I also love reading history. And one thing I find amazing is that if you go 100 years back the people you will find relevant and can refer to as history makers are mostly regular folks who followed their not so lucrative passion. The celebrities die out the quickest. Followed by the business men, those who are respected just because of the money they control. And then lousy politicians; politicians who followed the rules of the game and did nothing revolutionary.
You can safely say that all the people who are extremely popular today will not be remembered 100 years from now. The musicians and footballers will be the first forgotten. Then the business tycoons next. When your great great great great grandchildren read their school books they are going to know more poor scientists than rich business men and celebrities that lived today. They would know Chinua Achebe and not know the politicians whose names were daily filling up the newspapers. They would be reading laws and theories developed by today's unknown scientists.
100 years from now, only the people who were driven by passion and not gain nor fame will be remembered. Your nieces and nephews know Albert Einstein and most probably know nothing about the richest man in recent history, John D Rockefeller. Rockefeller died in 1937 and Einstein in 1955, less than 20 years apart. Rockefeller was so rich that he had more money than almost all the countries in the world then. He is often regarded as the richest man on record since world history. Everything about him made the news. And as for Einstein, he appeared more in school books than newspapers. An equivalent comparison today would be Aliko Dangote and Chimamanda Adichie. So you can see how almost impossible it is for us to consider that Adichie will be so much more influential/remembered than Dangote. That is what history has consistently shown.
There is a magic about a driven passion. When you follow your passion without regard for wealth or fame, you gain something much more. There are a lot of people, like me, who were inspired by the life of Socrates. Even Steve Jobs said he would gladly trade all his technology to spend an evening with him. Yet Socrates wasn't rich or a celebrity in his days. He was simply driven by a pure passion. I am yet to come across anyone who has referred to any of the stupendously wealthy Emperors as an inspiration to him. We all know of Mozart, Charles Dickens, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Aristotle. We have no idea how rich they were because it's not what they are remembered for. They are remembered for the value they created by following their passion wholeheartedly.
It's amazing that the people who shaped our world the most are not the people who control the paycheck of the most number of people nor the people who took up the most space in the newspapers and magazines of their days nor the people who made all the rules we live by as a country nor the people who were world famous in their days. They were ordinary people who simply followed their passion with a strong drive. Beneficiaries of the magic of a driven passion.