Roman Krznaric: The Real Meaning of Carpe Diem

Roman Krznaric: The Real Meaning of Carpe Diem
What does ‘seize the day’ really mean?

The poet Horace first uttered the words Carpe Diem two thousand years ago but they still resonate deeply with us today. The phrase has been googled more than 25 million times and is one of the most often quoted adages of all time. But have we misinterpreted its true meaning? Social philosopher, Roman Krznaric, believes we may have. He says that over time it’s meant many different things to many different people.

Some people say it’s about grasping a once in a lifetime opportunity. Others will say it’s about being calm and living in the present moment, and still others will say it’s about wild hedonistic blowouts.

His latest book, Carpe Diem Regained examines the historical context of the phrase and its different interpretations over time. He says it’s been hijacked by various social forces including technology, consumer culture, and the mindfulness movement. He encourages us to remember that there are lots of different ways of being in the moment.

One way is to go to a mindfulness class but another way is to engage in what’s called flow….or think of exuberance, think of Maria in the Sound of Music singing her heart out in the Austrian Alps. Some people just have this natural love of life.

Listen here to Roman Krznaric explain five very different ways to seize the day which he thinks we urgently need to revive.

About Our Guest:

Roman Krznaric is a social philosopher and author of the books Empathy, The Wonderbox and Carpe Diem Regained. He is the founder of the world’s first Empathy Museum and a founding faculty member of The School of Life.

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