4 Things Dr. Seuss Teaches Us About Perseverance


I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books. Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop, and Green Eggs and Ham were some of my favorites. Theodor “Dr.Seuss” Geisel is the number one children’s author of all time having written and illustrated 44 books.  But did you know he was rejected 27 times before being published?  So, what enabled him to become one of the most loved and respected authors in the world? His perseverance.  He never gave up on his dream. And the words and stories he left behind can teach us a few things about pursuing our wildest dreams despite the obstacles we face.  Here are some of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes that inspire us to persevere.

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

What do you do when life’s challenges bog you down? What do you do when see a roadblock? Don’t give up. Dig deep. Keep looking for creative solutions, whether they are left, right, low, or high. A new idea might take you down the right path…if only you try.

2.    “Think and wonder, wonder and think.” 

We want to do it right the first time, but sometimes returning to the drawing board time and time again can give us a better idea. Always keep your mind open to a new approach. Reflect on the possibilities. Even though your schedule is jam packed, stop for a moment so you can think and wonder and wonder and think.

3.     “When he worked, he really worked.” 

Some people give up before they ever really work toward their goal. In our culture today, many don’t appreciate the value of hard work. We were all created to work and work is good. Work is necessary for a productive life. Work is not only healthy for the body, but also healthy for the mind. When we work, we should do it with all our heart.

4.    “Did he run? He did not. Horten stayed on that nest. He held his head high and he threw out his chest, and he looked at the hunters as much as to say, shoot if you must. But, I won’t run away. I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent.”

When verbal bullets come your way and when others want to hurt you, stay the course. Stand strong for what you believe. Remember that God is ultimately in control.

Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book or quote? Please share your thoughts with me below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Rafael

    It’s interesting the places where we can find nuggets of wisdom. I love, not only the humor in Dr. Seuss’ books, but the things that he can teach us if we but stop judging a book by its cover and listen to the messages he shares with us. I have a file with thousands of quotes from great and successful men and women, and Dr. Seuss has a place there. Great post Mark.

  • Rafael

    My favorite book is “Green Eggs and Ham”. Many people resist change, especially when our status quo is being challenged by an outsider because it is a new concept or idea we have never tried. Maybe we meet someone new and we prefer to distance ourselves from them because they might not dress well, or speak well, or maybe because they come from humble circumstances. How readily we are to judge someone or something what we first see, instead of giving the person or the situation a chance to show us whet they are really all about. It may surprise us also saying, “I love green eggs and ham, I love them, Sam I AM”.

  • I love “Yertle the Turtle”! Lots of life lessons in there!!

  • Rica de la Cruz

    My kids love “A person’s a person, no matter how small”–Horton and “I speak for the trees”–Lorax. I’d say a lot of values we need to learn in life are in Dr. Seuss’ books. Thanks for a lifetime of lessons.

  • Simplicity above from Dr.Seuss. Avoiding discomfort is so highly valued that most rather socially accept misrepresentation is designed to protect people from feeling bad. Stay the course stand your ground, if they don’t want to own up remember that God, Buda, or what you identify as your “Higher Form of Universal Excellence” is ultimately in control!

  • Thanks Rafael and thanks for sharing.

  • Lois, that’s a good one!

  • aabeepbeep

    I’m not sure of the title, but remember the star bellied sneetches? They were so special because they had ‘stars upon thars’. Then others who wanted to fit in got stars on themselves. So the original ones had their stars removed…. Eventually there was a mix if those with stars and those without, and no one could remember who were the ‘special’ones. That teaches many lessons, you’re not better if you have something that others don’t, you don’t have to be like everyone else, and most of all, we can all live together and get along, despite our differences.