Carpe Diem

Key Takeaways

  • Many people don’t think about starting their day off with something that matters to them, which can cause them to become unfocused and unmotivated throughout the day.
  • Try to pick three things to accomplish in a day that really matter to you, and do the hardest one first as this will both motivate you and allow you to tackle the easier things later in the day when you may have less energy.
  • If you do three things that matter to you every day, you can end up making a big difference for yourself over a lifetime.

In the 1989 movie, Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays John Keating, a literature teacher at a boys’ academy. Keating starts off his class with the words “Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” This great quote hits home for me as this is something I try to do every day in my own life.

Specifically, all I try to do every day is three things. Three things that matter to me, every day. If you expand that over a week, a month, a year, that’s a lot of Carpe Diem going on in my life. But I find that that’s where a lot of people fall flat. They don’t have a focus for their day, and they end up doing a lot of things that don’t matter to them and don’t motivate them.

I learned this philosophy from professional athletes and entertainers. The reason they get to be at the top of their game is because they do the really hard work necessary to be very good at their craft, and they do things like focus on three things a day to make that happen.

I always start off my day doing the hardest of the three things first. I do this because by eight or nine o’clock in the morning, I’m feeling really positive after tackling my hardest thing, and that keeps me motivated for the rest of my day. The other benefit to doing the hardest thing first is that it makes your other two things easier to handle in your day, especially as we tend to have less energy as the day goes on.

If those three things you choose to do are important to you, and they are going to make a difference in your life, then that’s a great day. No matter what comes your way, it’s a great day. So, Carpe Diem. Doing something as simple as accomplishing three things a day that matter to you can make a whole lot of difference when you do it for the rest of your life.

Until next time, enjoy.


Inertia, often caused by being overwhelmed, keeps smart people from planning. TransformingWealth™ , Coyle’s proprietary approach, is designed to get your arms around the big picture so you can make informed financial decisions. Take the first step to living the Good Life Managed Well™, and schedule a complimentary TransformingWealth Preview Meeting.

Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, The Wealth Sanctuary and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.
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