Children’s Books Have Great Life Lessons

Life lessons can come from unlikely places. My latest lesson came from a children’s story book. This is what I learned from reading to my kids one afternoon.


I didn’t know much about Peter Pan. Even though I interned at Walt Disney, my knowledge of Disney characters is very limited.

The story is this: Peter Pan has an arch enemy, the pirate ship Captain, Hook. Captain Hook and Peter have been at odds for a while. The Captain even lost his hand in a fight with Peter Pan and as the story says, “Captain Hook spent all his time trying to catch Peter Pan.”

In the story, we see Peter Pan giving his new found friends, Wendy, John and Michael a tour of his home, Never Land. Their fun is then disturbed by a cannonball shot from Captain Hooks pirate ship. We learn something important from Peter’s words to his friends.

Don’t be scared. We can outfly him easily.

In another scene Peter is seen rescuing Tiger Lily, a prisoner held captive by Hook. The story says, “Captain Hook and Peter began fighting, but Peter was much too quick for the Captain.”

Finally, in one last fight with his enemy Captain Hook, the writer of the story says,

“Peter was much quicker and smarter than the Captain.”

Why did I tell you all of this.

Not once in the story did it say Peter was stronger than Captain Hook. Nowhere did it say that Peter had access to more resources than Captain Hook. In fact, Peter was younger, and fought alone with a small dagger. Hook on the other hand had a team of pirates and and a long sword.

The story simply said that Peter was quicker and smarter.

Most of us settle for less in life because we feel under resourced and not as capable as others. This is unfortunate because some of the most successful people in life—those who have made the biggest impact—did so as the underdog.

Eric Thomas, the writer of The Secret to Success didn’t let the fact that he was a high school dropout and homeless stop him from pursuing greatness.

What makes the difference is being quicker, smarter and the sheer grace of God.

  • Being quick is not about how fast you run but rather, how fast you adjust.
  • Being smart is not about how much education you have, but about how resourceful you are.

Being quick and smart are attributes that contribute to someone becoming successful. Unrelenting optimists know that no matter how under resourced they feel, where there’s a will there’s a way. If it’s in God’s will for you, then the only thing stopping you is you.

Next month will be the midpoint of the year. You still have a lot of time to make 2014 the year of the underdog! Just do it!

Here is the story book I read: Walt Disney’s Peter Pan (Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading)

Question: What would success look like for you this year? Leave your answer in the comments section below.

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