Carpe Diem!

Known for his Dale Carnegie training expertise, Terry Siebert is writing to inspire leaders to reach their greatest potential. Leadership, today more than ever, may mean the difference between closing the doors or opening new markets. Every month, he'll post help with mindset, business tools and more. Read Full Bio

Yes, not only is 2009 well under way, it is proving to be a historic time of significant proportion. It is changing the way people think, work and act – both in business and personally. The direction in these few paragraphs is not to give any secret to success; however, the sad truth is that many people are either looking over the next horizon or the last one for help, when the real answers lie in the here and now.

Some of you may remember Robin Williams as the English teacher in the high school boys’ prep school in the movie, Dead Poet’s Society. In one scene, he takes his entire class to look at the ancient photos of past athletes and other school achievers in the school’s trophy case. When the young men are asked what they are looking at, they answer the obvious: past leaders and achievers of the school.

What he tells them is that what they are looking at is “WORM FODDER!” (Everyone whose picture was in the case also happened to be dead.) His response to the boys was: “CARPE DIEM (SEIZE THE DAY)!” His point was that his students (AND YOU AND I AND OUR ORGANIZATIONS!) should be living, loving, cherishing, nurturing and enjoying every blessed moment we have available to us in this exciting adventure called life. Our alternative of being worm fodder is inevitable, so why not enjoy the adventure and get positively focused – NOW!

But it doesn’t happen that way, does it?

Picture many of the people you interact with on a Monday morning (or maybe any morning since the economy hit the skids). Ask them how they are doing. They glumly respond with: “It’s Monday, how do you think I’m doing?!” If you see the same individuals on a Friday around quitting time and ask the same question, you hear: “Great- We’re on our way to a Fish Fry!”

The sad truth is that many people’s lives are either up or down depending on the day of the week, the weather, the Packers, and the news bytes that are constantly bombarding them.

Very sad.

In a recent interview with a very forward-minded executive, he said he was convinced that this thing we call “work” is work because it’s a four-letter word. His idea was to call it “fun”. This guy meant it. When you think that most of us will spend one third or more of our hours working, why not have FUN! CARPE DIEM! This is a far cry from the bumper sticker: “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go.”

So with this crazy new economy in front of us and the old world of easy security behind us, why not decide to just enjoy this incredible opportunity we all have – NOW. Let’s quit complaining and start doing – for ourselves, our friends and associates, and our organizations.