Yesterday, I announced that I was planning on reading “100 of the best business books” by the end of the year.

I was surprised when I saw  Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” on a list of books that contained titles like “The Essential Drucker” or “My Years with General Motors

I knew my wife would have a copy. She comes from a family of teachers and she too is a teacher. We have a few Borel Forest’s worth of children’s books and have no kids ourselves – yet.

As I read the familiar story, it all came back to me. How many graduations, keynote speeches, or business success conferences have used this story? The book has become the quintessential cliché of success!

The world is your oyster!……..  “You’ve done it! You’ve finished school! Go and take over the world!” I’d be willing to guess this is the most common gift for graduating students on any level.

My wife was given her copy of the book when she graduated High School.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Here’s my take on it:

This book is dark and scares the crap out of me. This book should scare the crap out of you!

Why? Because most of us are in the “The Waiting Place

“You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
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.”

If you’re waiting for the right time to call an old friend, or the right time to find a new career, or maybe you’re waiting for the right time to start that business you’ve been thinking about, or maybe you’re waiting for the phone to ring with a better job offer?

Then you’re in the The Waiting Place.

If you’re unhappy with your career and think that another day of 9-5 will drive you crazy, you’re in The Waiting Place.

The Waiting Place is safe and secure. The Waiting Place, for most of us, is daily life. Our society has made The Waiting Place the safest place to be. It’s the easiest place to be.

You live in The Waiting Place and then you die.

The one thing that struck me about the book is how the character, known as “you”, is always moving. He’s never waiting or relying on some external force to move him forward. There’s never a push from his parents or help from anyone. He’s ALWAYS moving  on his own two feet.

Even when he finds himself in The Waiting Place, it’s him and him alone who finds the exit. Nothing external will ever get you out of The Waiting Place.

Most of us have a choice right now as we are sitting in The Waiting Place.

Let’s be honest with ourselves about the “Places We’ll Go”  and admit that 98 and 3/4 percent of us are just waiting.

So what are you waiting for?