“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
This is part 2 of the 2-part series on what we can learn from the amazing Dr. Seuss. You can read part 1 here.
If you would like to just see and go through the visual SlideShare presentation, please scroll to the end of the post!
8. On Respect and Connections: A Person is a Person
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” ― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
Dr. Seuss is telling us that every person matters no matter how small they are. Regardless of how different someone is from you, there might be something to learn from them and their voice is useful to the entire community.
In the original story, a kind elephant by the name of Horton is determined to protect a small speck of dust that houses a planet called Whoville where the “whos” live. The other animals unconvinced of Horton’s claims are all set to destroy the speck when the whos decide to make noise to alert the animals of their existence.
In the end, the voice becomes loud enough for all to hear after a tiny shirker Jojo adds his voice and thus increasing the volume just enough for the jungle to hear them and be convinced of their existence.
I think that this is a great message from Dr. Seuss because after we create our circles of core friends, we may stop listening to other opposing opinions. There is a chance of disregarding someone or something because you do not understand them very well or you think that they do not matter.
However, opposing opinions and getting novel ideas from different sources and from different people is very important if you want fresh air in your creative ventures.
Making meaningful and mutually respectful connections with people is only possible if we treat each other with kindness and respect.
When you treat someone as they really do matter because you believe that a person is a person, no matter how small as Dr. Seuss suggests, you infuse your relationships with meaning and joy.
Allow opposing opinions and perspectives from others no matter how small they are.
Treat others like they really matter and like their opinion really matters to create wonderful relationships and connections with others.
9. The Art of Perseverance
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” ― Dr. Seuss
Every creative venture and project has the potential to sail into rough weather. This advise from Dr. Seuss is hilarious but it makes an important point of getting ready for rough weather.
Rough weather and difficulties are inevitable in life and in creative ventures. There have been many times that I have come to a hair’s breath away from quitting and giving up. In retrospect, I realize now that I was ill prepared to tackle those difficulties.
Sometimes in life you forge ahead without making any preparations for the rough weather. When rough weather does strike, you may not have the resources and the tools to make it through. The only reasonable option at that point is to just give up.
If you follow Dr. Seuss’s advise, you will prepare yourself for the difficult times by getting mentally and physically ready. I believe that formal education and society does not prepare people well for failure and to weather difficult situations.
Society prepares and grooms people for success and a dream life but it does not train people to effectively deal with the mental and physical challenges of difficult situations.
Dr. Seuss also says:
Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And then things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
Dr. Seuss reminds us that while on our journey, challenges are not only probable but they are also frequent and inevitable. They happen to everyone and the best thing that you can do is keep going and keep moving along.
I love the part where Dr. Seuss says that as you keep moving, your perspective and life changes and you begin to “happen.” He also reminds you that there is a possibility to get caught up in your thoughts and worries and “stew.”
Highly successful people realize this advise and do not usually take no for an answer. They keep moving along and realize through their experience that great things happen right after most others have given up.
Prepare yourself to deal with difficult situations.
Keep moving on even in the face of your troubles and persevere in the face of difficulty.
Do not take no for an answer and never give up.
10. Laughter is the Best Medicine
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!” ― Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
The doctor says that funny things are everywhere, from here to there!
If you need a quick laugh, look no further than the admirably quirky and funny work by Dr. Seuss. If you ask me to highlight one of the fascinating aspects of his work, I am reminded of his astonishing ability to find good-natured humor in day-to-day activities.
Dr. Seuss and his work inspire you to change your outlook to allow more humor and laughter to permeate your consciousness. After reading his quirky and outlandish descriptions and insanely elegant twist on words, I cannot help but break into a smile.
Dr. Seuss rightly reminds us that there are funny things everywhere and it is our ability to tap into good-natured humor that makes all the difference. When you can see the lighter side of life and people and do not take yourself or your difficulties too seriously, you are able to manage and get through your day better.
Humor and laughter are truly contagious and have the remarkable ability to transform the mood of any environment instantly. Of course, the health and stress release benefits of hearty laughter have been documented numerous times.
I believe that the reason that people lose hope and feel dejected with their life is because they are sometimes unable to connect with the lighter and humorous side of life. People lose the ability to find and encourage laughter.
Change your perspective of people and life to see the lighter side.
Laugh heartily often and release the stress that does not benefit you.
11. Change Happens
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
This is great advise from Dr. Seuss because we have a tendency to focus on what is and not consider what we can become.
Life is constantly changing and you have the option of growing and expanding into a great adventure or remain safe and stay where you are at.
This is especially relevant with your creativity and creative ventures because you have the choice to live and create as you have always created or you have the option of embracing change and expand into newness and novelty.
Change can be scary for many people because it comes with uncertainty and no guarantees but if you live with enthusiasm and embrace the change, you will be surprised at the opportunities of growth.
