“Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.”― Dr. Seuss
This is Part 1 of the 2-part series on creativity and life lessons from Dr. Seuss.
Sometimes you are looking for a little push or a nudge in the right direction in your creative project.
Whether it is a little hearty laugh or to look at something with new eyes and a different perspective, you might be looking for that extra something.
If you need to bust an assumption or feel the creative spark, it may be a good idea to turn to some of the greatest creative people for inspiration.
You need not look any further because the endearing and magnificent Dr. Seuss is always available to inspire you.
Here are a few timeless nuggets of wisdom on life and creativity from one of the greatest and most creative people of all times:
1. You are Youer than You
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!
What a wonderful reminder to be yourself! I have always found these lines from the classic book “Happy Birthday to You” from Dr. Seuss to be a delightful and amazing repeat of the word “you.”
In many ways, we forget this on a daily basis.
You begin to praise others and their greatness while forgetting and undermining your creativity and your work. You may begin to let the creative dream of yours fade away in the distance while getting on with your busy life.
This quote from Dr. Seuss is a wake up call to embrace “youness” all over. Even though the context of the book is that one special day in your life, your birthday, I believe that Dr. Seuss was teaching you to be very special in your own life.
The real truth is that you are unique and remarkable beyond measure. Science has amply demonstrated the amazing power, beauty and elegance of our minds and bodies.
All you have to do is to remember this amazing idea from Dr. Seuss that you are the most unique and remarkable version of yourself that you can find anywhere and that is the truth.
Remind yourself consistently that you are unique and remarkable.
Feel great about yourself, your talents, your creativity and give wings to your unique and creative life.
2. The Amazing Power of Nonsense and Fantasy
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” ― Dr. Seuss
Whenever I get too serious about something and need a new point of reference or change of environment for my creativity, I turn to these wise words from Dr. Seuss.
One way to infuse much new creative power into your life is to take the words from Dr. Seuss and open up the gates of your imagination and fantasy by being nonsensical.
Children love nonsense, and they are forever pushing the boundaries of doing things differently and looking through the wrong side of the telescope. When children do something outlandish such as putting mustard on their blueberries, adults rush in to correct them.
However, if you look closely at innovation and creativity, it is that very ability of putting several seemingly impossible or improbable combinations together that creates a new piece of art or a new invention.
When you look at a problem from different angles and perspectives, nonsense and improbable included, you may chance upon hidden creative gems.
Look at life and at problems with different lenses and incorporate some improbable and nonsensical perspectives.
Lighten up and laugh at life’s realities and make difficult times more easy to go through.
3. On Living Passionately
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ― Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss reminds us that living passionately and finding things that we love to do and connecting with people we love to be with is very important.
You may have great dreams and aspirations for your life and your creative projects. In reality you might be challenged to make all of them a reality.
Even if you are living happily and you are content with your current reality, you may want to take the big leap into a reality that is as good and eventually better than your dreams as Dr. Seuss suggests.
We have all had those moments of inspiration, flow and deep love when time just seems to flow effortlessly and we are in a highly focused state of enjoyment. The trick is to increase the incidence of events that you absolutely love.
These are the events that push the status quo and creatively challenge you to rise to the occasion, and happen when you are pushing your limits in activities that you love to do.
Make your dreams a reality by choosing to actively taking small steps towards what you love to do.
Challenge yourself creatively and take the big leap into discovering and sustaining your skills and passions.
4. Caring For a Cause
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
This call to action from Dr. Seuss places the responsibility of making things better in your court. There are many times when we assume that the little things that we do cannot possibly affect the big picture.
From your vantage point, it may be difficult or impossible to see the big picture because it is so distant and such a blur. However, as Dr. Seuss points out that nothing is going to get better unless someone like you cares a lot and does something about it.
Often a great movement is started when someone like you cares enough to make a difference. See this wonderful but short TED talk about starting a movement.
