It is that time of year again – holidays, end-of-year, family gatherings, business reflection and planning. It is a time of convergence, a time when generosity, winding-down and looking ahead all meld together in a flavorful, festive spirit.
This time of year often gets me thinking about Dr. Suess – playful rhymes mixed with meaningful wisdom. What better way to get refreshed about life than from a Dr. Suess story?
One of my favorite books of all time (children or otherwise) is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!“. It was published the year I graduated from high school, but I didn’t read it until about five years later when a friend gifted it to me.
I have kept it close by ever since.
It is now a family favorite, having read it many times to my sons before bed.
Over the course of my career, and especially as an entrepreneur, I have marveled at the light-hearted truths that Dr. Suess conveys through this short, yet entertaining book.
It reminds us…
1) To write our own destiny, blaze new trails and go places where no one has gone before. “It’s opener there in the wide open air.” That’s where the fun is, the excitement and adventure.
2) To make no mistake – there will be some serious ups and downs. When we’re flying high, everything feels awesome. And, like all things in life, it doesn’t last. Inevitably, a time comes when we will fall and fall down hard. It comes with the territory.
3) That as dark and scary and as difficult it is to dig ourselves out of a hole, we can “un-slump” ourselves if we try.
4) That, while life and business is a bit of game, we must always know that, perhaps, the most important game we play is the one we can’t win – the one against ourself.
5) That failure is part of the process – we have to get back up and keep going.
6) That we need to face up to our problems and our fears, if we are to turn failure into opportunity.
7) That, if we keep these things in mind, there’s a good chance we’ll succeed…”98 and 3/4’s percent guaranteed.”
This is a story I have to always remember, in life and in entrepreneurship. I feel like I have lived it many times over, especially in the last year.
As the year closes and I look ahead to 2014, I think about Dr. Suess and the places we’ve been and the places we’ll go. In the spirit of his wonderful poems and timeless wisdom, I share my own Dr. Suess-like year-end reflection and my hopes for the future.
What started as a thought, a spark or a seed
Has miraculously grown, it has blossomed indeed
Four-plus years have gone by and we’re still going strong
We’re having too much fun, has it really been that long?
Time flies when you’re moving, creating and connecting
Living passion and purpose, it is joy we’re injecting
Do what you love, do it with all of your might
Find a hobby to nurse, in due time it takes flight
Believe me it’s hard, growing from scratch is not easy
It’s a roller coaster ride, which will make you feel queasy
But it’s worth every turn, every jump, every drop
It’s an adventure that’s bound to make your heart pop
With business and money there is triumph and strife
Let’s not forget what brings real fulfillment in life
There’s no greater thrill than being creative and free
Time to mix mastery, purpose and autonomy
It’s holiday time, let’s give to the needy
May I always be humble, not selfish or greedy
Thank you my friends, my mentors, my foes
Let’s follow our Spirit wherever it goes
Whether you’re happy or sad, or smiling or mean
Let’s try to love a little more, in twenty-fourteen
Vikas Narula (@NarulaTweets) is Creator and Co-Founder of Keyhubs (@Keyhubs) – a software and services company specializing in workplace social analytics. He is also Founder of Neighborhood Forest – a social venture dedicated to giving free trees to kids every Earth Day.
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