a person standing on top of a mountain with their arms outstretched.

10 Ways to Seize The Day (Carpe Diem)

Rachel Sharpe

Those who seize the day make the most of all opportunities that present themselves. They make each moment count. If you want to live a life worth living, it’s important to take advantage of all the opportunities that you can do something new, help others, and enjoy life with those you love. As we all know, life’s short. You never know how much time you have on this planet. For some, you might have decades left to explore and play while for others time is running out. But you’ll never know how much time your hourglass holds. So if you want to seize the day, there’s no better day than today. So, let’s not waste anymore time and just get right into how to seize the day.

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What Does Carpe Diem Mean?

Carpe diem means seize the day. 

What Does Seize The Day Mean?

Seize the day means making the most of your life in this exact moment. Don’t let yourself wander to the past in your thoughts nor should you be distracted by the future. Instead, focus on what you can accomplish in the present moment to make the most of it. 

Who Said Seize The Day?

Horace said seize the day, or in actuality, he said “carpe diem” in his poem Odes. 

How to seize the day

1. Do something new

Man tandem jumping out of plane, skydiving

When most people tell you that you need to carpe diem, they typically mean that you should step outside your comfort zone. You know, do something new. Take that risk and do something you’ve always blabbed on about but never had enough courage to do. They say that a boat is safest at the dock, but as you all know that’s not what boats are built for. Same with people. You can hide out in your living room hiding out behind your computer where it’s safe and comfortable. But that’s not what living life is all about. You need to get outside. Breathe in that fresh air. Dance in the rain. Scrape your knees in the dirt. Feel better about yourself.

Don’t pretend like you don’t have a bucket list. Literally, everyone has one. And I know you do too. So what’s on yours? And when are you finally get started on number one? You added it first, you know you want to do it. Why are you not seizing the day and jumping on that already? Do I know it’s scary? Uh, yeah! But imagine how crazy of a story it’ll be.

Before I went skydiving for the first time, I almost had an accident in my pants. But I didn’t. And I fell out of that plane as it turned. Couldn’t breathe because my mouth was open and air was suffocating me as I fell in the free fall. Then, I looked out at the world below me and it was beautiful. And in the end we safely landed, which is how I had the chance to tell this story. Carpe diem.

2. Live in the present

If you really want to seize the day, you have to live in the present moment. I know, I know, you love thinking about your ex who rejected you. It hurt so bad. He was your one true love. So you need to make yourself feel horrible every day by playing back the same old memories. You already had a chance at living in the past. There were so many amazing moments. And there were some pretty awful ones too. But right now, you’re totally missing out on creating new amazing moments because you’re time travelling to periods that no longer exist. You can’t keep running back to the past. And you can’t keep hiding away from the future. All you’ve got to seize the day is the moment happening right now.

Should you really be reading an article about seizing the day or should you go out there and seize the day? Get out of this little bubble you’ve made for yourself. Take a deep breath in and feel this moment. What would make this moment great? Got it? Now go do it! If you need some inspiration, quickly find some ways to practice mindfulness. Let’s take a short 15 seconds to breathe so you can have a fresh brain that allows you seize the day in the right mindset.

3. Practice meditation

Woman sitting on couch listening to guided meditation with phone in lap

It’s hard to know how to seize the day when your brain is all cluttered. We’ve already established the past recycling that goes on in your mind. But there’s also a bunch of rumination that happens in there when things don’t go your way. People spend way too much time in their heads. How can you ever carpe diem if you aren’t practicing mindful living?

Meditation helps you become more self-aware of everything going on in and around you. Meditation is simply the practice of mindfulness before the real-world event takes place. You know, those moments where you need to be in the moment. You can follow along to guided meditations or focus on your breathing. Sometimes you choose not to seize the day because you’re listening to pessimistic thoughts instead of optimistic ones. Wouldn’t it be nice to recognize the difference between the two so you can actually live the life you want? If you’re interested in that, you can check out the Declutter The Mind app – oh yeah, and it’s free.  You can check out our free meditation on present living on YouTube.

4. Face your fears

Admit it– you’ve spent your whole life living as a chicken. You’ve feared the unknown, rejection, and getting hurt. And obviously, you’ve feared the worst case scenario in every situation. And how far did that get you? Here you are Googling about 10 ways to seize the day because you know you haven’t been practicing that carpe diem. Let’s be clear: facing your fears doesn’t mean that something bad is going to happen. Most likely it means nothing good or bad will happen. It’ll be a neutral event. And you’ll realize that there was no reason to dread it in the first place.

If you set out to face your fear of heights by climbing a big staircase, the worst thing that’ll realistically happen is simply some back pain. Why? Because you’ll probably be hunched over that railing holding onto it for dear life. How do I know? Because that’s what I did when I went bungee jumping and made the mistake of looking down before I got to the top. 

5. Build Yourself Up

You can be anyone you want to be. That doesn’t mean becoming a clone of someone else. Instead, it means taking the best traits of the people you admire the most and rebuilding yourself up with those new qualities. As you learn how to seize the day, you need to bring the best version of yourself to the table everyday. 

Are there skills you need to develop? Are there books that will help guide you towards your 2.0 version of your new self? Do you need to meet new people to learn things you never thought were possible? Maybe it’s time to invest in a mentor or partner with a friend as the two of you develop a new hobby together so you have someone else keeping you accountable with these new changes you’re embarking on. Your current self is a work in progress but the person you can become will be extraordinary. And that person will seize the day effortlessly. 

