"Carpe Diem" is a Latin expression that first appeared over 2000 years ago in the ode "An Leukonoe" by the Roman poet Horace. The literal translation - "Seize the day" - is associated in modern usage with both "Enjoy the day" and "Seize the day".

Utilization - that sounds like order, work and performance. But the meaning depends very much on the individual understanding. A "day well spent" can have many facets: How we define and live "joie de vivre" depends not least on our own feelings. Some people feel it when they are completely absorbed in a task, others enjoy a conscious time-out and still others live into the day - what they all have in common is that they have used the day to fulfill their respective needs, view it like freshly picked fruit and are satisfied with themselves at the end of the day. This is certainly a basic prerequisite for enjoying life: realizing that every day in life is valuable. You can also develop and even "train" your own zest for life. However, it is not enough to read the relevant literature and draw up a training plan - you have to become active yourself.

YOLO - the modern Carpe Diem

You only live once - abbreviated to YOLO - is the modern version of "Carpe Diem": if you understand that life is finite and the joy of it is individual, you can condition yourself accordingly. Because joie de vivre, like a muscle, only grows with constant exercise.

Sure - not every day is a day on which we jump out of bed with joy and curiosity. We may not feel healthy or weak, we may have problems or simply be in a bad mood. That's part of being human. But our ability to reflect, compare and motivate ourselves is greater than we often think. With the help of the right strategy, it is possible to find a portion of joy in our day, even in difficult times - even if it is just a small "reward" of a very individual nature: singing, dancing, cooking, meeting up with friends. In other cultures, this seems to be more natural and satisfaction more than a distant goal. One key to enjoying life is our own perception and its evaluation: by asking myself what makes me happy, I have already taken a big step towards enjoying life. Sensual pleasure plays a major role in this context: do I feel good and relaxed when I am out in nature, listening to music, smelling the coffee, touching silky fabric, eating my favorite meal? If you are aware of this, you can anchor these sensations in your everyday life and remember them at any time.

Allow yourself to be happier than you think you deserve

In her bestseller "101 essays that will change your life" (see book tip on page 26), author Brianna Wiest impressively demonstrates the traps we repeatedly fall into - and how we can avoid them in future. One of her key sentences is "If everything great is made up of a series of little things, a great life is also made up of a multitude of little moments, most of which we miss because we write the synopsis instead of the individual chapters." What this means is that we miss out on individual moments of contentment because we are constantly chasing after great happiness. We often believe that we don't deserve happiness. This is a gigantic obstacle that we can only avoid if we understand: "The most important thing is that you do what makes you happy and that you understand that your happiness is solely in your hands and your responsibility. No day, no new job or relationship or change separates you from that. It is right now. Your only task is to remove the blocks that prevent you from living out your happiness. The only change that needs to happen is about yourself."

So life can be a concert of wishes after all - with a hit list that we can choose and reshape ourselves at any time.