My mom always says “Carpe Diem”, an old Latin saying from the early 19th century written by Roman poet Horace, which means ‘seize the day!’ To me, ‘seize the day’ means to take advantage of our lives here on earth and look for new opportunities.
The New Oxford American Dictionary says the definition of carpe diem in English is an exclamation, “used to urge someone to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future.”
With the New Year approaching, it’s the perfect time to ‘seize the year’! Eleanor Roosevelt was right when she said: “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
We have all been given two very important and special gifts from our Heavenly Father, which are:
- Our lives
- And, the ability to choose what to do with them
As children of God, we each have a divine purpose on this earth to make the best of our lives and live life to the fullest. As Harry Morant says, “Live every day as if it were going to be your last; for one day you’re sure to be right.” There will come a time when you and I will pass on from this life, and if we don’t make the best of it, our dreams and goals will die with us, never to be displayed in broad daylight.
My mom, Elayna Fernandez (AKA the Positive MOM), wrote an article called “Top 5 Regrets of Life you Must Avoid”. In it, she says, “Don’t die with regrets. Don’t succeed at things that don’t matter. Live fully, be true to yourself, enjoy those you love, and let yourself be happy… now… TODAY!” We can seize the upcoming new year and make the best of it by following these five guidelines in life:
Take a risk, make a change! ~ Of course you have dreams, goals, and aspirations, so pursue them! In the New Year, push yourself to set intentional goals, find out what your dreams are, and make a plan to achieve them! Don’t allow your life to be dominated by fear and worry, instead, gather up your courage and take a risk. I believe that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, He gave us a spirit of power.
Be open to Learning ~ Learn from your mistakes, disappointments in life, blessings in life, from your mentors, and learn from wholesome resources like books and audio books. My mom has taught me that learning is the foundation of all success and ultimately, happiness, among other important values. I love studying and reading because it opens my mind and helps me create new ideas. I like what Mahatma Gandhi said about learning: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Spend your time Wisely ~ In order to make the best of our lives, it is essential to use time sparingly and wisely, always minding what activities we engage in and who we are around. Spend the hours in which you would usually sleep in, watch TV, etc. with family, and start planning out your days, with balanced work and play. This New Year, I will be creating my own day-to-day schedule so that I can have a plan and use my 24 hours well.
Enjoy yourself! ~ Have JOY in life by doing what you love! Take up a new hobby, learn a new skill, indulge in the arts, garden, read, write, paint, craft, build, carve, the possibilities are absolutely endless! I’ve learned that leisure time is just as important as time spent working and studying hard. It’s also important to remember that while free time is good, we should use it to do productive things instead of being idle. For my free time, I often take a much-needed nap, or I do my piano practice and my singing practice.
Help Other People ~ The greatest people on the earth are known because of their kindess, their love, and their desire to help all humankind. You can make a difference by lending a willing, helping hand, ungrudgingly and unasked. What can you do for someone else today? It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t even have to be planned in advance. You can do an act of service on a whim; it could be as simple as spending a few extra minutes on your chores so that they are well done, opening the classroom door for your teaching, or smiling at your entire family and uttering a cheerful ‘Good Morning.’
I love doing service for my friends and family. Recently, my mom and I gave some clothes that Elisha and I outgrew to a girl we know who needs them, and we also helped the homeless of Dallas by giving a donation. We also participate in many service projects our church organizes, such as preparing meals, raking leaves, cleaning homes, babysitting, or baking cookies and making Christmas cards.
All five of these things can enrich your life and help you live it to the fullest. Think about what Edward J. Stieglitz states: “The important thing is not how many years in your life but how much life in your years. “ In my acronym below, I explain what living is. To live is to…
- Love and laugh
- Inspire others daily
- Valiantly continue on in life
- Eagerly and earnestly pursue learning and growth
I like this quote by Stephen Vincent Benét: “Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.” Don’t lose your life, but think about others, improve and grow each day, and live a balanced life.
Make every millisecond count! I will be planning, traveling, writing, and growing this year and taking full advantage of my opportunities. How will you ‘seize the day’ in the New Year? What have you done to make the best of life?
Be an example!