The philosopher Thomas Nagel:
Most people take life as they find it, and try to make something of the possibilities that are offered by their personal and social circumstances, avoiding catastrophe or failure, pursuing happiness, and working to realize some acceptable private or public ambitions. A small minority have the leisure to devote themselves systematically to understanding life and the world: scientists, historians, and thinkers. Others, seeing that there is much that is wrong with the world, spend their lives trying to change it for the better, and not just for themselves. Still others, creative artists, try to add to the world wonders that do not yet exists. Friedrich Nietzsche’s conception of his own task, the task of the true philosopher, was closest to the last of these—not merely to understand the world or to change it, but to create something new. And the field of his creation was himself.