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Why Carpe Diem Is Used Incorrectly

The old school expression of YOLO, Carpe Diem has infiltrated popular culture in everything from cheesy tattoos to last words of adrenaline junkies. This notion of “seize the day” was made popular by the Robin William’s movie "Dead Poets Society."

You might be living by this principle now, but here’s the rough truth. It was taken completely out of context and you have been living the exact opposite of what it was meant to mean.

“We’ve got that marketing test tomorrow? Screw that dude! This is gonna be a sick concert. You know what they say: Carpe Diem!”

Live life to the fullest and throw caution to the wind. Be that person who can live like there’s no tomorrow; completely lost in the moment. People use this phrase as an excuse get out of doing productive activities, because who cares, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Let’s all try to have as much fun as possible before we bite the bullet.

All this is inspired by a saying taken out of context. The original text actually states in Latin “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.” This roughly translates to “Seize the day, trusting as little as possible to the future.” What does this mean? It means to do everything you can do today to make tomorrow better. It’s not about ignoring the future, but realizing that everything is just not going to work itself out for you later in the future.

So yes, if you do go out and live like there’s no tomorrow that actually might come true. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. That doesn’t mean to not go out and get all from life you can because it’s short. That’s great, but the way you do that is to make sure every day you did your damn best to prepare for tomorrow.

Then, eventually, you’ll realize your present now is better than what your present was last year. This is because you’re living for tomorrow to make the next today better.

Yes, you could die tomorrow. But for most of us this won’t happen. Who cares if you died tomorrow and never base jumped? What is worse is that you lived and never made the most of yourself.

This is a good way not to worry about the future. If you take care of today, the future will take care of itself.

Milan Dekich | Elite.