Life Lessons From Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh

When I was a child I loved Winnie the Pooh.

Ok, to be honest I still do. Not so much the Disneyfied Pooh bear, but rather the original lovable character from A.A. Milne’s books.

I treasure my  old copies (pre-1950) of Winnie The Pooh, When We Were Six, and The House at Pooh Corner. I have Classic Pooh Christmas tree ornaments and the Winnie the Pooh Cookbook (everything you ever wanted to know about honey). I have numerous versions of stuffed toys (including a 3 foot high Kanga with baby Roo). I have dishes, blankets and tons of other collectibles. When my oldest son was born, I decorated his nursery in Classic Pooh.

So yes, you could say I’m a fan.

PoohThe very first stuffed toy I ever remember having is my Winnie the Pooh (I still have him and he sits on my desk while I work). We grew up together. I imagined myself a female Christopher Robin. He came everywhere with me. I even used to take him to elementary school with me and would do double the work and hand in assignments one with his name on it and the other mine. Yes, I was a strange child.

Pooh and his friends taught me many things.

But I truly believe that he is such a lasting character because he can’t be fully appreciated until you’ve grown up. Only then can you realize all the life lessons the silly old bear has given you.

Now more than ever the world needs more Pooh Bear wisdom…

Have an adventure.

Pooh and his friends are always having adventures. Maybe that is one reason I love them so much. From hunting a Heffalump or a Woozle, to vistiting Rabit, to finding an enchanted place with Christopher Robin, or even using a balloon to get honey from a tree, Pooh is always ready for an adventure no matter how big or small.

Approaching life as an adventure makes the day-to-day all the more fun and life worth living.

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

Take pleasure in the little things.

Have you ever played Poohsticks? It is a game  Pooh invented (House at Pooh Corner page 95) that involves standing on a bridge and dropping sticks in the water and seeing whose stick comes out the other side first. It is immensely entertaining with the right friends. The point is that even simple games can add fun to your day. Add a little silly to your day and see what happens.

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”

Live in the moment.

Pooh and his friends teach us to let go of the past, to live in the present and to not worry about the future. A lesson we could all use.

“What day is it?”

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favourite day,” said Pooh.

Take time to do nothing.

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” Yes, I’ve mentioned this before. Sometimes you just need to do nothing. Pooh and Christopher Robin are experts at doing nothing. Need a refresher lesson?

“What I like doing best is Nothing.” said Christopher Robin.

“How do you do Nothing?”asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.

“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it. What are you doing Christopher Robin, and you say Oh nothing, and then you go and do it.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.

“This is a nothing sort of thing that we are doing now.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh again.

“It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear and not bothering.” (House at Pooh Corner, page 171)

Embrace what makes you YOU.

Remember Tigger? The wonderful thing about Tiggers is that he’s the only one. When Rabbit convinces Tigger to stop bouncing (House at Pooh Corner page 109), Tigger gets sad and isn’t himself anymore. Then his friends help him get his bounce back. You are the only YOU that will ever be in all time and space. Embrace your authentic self and those things you love to do and DO them. Keep bouncing baby.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

Now go and carry the zen of Pooh in your heart all day. 🙂

Do you love Winnie the Pooh too? What is your favourite Poohism? Please share in the comments below.

About the Author

Heather WIlsonHeather E. Wilson is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Coach, a directory and membership platform designed to unite, support and promote Canadian coaches. She's a successful business coach, speaker, author (Your Life According to You!), warrior, change-maker, risk-taker, and adventurer all rolled into one dynamic package.