The Latin phrase Carpe Diem (seize the day) was first attributed to a poem written by the famed Roman poet Horace during the reign of Augustus. It gained fresh awareness for many of us by the actor Robin Williams in the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society. Williams, an English professor, challenges his class of boys to be cognizant of the opportunities that are contained within every moment, “to gather ye rosebuds while you may.” Herding the boys around a trophy case filled with pictures of young athletes of yesteryear, he quips, “These boys are now fertilizing daffodils.” This leads to the moment where he emphatically whispers, “Carpe Diem”
Seize the day. Seize the day.
Gathering our rosebuds while we have the chance – seizing the opportunities that each day offers is equal parts natural wisdom and mysterious seduction. I would venture to say that anyone reading this understands that in order to achieve a goal you must play the key part in its manifestation. It doesn’t work any other way. The way the opportunity unfolds lies in the realm of mystery for there will always be an infinite number of trickles that lead to the ocean. Their will always be expected and unexpected ways that our good will show up in order to support our desire. But we must seize the opportunity.
I love the word seize. It contains an energy of action, power, authority. If applied in terms of ourselves, then using that energy for opportunity rather than the taking from us by outer oppressive forces, fills us with encouragement and fortitude like air to a balloon.
Yet applying this action, even though its in the context of our current experience, can still be a breeding ground for overwhelm and the cause for our lack of follow through. For example, when was the last time you maintained a positive attitude for an entire day? When was the last time you successfully stringed one positive thought to the next, without fail for an entire twenty four hour period? I have yet to master that and I’m making the assumption that neither have you. That isn’t a good or bad thing, it simply offers us a glimpse into the enormity of thoughts that filter through our mind everyday. Each of those thoughts are birthed from a desire – translation – countless desires have their inception within us everyday.
So why not Carpe articulum? Seize the (important) moment:
As we explore the idea of taking action, let us do so from a foundation that sets us up to win rather than one that breeds overwhelm. Let’s examine how we are already successful at this in the first place.
Let’s say you have a desire for a cup of coffee. You do one of two things, you get up, go to your kitchen and prepare the coffee from supplies that you have already purchased or you travel to a local coffee shop, walk in and place an order, both options produce the cup of coffee. The coffee was a desire and you made it happen. The attainment of the coffee is a successful act. Do you celebrate the manifestation of that desire? From our base desires, such as the need to eliminate fluid and waste to the taking of showers, those are all birthed from a desire. Once you have completed the task, do you not understand that you have manifested success?
When you begin to consider the possibility that success has no label of big or small, then you start to grasp the idea that your personal days are filled with successful completions of tasks.
Realize then that you are seizing the moment.
It is stringing those innumerable successful moments to one another that comprise our days. Those days become weeks, those weeks turn into months and on and on. Yes, even the task of successfully brewing or buying a cup of coffee plays a part of the success of your award winning composition, receiving the diploma, raising your child.
What we have the opportunity to do is to make these moments as deliberate and conscious as possible. Let go of the concept of the day and let us begin to seize the moment.
David Ault is an internationally known author and celebrated metaphysical teacher and speaker. He is an ordained minister through Centers for Spiritual Living and currently serves as the Senior Minister of Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia. His weekly messages are heard and viewed by thousands across the world. Since his spiritual reawakening in the mid 1980s, Ault has traveled the globe offering his gifts as a singer/songwriter, speaker, and facilitator.