Carpe diem means ‘seize the day’. It is a Latin phrase, originating in the poetry of the Roman writer Horace (or Quintus Horatius Flaccus to give his full name).
‘Seizing the day’ is all about knowing what we want from life, living in the present moment and being spontaneous too!
Seize the day is a metaphor: we cannot literally grab hold of a day. What this means is that we should enjoy the present moment and grab hold of the opportunities that the day has for us.
What this opportunities are will vary for different people. However, it is safe to say that this proverb is always about not wasting time and making the most of the opportunities that are given to us.
7 Ways to Seize the Day – Carpe Diem.
1. Do something that scares you: Coming out of your comfort zone is a fantastic way to make the most of opportunities that you would otherwise have let slip by. Apply for that job you were worrying about being fully qualified for, try out a new hobby or tell someone that you love them. Do it today and it could change your life forever!
2. Don’t be worried about embarrassing yourself: When Archimedes discovered the displacement of water, he reportedly ran through the streets naked. He didn’t care about that – he was just so enthusiastic about his amazing discovery. Though you don’t need to do something as extreme as this to conquer your embarrassment, the important thing to remember is that you should not let your fear of looking silly stop you from doing something that you might enjoy or that might bring something new and good into your life.
3. Act, don’t talk: Whenever you find yourself talking about your plans for the future, stop yourself and take action instead. Instead of telling your friends how much you’d like to write a play sometime in the future, just sit down and start writing right now.
4. Remind yourself that life is short: Opportunities can arise and they can disappear in what seems like an instant. Don’t let them pass you by: remind yourself that we only have a limited time on this earth and that we therefore need to make the most of it.
5. Be honest: We only feel truly happy about seizing an opportunity if it is something that we really want. So, be honest about what types of opportunities you are looking for so that when they arise you can grab them with both hands. There is no point in chasing after opportunities just because other people have told us to do so.
6. Stay in the present moment: So many people live life thinking about the past or the future, without realizing how wonderful the present moment is. As such, they can miss out on opportunities that arise in the present. Ironically, this might be because they are thinking of opportunities they missed in the past, or opportunities that they need to look out for in the future. One thing that has become increasingly popular in the present day is the technique of Mindfulness, which encourages people to experience the present moment with all of its challenges, emotions and opportunities as fully as possible.
7. Be spontaneous: Of course, a little caution can keep us safe – but, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be too stuck in a rut or too excessively cautious as this can stop us from seeing all the wonderful things that are out there in the world. So cultivate a little spontaneity and be prepared to change your plans if something new and exciting arises for you to do. Learning when to say ‘yes’ to new challenges and when to say ‘no’ to them because you need to look after your own life and health is such a brilliant skill to have and it can really help you to make the most of your life.
It is totally possible to seize the day and live in the moment whilst also being prudent about our futures. In fact, you may well find that by seizing all of the opportunities that you can in the present moment, you will do plenty of things that your future self will thank you for.
Make the most of life, every day.