I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but in 2011 I resolve to live my life more like Winnie the Pooh. He seems to always be happy, having fun and adventures. I’ve found some important words of wisdom to follow in this coming year, taken from Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, by author A. A. Milne. I don’t imagine Pooh thinks about personal branding, but if he did, he’d say that he just is. Perhaps you can see some wisdom in his way of being.

Do nothing

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”  – Pooh’s Little Instruction Book.

Doing nothing sounds easy, but is actually hard. This year I intend to practice just being and not being driven to do something every minute.

Show some patience

If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” – Pooh’s Little Instruction Book.

Everyone is out there trying to do his or her best. The least I can do is be patient and try to understand the fluff that is keeping others (and myself) from listening.


A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.” – Pooh’s Little Instruction Book.

How true. Regular exercise will be in my future. Besides the fitness benefits and stress reduction that exercise provides, it can also remove some of the fluff from my ears.

Stop scurrying

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” – Pooh’s Little Instruction Book.

This year, when going to meet someone or attend an event, I’ll leave early and not be rushed. I won’t create silly deadlines for myself that just stress me out.


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.” –  Pooh’s Little Instruction Book.

Pooh, fascinated with the flow and pace of the river, doesn’t concern himself with worry or anxiety. After all, he readily admits to and is happy being, a bear of little brain. My year will be better if I recognize that life is really just endless ebb and flow.

Which reminds me of Pooh sticks, a favorite family camping activity. Next time you cross a footbridge with someone, drop a stick in the water. Wait to see which stick flows fastest to the other side. Cheer on your stick and watch it get jostled and carried by the current. Ah, the joy of simple pleasures.

Happy New Year!


Donna Dunning, PhD, is a psychologist, certified teacher, member of the MBTI ® International Training Faculty, and director of Dunning Consulting Inc. She is the author of more than a dozen publications, including her two newest books, 10 Career Essentials and What’s Your Type of Career? 2nd edition. Donna’s guiding principle is: Know yourself, respect differences, learn and grow. Follow Donna on Twitter and Facebook and visit her website.