A good deal happens in a man's life that he isn't responsible for. Fortunate openings occur but it is safe to remember that such 'breaks' are occurring all the time, and other things being equal, the advantage goes to the man who is ready.
A great biography should, like the close of a great drama, leave behind it a feeling of serenity. We collect into a small bunch the flowers, the few flowers, which brought sweetness into a life, and present it as an offering to an accomplished destiny. It is the dying refrain of a completed song, the final verse of a finished poem.
A great man or woman is any man or woman who outperforms his or her counterparts in a particular field, sphere, dispensation or a given period of time i.e. extraordinariness or uncommonness is nothing but a sign of greatness. But, mind you nobody has ever become truly great by his or her own strenght, intelligence, wealth or hardwork. Yes! it takes only God's grace to achieve true greatness in anything in life (Psalms 75 : 6).
A hopeful life is more probable to be helpful/fruitful/successful. Whereas, a hopeless life is most definite to be helpless/unfruitful/unsuccessful. Therefore, for life be hopeful and never hopeless, even if/when it seems there is not a hope at all.
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving.