Five Lessons Learned from Doctor Who

I have to be honest for a minute and reveal something about myself- I am a big fan of Doctor Who.

I only discovered the show a couple of years ago, but thanks to Netflix, I was able to watch all the seasons and the episodes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, it follows the adventures of an alien called “The Doctor” who has the ability to travel in time and space (that’s the short version of the story, I don’t want to give too much away!). And this year, on November 23, 2013, the 50th anniversary episode will air. That’s right, this show has been around for 50 years! Pretty incredible.

Now, given how close the 50th anniversary is (less than two weeks away!) I’m sure you can understand how excited I am. So, in honor of the 50th anniversary episode, and because I feel the need to make sure you understand just how great this show is (or at least get you curious enough to start watching it) I want to share with you what Doctor Who has taught me about life, work, and problem-solving.

There is always a way

The Doctor more often than not will find himself in what seems to be an impossible situation. Let’s face it, protecting the whole of time and space is a pretty arduous task, and sometimes it seems like there is no way out. However, by thinking about things in a different way, maybe changing his perspective and his angle of the problem, he can usually find a way out of these difficult situations. The same is true for a human life. Many times, when we find ourselves in what seems like dead-end situations, if we just take a step back and try looking at it in a new way, it will provide a solution that we never even thought of.

Everyone deserves a chance

Sometimes, people (or aliens) will make mistakes. Sometimes they will do horrible things. But, everyone is important, and everyone deserves at least the same basic level of respect. Even when The Doctor is confronted by an alien race who seems to just be pure evil, he does always try to offer them a way out- an alternative solution that allows for everyone to live in peace. It is important, as we go through life, to have that level of respect for every other person we come into contact with.

Face your mistakes, or they will come back to haunt you

You always need to take responsibility for the things you do in your life. Your choices are going to be yours alone. Sometimes they will work out great, and sometimes they will go wrong. But, if you own up to them, face them, take responsibility for them, and learn from them, you will be able to continue moving forward. If you don’t those mistakes will always come back to haunt you, and will keep dragging you back.

Surround yourself with people who have different ideas

Not even a 900 year old alien who can travel in time and space has all the answers. The Doctor continually surrounds himself with people who have the skills and insights that he lacks, that bring to his life something that he is missing, whether that is compassion for all living things or love between two people. They help him face the truth about himself, and constantly try to push him to be better. This is an especially good lesson for business owners- surround yourself with people who know about the things you don’t, who have qualities and skills that you struggle with, and then…listen to them! If you hired them because they don’t see things the way you do, it is important to make sure that you take the time to really listen to what they have to say.

There are times you won’t be in control. Go with the flow

The Doctor almost always finds himself thrown into situations he didn’t see coming, where inevitably the fate of the world, or the universe, or an alien race will rest squarely on his shoulders. Instead of walking away or panicking, The Doctor will assess the issue he is faced with, and try to determine a solution. He doesn’t spend time being upset that he didn’t plan for this, or being angry that this is happening to him. He is instead always looking towards the future, always looking for a solution. If we all spent our time concentrating on solutions to problems instead of fretting over the problem itself, nothing would be able to stop us from moving forward.

So, if you haven’t seen the show yet, I highly recommend checking it out, you can find all the seasons on Netflix. And the 50th anniversary special is only 9 days away…so you had better start now!

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