I was reading with my nephew a number of months ago and the book we were reading, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss, left a big impression on me. It’s a clever story that gives great advice on how to navigate life and deal with adversity.
While I encourage you to read the whole book, I am going to recite a few of the final lines that I particularly enjoy.
“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dextrous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 ¾ percent guaranteed.) Kid, you’ll move mountains!"
There are a few underlying thoughts in this excerpt I want to highlight. First is to acknowledge imperfection. You’ll make mistakes and wrong decisions and get caught up in the wrong places. Second, as a response to that, is being intentional. While you can’t control a lot you can control yourself, and it’s up to you to strike the balance that best fits your needs and circumstances. Then finally, in the face of adversity and within those choices, success is inevitable. It’s just about guaranteed! That’s because those things that you thought weren’t possible, that seem to present inconveniences and limitations in your life, are non-existent. And that’s exactly how the story ends.
“So… be your name Bauxbaum or Brixy or Bray, or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.”