“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein
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The moment most of us think of the term carpe diem, we start associating it with being frivolous and wasteful of our time and resources. But is that what carpe diem really means, or have we, confused, clueless humans, mutilated the term and its essence to fit into our twisted, unhealthy lifestyles? Life is a miracle…if you believe in it, you will live it, if you don’t, you won’t! And living life is not the same as wasting it, neither is carpe diem!
What is carpe diem?
Your mind can sometimes be sabotaging your own lightness and happiness, that is if you give it the green light. One very common way is by allowing it to give the future and the past too much space. By doing so, you snatch joy right out of your present. Carpe diem, which means seize the day, by no means implies that you should completely ignore your future. It only tells you that it does no good to constantly focus on what you HAVE to accomplish. Instead, it advises you to take your time and acknowledge what you already HAVE accomplished. With that feeling, you are able to have an overall sense of appreciation, which helps and motivates you to accomplish more at a healthy pace. Likewise, it makes absolutely no sense to mope about what you could have accomplished any other time in the past and waste yet more time with could have, would have, should have. What really exists is now, and that’s where you are supposed to put your focus.
Carpe diem litterally means „pluck the day“. Carpe means „pluck“, as in „plucking a fruit“. That fruit is your day! Carpe diem means: pluck the day while it’s ripe! So it actually tells you NOT TO PROCRASTINATE and be wasteful of your time. You all know the term: the early bird gets the worm? Well, it’s kind of like that. It means you have to get up early, if you have to, because life is too short to waste! It does not say anywhere that you have to run around at a frantic pace, though. You need to find a pace that is healthy for you. To each their own.
Those who go frantic are the ones whose strange sense of priority pushes them towards the neglect of that fruit, and suddenly rush towards it, only to find out it has passed its due pluck date. That is the only time you would fear missing out on something. If you take action on time, you would not see a necessity to go frantic, no matter in what situation. If you pluck the fruit on time, you can have it ripe and don’t need to hurry or worry! Get my analogy? Carpe diem tells you to live your day now. Get up, focus on what you want today, pluck whatever out of your day that you desire to pluck, before it’s gone, period. And as you do so, remember all the other things you plucked the previous day, and let that contentment be a source of internal motivation and inspiration. Next day you can get up and repeat the process, but don‘t look for yesterday‘s fruit, and don’t daydream about tommorrow‘s fruit. Pluck that damn fruit of your present day‘s!
I hope you know by now that carpe diem does not mean you get drunk, drugged, wasted and temporarily euphoric, paving the path towards your own long-term misery. This is the twisted definition some confused, lost humans came up with and spread around. That is very far from carpe diem.
Who sees the day will seize the day.
As fond as I am of wordplay, this is more than just wordplay. My take on carpe diem? Here’s how it goes: Life is not a race, and even if you think you are speeding it, you really aren’t. It’s an illusion you are addicted to. Time passes by at the exact same speed for everyone. In the process of making yourself believe that you are speeding things up, you only end up missing out on those moments and people you could have been amazed by. And feeling amazed is what carpe diem really is all about. It’s about the recognition of the small things, events and people – let’s call them life’s blessings – and allowing them to amaze us. An accomplishment is an accomplishment, no matter how big or small. Failing to recognize small blessings we have attained will stop us from getting to the bigger picture. This is what self-sabotage is: Stripping yourself of the opportunity of happiness that is given to you and you do possess while pursuing an illusion of happiness at a yet more illusionary timeframe, i.e. future! How insane are you? What carpe diem strongly advises you against is this type of self sabotage. Just see your day now, for what it is and make the best of it, and you will see that the best shall remain yours and truly yours, for the day, and you shall repeat the process next day, if another day is bestowed upon you. Who sees the day will seize the day!
Seize the day before the day ceases you!
Wordplay. Wordplay, wordplay (laughs….)! Now, let’s play with life….toy with it! This shouldn’t scare you. Life is indeed too short to be wasted. This means you should not put precious things and people off or on hold. Pluck the day trusting as little as possible in the future, because the future may never be. It’s now. Pluck your fruit now. And if you are lucky enough to have another day to pluck more, you will see tomorrow, not now. Now, you can only see now! That simple. Make the most of it, waste the least of it. So toy with life, play with it, and be playful with it, while remembering that fear is to be banished! Fear based thoughts kill the present moment. Fear is the enemy of success.