Many people settle for less in their lives because they think and feel that they do not deserve any better. If you allow yourself to push the boundaries of what you are capable of becoming, you will expand to fit that new model.
Instead of focusing on what you are right now, consider focusing on what you can become in your life.
Embrace uncertainty and change and live your life like a great creative adventure.
12. Being Creative Like a Child
“Adults are just obsolete children.” ― Dr. Seuss
Children are endlessly curious and look at everything through the lens of amazement and wonder. When you were a child you most possibly believed that anything was possible and approached life from that viewpoint.
This quote from Dr. Seuss captures the essence of the curiosity and wonder that we all had once and may have lost it over the years as we became adults.
Even though you may have opted out of your innate creative talents, the potential of being endlessly creative still exists in every one of us and that is really the important thing.
There is a lot to learn from children as we rediscover our creative talents and powers. Children naturally break assumptions and connect and combine unrelated things because their minds have not yet been conditioned and trained to think in a particular way.
If you can infuse joy, play and happiness into your work, as children are capable of, you will see that your work becomes a lot more inspiring. Children also approach ideas and concepts with the idea of many possibilities.
The possibility outlook that we had as children becomes more tunnel visioned as we grow up and we become preferential towards one set of things and ideas.
Rediscover and reconnect your inner creative child and enhance your creativity.
Ask more questions, change things, break assumptions, make work fun and read some Dr. Seuss along the way.
13. The Amazing Power of Thought
“Think and wonder, wonder and think.” ― Dr. Seuss
This is a wonderful quote from Dr. Seuss. We have been given an amazing brain to think problems through and engage new ideas and concepts.
Every invention and enhancement and comfort that you see all around you is the brainchild and the result of wonder and the thought process of some person.
You have the greatest intuitive super computer in the world at your disposal but whether you push enter and engage it is your choice. You get to decide if you are going to allow yourself to think deeply about an issue that matters to you and then come up with some solutions.
Dr. Seuss also says:
Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!
Thinking up new ideas, concepts and inventions is like developing a muscle. The more you engage the thinking process, the more output you will receive from your fascinating mind. Dr. Seuss captures the essence of thinking and problem solving by saying that if you really try, you are capable of coming up with amazing results and solutions.
The next time you come across a pet peeve of yours or something that you consider a problem, think of how you would like to have it solved. Make a list of outrageous ideas that you can possibly come up with to solve the problem.
Solve a problem that is bothersome for enough people and you have a great invention in your hands.
Shake up your thinking by trying to come up with new and fresh solutions to problems that you are having.
The more you try to come up with innovative ideas by thinking, the more likely you are to come up with something fun and groundbreaking.
14. On Uncertainty
“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Dr. Seuss reminds you that confusion and uncertainty are a part of life as you move forward in your creative adventure. You will come across many strange situations and every day may present something unique and odd.
However, how you navigate the uncertainty and confusion determines how far you will make it in your creative venture. There will be periods of great uncertainty and sometimes the problems and issues will seem insurmountable.
If you are willing to engage the problem with all your skills and enthusiasm and decide to move forward one small step at a time, you will make progress and move ahead.
Embrace periods of uncertainty and confusion by engaging the problem and deciding to move ahead.
15. Failure and Success are Like Yin and Yang
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. Dr Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Dr. Seuss reminds us very wisely that you will be caught in difficult situations and may even be left in the lurch. Sometimes you will feel like all your friends are making great progress while you are stuck and unable to move.
When you confront challenges, you might compare yourself with others and feel sorry for yourself. It is very difficult to look beyond and at brighter times when you feel like you are caught in a pickle.
Dr. Seuss also says:
NO! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
I think that Dr. Seuss captures the essence and weathers of life very accurately when he declares that storms shall pass and you will see sunnier skies.
Much like Yin and Yang, success and failure can approach your life like the tide of the ocean. The belief that the storm shall pass and there will be sunnier days for you will make all the difference.
Realize that failure is temporary and you need to be open to the idea of great success.
Learn the lessons that storms bring and become prepared for anything under the sun.
16. Fun and Happiness
“Look at me! Look at me!
Look at me NOW! It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat (Deluxe Edition)
This is a very interesting and relevant advice from Dr. Seuss. You may be inclined to postpone having fun and feeling happy in the current moment for a later on moment of time.
Having fun and attempting to be happy now is certainly an art that a lot of us may have forgotten how to engage. But with a little fun here and a little fun there, you can certainly relearn having fun and choosing happiness in the current moment.
Attempt to make your current moment more happy and consciously attempt to bring and have more fun in your life.
Now over to you! How did the quotes and advise from Dr. Seuss inspire you?
Photo Credit: Photography MC via Flickr CC