When you care and begin, a great book is born, a great movie is made and a great invention is materialized.
What do you care about? What are the issues and problems that you would like to see changed and would like to make a positive impact on? Perhaps you would like to design a new shopping cart or a new application to make productivity simple and effortless.
Remember the great advise from Dr. Seuss and begin on your cause without any hesitation and without any further delay.
Identify what you care about a lot.
Begin by talking small actions towards your great creative adventure or project.
5. You are Going Great Places
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Dr. Seuss reminds you that you should seize the day and move towards your mountain or most cherished goals and desires. I have always found the element of great possibility and hope in Dr. Seuss’s words and they comfort and inspire me.
When you make the small but significant shift of thinking that things are not possible to things are possible and most likely probable, you will approach your life with that enthusiasm.
I think that enthusiasm makes all the difference. It is the difference between giving up and staying the course. It is the difference between getting bored and quitting and moving ahead with great momentum.
Dr. Seuss did not hesitate to place several exclamation points indicating that this task of searching for possibility and going to great places should be nothing short of being very exciting and should invoke great enthusiasm.
Dr. Seuss also says:
“You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.”
Enjoying your journey as you move through life is a lesson that we consistently receive from the work of Dr. Seuss. As you move forward in your adventure, you will see new and spectacular sights and reach great heights.
Move forward with enthusiasm and excitement.
Enjoy and savor the journey and the little accomplishments along the way.
6. On Trying New Things
“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” ― Dr. Seuss
This is a great reminder from Dr. Seuss to breakaway from the monotony of doing something repeatedly and stepping into the realm of trying something new and fun.
We are all creatures of habit and habits really do make up our life. We must also realize that those autopilot habits that may not allow the space and time for something new and exciting to be experienced.
Is there something new and exciting that you have been wanting to pick up or try but have been hesitating because of lack of time and other resources? One thing to realize is that there will always be other pressing matters and life may always be as busy as it is right now.
If you really want to have new experiences that may be a lot of fun, you will need to find some time and resources to try them out.
Many of us may not have found what we would like to pursue in our lives and may still be looking for the “one thing” to pursue. Trying out new things and experiences moves us forward in building the essential skills towards finding the one thing that you may find fascinating.
Dr. Seuss also says:
“Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!”
Life becomes a grand adventure if you take the role of prime protagonist in your life instead of sitting on the sidelines and hoping for something better.
Don’t stay behind in the events and opportunities in your life as Dr. Seuss suggests. Jump right in and go places and do new things and meet new people.
Try out the experiences that you have always wanted to try out but were too busy to do so in the past.
Attempt to develop new skills, meet new people and do something you have never done before.
7. On Simplicity
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ― Dr. Seuss
This is a reminder from Dr. Seuss that the questions and problems that you may ask and face in your life might seem complex and difficult.
However, if you engage the question and set out seeking for answers, you may find that the answers are surprisingly simple.
You may be confronting several complex questions and problems in your life at the current moment and from your vantage point, they may seem to be impossible to answer or overcome.
When you take even a few steps in engaging the question and advance in the direction of solving it, you may notice that what looked difficult from far is quite easy to answer. The answer always lies in engaging the problem, practicing more and developing skills to effectively address the question.
When you lack the tools, knowledge, willingness and enthusiasm to answer a complex problem, you may feel inspired to quit. However, if you keep moving and answering small chunks of the puzzle, you may just be refreshed by the simplicity of the answer.
Life is like a jigsaw puzzle that looks very complex when you begin. When you begin placing the pieces down and answering some of the questions of association and similarity, you gradually begin piecing together the puzzle and it becomes easier and simpler to continue forward.
Do not quit because questions and problems appear complex.
Breaking up a complex problem into small chunks, developing skills and moving forward by engagement may provide simple and elegant answers.
Now over to you! How have you been inspired by Dr. Seuss and the quotes in this article?
Photo Credit: The past tends to disappear via Compfight.