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Carpe Diem! 30 Reasons to Seize the Day and How to Do It

30 motivational phrases that will inspire you to seize the day.

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One of my favorite running anthems is Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the song, the title sums up the message. What songs or sayings have become anthems and mantras for you?

As an athlete, I’ve glommed on to music, quotations, and idioms as a valuable source of inspiration. Whenever I need a quick fix of motivation—or a kick in the pants to rearrange my thinking—I find it useful to recite a simple phrase that sums up a target mindset or behavior.

Below is a list of 30 idioms and quotations that resonate with me at this point in my life. What are some phrases and idioms that inspire you? Please share your favorite motivational phrases with myself and other readers in the comments below.

If the nugget of wisdom held in one of the phrases I've chosen strikes a chord with you, I'd recommend writing it down on a note card or scrap of paper and posting it someplace where you'll see it throughout the day. Maybe on a cork board by your desk, on the fridge door, or propped up on your nightstand. . . . Over the years, I've drawn tons of motivation and inspiration from the idioms and quotations below. Hopefully, the messages held in these phrases will inspire you to seize the day, too!

Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back. –Babe Ruth

The most effective way to do it, is to do it. –Amelia Earhart

If you don't like where you are, change it! You're not a tree! –Jim Rohn

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. –Edith Wharton

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. –William James

Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear. –Baruch Spinoza

Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. –Joseph Campbell

The best way out is always through. –Robert Frost

I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. –Robert H. Schuller

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. –C. S. Lewis

The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder. –Richard Bach

Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail. –John Donne

I can, therefore I am. –Simone Weil

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. –Thomas Jefferson

Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. –Swami Sivananda

Think with your whole body. –Taisen Deshimaru

One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals. –Michael Korda

Leap, and the net will appear. –John Burroughs

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. –Jimmy Dean

You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past. –Richard Bach

Begin to be now what you will be hereafter. –William James

Change your thoughts and you change your world. –Norman Vincent Peale

The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money. –Thomas Jefferson

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. –Mahatma Gandhi

If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. –John D. Rockefeller

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. –Agatha Christie

Every morning I wake up saying, I’m still alive; a miracle. And so I keep pushing. –Jacques Cousteau

I expect to pass through the world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. –Stephen Grellet

The best index of a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back. –Dear Abby (Abigail Van Buren)

There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world. I do think, it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call a friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer depression, despair, and disrespect. –Nikki Giovanni

Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock
Source: Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock

Do you have idioms or quotations that inspire you to seize the day? If so, please share them in the comments with myself and other readers. Thanks!

© 2015 Christopher Bergland. All rights reserved.

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