….or ‘Pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future’.
Ever since Horace first penned this phrase, the passage of time – and perhaps the elements – seemed to have conspired to wear it down, to make it more manageable, succinct and quote worthy.
Eventually, it has been pruned down to roll off the tongue, becoming simply “Carpe Diem”. A precise intention; a thoughtful command meant to spur one to “seize the day”.
However, when you think about it, far too often, the day will seize us. That is, we permit it to.
We have all allowed this to happen at some point in our lives. It can be an experience consisting of equal parts trial, tribulation and anguish, leaving one feeling twisted up and wrung out. Letting things – or days – happen to us leaves one disappointed, frustrated and full of anxiety for what will surely follow.
Once seized by a day, or a succession of them, one is led to a residence of “existence” – not living. A place where just getting by and through it is all there is. Being seized by these days can only lead one to live in dread of what the next day will bring our way.
Yet even our overcast, rainy or stormy days have their value. They are part of a larger purpose and plan. They are meant to test our mettle.
Even in the darkest of days, there is still light to be found. It just happens to be obscured for the moment. With an eye guided by wisdom, some patience and the will to press on – even if it means taking the smallest of steps – one can still find something positive and lasting. Progress can be made. Growth can occur. Seize onto that one ray of light, if only by the fingertips. Hold on. Wait it out. Fronts do pass.
Commit to make it your mission, to discover something special in each day, to seize every moment within it; to go “all in” – with both feet. Even if it is baby steps, you still have to put one in front of the other and give it your absolute best.
It is in having this level of courage to move forward that will crack open the clouds and emit the rays of light on your efforts; both from within and without. You will begin to see a way. You will be warmed and energized by the sense of accomplishment; rewarded for your perseverance by the act of simply pressing forward.
And as you continue, your momentum will become too great. It will overcome the inertia of the day.
It has to relent.
It loosens its grip on you.
As Robert Frost once said: “The best way out is always through.”
Seizing the day, if only by a small corner of it, is as energizing as it is affirming. As your hold on it increases, new possibilities and opportunities will emerge. Like the adventure story waiting to be written, you will want to see how it ends.
Butterflies of excitement and anticipation flock to overtake the nausea of fear and dread.
As you seize the day, and each one that follows, you will be making the future.
For it is what you make of this moment – the present – that determines what is yet to come. “What you are becoming is what you will some day be”.
“Pluck the day, trusting as little as possible to the future”.
If you understand the value that lies in act of the “plucking”, you have most likely already entrusted the future to the efforts you will undertake in the present.
Think about it.
There will be no ambiguity in what lies ahead.
No gray areas.
For you are choosing it at this very moment.
But only if you “carpe diem”.