Thus, ideas, ideals, principles, and philosophies are greater than we are. We can choose to become a part of these invisible yet powerful entities.
Hope this helps. :)