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We’ve all heard the phrase, “seize the moment.” But what does it actually mean? And how can you truly seize all that life has to offer?

Brief history lesson (I promise!):

“Seize the moment” comes from “Carpe diem,” a Latin phrase coined by the Roman poet Horace in 23 BCE. 

In his work Odes, Horace says, “carpe diem quam minimum credula postero,” which literally means, “pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the next one.” 

Translation? To seize the moment can mean many things! Things like:

  • ∙ Expressing gratitude for the present — for your life, the lives of others, and all the good in this world
  • ∙ Saying “yes” to good opportunities that come your way
  • ∙ Embracing your inner power, and creating opportunities of your own
  • ∙ Going after your goals, even when you’re afraid
  • ∙ Enjoying life to the fullest

No matter what the case, it’s up to you to seize the moment. Better yet, the moments.

Here’s how you can do just that, and live an extraordinary life.

woman with umbrella and shooting star

Treat Moments Like Shooting Stars

“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?” — Eminem

With each moment, you have a choice: seize the moment, or let it pass by. 

If you choose the latter, there’s no guarantee that moment will come again. You may have, as Eminem says, one shot.

So ask yourself when an opportunity presents itself: how badly do you want it? And are you willing to risk not having that opportunity again, if you don’t seize it now?

For example, let’s say you’ve always wanted to work abroad. Your employer has offices abroad and offers to relocate you. 

Ask yourself: how badly do you want to work abroad? And if you say no now, are you willing to risk not getting offered a similar job down the road? 

If you really want to work abroad, it might be worth making the leap. Especially if you feel it’s unlikely you’ll be offered a similar opportunity later on. 

One-time opportunities can pop up in all areas of life. They often alter the very course of your life.

To take things a step further, life itself is a one-time opportunity!

As Achilles boldly says in the movie Troy:

“The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”

Life — and each moment in it — is the ultimate gift. So the next time that golden opportunity comes your way, catch it.

Say Goodbye to What’s Holding You Back

Deciding whether to seize the moment isn’t always easy! Sometimes, it can feel like standing at the edge of a precipice. 

Is this the right moment to seize? Is it the right time to seize it? Will there be a better time, when you’re more prepared, capable, or ready?

Sometimes, our minds go to the “bad” what-ifs. We worry about what will happen if we make the wrong choice. And we let our fears and limiting beliefs take over. 

woman looking up who will seize the moment
You may have thoughts like: what if the grass isn’t greener on the other side? What if I’m less happy than before, and I can’t go back? What if I seize the moment, and then “mess things up”?

Such beliefs can prevent you from seizing the moment and living an extraordinary life. That’s why it’s so important to conquer those beliefs! 

I personally was the queen of self-limiting beliefs. I was always waiting for the perfect opportunity to change my life for the better. 

Whenever an opportunity came my way, I talked myself out of it. I told myself a better time would come, when I was more ready and capable to take full advantage. 

That mindset definitely held me back for a while! And when I finally realized it, I read all kinds of books and resources to get rid of my self-limiting beliefs for good. 

I was skeptical about some of the exercises I found, but one stood out above all the rest. After implementing it, my mind finally became quieter, without the beliefs that held me back. 

I feel like everyone deserves to have a calm mind, with thoughts like, “I’m capable. I’m worthy. My time is now.” Those are the kinds of thoughts that lead to an extraordinary life.

If you’ve ever dealt with self-limiting beliefs, and you’re looking for a calmer, freer mind, check out the free cheat sheet below. 

I created it based on an exercise that’s proven to help get rid of common self-limiting beliefs.

Imagine Yourself on the Other Side

Now that we’ve got the “bad” what-ifs out of the way, let’s talk about the good! There are so many good things that can come from seizing the moment.

What if seizing the moment makes you feel empowered? Confident? Happier? Freer? 

Imagine how great it’ll feel once you’re on the other side, having already seized the moment. 

No matter what happens, you’ll have proven to yourself that you can be courageous. That you’re not afraid to try new things, take advantage of opportunities, and live an extraordinary life.

