Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
by Dr. Seuss
Yes, it’s Dr. Seuss. Yes, it’s that Dr. Seuss. The one I read to my children decades ago and still find on the bookshelves of my grandchildren to this day.
Do us both a favor and bear with me on this one. So many times we fail to pause to investigate certain areas of life because we naturally assume they hold no value, quality or learning opportunities for us. I honestly feel we might be shocked if it were revealed how much “good stuff” we missed over the years as we hurried on to things we thought were more rewarding. I learned this the hard way several years ago.
I don’t care what you do for a living or to what height you have risen on your chosen career path. You need to sit down and read this book. Contemplate the content and see how close to home it hits. Then read it to your children or grandchildren for what will hopefully be the first of many recitals. What’s really rewarding about this classic is the fact that it provides an excellent opportunity for you to add your own personal anecdotes and experiences to better clarify the many lessons shared in the good doctor’s wise words.
I’m a little embarrassed but even much more proud to admit how I first became exposed to this particular primer. A young high school student, wise beyond her years, presented me with her own personal copy of what she described as “one of the greatest leadership books ever written for children.” Those were her grandfather’s words to her as he gifted her with a book that would greatly influence her life. That book now sits in the leadership section of my personal library, and I cherish the worn cover and dog-eared pages as a symbol of what it meant to her. The fact that she passed it on to me as a token of her appreciation means even more. If you want to read the entire story, it is “A Surprise from Dr. Seuss” in our newsletter.
I’m going to share very little of the content here because I feel it’s crucial for you to experience it yourself. However, here’s a short sample of Seuss’s unique wisdom:
“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!”
Now tell me that doesn’t pertain to us and probably many of those who work for us and with us. That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Do yourself a favor; take a few minutes and smell these roses. It won’t take you very long, and you’ll never regret it. In fact, you’ll want to share your discovery with others, I’m sure. There are only 52 pages. Twenty-two of those have no words, only illustrations. And the remaining 30 pages consist of only one or two large-print paragraphs. Yet the significance of its contents will be greater than you have received from many so-called leadership books boasting several hundred pages.
I don’t know how much you know about Dr. Seuss, but this guy is the Rocky Balboa of creative literature. His real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel, and he wrote his first book in 1937. It was rejected 27 times before finally being published by Vanguard Press! Many of us would have given up at that point. However, he apparently believed what he spoke under his pen name because he went on to publish 44 children’s books in 15 languages selling well over 200 million copies! His wondrous words found their way into homes, heads, and hearts around the world. His works became the source of 11 children’s television specials, a Broadway musical, and a feature-length motion picture! His honors include two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and a Pulitzer Prize! He wrote this particular book in 1990, but you’ll find it as relevant today as it was the day it was published. Dr. Seuss died the following year at 87 and will be missed dearly. However, many generations to come will learn much from the mythical doctor as his mesmerizing messages are timeless.
Take a moment to read our story on the web site and you’ll see a prime example of how his work influenced just one of so many impressionable teenagers striving for success today. I still firmly believe that this particular book offers great advice to any adult sharing that same goal. This joyous ode to personal fulfillment encourages readers of all ages to find the success that lies within us.
“So will you succeed?
Yes! you will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!)”
(This book review was originally published in 2007 as one of the Top 10 Books – Edition 15.)
About Harry K. Jones
Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.