6. Help others in need

You’ll never really seize the day until you do something for others. Life is best experienced when you share moments with others. We’re all going to have moments when we feel like our world is falling apart. The downside is that it sucks. The upside is that you’ll never run out of opportunities to help other people. If someone is going through a tough time, offer a listening ear. If a friend lost a parent, order a food basket with treats to their house as they’ll likely have many guests visiting so it gives them one less thing to worry about. Or when you hear about a volunteer organization running low on help, jump in and become a volunteer. You’ll develop so much empathy, life experience, build confidence, and compassion by helping others in need. So seize the day by being a great friend when people need one.

7. Play a little

Woman covering her mouth laughing with bubbles floating around her

One of the biggest regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they wish they didn’t work as much. Life is less about work and more about play. Sure, you need enough money to live so work will always be a part of your life. However, it shouldn’t be the main focus of it. Are there activities you can do with family members? Or places you can go discover? Are there conversations you want to have with friends? Make life about the little moments because in the end you’ll find that those are the big moments you live for.

Inject play into your day. Whether you unwind with some video games with friends. Or redesign your garden to create a tropical getaway in the yard making it the ultimate oasis. Think of the activities that make you happiest. Then, try to incorporate those into your life in simple ways. Seizing the day is all about making the most of life. 

8. Get out in nature

As we’ve already mentioned, you can’t seize the day while locked up inside your home your whole life. The best way to make the most of this crazy world we live in is to step outside in nature. It’s an easy way to be stress free.

When was the last time you stood by a lake, river, or any body of water (aside from your bathtub, of course) and took a deep breath of that fresh air? When was the last time you watched the waves crash into rocks? Have you ever sat on a bench and just watched dogs chase squirrels in a park?

These events may sound simple… in nature… but they’re what make life so special. It’s these little moments that make you appreciate all of the beauty in the world. So, step outside. Enjoy the sunshine shining its vibrant light on the world. And just observe life happening all around you. 

9. Choose Love

When was the last time you thought about someone else’s happiness? It’s impossible to seize the day when we live in a me, me, me world. Moving forward, take the time each day to spread love to others: your household family, your friends, and even strangers. How can you make someone’s day? Invest in listening to the needs of other people, even if they don’t know how to communicate those needs effectively. Be the biggest cheerleader everyone knows. Celebrate the wins of other people. Make people feel special, valued, and loved by you. Don’t let a moment go by where you don’t tell people what you appreciate about them and how important they are to you.

We often fear letting people know we care because we have an irrational fear that if the words come out something tragic will happen. If we tell people how we feel about them, we fear rejection and even death. But that isn’t usually what happens. You should definitely let people know how much you appreciate people as you have them in your life. That’s how you’ll seize the day while everyone is still around.

10. Let go of negativity

The best way to seize the day is by making a simple attitude shift. It’s impossible to make each day count when we’re holding anger, frustration, or sadness in our chest. It’s true that these negative moments help us appreciate positive moments more. But there’s so many things that are wonderful in life that we should cherish. If you really want your life to be about the philosophy of carpe diem, you need to let go of the hurt and pain you carry with you. You need to let go of the loved ones you’ve lost by accepting the nature of the world.

Focus on all the positive things in your life that you’re grateful for to shift your attitude to a more optimistic setting. Forgive people who’ve hurt, betrayed, or defeated you when you were at your worst. Understand that humans don’t always make the best decisions and sometimes do the wrong thing. Exhale all the hate and hurt buried inside you. Inhale all the love and compassion into you. 

11. Be grateful

Man sitting outside, reading his gratitude journal

There’s no better way to seize the day than to practice gratitude every moment you can. Let’s play a quick game, what are five things you’re grateful for. Go! Nice, that’s your starting point. And after you read this article, I want you to compile your own gratitude list with twenty items. Every day, I want you to find new things you’re grateful for to start reaping the benefits of gratitude. Maybe you’re grateful for the food you have in your cupboards. Or you express gratitude for the friends who’ve stayed by your side through tough times. Maybe you feel immensely grateful for the family who’ve supported you through thick and thin. You might also feel grateful for the ability to read and understand this due to all the teachers you’ve had over the years to educate you.

Plus, your eyes seem to be in good working order. And if you’re using a device that reads this article to you, you’ve got ears that work.

There’s so many things in our lives that we fail to appreciate because we’re so used to having them. But there are so many people all over the world who lack the things you have. Yet, still, they feel grateful for what they do have. So take some time today to express gratitude for all the good things in your life that way you’ll really seize the day. 

12. Dream big

The best way to seize the day is to dream big. In this world, all the possibilities are endless. You can achieve anything you set out to. You can learn any skill you’re interested in. Or experience anything your mind can help you imagine. You can create things that’ll enhance your life. You can start a career in any field with a little bit of dedication and patience. Or fall in love, get married, and start a family of your own. You can travel to any destination in the world. Ultimately, your life is up to your own design. The person you become and the life you create is all up to you.

When it comes to seizing the day, you’re the inventor of your world. The author of your own biography. You can craft your life story thoughtfully to create a spectacular life for yourself. There will be obstacles. But remember, in all storybooks, the protagonist always faces a challenge that they need to overcome. It’s what makes the story so captivating. But ultimately, you’ve got full control of your reactions. So, tell me, what story will you create for yourself to truly seize the day? That’s what carpe diem is all about. 

So, you’ve decided to seize the day

You now have a starting point to help you go out there and seize the day. When practicing carpe diem, it’s important to make the most of each moment. Take the time to meditate to help you see your path clearly. Dream big to create your own story that’s personal to you. Express gratitude for all the wonderful things that have happened to your life. Help others in good and bad days because life is all about working together as one. Step out of your comfort zone and out in nature to experience life as it’s meant to be lived. Love with the entirety of your heart. Your story begins, under your control, from here on out. So, tell me, how will you seize the day?

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