Page 3 “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” ~ Charles Du Bos HAT DO YOU want to become? What do you want to achieve? Whatever it is, it will require sacrifice. The first sacrifice is time. You will have to decide between two contrasting options: One day, or day one. Will today be “day one,” or will you put it off until “one day” in the future? Settling on “one day” leaves your life up to others and to fate. Deciding on “day one” gives you a little leverage, a little say so in the process. With “one day,” the day seizes you, and you’re powerless and left at the mercy of circumstance. With “day one,” you seize the day, and you’re empowered to make the best of circumstance. As Epictetus said, “Circumstances don’t make the man; they only reveal him to himself.” Don’t settle for “one day.” Cultivate the mettle for “day one” instead. Whatever it is: writing a novel, starting a band, traveling the world, getting a PhD. Make today “day one” of that process. There will be challenges. There will be setbacks. There will be obstacles that seem almost impossible to pass. Don’t wait until you’re “ready.” Because what if you’re never ready? Fear not. Embrace the fear and begin. Use fear as a diving board and dive into your passion. If you worry too much about what

One Day, or Day One


Embracing Carpe Diem could go wrong, you’ll slip back into a “one day” mentality. If you wait until you’re ready, “one day” will consume your life. And that’s no place to be when you’re on the path toward something great. Don’t make excuses. Excuses are just you getting in the way of what you want to achieve. Get out of your own way and seize the day. Of course, “day one” is itself a series of moments. So, seizing the moment must come first. Carpe punctum (seize the moment) leads to carpe diem (seize the day) leads to carpe vita (seize the life). Let’s break it down.

Carpe punctum (seize the


“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: Not going all the way, and not starting.” ~The Buddha

Here’s the thing: you have from this moment until the day you die (which could be tomorrow or eighty years from now) to live the life you want to live. But it all starts with this moment. Right now. What are you going to do? The same thing you’ve been doing, or will you try something new? Will you just keep pushing the broom of procrastination into the abyss of “one day” or will you seize the moment, toss the broom into the abyss, make today “day one” and get busy cultivating your passion? Your goals, your dreams, your aspirations, they all begin right now. They may or may not come to fruition sometime in the future, but their seeds must be planted now. They may not grow the way you want them to grow, but you’ll never know if you don’t plant them now. They might mutate or grow awry or become a hybrid with a seed someone else planted, but you’ll never know if you

don’t get busy planting. Seizing the moment is all about embracing your inner gardener. Your seeds represent what you wish to become, or what you wish to achieve. The soil is fate, which you do not have control over. But that’s okay, because there are things that you do have control over. Like how much you water your seeds. But right now, even that is irrelevant. Don’t worry about if the seed will take root or not. Don’t worry about if it may possibly get dug up by unforeseen circumstance. Don’t worry about if there will or will not be enough rain to help it grow. That’s neither here or nor there. Right now, it’s all about planting the seed. The action of planting the seed trumps what becomes of the seed. Human flourishing, Eudaimonia, doesn’t just happen. It takes work. It takes perseverance. It takes blood, sweat, and tears. But it doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. Just take small bites. Take it inch by inch. Or millimeter by millimeter, if need be. Either way it begins right now, in this moment. This is the first second, in a series of seconds that has the potential to lead to your own human flourishing.

Carpe diem (seize the day): “Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.” ~Horace Life is a series of moments. So even when you’re seizing the day, you’re still seizing the moment. The only thing that changes is that you are collecting each

Please see CARPE DIEM, page 29

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The New Agora January 2018  
The New Agora January 2018