We've all heard of the popular phrase Carpe Diem, "Seize the Day." These two words are plastered on walls, printed on posters and most likely have appeared so many times throughout your life that you don't even remember where you first saw them. Carpe Diem is a great inspirational slogan to keep us motivated during the day.
However, because I want to do more than just seize my day, I choose to live by the phrase Carpe Juvenis. In Latin, Carpe means "seize" and Juvenis stands for "youth." Together, Carpe Juvenis represents the phrase: "Seize Your Youth." Carpe Juvenis emphasizes the importance of living fully in the present while continuing to think "big picture" about the future and making decisions that will help create a healthy and well-balanced life.
Carpe Juvenis is the name of the youth empowerment online publication my sister, Catherine, and I run. As we were thinking through our idea, we wanted the online publication to capture more than just seizing the day. Through Carpe Juvenis, we hope to encourage young people to seize their youths. We believe that remarkable people take chances, are engaged and are curious about new ideas and the world around them. Our mission at Carpe Juvenis is to motivate youth to take part in causes and activities, to encourage interpersonal and leadership development and to inspire youth to be more of who they can and want to be.
One of the main features on Carpe Juvenis is an interview series with Youth and Professionals. The first question in all of our Spotlight interviews is: "How do you define Seizing Your Youth"? Everyone has their own specific definition of what it means to seize their youths, but they all have two underlying themes: making the most out of your time for not just one day, but every day, and going beyond your potential.
"Seizing Your Youth" versus "Seizing the Day" can sound like an overwhelming task (depending on your mood). The actions below are a loose guideline for how to make the most out of your time and go beyond your potential. There is no "right" way to seize your youth, as everyone's path is different. You are as young as you'll ever be in this very moment, so whatever age you are, don't just seize the day, seize your youth.
1. Live an intentional life.
Don't just live your life, build your life. Don't treat your intentions as goals, but instead as a way of living your life. Whenever you do something, do it with purpose. Set meaning behind your actions and stay true to your values. Living an intentional life is such an important step to seizing your youth, as it will guide you toward opportunities that are right for you and the life you want to live.
2. Prioritize what's important to you.
When you set intentions, it becomes a bit easier to prioritize how to spend your time. Whether there's a cause that is important to you, a subject in school that you are passionate about or a life goal you have set, prioritize the things in your life that take precedent over what you do not care as much about.
3. Take advantage of opportunities that come your way.
When opportunities come your way -- and they fit into your values and priorities -- say "yes!" Even if it is something that you'd never expected to be interested in, sometimes the best opportunities are the ones that don't fit into the mold we often create for ourselves.
4. Step outside of your comfort zone.
Seizing your youth is all about pushing yourself beyond your realized potential. It's hard to grow when you're in your comfort zone. In the challenge is the change.
5. Consistently take action.
Yes, take action now. But also take action tomorrow. And the day after that. This doesn't mean you have to be moving mountains every single day, but when you are consistent with your pursuits, big things start to happen.
6. Think about the future every now and then.
The appeal of Carpe Diem is that it encourages us to live in the moment. However, it's sometimes necessary to take consideration of what is to come in the future. Carpe Juvenis not only encourages living in the moment, but it also means to think about the months or years ahead. We live day by day, but thinking about the future can help us make decisions today that will set us up for success in the future.