I often am amazed at who we can learn from in life. Surely wisdom comes from those with age and experience, but I've also learned that we can just as easily learn from our youth.
I had the pleasure of attending two graduations this past June—not high school graduations, but elementary and middle school graduations. I don't remember attending these kinds of ceremonies growing up, but the world has changed—we celebrate more rites of passage than one can count. But a graduation, whether from 5th grade, 8th grade or from college, is a true accomplishment and a significant milestone as that student prepares for the next stage in life.
At my daughter's middle school graduation, one of the students spoke about the movie they reviewed in English class: "The Dead Poets Society." The message was loud and clear: Seize the moment. Live your life fully. Enjoy the present. Carpe Diem.
The history of Carpe Diem dates back to 65BC, where it was used as a phrase in a Latin poem by Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horus). Loosely translated, it means to "seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next day."
What could be a more appropriate message for you and your company? If you are lucky enough to work in the heart of the storm in your industry, such as MapR is with Hadoop and Big Data, it is vital to stay focused, yet be flexible enough to respond to your customers. Standing still will never make one successful. You need to seize the moment, seize the day, seize the opportunity in front of you—in essence, Carpe Diem. Don't waste a single moment, whether it means encouraging your team, responding to a customer, or inspiring your children. If there's something holding you back at work or in your personal life, figure out what it is and let it go. By letting go of failures and imperfections, you'll be better equipped to embrace your future struggles and your successes. If you dig down deep and seize the day, every day, chances are you'll be successful— and most likely you'll have a compelling legacy and story to tell your grandchildren at their graduation ceremonies.
Here's that simple but powerful quote from Dead Poets Society. Thanks to the 14-year-old girl for inspiring me and others.
"If you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? Carpe. Carpe. Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary." - N.H. Kleinbaum, "Dead Poets Society"
Steve Fitz is Senior VP, Worldwide Field Operations at MapR Technologies