Carpe diem. Seize the day. If you were to ask me what my personal motto is, this is it.
It’s been a strange day waiting for some news of a friend who was going through something that had a bigger than you would like chance of not having a happy outcome. Thankfully, the news is as good as it could be for our friend but days like these are a reminder that our lives are brief and fragile and to make the most of each opportunity that comes my way.
Like many teenagers in the 90s, Robin Williams’ performance as English teacher John Keating in Dead Poet’s Society stirred strong emotions as it still does today. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s one of the most powerful of our generation and deserves your undivided attention. I’ll definitely be making my kids watch it when they are teenagers. This quote comes from an inspiring sequence where Keating introduces the concept of carpe diem to his class:
Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – Carpe – hear it? – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary
I think in this age of celebrity sometimes people get overwhelmed by the idea of making their lives extraordinary but it needs to be taken in context. For some of us, getting out of bed and making a coffee is extraordinary. The way I see it, do what is extraordinary for you, push yourself a little harder and grasp life with both hands. Carpe diem.
Here’s the scene from the movie that inspired my personal motto. I’d love to hear what your personal motto is and what you are doing to seize the day.