How Do I Seize the Day?

I’m always a bit confused about the term Carpe Diem. I know that it’s about enjoying the day and not worry about tomorrow or yesterday – but what about seizing the day in the sense of using your day wisely, not procrastinating but doing as much as possible to reach your goals for a great future? Because, depending on which definition, I would fill the day in two completely different ways.

If I opt for the latter definition, I would spend my time studying, searching for more work, writing creatively, going to the gym, putting some money into my savings account and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. However, if I opt for enjoyment, I would spend the time laughing with friends and family, sitting out in the sun, reading a good book or watching a great tv-series and eating chocolate and ice-cream.

Every day I seem to struggle between these two options of seizing my day. I tell myself that I must do this or that for work but all the time I’m looking at the novel lying on the table. What often happens is that I end up doing none of the above. Isn’t that a great waste?

Maybe Gandhi said it best:

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Or is it James Dean?:

Dream as if you will live forever; Live as if you will die today.

So, perhaps it’s all about balance: enjoying part of the day and working hard to reach your goals in the other part of the day. So now that I’ve written this blog post, I’m going to give my son a cuddle and when I’ve put him to bed, I’ll pick up that book sitting on the table.

Vanessa

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3 thoughts on “How Do I Seize the Day?

  1. I don’t think ‘seize the day’ is related to the word ‘must’ do this or ‘must’ do that, those are the everyday things that are often necessary – in the example you give, I would interpret ‘seize the day’ as making sure you did give time to that novel you are dying to immerse yourself in – its about indulging the things you are passionate about, even if they aren’t the things that pay the bills or are necessarily appreciated by the world out there. Do that thing that is just for you and that is a real pleasure and makes you smile and feel fulfilled, like a cuddle with your son. 🙂

  2. “Here and now boys,” is the variation in Aldous Huxley’s ISLAND. In general shouldn’t useful advice always be applied in a way that makes sense in the context of your own life? I would say that for me the phrase definitely means more “do it now” that to not think about tomorrow. You kind of hope tomorrow will be there and seizing the day for me means ensuring you are ready to make the most of it. If it doesn’t come, and one day it won’t, you’ve wasted nothing if you are focused on doing things important to you.

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