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Have we been “seizing the day” all wrong?

By July 19, 2022September 21st, 2022No Comments

From my favourite Roncesvalles fruitier

What are we seizing exactly?

It’s hard not to be thrilled by the baby-faced Robin Williams inspiring the youth: “Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

But the “carpe” in carpe diem doesn’t technically translate as “seize.” More precisely, it means “pluck.”

What if you “carpe-d” not so much by pressing forward faster, higher, and stronger?

[What if you “carpe-d” by stopping, stopping, stopping? Noticing what’s ripe and what’s ready.  Plucking it, savoring it, relishing it.]

I’m remembering William Carlos Williams’ poem “This Is Just To Say:”


I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably


for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold


A relationship, a thing you’re creating, a moment of progress, a moment of set back, a vista, a ritual.

delicious | so sweet | and so cold.”

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.