Caveat! Success is attaining whatever it is you are aiming to pluck. Bear in mind: people have twisted the meaning of success to fit a definition that is dictated by the ego. The unfortunate meaning of success has been mistaken with more money and rise in the career. As soon as someone is considered as „successful“, we picture them having a high paying job, an expensive car, a big house, and all that ephemeric stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against material success. But let’s be fair: let’s call it just what it is, i.e. „material success“. But material success is never going to be strong enough to keep a person happy in the long run. A real successful person is one who has success in other realms as well. What realms? Well, emotional, spiritual, physical, psychological. Do you want to be rich but lonely? Rich but mentally ill? Spiritual but poor? Physically fit but mentally fucked-up? Physically fit but poor? You see? All these combinations aren’t good. You want to have all of them. You need to strike a balance. How about being prosperous, financially secure, mentally balanced, emotionally fulfilled and physically fit? Doesn’t that sound great? Seizing the day is the only sure way to get there slowly. Any other way gives you a temporary kick, an illusion that leads to imbalance. Seizing your day means you are the master of your day and not its servant. Fearful people run around in a frenzy, mistaking busy-ness with importance, trying to achieve 100 things on one day, fearing the loss of time and other resources and ending up excelling in one realm, while losing sight of the rest of life. That’s a perfect antithesis to success. Fearful people are super achievers in one realm, never able to pluck the fruit of life, i.e. carpe diem. They neglect seizing the day, until the day ceases them!
If you want a quick self-assessment of your overall success, think about your relationships, not just romantic ones, but all kinds. Whether it be with your friends, significant other, spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc… Ask yourself these questions:
Am I a loving girlfriend/boyfriend?
Am I a loving wife/husband?
Am I a loving mother/father?
Am I a loving sister/brother?
Am I a loving dauther/son?
Am I there for my loved ones?
Do I give my loved ones time and attention?
Am I kind and compassionate in all relationships, i,e, family, friends, etc…?
Have I nourished my most important relationships enough and tended to them, or have I put too much focus on my SELF?
If you are nourishing all relationships and doing the best you can to balance the scales of reciprocity, love and compassion, THAT’s a big part of your success.
By the same token, if you have neglected the people who should have mattered to you, abandoned them, given them up for career, money, power, prestige and external gratifications, you have clearly „failed at SUCCESS“, if that’s even a phrase (laughs….).
(reminder: the post you are reading is written by author/blog owner: http://jeanniealogy.com/index.php/about-her/ )
Now here‘s an interesting oxymoron:
Success is the door to failure! Huh??
Yes you heard me right. But what’s the connection of this to carpe diem? Very obvious. People often get blinded by all those grandiose ideas such as money, career, fame, you name it, that they forget small, yet very significant aspects of life, such as affinity, reciprocity and love. To seize the day, you have to take notice of all relationships in your life and nurture them. You nurture them because that kind of nurturing is also a source of contentment. It should be a pleasure to be kind and loving towards your loved ones. If it is not, there is something wrong with your psyche, in which case, you need medical/psychological treatment. If you get up in the morning with only one single goal in mind, i.e. get as much work done as possible, then how are you going to be able to hear the voice of people who need and love you? Success, the way it has been taught us, is the culprit and door to failure. We run around, at the speed of light (even if we’re heavy as hell inside…..sad laughs….), trying to be as efficient as we can, get as much done as possible, so that we are successful according to some definition that is so far from real success. Carpe diem tells you to seize your day by tending to your loved ones now, before your chance is gone, for there is no guarantee that they will be there tomorrow. This shouldn’t mean you have to drop work. It means you find a healthy balance to tend to all aspects of life and not just that ego-driven work success.
When your relationships are tended to, you will feel emotionally and mentally balanced. You can then focus better on your job. It’s domino’s effect. You will soon find overall success, all by carping your diem (laughs….), i.e, plucking the fruit whlile it is ripe.
By now you might be wondering if I, as the writer of this article, practice what I preach. The answer is: damn right I do!
Have I always done so? Well, I don‘t waste time on could have, should have, would have (laughs….). However, I have been parcticing carpe diem more than the average person, and have let it guide me throughout my life, especially as I get older and wiser.
I hope that you will too.