‘Carpe Diem’ – Origin, Meaning and Explanation of the Idea (with quotes)

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‘Carpe Diem’ – Origin, Meaning and Explanation of the Idea (with quotes)

Introduction: In this article, we have tried to incorporate the origin, meaning, explanation for the phrase ‘Carpe Diem”. We have also included some quotes of famous people while explaining the concept of ‘Carpe Diem”.


‘Carpe Diem” is a Latin phrase.  The original text runs as ‘carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero”.

Quintus Horatius Flaccus, the Great Roman lyric poet, popularly known as ‘Horace” among English-speaking people, is credited for using the term ‘Carpe Diem” in his work ‘Odes”. (source: Wikipedia.)

What does ‘Carpe Diem” mean?

‘Carpe” is a latin word that means ‘seize” in English. ‘Diem” means ‘Day”. Hence, the Latin phrase ‘Carpe Diem” means ‘Seize the day” or ‘Seize the moment”. 

The phrase, ‘Carpe Diem”, means that ‘people should enjoy life and live in the present moment without thinking too much about the future.” It means:

  • Live every moment of live in a loving, cheerful, pleasurable, and happy manner without ever getting into conflicts, worries, and other trivial issues.
  • You should set aside all tensions and worries about the future and enjoy the pleasure of the present moment.
  • Choose to pass every moment happily with your loved ones.
  • Start living the present moment to its fullest, instead of postponing happiness to the future.
  • Life passes from one moment to another in one direction, hence, we should make the best use of the time by living and being in the present moment as the time passes.
  • Make the most out of the available opportunity.

Explanation of the idea / concept

All people get only one life. They all have a limited time in their hands. Time, once passes, doesn’t come back by any mean. Hence, we should enjoy the present moment from all our heart.

God is there. Hope is there. We should cherish the fact that we are alive. The fact that we are alive; we are breathing, our heart is beating every moment; we are growing every moment; are enough to be happy. We should thank god with gratitude every-moment for the fact that we are living.

Aristotle said, ‘Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Do things that makes you happy. We have taken birth on this planet earth to be happy. We are still living just to love and share happiness.

Do whatever that pleases you. Don’t wait for opportunities, just create one for you. Sing if you want to sing, dance if you want to dance. If you want to help others, just do it now. You have only one live. Make the best use of every passing moment.

This phrase is very popular. Another translation of carpe diem is from the poet Herrick, who wrote ‘gather ye rosebuds while ye may’, i.e. take advantage of good things while you can because, like budding roses, eventually they will wither and disappear.

Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Live life today. Live life now. Now is the right time to do everything that you ever plan to do. Don’t waste your energy recalling the past. Make the best use of your present moment so that you don’t repent in the future. Learn with preciseness and accuracy. Learn wholeheartedly.

Mother Teresa said, ‘We have only today. Let us begin.” These words of Mother Teresa probably describes the true meaning of the phrase ‘Carpe Diem”. Past is all gone and is not going to come back again. We have yet to see the future. But, we have full control over the present moment. We can choose to remain happy and start sharing love and happiness with the ones who are in need.

The acronym ‘YOLO” is very popular among youth. It is the short form for ‘You Only Live Once.” You got one life. Enjoy and use it to its top potential. Take risks (of course calculated ones).

There are several phrases in English language, that are used to mean very similar to what ‘Carpe Diem” means. Such example of such phrases includes, ‘Strike while the iron is hot,” ‘Make hay while the sun shines,” ‘Time and time wait for none,” ‘A stitch in Time saves nine.”

Don’t delay, seize the day!!!

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