Are you stuck in “the Waiting Place”?
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” –one of the most famous books by the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss– celebrates new beginnings and the possibilities ahead.
The book is about a boy–who symbolizes the reader (of any age)–who is starting off on a journey to Great Places. He’s “off and away!” and can go in any direction he chooses. However—as the boy soon discovers–all journeys include perils, including too much waiting.
Here’s how the book starts:
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
Dr. Seuss warns that although you may at first take the lead, and top all the rest, sooner or later a Bang-Up or Hang-up can happen to you. This can lead to a slump, and you may end up in the Waiting Place. What is the Waiting Place? I’ll let Dr. Seuss explain:
“The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That’s not for you!”
Dr. Seuss doesn’t give instructions on how to get out of the Waiting Place, and when you’ve been stuck there for a while it can be hard to find a way out. Therefore, I’ve come up with suggestions on how to escape that most useless of places, and I’m going to share them with you.
30 Ways to Get Out of the Waiting Place
Here are 30 ways to get out of the Waiting Place:
1. Are you waiting for the phone to ring? Ask yourself who can give you what you need, and call them.
2. Are you waiting to get a promotion? Prepare some talking points explaining why you’re the most qualified candidate for the job, set up a meeting with the person who’s in charge of making the decision about the promotion you want, and ask them for it.
3. Are you waiting to write your book? Start brainstorming your outline.
5. Are you waiting for it to be warm again before you start exercising? Start walking in place while you watch TV and hold a plank during the commercials.
6. Are you waiting to get a raise before you start saving money? Commit to putting aside every one-dollar bill that you come across throughout the year. Before you know it, you’ll have a nice little nest egg set aside.
7. Are you waiting for your life to improve so you can be happy? Be happy first, and then notice what happens.
8. Are you waiting to have more time before you start working on that important goal? Carve out one-hour-a-day and get started now.
9. Are you waiting to learn a new skill? Get a “how-to” book and follow along with the instructions.
10. Are you waiting to have the entire path laid out in front of you before you get started? Take the first logical step and see where that leads you.
11. Are you waiting until you’re not scared anymore? Start building your courage muscles by doing something small that scares you (talk to that cute stranger, pitch an idea during the weekly office meeting, or go to the movies alone).
12. Are you waiting for someone to give you permission? Give yourself permission.
13. Are you waiting for inspiration? Get to work and inspiration will follow (the muse has to find you working, and all that).
14. Are you waiting for someone to stop hurting or belittling you? Move away from that person. Get them out of your life.
15. Are you waiting to make new friends? Get out there and start meeting new people.
16. Are you waiting for life to calm down? Start meditating and calm yourself down. Once you’re calm, you’ll be better able to deal with the chaos.
17. Are you waiting for someone to fall in love with you? Fall in love with yourself.
18. Are you waiting for your luck to change? Take steps to make yourself lucky.
19. Are you waiting for someone to come to your rescue? Stop playing the victim role and rescue yourself. Be your own hero.
20. Are you waiting for life to get easier? Find 10 ways to simplify your life and make your life easier.
21. Are you waiting for life to get interesting? Read a book, start a blog, go for a walk, take a trip, start a new project, take a class, give yourself a 30-day challenge, pick a topic and learn more about it. . . make yourself more interesting.
22. Are you waiting for a sign? Pick up the first book you see, open it to a random page, close your eyes, point to a paragraph, open your eyes, and read the paragraph. There’s your sign (you’re welcome).
23. Are you waiting for someone to hire you? Start a business and hire yourself.
24. Are you waiting to become an expert on a subject before you start sharing your knowledge with others? Start sharing what you know now – you may not know everything about the subject, but if you’ve read one book about it you know more about that subject than most people.
25. Are you waiting to make a choice? Flip a coin.
26. Are you waiting for someone else to guess what you need? Tell them what you need.
27. Are you waiting for a second chance? Start planning your comeback.
28. Are you waiting for someone to help you? Help someone else. Remember: what goes around, comes around.
29. Are you waiting for the negativity in your life to stop? Change your mindset–adopt a positive attitude. If you carry positivity around inside of you, the negativity in the outside world can’t get to you.
30. Are you waiting until you know what to do? Ask yourself: “What would Princess Leia do?” (Even if you’re a man.) Then, go do it. And may the force be with you.
On You Will Go!
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” ends on a positive note:
“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So get on your way!”
Are you currently stuck in the Waiting Place? Break out with the 30 tips above. Live your best life by escaping from the Waiting Place.