There’s Only One Thing To Do With Today: Seize It

Understanding carpe diem is easy. Living it is harder.

Ryan Holiday

--

Credit: Westend61/Getty Images

You’re alive right now. In front of you sits just a handful of hours before the day is through. What tomorrow has in store, you cannot know. Piles of problems could be dumped on you. A surprise call from the doctor could change everything. You could wake up with the flu and spend the next week in bed. You could not wake up at all.

This leaves you with a few options for today: You can muddle through, you can worry about all the things that might happen, or you can seize the day—here and now. The right choice is obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

The famous Latin phrase carpe diem, or “seize the day,” has stared at us from coffee cups and motivational posters for as long as we’ve been alive. Longer, in fact; it’s from a poem written in 23 B.C. We’ve been struggling to follow this simple anodyne command basically since the beginning of time. It was hard for the ancients, and it’s hard for us.

What is cool, however, is that since right around Horace’s time, smart people—especially the ancient Stoics—have been developing strategies for how to seize the day. They’re not magical solutions, but they do help. They work if you work them. So let’s get to it.

--

--

Ryan Holiday

Bestselling author of ‘Conspiracy,’ ‘Ego is the Enemy’ & ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’ http://amzn.to/24qKRWR