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Dr. Seuss Inspiration: 10 Life and Business Quotes to Get You Moving NOW

I’m a sucker for quotes to get me through some days. Whatever I’m freaking out about, I can usually always find a quote to calm me down and get me thinking straight once again. I love it when the best advice comes from the oddest or most unusual places.

What comes to mind when you think of Dr. Seuss? Your favorite childhood book? A rhyme about red and blue fish you hadn’t thought about in years? Probably not advice for adults, right? As a kid I couldn’t get enough of this man’s books (my go-to was Green Eggs and Ham, and at one time I think I had it memorized). But as a six-year-old, I loved the rhymes and the crazy illustrations of his books, and that was about it.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much more I appreciate Dr. Seuss as an adult than I ever did as a child. If you don’t believe me, check out some of his quotes and see how seamlessly they fit into your life as an adult.

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

I have an amazing talent of overthinking and overanalyzing everything, so this one always hits close to home. Who hasn’t thought about a problem and asked all the tough questions, only to realize that the answer is sometimes the easiest and the one right in front you the whole time? This proves once again — don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, clear your head, and do whatever you think is best. The right answer will always make itself known on its own schedule, not ours.

Don't take 'no' for an answer!

“Don’t give up! I believe in you all.  A person’s a person, no matter how small!  And you very small persons will not have to die if you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!”

Okay, I will admit that seeing the word ‘die’ instantly makes this quote a bit morbid sounding, but the message of it far outweighs that. Don’t throw your hands up when things get tough or when your opinion isn’t being heard. Try again and try something new to get their attention, you’re valued just as much as they are no matter what they say! The smallest peon at the company can have the best ideas, so don’t be intimidated by the big wigs upstairs. Share your thoughts!

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

Think that reading ends when you graduate? Think again. The world is changing each and every day, and it’s important to stay up to date on all the events — especially the ones within your industry. You can read this quote literally and argue that, by learning more, your knowledge increases and will move you up the corporate ladder to the position you’ve always dreamed of. Or, you can look at it as an excuse to read a good book just for the fun of it and to escape reality. Whether you’re walking in Middle Earth with Frodo or sitting in Elizabeth Leefolt’s kitchen with Aibileen Clark, your imagination is growing stronger and stronger with each sentence! So get going!

 “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Feel free to read that one over again, it’s a bit of a tongue twister. Good now? Okay. For all those readers out there who keep things bottled up, don’t do it! Speak your mind! The people around you who genuinely care about you want to hear what you’re thinking or worrying about. Forget those who don’t, they aren’t worth your time or energy anyway. Have an awesome suggestion to make work better for everyone? Unless you’re forced to work at your company, your supervisor cares about you and your well-being, so you don’t have anything to lose in sharing.

Hitting snooze won't get your project done any faster

 “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”

How’s that for the ultimate ‘get up and get going’ quote? Yes, I know all too well that first thing in the morning is always when your bed feels the most comfortable. You’ve found the most amazing position ever known to man, and your pillow is just right; not too firm, not too squishy. However, that project waiting for you at work isn’t going to get done with drool still on your face. Go tackle it and get it done!

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

Is your puzzler a bit sore from thinking too much about a problem? Don’t give up! Whatever it is that’s going on and making you think or question is good for you. Try approaching the problem with a different way of thinking: write out a pros and cons list, make an outline of how you want to solve the problem, or throw darts at the wall to with different conclusions. Just mix it up and try something!

 “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

Great and amazing things don’t happen to the person too afraid to crawl out of bed in the morning. Embrace the fact that life sucks sometimes and it isn’t always filled with rainbows and puppy dogs. Open up your eyes to new experiences and new opportunities and you’ll find yourself growing into the person you’ve always wanted to be!

“Everything stinks till it’s finished.”

Get it done, then go back and revise it. Remember, "everything stinks till it’s finished."

You are the harshest critic you will ever meet, so only relying on your own opinion isn’t the smartest idea. If everyone turned in every project they’ve worked on before revising it and finishing it completely imagine how terrible the world would be. Yikes! Instead of freaking out about a project when it’s only halfway done, just power through and get it finished and done and then go back and revise it. You’ll be a better mood and won’t be so concerned about getting it done.

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

It seems like people’s lives shift every few years. We get done with high school and we’re looking at our friends going away to college while we’re going to the local community college. We get done with college and we start hearing about our friends’ amazing new jobs (while we’re still searching the ‘help wanted’ section). Even when we have a job we still hear about those friends who are getting promoted left and right. It’s enough to drive anyone nuts! Don’t fret or worry, things will happen for you, too. Everything happens when it’s supposed to, you can’t rush anything. So, sit back and enjoy the ride.

