One of the oldest philosophical mottos in Western history is “Carpe Diem — seize the day.” This phrase was coined by the Roman poet Horace almost 2,000 years ago, and it still rings true today—though how we go about seizing the day today differs significantly from how it was done in Horace’s time.
This slogan of seizing the day was instilled in me as a child, and I still follow it in my daily life. However, I was surprised to see that the meaning of Carpe Diem had been hijacked after reading Roman Krznaric’s book Carpe Diem Regained: The Vanishing Art of Seizing the Day.
According to Krznaric, advertising behemoths have transformed Carpe Diem into a conviction that life is short, time is ticking away, and we are living in the moment, so grab everything you can before it’s too late.
We are constantly inundated with the overarching message. “You don’t want to look back and regret not taking action because you’ll miss out!” You haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity, and that’s a problem!”
People who seize the day conjure up thoughts of people who grab what they can, people who get things done, and people who simply do it. Can you guess where Nike got their slogan?
People today are urged to take ownership of their happiness and pursue it right now, which leads to the consumption of items and services that reflect an immediate gratification consumer culture that doesn’t stop to smell the flowers.
We hit the ground running, determined to make the most of every moment since we may miss out on the chance to be happy if we don’t seize it now. What a draining way to go through life!
What Does It Mean to Seize the Day in 2020?
The good news is that, despite COVID-19, the motto Carpe Diem is still appropriate advice to follow if you want to live a meaningful life.
Carpe Diem advises us to make the most of the present moment rather than worry about the unknown future as we deal with the disruption brought on by COVID-19.
Being present in the moment offers us control over our circumstances, allowing us to take action to seize the day in a way that allows us to confront the unknown with strength and power.
Spending time thinking out and getting extremely clear on what actions and thoughts characterize what it means to Carpe Diem is the key to taking action and completely embracing the concept.
In these current times, the poet Horaces’ original description of Carpe Diem, “Seize the day, trusting little in the future,” resonated with me. I’m now concentrating on not deferring duties or activities till tomorrow.
When I remember a buddy I haven’t spoken to in a long time, I call them right away because I know I will forget if I don’t. My future, like many of yours, feels quite uncertain right now.
There is a lot of unknowns, and in order to get through it, I need to focus on the present and what is going well in my life right now.
This means I have to make a commitment to making time to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the important times in my life right now. In the year 2020, Carpe Diem means that to me.
5 Ways to Seize the Day Right Now
Integrating the philosophy of Carpe Diem into your life does not happen overnight, especially when you have lived your life influenced by the advertising messages of self-gratification and living in the now.
It takes time, but by taking one step at a time, you may bring about and maintain revolutionary change in your life.
“The journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step,” according to an old Chinese saying. Follow this piece of advice if you want to incorporate Carpe Diem into your life.
1. Get Clarity on What Is Important in Your Life
Peace of mind comes from clarity. You are less likely to get sidetracked or postpone if you know what is important in your life. You have direction and focus when you know what you desire and have a feeling of purpose.
You are more inclined to take action to achieve the things of life that are important to you rather than ignore or postpone. Clarity gives you the drive and will to act, which is in line with the Carpe Diem attitude.
2. Let Go of Regrets and Move on
Focusing on all the mistakes you’ve made or the things you could, would, or should have done has the effect of creating stagnation in your life. Carpe Diem is all about seizing the day and not looking back—the polar opposite of living a life of regret.
When you live your life in regret, there is no action, movement, or vitality. That is why it is critical to let go of your regrets so that you can go forward and grab the day!
3. Fix Your Priorities
Make a list of the activities or behaviors that are most significant to you in your life. Make a place for you to reflect and figure out what is most important to you. What are your favorite and most energizing activities?
To sort out your four top priorities, use these three simple steps:
Divide an A4 sheet of paper into four quarters and write down the four most important things in your life. After that, have a glance at the piece of paper before discarding it.
Then, on a new piece of A4 paper, repeat the exercise, but leave Work and Relationships out (Family). These aspects of your life are always with you and take precedence. They are unavoidable.
This exercise is designed to help you choose the top four things that bring you joy in your life, such as exercise, creating, writing, volunteering, cooking, helping others, or spending time in nature.
After you’ve completed putting down four activities, consider how you’re spending your time with each of them.
Are you now engaged in activities that offer you joy and are meaningful to you? If you answered no, now is the time to seize the day! Begin by taking action.
4. Set Personal Boundaries for Success
It’s difficult to focus on what’s important to you or what path you want to take in life when you don’t know where you’re going. As a result, you’re more prone to delay, be easily distracted, and lack personal limits that help you maintain emotional and physical balance.
Healthy boundaries are also an excellent strategy to safeguard your emotional space. You have physical and emotional control over your life because of your boundaries.
You know your limits when you have boundaries, and you can communicate them from a position of strength and emotional health. These emotional underpinnings provide you with the energy and confidence to go out and seize the day.
5. Invest in You and Create Space for You
Make time for reflection, rebooting, and re-energizing yourself. It does not have to be difficult. All you have to do now is make the decision to invest in yourself.
Simple actions like shutting off the television and turning off your phone give you the opportunity to unwind and ponder.
Take a stroll, try yoga, or do any other sort of physical activity that brings you outside in nature. Take a vacation, practice thankfulness on a daily basis, and concentrate on achieving life balance.
Don’t let the world pass you by because you’re too preoccupied with a job or other things that divert your attention away from your own development and well-being.
“Carpe Diem,” Robin Williams stated to his students in the film Dead Poets Society. Take advantage of the situation, lads. Make the most of your lives.”
This is my interpretation of Carpe Diem, and I feel it will motivate you to live life to the fullest! Life is too brief for you to pass up the chance to make the most of it!