Lessons We Can All Learn From Dr Seuss
I don’t know about you but despite being 35 years old I’ve learned some incredible lessons from Children’s books, particularly Dr Seuss, over the years, many that I think can be applicable to business and life in general.
I honestly think if you got him and AA Milne in a room together there would be some PURE magic, oh to be a fly on the wall for that chat.
So much freaking wisdom that you wish you appreciated as a child.
Anyhoo, what’s my point here?
I was at a big entrepreneurial event a couple of weeks ago and I was having dinner with some power house women that I’m very lucky to be able to call friends and I talked about a reading we had at our wedding of Oh the places you’ll go by Dr Seuss.
They giggled (then remembered I’m essentially a big kid and it’s not really a surprise that I read this stuff ha!) and I said, hold up let me read it to you.
So I did.
They were transfixed…And they instantly ‘got it’.
So today’s message for you is going to be slightly different!
So perhaps ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ is not a common wedding reading but considering what we were going through at the time, incredibly poignant for us.
The reason I want to share it with you today is that it really helped both myself and my husband at the time to keep the faith in tough times.
To know that we were still on the right path despite what we were going through at the time and that it would all be worth it in the end, and we’d probably come out better and stronger in the long run.
I still occasionally read it out to my husband as a reminder of where we were, where we are now, the journey and a reminder to keep the faith.
That everything is going to work out just as it’s supposed to.
I won’t go into detail about what was going on for us because it’s not just my story, but the short version is that we lost a business, our home, moved in with my mother in law (for 4.5 years…Sorry Pen!) and had originally cancelled our wedding because we could no longer pay for it, all this happened pretty much in one go.
Our parents kindly stepped in and we had the most incredible DIY wedding where I made everything from scratch…yes baked bean cans were used very creatively ha! But that’s by the by!
Oh the Places You’ll Go is a message of being able to regroup.
A message that everything isn’t going to be perfect all the time, that mistakes will be made, but that you can come back fighting and it’s not the end.
For me Oh the places you’ll go is a message about staying curious, open and to keep going.
I thought it would be a good time to share it now as we’re so close to the end of the year, and the end of the decade and I’m seeing/hearing a lot of people panic.
Panic about not being where they wanted to be yet.
That they feel far away from their goals and as if they’re running out of time.
Trust me. You’re exactly where your’re supposed to be right now. I know it can feel hard but be patient grasshopper…it’s all coming to you, maybe not in the same form you think it will be right now, but if you stick with it it’s coming!
So, of course I can’t just read the whole thing out for you so do go and purchase your own copy! I highly recommend reading it to your kiddies too.
But I’m going to pick out my key quotes from it and what I took from them, in the hope that it helps you too.
I hope you love it as much as I do.
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! 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 guy who’ll decide where to go.” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
Love this for a starting point. For me this is showing that EVERYONE has the ability to achieve whatever they want as long as they CHOOSE to! And TODAY, not tomorrow, not next week, TODAY is YOUR day.
“You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
This for me is about having your wits about you and trusting your gut and intuition to guide you and really TRUSTING yourself. And being OK with not having it all figured out at once, it’s not realistic to expect yourself to, so sit with it and stay patient.
“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, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
I love this little sentence.
For me It’s all about how you need to allow yourself time and trust that your thoughts and beliefs are going to catch up to you.
Again, it’s about trust for me. Trust that even though it’s going to feel a bit wobbly at times and you’ll have doubts that it will all come together.
It always takes a bit of time for your unconscious programming to catch up with your conscious wants, goals and desires.
But, it will catch up if you make the unconscious beliefs conscious so you can challenge them and take the time for your brain to gather the evidence.
“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights. You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
This is the piece of expectations vs reality! Being prepared to fall, fail and fail forward!
“I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you. You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
Urgh…I think we can all relate to this one! It’s inevitable that there will be ups AND downs. It happens to all of us.