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regrets. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

This is a bonus quote because it’s like eleven quotes in one; how’s that for a deal?! This is probably the hardest one to practice, though. Sure, anyone can say I’m going to ‘play with abandon’ and ‘live as if this is all there is’, but actually doing it is a completely different ball game. It’ll take years to master it and quiet those inner voices that remind you of all the mistakes you made and keep you from taking risks, but eventually you can silence them. Every day is another opportunity to truly do what you love and put those regrets behind you. You can do it! Dr. Seuss believes in you!

Growing up is hard and stressful, and sometimes it makes everyone want to crawl back to bed for the next five years (or until things get easier). However, if this wonderful and amazing man thinks I can do great things if only I try, then I owe him that much. He helped me to read and opened up a whole new world to me through books, so I think I can take a deep breath and tackle whatever it is that’s stressing me out. And I know you can, too!

Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book? Was one of these quotes a new favorite of yours? Do you have another Dr. Seuss quote that you love? Please share and sound off below!

Image credit to B Rosen and Clipart.com.


Amy Swanson

Amy is one of Quality Logo Products’ content developers and social media coordinators. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd and thoroughly enjoys reading business and financial news and having impromptu discussions about it. Oh yeah, she’s “one of those” people! A true Midwestern girl by nature, she loves riding her bike, photography, and the Chicago Cubs. You can connect with Amy on

Comments

  1. Jenna Markowski

    Awesome post, Amy! This is just what I need as my butt is draggin’ this morning!

    I really like this one: “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.” I could have used that advice when I had that 15 page paper to write! I like the “just peel the band-aid off” message. Sometimes it’s better to just get everything done quickly, rather than put it off and therefore drag out the process.

    I also really like the last one. Those two were both quotes that I’d never heard from Dr. Seuss before, and they are great little nuggets of motivation and inspiration! :)

    • Amy Swanson

      Thanks, Jenna! I’m so glad this blog helped!!

      I love how frank and to the point Dr. Seuss was with his quotes. They’re short, sweet, and don’t leave you scratching your head wondering what the heck he’s talking about, haha.

      Glad you found some nuggets of motivation and inspiration today :D

  2. Jaimie Smith

    Amy I couldn’t even tell you how amazing this post is!! I love it! Like what Jenna said, its just what I needed this morning!!
    I have always been a fan of the quote “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
    I just never knew that quote was from dr. seuss!!
    I also really love “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” This is very true!!
    You did a great job analyzing all these quotes! :)

    • Amy Swanson

      I love that quote too, Jaimie! It’s probably one of my favorite ones from him too! I have a horrible habit of being concerned about what other people think about me, so that one always hits really close to me ;)

      I’m so glad you liked the post, it was so much fun writing it that I hoped others would like reading it too!

  3. Alex Brodsky

    “Everything stinks until it’s finished.”

    As a wannabe screenwriter, the quote that far and away resonates with me the most. When trying to battle writer’s block, the easiest way to fight through is simply write. Write an entire page that makes no sense. And the reason to do this is simply because it’s easier to revise something than it is to start from scratch. The gibberish might somehow spark an idea that in turn helps complete the scene.

    I am far and away my harshest critic, and I always think everything I write sucks (even my blogs, for the most part) EVEN AFTER I’m finished. So sometimes I just have to suck it up, turn something in and hope for the best.

    I’m glad you were able to write this blog! You love Dr. Seuss and it certainly shows! Great Job!

    • Jen

      I really like this quote too! Alex said it best sometimes it best to build on one crappy idea. Even if it isn’t very good at first, it could morph into something really cool in the end. This is a great blog Amy, I really enjoyed reading it!

    • Amy Swanson

      I had my freshman year college English professor tell us to just start writing and don’t be concerned with how things sound, just write. That blew my mind! I’d been taught since elementary school that papers must be started with an introduction and then you expand on your topic from there. Since college I start to write my introduction last after I’ve written my entire paper (or blog post ;) ), it gets rid of the pressure of “that sounds dumb” or “I have no idea where to even start”. I’m a big believer in trying your best and turn in what you can and hoping for the best. It’s all you can do sometimes :)

      Thanks so much for the awesome comment, Alex!

    • Rachel

      This was my favorite quote, too! I totally agree with you, Alex, about how helpful that advice is when writing — but of course it applies to all other kinds of activities, too. For instance, I decided just a few weeks before Christmas last year that I was going to do this big project of recording music for my mom … I really didn’t think I could pull it off in such a short span of time, and I felt like all the music I was practicing sucked, but when I finally finished the project I was really proud of it. And my mom really liked it too. :)

      So often I get discouraged and give up on projects because it seems like it’s terrible and there’s no reason to keep going; but Dr. Seuss knows what’s up! It’s so satisfying to get through a project you thought would never work out and be able to say, “Heck yeah, I did that and it’s awesome.” I need to listen to that advice more often. :)

      Thanks for a great blog post, Amy! There’s lots of great quotes here — I’ll have to save them all!

