Carpe diem is one of my favorite reminders to be present in the moment.
It is a Latin phrase that goes back to Roman poet Horace. It’s been most often translated as seize the day, and interpreted as seize the moment without concern for the future or in Horace’s words “puting little trust in tomorrow”.
My interpretation of carpe diem is seize the day with a lot of trust in tomorrow. Without setting an intention for what tomorrow and the future may hold, how can we be seizing today with the highest levels of commitment and energy? Or how can we find strength in the midst of what today may throw at us?
How to find your Carpe Diem definition?
– Set a time for a profound visualization experience this week. In “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey invites us to begin with the end in mind by visualizing our own funerals. It seems counter to talk about seizing the day and funerals. However, stay with me a little longer...Think about what you would want to hear at your funeral in regards to how you lived your life, your character, the contributions and difference you may have made. Tom Rath, human behavior researcher notes that having a meaningful life or work doesn’t necessarily require something grand or grandiose. It’s first about what we do every day and the people in our lives.
– Spend some time thinking about your roles, values and what is important to you. Draft a list with questions that you will want to respond positively at the end of your life. Brendon Burchard, a world class coach, introduced this idea with questions he has been asking himself every day for the last two decades: Did I love? Did I matter? Did I live? My version includes:
–At personal level: Did I love? Did I grow? Did I let fears hold me back?
–At professional level: Did I challenge myself and my team to grow? Did I bring value? Was I a role model?
– Share your questions with someone you love or trust. This discussion is an opportunity to mark a new level of intention and further refine and reflect on your life mission.
– Set a morning reminder on your phone with your end of life questions. Knowing what you are striving for in life will embolden you for the day ahead.
– Every night, think about your day and if you lived in congruence with your end of life questions.
Whether you are 15 years old or 70 years old, it is never too late to set an intention for what’s ahead.
Carpe Diem is an invitation to live intentionally by living daily answers to your end of life questions.
When you do, you have lived more authentically, intentionally, and at peace with yourself, your life and your growth journey…
In Howard Thurman words, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive“.