Deb Sofield

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Carpe Diem, My Friend

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Carpe Diem. Seize the day… Make your lives extraordinary. Dead Poets Society

It’s the fourth week on my topic and I am just as excited and motivated by my themes of Commitment, Excellence and Action as when I first introduced you to it in the beginning of February.

When I started to write about these three themes that I know you hear about often, they just kept unveiling themselves as a much deeper theme than a one-and-done. Commitment, Excellence and Action seem so simple, yet so hard to master, if you don’t lay the groundwork to get it right the first time…or the first ten times. It’s hard to put into practice but, once you do, it can change your life for the better.

Dr. Steve Maraboli is famous for saying “Your life begins to change the day you take responsibility for it…” and I’ll add that, once you believe that you can do big things, it is amazing what will come your way.

But you must be ready for it or you’ll miss the opportunity, or you’ll be so busy doing other things that you’ll let it pass by, because you’ve allowed busyness to fill your day instead of Action. And the one thing that never changes is the fact that it is up to you to make the choice in your amazing life to seize the day and make it yours.

Now let me remind you that, if you’re searching for that one person who will change your life, ah, friend, take a look in the mirror.

You—YOU—are the only one who can change your life. You are the only one who can make a decision to live like no one else, so you live the life you’ve imagined.

I know I have spoken about this before, but let me remind you that you must make a choice to take a chance, or your life will never change. Yes, you must make a choice to take a chance, or your life will never change.

Now remember, you only take chances on things you know about. You don’t put you or your family in harm’s way, but some of you need to choose to change directions, or you’ll never have a chance to live the life you’ve imagined. Be wise, but don’t be so paralyzed by fear that you’re afraid to step out of your current situation and take a chance on you and take a chance on doing big things in your amazing life.

Listen, if you don’t make the choice to take a chance, your life will never change, and some of you desperately need to make a change in your life. Aren’t you tired of seeing others do great things, knowing that if you could just muster the strength and have the faith and vision, you, too, could change your world? Ah, friend, seize the day, for the days are short

Jim Rohn says, “Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.” Why? Because you need to seize the day and make your life extraordinary.

You are the one who can make the changes in your life to make enough space for the new opportunities to find a home.

So what new opportunities are you searching for? Remember my quote from last week from Dr. Marden? “The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” What I love about that is the reminder that it is not on the outside of your life, friend, it is on the inside; it is who you really are—your core; your being; your belief in yourself. It is not luck, or chance or even the helping hand…it’s all on you to do the work, to make the plan…to push though against all odds.

And I’ll remind you: Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great as only you can do.

Carpe diem, my friend. Seize the day! You don’t have to wait one more minute, one more hour, or one more day or any timeline that you have, but what you have to do is to be smart enough, wise enough, bold enough to seize the day and make it yours.

Now you may be thinking, Deb Sofield, goodness, slow down and explain why it matters? Well, it seems for most people that life just runs on ordinary time, and, if that is the case, then, friend, you’re letting the wind direct your sail and not harnessing the wind to take you where you want to go. Unless you want to wreck on the rocks of life, you better get on deck and set your sail for success and that is why you must disrupt the flow of ordinary time so you can meet your own expectations and go where you want to go.

Listen, if you don’t take control of your life, don’t complain when others do. And, trust me, they will if you don’t set your boundaries large. Others will step in and fill the space or force you out of all you’ve worked for, if you don’t step up and take control; that is why it is important that you set your standards high for Commitment, Excellence and Action, because these three will flow together and help you create your amazing success (on your own terms) for your best life—your extraordinary life.

In thinking about others, I’m reminded of this Jim Rohn quote. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” That quote always makes me laugh.

I love today’s phrase, Carpe Diem. Seize the day. I can remember when the movie, Dead Poets Society, came out years ago. It is the story of 7 young men who study at the very renowned, strict and conventional Welton Academy. Their life is molded by the four pillars of the school: Tradition, Honor, Discipline, Excellence and everything is done to ensure they will walk in the footsteps of their parents and become bankers, doctors and lawyers. Everything seems to work according to plan until they meet their new and very unconventional English teacher, John Keating, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo. And each, in their own way, does and is changed for life. He encouraged them to “seize the day”, a Latin aphorism which is taken from a poem in the Odes (book 1, number 11) in 23 BC by the poet, Horace.

The phrase really came into vogue after the movie for a few years but now it is rarely heard. You probably see it on a t-shirt more than in any writing, but it doesn’t change the passion behind the idea that seizing the day is your best advantage to live a life that is full of all your hopes and dreams that could come true. And the line in the movie that made the quote come alive for me was when Robin Williams (who plays Keating) said, “Make your lives extraordinary.”

I like to think that seizing the day for many of us is two-fold. M. Scott Peck said it best when he said, “Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you won’t do anything with it.”

I talk a lot about valuing who you are, who you were born to be and what your purpose is on this earth, and one of the reasons I do that is because too many people I know don’t give life a second thought. Too many people accept what comes their way without thinking about what they really want in life—they are living the ordinary life on ordinary time and doing ordinary things. How sad! How pathetically sad that so many settle for an ordinarily life in this extraordinary opportunity you’ve been given. Ah, friend, Seize the day. Make your life extraordinary.

So let me finish with the thought about valuing your time. I love the quote… The trouble is you think you have time.

Carl Sandburg said it best,

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

You have choices today and every day, but I want you to remember that only you can seize the day. Only you can make your life extraordinary, so I ask, why wouldn’t you? Anything less would be a shame, and you’re better than that… much better. I just know it.

Carpe diem, my friend.

Make your life extraordinary.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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