      • Amy Swanson

        You’re so right, Rachel; Dr. Seuss knows what’s up indeed! I’m glad one of them made such an impact on you :)

  4. Joseph Giorgi

    “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

    Not sure why, but I find this quote to be very inspiring. Don’t get me wrong: all of the quotes you mentioned are inspiring in some way, but this one in particular just seems to resonate with me. It sort of speaks to the importance of outside-the-box thinking — I think.

    Very cool stuff, Amy! Thanks for such an inspirational post! :)

    • Amy Swanson

      I think you’re exactly right, Joe ;) There’s no wrong answer when you’re brainstorming, you just have to let your thoughts go and see where they lead you. It’s amazing where you’ll end up as a result, haha.

      Thanks so much Joe for reading and commenting!!

  5. Mandy Kilinskis

    Oh man. This quote is like, my life: “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.” I’ve done pretty well as of late at chillaxing and going with the flow, but there’s always room for improvement.

    All of these are absolute gems, Amy, and have added up to be a freaking amazing blog. So inspiring!

    • Amy Swanson

      It seems like the older I think more and more, “well when is X/Y/Z going to happen to me too?!” I need to carry around this quote with me I think to have on hand at all times, haha.

      I’m glad you liked it, Mandy! Thank you!! :D

  6. Eric

    “Everything stinks until it’s finished.” My favorite line of all the aforementioned.

    It’s funny to think what we find ourselves getting anxious or nervous about, and – more often than not – the feat of accomplishing them was much smaller than making the decision to accomplish them. Probably why I stopped writing “To Do” lists and instead just got my tasks done as soon as I was able.

    Respect to Dr. Seuss. It’s funny to think the parents reading their kids these books can get a little something out of them, too.

    Nice work, Amy!

    • Amy Swanson

      Kudos for kicking your “To Do” list habit, I have yet to be able to. I’m one of those people that write down tasks that are either really easy to accomplish or ones that I have to do anyways (like; get out of bed, brush teeth, etc.) just so I feel like I’m making progress, haha!

      Indeed, mad respect is due to Dr. Seuss for his awesomeness :)

  7. Jeff Porretto

    I’m going with this one as my fave:

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

    SOOO many people miss the big picture. They say “HOW are going to fix this problem?” rather than “WHY did this problem happen in the first place?”

    Thanks Amy! They’re all great!

    • Amy Swanson

      Thanks Jeff! I’m glad you found one that really speaks to you :)

  8. Jill Tooley

    Gotta love Dr. Seuss! And if you don’t — well, I feel sorry for you.

    You listed quite a few that I hadn’t read before, like:

    “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

    Ain’t that the truth! :) I feel all inspired now…nice job.

    • Amy Swanson

      I truly feel sorry for people who don’t like Dr. Seuss. They don’t know what they’re missing out on!!

      I’m glad your inspiration came back, I know for me some days I never seem to find it once I lose it, haha.

  9. david k waltz

    Amy,

    Great post! It always seems that the best children’s literature, movies, tv shows, etc. keep the adults engaged as well. i though I had read all the Dr. Seuss books, but a lot of these quotes I do not remember, so either I have ot read them all or I just have memory issues!

    Did you identify the source books? I missed it if you did, even after going back to double check.

    • Amy Swanson

      Thanks so much, David :)

      To be completely honest with you, I just did a Google search of Dr. Seuss quotes. I verified through at least 2 or 3 additional websites to make sure that he in fact said and not some random Joe Schmoe.

      After some additional research I found the source books for a few of these quotes, but some quotes I wasn’t able to find the original source. I’ve put the ones I was able to find here:

      “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small! And you very small persons will not have to die if you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!” – from “Horton Hears a Who”

      “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – from “I Can Read with my eyes Shut”

      “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.” – from “Oh the Places you will Go”

      “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – from “Oh the Thinks you can Think”

      “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”- from “I Can Read with my eyes Shut”

      Hope this helps you out! Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  10. Kim

    I search for quotes and stories weekly to motivate my team – especially when we are going through tough projects. This by far is my absolute favorite. What an amazing insight to something to simple – truly inspired!

  11. cheryl

    I love the Dr. Seuss quotes. They are some of my favorites too. I don’t recognize one of them but like it. Can you tell me where it comes from?
    The quote is: “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regrets. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

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