Carpe Diem: Giving Meaning to Life

17th February 2022

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase

On the 26th of February, we acknowledge Carpe Diem Day. The Latin phrase Carpe Diem means “seize the day” and implies taking advantage of your short and unpredictable life to the fullest possible extent, especially during the times of COVID-19. A sense of quality and purpose comes from living each day as if it were the last. Despite obstacles, you should aim to achieve your dreams and bring joy to others through your work. After all, what is the point of living without meaning or purpose in life?

Many people are familiar with the philosophy of Carpe Diem, but making the most of life is something we often forget to do. The result might be that you waste your time doing things that you are not passionate about. It’s an illusion to think that seizing the day is about living in the here and now, but by taking carpe diem seriously, you don’t have to forget the past or ignore the future. Carpe diem emphasises the importance of being aware of the bigger picture. The past and future can still affect you, but they shouldn’t manage you. A carpe diem mindset emphasises the importance of making the most out of limited time. No matter what you wish to conquer in life, do it now. Don’t wait any longer to start living. The moment you have the opportunity to attempt to do something you’ve always wanted to do, take it. As a result of such a holistic viewing, nerve-wracking emotions like disappointment, anger, and worry, that encompass the past and future will have less impact. 

Depending on the situation, we may have to take different actions, but one thing that can make us happy is to live life to the fullest. When you focus on what is truly meaningful to you, it radiates to those around you. Taking full advantage of life and making the most of every moment inspires greatness. Seizing the day can be understood in many different ways by different people. Some may see it as the opportunity to relish a quiet life, or others may see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take advantage of. Having constant chaos and excitement is difficult, so sometimes, taking time off to do what makes you happy is fulfilling. Reaching for your dreams should be a priority, but it is just as important to enjoy yourself along the way. Life is short, and we should live every day like it is our last.

If you would like to seize the opportunity of further educating yourself, please take a look at our Portfolio of Programmes to see the short programmes we have on offer.