We have all at some point in our lives heard the phrase “carpe diem,” or we may have seen it printed on T-shirts, purses or even pieces of art in frames to be hung. This certain phrase essentially means to “seize the moment” and not worry about what tomorrow has in store, to take hold of today in a tight grasp. Even though we have all more than likely heard or seen this phrase tossed around from time to time, have any of us really taken the time to sit back and relish on the truth and wisdom behind these words?

In many ways, words can be empowering, discouraging, angering or uplifting, but they can also scream wisdom and truth into our ears. (Often times, though, we brush them off our shoulders like lint from the dryer stuck on our T-shirts.) Or we merely overlook them and end up not putting in as much thought as we should. “Carpe diem” is one of those phrases that I feel as though I tend to not pay much attention to, as well as many others I know. We all get so wrapped up in our busy lives, running here and there that we rarely take time to think about what this may mean. So what does it actually mean, and why do we even use this phrase?

You have control over it. This is not, however, telling you to be controlling but to have control. To have the control and wisdom to decide what you will do with each day you are given in your life. Life here on Earth is short, so I encourage you to live every day to its very fullest, the fullest until it bursts at the very seams. Fill it with experiences.

To seize the moment, then, means to take a hold of the experiences and opportunities in life that you are given. To take a hold of the spontaneity of life, to enjoy the fun moments and to reflect on the not so fun moments. To consume life in such a way that you remember every aspect and person you experience. Seizing a moment is not only about yourself, however. It is also about those whom you are surrounded by in that situation or whom you choose to surround yourself with. Not every moment needs to be grand and glorious; life is sometimes so rewarding when things go forward in a simplistic way. But nonetheless, make the best out of every moment you have. Make yourself available to be with others, to live life with the people you enjoy; learn from them, and allow them to learn from you. There is more in this life than work, textbooks or moneythere is a whole world out there! And in our lives, we typically only experience a small chunk of that world, so seize the moments in your chunk, and be that impactful human whom everyone will remember.

To me, seizing the moment really means to take advantage of situations you are given and live them to their full capacity. Sometimes, it is so much more worth it to go out on an adventure, be social, meet new people or just put yourself out there so that you can find that moment to seize. Sometimes, the moments we remember in life aren’t the ones we planned but the ones that happened spontaneously and turned into a moment that is impossible to release. Don’t release those moments and memories; rather, store them in a cubby in your brain, and allow them to stick with you wherever you may go. Let those moments you embrace in life impact you and leave their imprint on your short little life, and share them with others.

In the end, I encourage every one of you who reads this to get out there and live your life. Live your life alongside those you love and those you’ve never met. Live every day you are given to the fullest, enjoy the good and bad times, embrace change and spontaneity and “carpe diem,” my friends.