But be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Twelfth Night (1601)
As advice goes, I have no problem with the first clause – bring it on, I say! I may already be disqualified by ‘some men’, but let us rise above that. I was not born great. I am in the good company of 99% of the population who think that achieving greatness sounds much too much like hard work. Having greatness thrust upon one, however, sounds rather fun.
I am told it is a common dream to be in the stadium at a cup final, when one man is down. Suddenly you are called from the crowd to take his place, having greatness thrust upon you. Whether you go on to win lots of goals, or whether you secure a humiliating defeat for your side rather depends on your degree of optimism in your dreams.
P.S. If anyone were, by any chance, thinking of thrusting greatness on me, I would like to point out that I am already 64 and a quarter and you had better get a move on…:)