To me its a question of opportunity versus obligation and how quickly that coin can flip. What truly is the difference between the person who "took a great risk" and the person who was "irresponsible"? And what is the difference between the person who endured and the person who wasn't strong enough to take charge of their own life.
Its interesting to me that you hardly hear about the people in the middle. The everyday people who perhaps make some crazy choices but otherwise stay the course. And its even MORE interesting to me that such a HUGE dichotomy exists between what I think are two of the most common determinants of what makes someone "great". I've got a couple decisions on my plate right now that force me to pick "opportunity" or "obligation". When I think about the "legacy of my life" (thanks Steph! :) ) I can argue it either way...but I still can't manage the difference between the two and which I choose to embrace. Its a hard hard choice.