In short, you have more to gain than you have to lose. 

Even if you seize the moment, and things don’t turn out as you’d hoped, you can seize another moment. You can continue to live a bold life.

For example, let’s say you’re on an amazing date, and you want to go in for a kiss. 

You and your date are talking, laughing, joking — and then, the moment comes. There’s a slight lull in the conversation. You’re holding each other’s gaze.

woman looking to seize the moment

You lean in — and then your date doesn’t. You realize you’re not on the same page. (The worst, I know!)

Does that mean you shouldn’t have seized the moment? 

Absolutely not! You put yourself out there, and made your feelings known. 

And when you went in for the kiss, you opened the door to a world of possibilities, like:

  • ∙ Your date says they don’t feel the same way (leaving you clear on where you stand, and free to find someone who’d love that kiss!)
  • ∙ Your date reveals they want to hold off on the kiss for now, because they’re very interested in you
  • ∙ Your date admits they weren’t sure if you were interested, and they’re happy to learn you are
  • ∙ Your date kisses you back!

No matter what the result, you can continue to seize new moments. You can continue to act intentionally, express your feelings, and pursue love. 

That is far better than looking back on a date and wondering, “What if I had made my feelings known?”

We often hear about people who wish they’d taken more risks. How often do people wish they’d taken less?

An extraordinary life is always worth the risk.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Our lives consist of billions of moments. Keep your eyes peeled for the ones that can define the course of your life. 

Reflect on the kind of life you want to look back on one day, where you think, “I’ve lived an extraordinary life.”

You define what extraordinary means to you. Will you travel the world? Fill your days with exciting challenges and adventures? Simply build good memories with those you love?

There are all kinds of moments you can seize — from saying yes to a new career opportunity, to telling someone you love them, to devoting an hour each morning to achieving your goals. 

The options are endless! And the choices you make will affect how you view yourself, how you show up for others, and the kind of life you’ll lead. 

This leads us to the “paradox of choice.” 

This theory, promoted by researcher Barry Schwartz, states that too many choices limits one’s freedom. I’m sure all of us have experienced this feeling, at one point!

The paradox of choice can make it tough to seize the moment. We have to choose between so many moments, and seizing one may mean not seizing another.

So to avoid overwhelm, try not to focus on too many options at once. 

For opportunities that come your way, seize the ones you feel will have a large impact on your life. 

 

For opportunities you create for yourself, limit yourself to a few, for starters. Once you feel you have a good handle on your goals, feel free to build upon them.

Sometimes, you’ll even experience moments that stick out to you immediately. Where your gut is telling you, “seize the moment!” Make those moments count.

Claim Your Inner Power

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” — J.K. Rowling

Your life is what you make of it. 

You have the power to make choices, take risks, overcome setbacks, say yes (and no) to opportunities, and embrace all that life is and all that it can be.

When you choose to seize the moment, remember your strengths. Know you can grow and improve, to take full advantage of the moments life gives you. 

You have something unique to offer the world. So when the world comes knocking, answer the door. Let your light shine through.

To do this, come up with an action plan! Think about the kind of life you’d like to lead, and what you can do to get there.

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals designed to keep you motivated and on track. These types of goals will help you seize the moment with confidence.

woman considering how best to seize the moment

As you pursue your goals, remember to stay open-minded, too. Seizing the moment is often about exploration. 

What new things might bring passion and excitement into your life? Jot down a few ideas, and give them a try! You have all to gain and nothing to lose.

Have an open mind and an open heart, and appreciate the good moments in each day. This will attract even more good moments to you.

In other words, know you can manifest an extraordinary life. 

By focusing on the moments that bring you meaning and fulfillment, you can bring that positive energy into your reality.  

Strike While the Iron is Hot

To seize the moment is to take life by the horns. 

It’s seeing the opportunities that exist all around us, and having the courage to pursue them.

It’s trusting in ourselves to lead lives that excite, empower, and speak to us.

It’s not letting a golden opportunity pass us by.

So strike while the iron is hot. Dare to dream. Put yourself out there. And let me know in the comments! 

How will you seize the moment?