I can't think of anyone who hasn't seen "Dead Poet's Society" that wouldn't be able to quote the famous line spoken by Robin Williams' character - "Carpe Diem - sieze the day". Years ago I took that lesson to heart as a life philosophy, although altered slightly now to this....
Live your life with no regrets
Take opportunities as they are presented to you
Don't let yourself miss out on something that could be good
I can think of many occasions in my personal life where I took this life philosophy to heart. And I remember where it was that I embraced this life philosophy.
It was 1994, my dad and I were on our last big photography trip together, and on this one night we were in Moab, Utah, just outside Arches National Park. I really wanted to go out and photograph the famous Delicate Arch at sunset. Dad chose not to join me, so I drove to the parking lot, pulled out all my camera gear, and began the mile-and-a-half hike to the arch. About a third of the way in the trail took a long ascent, and my nearly 50-pound bag of gear and 10 pound tripod began to wear on me. I was about to turn back when I thought "I may never get out here for a long time, and I'll regret not having gone out there." So, I kept on, and was rewarded with a beautiful scene: the sun had already gone off the arch, which disappointed me. But the light that bathed the natural amphitheater in a soft pink light made the few images I took exciting. I ended up thanking myself for "forcing" myself to make the hike.
Since then I have had many instances of opportunities presented - both in my personal and professional life - and I have grasped them. Over my career I've been offered new positions or responsibilities, and I took them. After I was laid off from my employer of 30 years, I took a position within my profession (printing), but in sales - a financial risk and something I'd never done - but I didn't let that stop me. And for 13 months, I felt I was succeeding. Now, I have a new opportunity (ironically with my former employer) to do something new and exciting. I was given a new opportunity, and I have embraced it.
In my life I've made life choices based on this new philosophy. Many years ago I met my wife, but was hesitant to date her because she was a single mom. But I kept bumping into her, and began to think I might be missing out on something. So, I seized an opportunity, and after 15 years and two kids, I have no regrets.
I fully and firmly believe that when opportunities present themselves to you - take them. Grab a hold of them. Embrace them. These are the times when we grow as people, as human beings.
CARPE DIEM - Sieze the Day!