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15 Life Lessons, As Told by Dr. Seuss

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Updated By: Clare Richards on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

I love to read. Everything. Magazines, novels, shampoo labels, blogs – you name it. And since my Ma raised me right, I grew up on a plethora of Dr. Seuss books. From the Cat in the Hat, to The Lorax (a personal favorite), the books I thought were just fun stories were teaching me more at a young age than I could ever really understand.

I think there’s a lot to say about remaining young at heart, and I also think that Dr. Seuss exemplifies this silly youthfulness in way no one else really can. So, without further ado – enjoy a trip down memory lane and soak up these 15 life lessons as told by Dr. Seuss himself.

1. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Life is full of experiences, good and bad. The good seem to come and go too quickly, and it’s easy to dwell on what was or could have been. People change, people leave, we fall, and we get back up. Smile and do your best to take each experience for what it was.

2. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

You are a smart person – you’ve made it this far in life and have acquired all kinds of knowledge and skills. Try new things, be brave, take risks – if you believe in yourself and your abilities (easier said than done – right?), there’s no telling where you can take yourself. You’ll be off to great places!

3. “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

One of my all-time favorite Dr. Seuss quotes (no joke, it’s painted on the wall in my childhood bedroom). I think that far too often (especially this day and age) we try to fit a predetermined mold of what we think is ‘right’, or ‘good’. Why? It’s bullshit. Don’t try to be like everyone else – be YOU! There’s no one just like you, so embrace it.

4. “Today was good, today was fun. Tomorrow will be another one.”

Oh, you had a crappy day today? Yesterday? Last week? Join the club (no sympathy here!). Unfortunately, not every day is rainbows and butterflies or happy hour and hugs. But, I have some good news – if you take time, I bet there will always be one thing about your day that was good or fun. Maybe your coffee was just the right temperature, or you shared a good laugh with a coworker…see? Don’t dwell on what drags you down. Enjoy today, and look forward to tomorrow.

5. “The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Never stop learning. Can you imagine if we all decided to stop reading or learning the day we graduated or got our degree? Yikes. Stay curious, stay interested, and don’t resist new things. If you keep learning, you’ll keep growing.

6. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Respect, respect, respect. If you think you should say thank you, say it. If you think someone did great work, tell them. No matter how another person’s position or beliefs differ from yours, don’t forget – they’re human too.

7. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

I think this is really two-fold. First, the older I get (24 people. The grays are comin’ in), the more I realize that it’s OK to be selfish. It’s OK to say no and take time for myself. If you don’t put yourself first, no one will. Second, don’t wait around for something to change – if you think the youth in your community need leaders, volunteer. If you’re worried about global warming, get involved. Don’t rest on your laurels and wait for others to make change happen.

8. “Think and wonder. Wonder and think.”

This is pretty self-explanatory. Stay hungry. Don’t stop asking questions. Try things with a new approach.

9. “Sometimes the questions are complicated, and the answers are simple.”

Don’t get so bogged down with the details and the ‘little’ things (I’m so guilty of this). Focus on the bigger picture, ask for help, and don’t overcomplicate things.

10. “Just tell yourself, Duckie – you’re really quite lucky.”

Stop. Right now. Stop Reading. (You’re still reading, aren’t you? You rebel). Name 10 things you couldn’t live without today. Name 10 people you appreciate. Name 10 things you enjoy. See? Appreciate what you have. You’re really quite lucky.

11. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

Be in the moment. Fine, snap the photo, but Instagram it later. Leave your phone in the car. Quit stewing over the email you forgot to send or the report you didn’t finish. Spend more time with your family and friends. Laugh loud. You won’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone. Be present.

12. “Step with great care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

It’s OK to be honest, but be tactful. Don’t be rude or harsh. Life is about balance, in every sense – it’s OK to give deadlines, but say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Being strong-willed doesn’t mean being hard. You can be soft and strong.

13. “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew – just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

Man, I need to tell myself this more often (like everyday). Confession: I’m not a huge fan of change. It’s exciting, but it also scares the hell out of me. I’m a creature of habit and routine. I like knowing what’s coming at me. But I find that when I take a deep breath and ride out the waves, I’m glad I did. Nothing ever grows in your comfort zone.

14. “I’m sorry to say, but sadly it’s true – bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.

Shit happens. Life happens. Just when we think things are going great, we stumble and fall. We break our plate, we spill our coffee, we lose our job, we lose a loved one. No matter what you do, you can’t stop life from happening. The sooner we can embrace this, the better. Don’t miss out on today worrying about tomorrow. (Note to self, Bridget.)

15. “We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird.”

Oh man, isn’t this the truth? Laugh off the awkward moment(s). Appreciate the person whose clothes/hair/style you think is “out there”. Wouldn’t our world be awful if we were all the same? I think so too. I’m weird, you’re weird, life’s weird. Deal with it, embrace it. #YOLO

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Clare Richards

About The Author

Clare Richards

A deep love of art and design drives me as I navigate the ever-changing waters of marketing. I am constantly looking for new and better ways to give the inbound marketing methodology the beautiful face it deserves. As the Art Director, I ensure that all of the design work we produce is top notch and designed with a purpose. When I’m not trying to solve creative problems, my life revolves around my family and friends, my passion for music, and my addiction to stories.

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