How to seize the day: motivational quotes, tips and advice

If we were to remove the top of our heads and examine our thoughts during the day, we'd find a random assortment of semi-formed musings along the lines of, 'I wonder whether I'll try spicy crab cakes for dinner tonight?' - 'Ooh, Benedict Cumberbatch looks good in that' - 'Maybe I'll re-train as a physiotherapist' and 'How much do flights to Thailand cost around about now?'

In fact, so much of our time is spent in an absent whirl of halfway coherent thinking and planning, that we rarely actually do anything (outside the usual cycle of work-pub-eat-bed).

So often we don't pause to savour the sweetness of life or take a moment to realise that if we don't go ahead and action our dreams, nothing will happen in real life to make them come true.

It's around this point that a little extra motivation is needed. Inspiration, say, in the form of our favourite quotes and advice on Carping the Diem. Forget moping around or procrastinating; this is all about embracing joyousness and living in the moment.

So come cast fear and uncertainty aside and get set to showcase your impulsive side with these wise words of wisdom on seizing the day. You only live once, after all...

  • Helen Keller (author and political activist)

    "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."

  • William James (philosopher)

    "To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions."

  • Walt Whitman (poet and journalist)

    "Do anything, but let it produce joy."

  • Marie Beynon Ray (author)

    "Begin doing what you want to do now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake."

  • Charles Baudelaire (poet)

    "Now is the time to get drunk! To stop being the martyred slaves of time, to get absolutely drunk — on wine, poetry, or on virtue, as you please."

  • Sam Taylor-Wood (filmmaker)

    "I seize all opportunities with two hands. Everything that's happened to me has taught me to live in the moment as much as possible."

  • Emily Dickinson (poet)

    "That it will never come again. Is what makes life so sweet."

  • Ernest Dowson (poet)

    "They are not long, the days of wine and roses. Out of a misty dream, our path emerges for a while, then closes, within a dream."

  • Stephen Vincent Benét (author)

    "Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways."

  • Bob Marley (musician)

    "Wake up and live"

  • Mahatma Gandhi (leader of the Indian nationalist movement)

    "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever"

  • Margaret Fuller (journalist)

    "Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live."

  • Eleanor Roosevelt (politician)

    "The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."

  • Thomas P. Murphy (playwright)

    "Minutes are worth more than money. Spend them wisely."

  • Coco Chanel (designer)

    "You live but once; you might as well be amusing."

  • Author unknown

    "Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending."

  • Margaret Atwood (author)

    "Sooner or later, I hate to break it to you, you're gonna die, so how do you fill in the space between here and there? It's yours. Seize your space."

  • B. Alan Wallace (author)

    "Life is a flash of lightning in the dark of night. It is a brief time of tremendous potential."

  • Japanese Proverb

    "We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance."

  • Mother Teresa (founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity)

    "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."

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