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A Dr Seuss Guide to Life (To Mark His 111th Birthday)

02/03/2015 16:33 GMT | Updated 01/05/2015 10:59 BST

From the womb to the tomb, this quirky self-proclaimed doctor is great at giving advice! Oh, The Places You'll Go, was written to be read to babies in utero. And now, almost 24 years after his death, he is bringing us a new rhyming book for children about choosing a pet.

When it comes to living in the moment, thinking positively, meeting personal goals or believing in our right to be who we truly are, his fun wisdom rules!

To celebrate what would have been Dr Seuss's 111th birthday today (March 02, 2015), here are 11 inspiring quotes from the original literary life coach.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Individuality is key. Go against the grain and don't feel compelled to be like everyone else. Dr Seuss's posthumous book What Pet Should I Get? is due to be released by Random House, in July. His widow found its contents after he died. It was Theodor Geisel's ability to stand out for his creative talent that has kept his uniqueness alive. (Seuss was his middle name.)

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

Dr Seuss was unsurprisingly confident that reading leads to increased knowledge. And that the more educated you are, the likelier you are to go far and do well. Oh, The Places You'll Go is a global best-seller, often given as a graduation gift. It's a motivational missive across generations.

If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew. Just go right along and you'll start happening too.

This witty cute quote is relevant in different parts of life: from career moves, to educational opportunities, social events and romantic encounters. If we react by not fretting and go with the flow, we can welcome in the more optimistic aspects of what is happening, which facilitates self-improvement.

And will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Make your dreams a reality. Nothing is certain but go for it anyway. Dr Seuss won a Pulitzer Prize and two academy awards for filmmaking. He also won an honorary doctorate from his old college - years after he had nominally made himself 'Dr'. (He wasn't a doctor. He adopted that title because his dad wanted him to do medicine.) And when his editor bet him in 1960 that he couldn't write a book, using fifty words, he rose to the challenge. The result is Green Eggs And Ham. Successful indeed!

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

This is another celebration of self. And a reminder to be here now. Individualism is often embraced by Dr Seuss's language. In fact, he even invented a word that became part of popular culture. 'Nerd' was the first recorded instance in his 1950's book If I Ran The Zoo.

A person's a person, no matter how small.

Used in Horton Hears A Who, this line typifies the message of compassion, equality and respect throughout the book. It is about an elephant that hears voices, but it's also about the way post-war Japan was treated by America. A little country, it needed help from a large country to recover. He wrote it after a visit to war-torn Hiroshima. We should always be kind: big or small - tiny or tall.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

This may be applied to passionate causes and personal crusades, to encourage us to channel our energy, time and concern into the areas we feel strongly about, in order to set about positive change.

Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're really quite lucky!

Develop an attitude of gratitude! Upbeat self-talk is renowned to perk up even the most miserable of people. By speaking to ourselves about how many reasons we have to be cheerful, we equip our minds and bodies better to deal with all features of life. By emphasizing all the good stuff and being thankful for it, therapists reckon that we are more favourably placed to tackle any issues.

From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere.

Find a laugh in everything! No matter what or where, humour can be found in every circumstance and place. Looking out for the funny bits of any situation can make the trickiest of predicaments more bearable. He even managed to raise a smile about Hitler, on whom he based Yertle The Turtle.

Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!

Kick that negativity into touch and flip it! Dr Seuss was no stranger to problems. His first book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, was rejected by 27 publishers. Another - The Butter Battle Book (1984) - was taken off the shelves, for its underlying Cold War/nuclear arms race references. And the 1966 animation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas was not an immediate hit either, described at the time as a "costly flop". It became a well-loved festive classic.

Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.

Another quote alluding to the importance of living in the here and now. Focussing the awareness on now keeps us appreciating the finer details of life, and prevents worrying about the past or feeling anxious about the future. Being really present in every eventuality is a gift to yourself and those around you. Happy birthday, Dr Seuss! We remember you well.