Cam Taylor

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Carpe Diem

Most people will tell you the phrase “carpe diem” is Latin for “seize the day.”  When you dig a little deeper, there’s more to it that sheds some light on how we should live!

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem  [kahr-pey dee-uh m]

  • Carpe – from a Latin verb meaning “I pick, pluck, cull, gather, to eat food.”
  • Also came to mean – “enjoy, use, make use of.”
  • Diem – translated “day.
  • Came to mean the opposite of placing all your hope in the future.

In Other Words

“Grab today’s fruit while it is ripe.”
[Carpe Diem revised translation] 

“And if not now, then when?”
[From the Hebrew] 

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.”
[Poetry to encourage youth] 

“Now is the time to drink, now the time
to dance footloose upon the earth.”
[From the Ode of Horace] 

In the words of Neil in the movie Dead Poets Society quoting Henry David Thoreau:

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life
…to put to rout all that was not life;
and not, when I came to die,
discover that I had not lived.

So how do we “grab today’s fruit while it is ripe?”

  • Say what you need to say – to the people you need to say it to.
  • Forgive the people you need to forgive.
  • Make the call to the friend you’re waiting to hear from.
  • Enjoy the simple pleasures of life – food, warmth, family, breath, life.
  • Buy and deliver the gift you’ve been meaning to give.
  • Dance with those you love (if you’re blessed with two good legs).  
  • Pray for the people who need God’s help and comfort today.

Life is a succession of moments.
To live each one is to succeed
(Coreta Kent).

And if not now, then when?

Every man dies. Not every man really lives (Braveheart).

It dawned on me about five months into my recovery that I needed a major attitude adjustment . If I was going to really live and not just put in time while waiting to recover, I needed to live NOW not THEN. During those dark days of melancholy and hopelessness the light broke through and I embraced fresh hope and a new perspective in order to live each day to the fullest! 

What changed? 

  • I made a choice to embrace a new purpose and pluck the fruit while it was ripe.
  • I realized that each day (even from a place of suffering and recovery) I was able to dance footloose upon the earth.

Really living each day doesn’t mean…

  • you need to do something really “big”.
  • you need to take a big trip.
  • you need to close the big sale.
  • you need to make a huge mark.

Really living and picking today’s fruit means…

  • …doing what you do with your full attention.
  • …being who you are with the people you’re with right now.
  • …using your time, talents, resources, energy to the fullest today!

In what way are you being challenged to Carpe Diem?
How might your attitude need adjusting so you can pluck today’s ripe fruit?

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About Cam Taylor

Life and leadership coach, transition & change specialist, husband, dad, leader, writer, life long learner.

9 Replies

  1. Marilou

    Thanks for that good word today Cam. After a “big trip” like we just had its hard to get back to simple living but I need to embrace it.

    1. And those big trips are great! But learning how to “really live” when you can’t do the big trip can be more challenging for sure. You’ll figure it out!

  2. Kathy Pearson

    I am just finishing the book “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor. The two of you would have a great time sharing ideas and insights. Following is from today’s news: “Frank Pastore, a former major-league pitcher who became a Christian radio-show host, died Monday from injuries suffered when he was struck by a car while riding his motorcycle Nov. 19 on a freeway in Duarte, CA. He was 55. The accident came hours after Pastore pondered the risk of motorcycle riding on his radioshow, in which he discussed the possibility of lfe after death.”

    1. It sounds like I have another book to add to my reading list! Thanks for that and for the other rather sobering story. We took the risk of motorcycle riding – enjoyed it greatly but thankfully survived our crash and have been given a second chance – which happens to include no more motorcycle riding.

  3. Kelly Collver

    Aha! The idea is to live each day in joy, not fear. While it is still day! Cling to hope. Believe in God, who says He’s our mansion builder, and, our way home. Thanks Cam!

    1. Thanks Kelly for joining the conversation – what you are saying is so true!

  4. Shirlene Henning.

    I am very encouraged, Cam. Thank you again for your blogs. With the bits and pieces of health issues that show up “for” me! – your suffering and recovery show me how to live each day to the fullest i.e. quilting. That will fulfill a day or two. Thank you for your blessings and Vicky’s too. And Elena’s. It’s a great day everyday, knowing you are “above”!

    1. Thanks Shirlene – your words are very encouraging as is having you beneath us helping to hold us up and carry us along!

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