The way that Dr. Seuss combined simple rhymes and beautiful illustrations was a hit with both kids and parents around the world. Since he published his first book in 1937, over 600 million Dr. Seuss books have been sold making him one of the most successful children’s authors of all time. Although his books are often silly, even adults can find motivation and inspiration from the words of Dr. Seuss. Here are some of the most inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes.
Who is Dr. Seuss?
We all know his books, but who exactly is Dr. Seuss? Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel was a writer, filmmaker, animator, and cartoonist. He began his career creating cartoons for magazines, newspapers, the United States Army, and for corporate advertisers. But Dr. Seuss found his true calling by writing and illustrating children’s books. Before his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss had published over 60 children’s books. Some of his most popular works include Green Eggs And Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, The Cat In The Hat, Horton Hears A Who, The Lorax, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
The Value Of You
- “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!
The lesson here is, just be yourself. Don’t pretend, or try, to be someone you’re not. There’s a similar quote from the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. He famously said, “Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” In both of these quotes, Dr. Seuss and Steve Jobs are reminding us to just be ourselves.
You Were Born To Stand Out, So Embrace Your Individuality
- “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr. Seuss
This is a great inspirational quote that helps remind us that your voice counts. You count! Instead of trying to fit in with everyone else, embrace your individuality. Be different, and be proud that you stand out. Perhaps this Dr. Seuss quote helped inspire Lady Gaga‘s album Born This Way.
The Perpetual Student
- “If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn. Oh, the most wonderful stuff.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Pay Attention, Or You Might Miss Something
- “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” – Dr. Seuss
This Dr. Seuss quote might remind you of a line from the 1986 movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In the film, Matthew Broderick’s character famously says “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Both quotes remind us to keep both our eyes and our minds open to what’s happening around us and appreciate the value of a moment. Otherwise, we might miss something incredible.
Thinking Creative Thoughts
- “Think! You can think any Think that you wish!” – Dr. Seuss
Thinking is free and there are no limitations. You can think about anything. Don’t be afraid to let your creative thoughts go wild. Your imagination has the power to create anything from a children’s book like Dr. Seuss, or the marketing campaigns for a global company like GE, as Beth Comstock detailed in her book Imagine It Forward.
- “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do. And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss
Getting his first children’s book published wasn’t an easy task for Dr. Seuss. 20+ book publishers rejected his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. But he didn’t stop trying until he got a publishing deal. Just imagine if Dr. Seuss had given up on his dream of being a children’s book author. There would be no Grinch or Cat In The Hat in our lives.
NERD NOTE: When Audrey Geisel, the widow of Doctor Seuss, was selling the rights to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, she made the following conditions: $5 million for the movie rights, 4% of the box-office gross, 50% of all merchandising and music-related revenue, 70% percent of the income from book tie-ins and the requirement that “any actor submitted for the Grinch must be of comparable stature to Jack Nicholson, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, and Dustin Hoffman.”
You Can Do Anything
- “Kid, you’ll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss
This is one of my favorite inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes. When you’re done thinking and dreaming, the next step is to take action. But sometimes a big task or project can feel like a mountain. It can be intimidating and overwhelming. Don’t procrastinate. Your task is waiting for you, “so get on your way!”
Face Your Fears With A “Big Bat”
- “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” – Dr. Seuss
No One Remembers The Efforts, Just The Rewards
- “Everything stinks ’till it’s finished.” – Dr. Seuss
This is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes for kids. Will you remember how many hours or days you worked on something, or just the end result? Think back at all of the things that you worked on throughout your life. Do you remember all the hours you spent studying for a big test like the SATs or just your final score? Big accomplishments are hard and the amount of effort that they require stinks. But in the end, it’s all worth it.
- “If you want to catch beasts you don’t see every day, You have to go places quite out of the way, You have to go places no others can get to. You have to get cold and you have to get wet, too.” – Dr. Seuss
You can’t go snorkeling in Tahiti, hike a glacier in Iceland, or ride a mule through the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon from your couch. It’s OK to get wet, dirty, hot, or cold. Be adventurous and explore the world, even if the journey is difficult. And remember, not everywhere that you go has to be poolside at a hotel. Try places out of the way.
Embracing New Opportunities
- “Out there things can happen, and frequently do, To people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew. Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Opportunities present themselves to us all the time. Life is too short to hide from all of these opportunities. From riding a rollercoaster for the first time to trying new foods, sometimes you just need to just go with it to have a new experience.
Explore The Wide Open Air
- “It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
- “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” – Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss got the idea for his first children’s book while on vacation. He was on a boat traveling across the Atlantic ocean when the unique rhythm of the ship’s engines inspired him. He used the rhythm of the engine to write a poem that eventually became his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Countless people had been passengers before on that ship, but only Dr. Seuss saw the potential to use the rhythm of the ship’s engine for poetry.
Making The Best With What You Have
- “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” — Dr. Seuss, The Cat In The Hat
You don’t always get to pick your battlefield. Sometimes you just have to get by with what you have. The trick is learning how to turn a bad situation around in your favor. For example, one of the best dates that I’ve ever had was when I took a date to a bad restaurant. We watched other customers get upset and leave but we found humor in the situation and bonded over the experience.
- “You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.” – Dr. Seuss
After repeatedly being rejected by multiple book publishers, Dr. Seuss didn’t give up. He was frustrated but keep submitting his first book until he found a publisher. He was confident and knew that he would someday he would be a published author.
One Person Can Make A Difference
- “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss
One person can make a difference. From Martin Luther King to Elon Musk, one person who is passionate and cares about something can be a catalyst for change.
Finding Fun In Life
- “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss
Don’t be so serious with your life. Find opportunities to laugh, play games and engage in nonsense.
- “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” – Dr. Seuss
If you look hard enough, you can find humor and even inspiration in the strangest places. Keep an open mind and open your eyes.
Recovering From Bad Times
- “When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” – Dr. Seuss
We will face a number of challenges and bad times throughout our lives. How we handle these situations will shape our personalities and identities.
Be Grateful For What You Have
- “It’s a troublesome world. All the people who are in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not.” – Dr. Seuss
Remember That Life’s A Great Balancing Act
- “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Nothing Lasts Forever, Be Thankful For The Time You Had
- “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss (source missing)
Everything changes and nothing lasts forever. That unforgettable summer vacation, incredible friendships, and even our own lives will all come to an end. It’s natural to be sad, but we should also be happy that we had these experiences.
Dr. Seuss Inspirational Quotes Compilation
Over the years, children and parents have enjoyed both the writing and illustrations of Dr. Seuss (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991). We hope you found this collection of famous Dr. Seuss quotes both inspirational and motivational. If we missed any of your favorite quotes, then please tell us in the comments.
And if you aren’t already familiar with the writings of Dr. Seuss, you can find his books at your local library or online from sites like Amazon.
NERD NOTE: Did you know that Dr. Seuss has two Academy Awards? His first Academy Award was for the 1947 World War II documentary “Design for Death” which he co-wrote with his wife, Helen Palmer Geisel. He won his second Oscar in 1951 for the animated short film about a boy who speaks using sound effects titled “Gerald McBoing-Boing.”