“Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame, whatever the cost.”
~ John Hurt as The Doctor, Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode, “The Day of the Doctor,” written by Steven Moffat
What this quote means in business:
Are you great? Or are you the “lesser” person? Or, perhaps … you are both?
Saturday, I (like so many fellow Whovians) eagerly watched the 59th Anniversary Special of Doctor Who, featuring the 10th (David Tenant) and 11th (Matt Smith) Doctors and introducing John Hurt as the original Doctor (Doctor prime?). This episode looked back to the darkest day of the Doctor, the one in which he destroyed his entire race … or did he.
And, in the moment where he is about to make that fateful decision and push the big red button, he said the quote above. I played it back several times because it was so pregnant with meaning.
On the one hand, it talks about how the challenges in our life are what make us who we are. They are what forge our steel. Challenges aren’t often fun when they are happening, but they usually make us better, stronger, faster (OK, I couldn’t resist the call back to the Six Million Dollar Man — I confess, I’m a geek).
If you are going through challenges right now, take a moment to find the blessings in them. How are they making you a better person?
Doctor Who’s quote also talks about how each and every one of us are responsible for making those around us better. If you are an author, a coach, a speaker … it is your job to play the role of the “lesser man” and light the flame within the members of your audience. Your readers should be better off for reading your book. Your clients should be better off having worked with you. Your audiences should be transformed by hearing you speak.
Its your job … and your privilege.