Six Life Lessons From Dr. Seuss

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Theodor Seuss Geisel, pen name Dr. Seuss, American writer and illustrator (1904-1991)

I grew up in the era of Dr. Seuss books and I still love the stories, the crazy characters, and the wisdom. In 1984 Geisel received a special Pulitzer Prize “for his contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America’s children and their parents.” The honor underscored the immense popularity of his works, which were perennial best sellers. According to various reports, by the early 21st century more than 600 million copies of Dr. Seuss books had been sold worldwide.

Here are a six important lessons imparted by Dr. Seuss: 

— Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

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

—A person’s a person, no matter how small.

— The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

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

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

Affirmation: I can learn from a variety of sources.

Coaching questions: Which of these quotes speaks to you the most? Why? What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

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Four Truths From Toy Story 4

A person who seeks an enlightened existence must awaken to realize universal truths. Kilroy Oldster, author

Yesterday I took “my little girl,” Katie, and her three children to see the new movie, Toy Story 4. We all loved it! Here’s what I came away with: 

  1. We all need to learn resilience. When Woody’s child (the child to whom Woody, a toy, belongs) grows up, Woody is demoted in the playroom and loses his “favorite toy” status. As he clings to his old role, he must learn the hard lesson that life is ever-changing.
  2. Happiness can be found down a variety of paths. Woody believes that belonging to a child is the only path to happiness. Like a parent who experiences an empty nest, he has to come to terms with another way of life and realizes that, this too, can be fulfilling. 
  3. True friendship is worth the trouble. Woody places a high value on friendship and goes to great lengths to protect his friends— even when doing so makes his life difficult or uncomfortable. 
  4. Forgiveness is key to a happy life. As Woody and his friends forgive Chatty Cathy’s selfish, and sometimes sinister, behavior, they experience the peace that comes with forgiveness. 

Affirmation: Life’s lessons are universal.

Coaching questions: What have you learned lately from an unconventional source? What do people learn by watching you live your life? 

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