Carpe Diem: a Significant Piece of Advice for Life

Categories: Carpe Diem

"Seize the day and put the least possible trust in tomorrow"- A Roman poet once said. To seize the day, also Carpe Diem in Latin, I believe means that: while neglecting the consequences the distant future might bring, you should take every opportunity you have in that day to change or experience something. It can be anything, whether big or small, tangible, or abstract. Besides that, it doesn't have to affect you only but even the people around you also.

Every change is important and it's only you who determines how important is the change made and its impact on yourself as well as your surroundings. Ranging from simply making someone smile to skydiving in Mexico, the ways we can apply this advice in our daily lives are countless.

In the movie, the students are advised by Mr. Keating to make the most of the present time and to never let a chance slip out of their hands. Certain students, such as Neil Perry and Knox Overstreet applied this advice to insignificant situations.

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For instance, acting has a considerable place in Neil's heart and is a part of who he is, if not his whole self. When Neil got the leading role in the play, a chance to show his love and passion for acting was at his fingertips. And despite the disapproval of his father, he finally decided to act in the play. Another example was that although knowing how hard it could be to get a girl like Chris to a fall in love with him, Knox never took a step back or eliminated one of his plans to make her love him.

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From simply trying to talk to her on the phone to going to her school and approaching her with flowers in front of everyone, Knox was never reluctant to show how important Chris is to him. The similarities between the two situations here is that both guys were unaware of the long-term consequences of their actions. Neither did Neil think about how disappointed his father will be, nor did Knox care about the beating he will get from Chris' boyfriend when he finds out about their relationship; i.e. they both did what their hearts desired and made them happy, lived in the moment and didn't really think of the future; thereby explaining thoroughly the meaning of "Carpe Diem".

However, the fact that not every movie ends like a fairytale should be accepted by us. The golden rule in life is courage and that is why I think that the death of Neil was frustrating because even though his path in life was going to change drastically after his father scolded him, the change didn't have to be dire. In fact, it was only his anxious thoughts that dominated his brain at the time of death. Nevertheless, a lot can be learned by analyzing and expecting what else would have happened I he retreated his decision. He had to be a little more optimistic. How did he know that his acting career ended forever without it even starting? I think he had to go to that military school and just give it a chance. That experience, which he might or might not like, had to be lived by him. Because even if he didn't like it, the benefit that he could have gained would surely have been impossible to neglect. By doing so, he would also have worked by the advice of "Carpe Diem" and dared to face the obstacles and obviously won this tough challenge.

Again, since our lives are considered short, everything must be given a shot whenever there is a possibility to do so. You can't just skip riding that roller coaster because you are afraid something might go wrong. Instead, think of all the fun you will experience and how much you will miss when you skip it. If you should apologize to someone or study for a difficult test, then do it now and don't wait any longer. I, personally, live by this Latin exclamation and believe that we should enjoy life when we can. I don't deny the fact that it is arduous to decide if an opportunity is worth taking or not, but if you never try, you will never know and thus you will never learn anything new. The future is unknown, but one thing about it is undoubted. It is simply based on the past and hence, by changing our present we can surely build a brighter future.

To sum up, I would like to emphasize that every minute now is critical for shaping an exceptional tomorrow. In addition to that, we are only present in the present and therefore every chance to make a positive change must be grasped and we should try to put our footprints on the sands of history. If Mr. Keating didn't insist on Todd to recite that poem, Todd would never have come out of his shell and had his life changed. Likewise, If I didn't dare to take that boat, I would never have arrived in Sweden and moved forward in my life. Right now, you only have two alternatives: you either seize the day or die regretting the time you lost.

Works cited

  1. Diogenes. (n.d.). Carpe Diem Quotes. Retrieved from
  2. Hansen, D. (2018). Carpe Diem: Seizing the Day in a Distracted World. Thomas Nelson.
  3. Keating, J. (Director). (1989). Dead Poets Society [Film]. Touchstone Pictures.
  4. Nhat Hanh, T. (2016). How to Love. Parallax Press.
  5. Norbu, D. (2001). Carpe Diem Regained: The Vanishing Art of Seizing the Day. Rider Books.
  6. Pausch, R., & Zaslow, J. (2008). The Last Lecture. Hyperion.
  7. Peterson, J. B. (2018). 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Random House Canada.
  8. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On Happiness and Human Potentials: A Review of Research on Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141-166.
  9. Siegel, D. J. (2010). Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. Bantam.
  10. Tolle, E. (2005). A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Penguin Books.
Updated: Feb 15, 2024
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Carpe Diem: a Significant Piece of Advice for Life. (2024, Feb 15). Retrieved from

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