Then there’s the friends (and family!) who don’t ‘get’ what you’re doing, there’s people who pretend to be your friend based on what they think you can GIVE them and their perception of what you’re doing and where you’re at!
It can be tricky to navigate but so worth it in the end because people who were never REAL friends will go and you’ll be left with the ‘lifers’.
The people who have your back and lift you up.
Letting go of friendships can be hard but remember it’s not actually about you anyway, it’s about them, their map of the world, what you highlight in them that they don’t like. All sorts of things.
The bottom line is it will feel tough…but it’s for the right reasons in the end and all the amazing ups are on the other side of it.
“You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done… Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
It’s inevitable that we will make mistakes, sometimes fail, do something against our values because we’re told that’s the way it’s done and then beat ourselves up for not being where we want to be, or for having a setback.
But the message for me here is to stick with it. Don’t lose hope.
It may not be easy sometimes but it’s all POSSIBLE, especially when you work out the pay offs and potential rewards. Some of my favourite questions to ask are what are the positives and negatives for if I do and DON’T do something.
This game needs an element of courage. Which isn’t about not feeling fear, it’s about taking action in SPITE of it.
“You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race, down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go, or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow, or the waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
Then it goes in to many other ways to be waiting, ha!
I LOVE this part the most because it really highlights just how ridiculous it is to stay waiting.
That’s what will cripple you achieving what you want.
Waiting for circumstances to change rather than making it happen for yourself!
And yet, it’s what SO many of us do. We wait, stuck in inaction.
“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. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
Then there’s a lovely piece about all the lovely things you’ll be doing, ha!
This shows that to find the way through it’s about taking action. Taking action is where things move forward and you build momentum.
“Except when they don’t Because, sometimes they won’t. I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ’cause you’ll play against you. All Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot. And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
We can all relate to this part i’m sure.
The feeling that we have to do everything for ourselves.
The inevitable mindset gremlins, fear and uncertainty that really are inevitable.
This can be a lonely game if you don’t put a structure in place to deal with it. Being alone is NOT the best or easiest OR quickest way forward. It takes longer to get out of the slumps and funks when you try to do it on your own.
Systems and structure help you through any of the wobbly times so you DON’T feel all alone.
We are all our own worst enemies, it’s how we’re built and how our brain can work against us….but it doesn’t have to be that way. Once you learn a few tools and techniques you can learn to get your brain to work WITH you, and unslump yourself MUCH faster.
What can you put in place to make sure you have that structure?
Masterminds, coaching, memberships, going to events…what will it be for you?
“But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl….On and on you will hike, And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
This is all about courage for me.
Action in spite of fear, setbacks, failures, mishaps.
The resilience to just keep going and you’ll get where you’re going.
That’s the good stuff!
“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know…
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.” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
Good old behavioural flexibility! Everything worth having is going to come with ups and downs, be as prepared as you can…but also prepare to be flexible!
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! So… be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, You’re off the Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!” (Oh The Places You’ll Go, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss)
I LOVE this finish.
For me it’s essentially saying this is FOR YOU.
No matter who you are or where you’ve come from, you just have to choose it and it’s possible for all of us.
Make the decision and take the action and get on your way. Stick with it, expect a few wobbles, ups and downs along the way. Keep your vision in mind and you’ll get to where you’re going. Patience.
I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as me and you’re popping off to your nearest book store to grab your copy.
If you know that now is the time to start changing things for yourself and want to explore this further, have any questions or want some accountability to make sure you’re doing the things you need to then please book in a free discovery call so we can see what needs to happen to get you from where you’re at right now, to the successful business owner you know you can be!! It’s time to overcome self sabotage and get more done, in less time!
P.S – Last question…Are you sick of self sabotaging and procrastinating on getting your business going? Would you like to learn some practical strategies to stop you procrastinating WHEN it happens so you can FINALLY get the things you NEED to do DONE? Download my FREE guide below and I’ll show you 5 simple strategies to stop procrastination in its tracks!
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Fran Excell, mindset coach for self sabotaging female entrepreneurs at www.franexcell.com