On a glittering, clear Saturday afternoon, I was wandering through the square in downtown Santa Fe. This is where I often go to escape the traffic, intensity, and temperature of Dallas.
As I drifted along, glancing in gallery windows and just enjoying watching people, I came upon a sidewalk display of t-shirts propped up in front of a small souvenir store. The one that grabbed my attention was a black t-shirt with two words printed on it: Carpe Mañana.
What a twist! I busted out laughing, and then bought the shirt.
This t-shirt philosophy was intended to capture the casual, laid back attitude of the culture in this high desert town that calls itself “the city different.” Instead of the often quoted Latin phrase, carpe diem, meaning “seize the day,” a Spanish word had been substituted.
Carpe mañana . . . seize tomorrow.
It was a great play on words, and it fits the tempo and mindset of Santa Fe: Take it easy . . . No rush . . . Do it later.
That’s how I interpreted the t-shirt message until one day I was preparing for a keynote speech about change. Then it went off like a bomb in my brain—a person could take the advice literally! Should, in fact. Because that sort of future orientation—“seize tomorrow”—serves us best in this world of accelerating change.
Tomorrow comes at us with ever-increasing speed. We need to engage it—today. Seize its opportunities—now. Start shaping its possibilities—in this very moment. And our approach must be very different from behaviors we’ve relied on in the past.
The promise and opportunities that the future offers are astounding. Truly unprecedented. But we have to deliberately manage toward mañana.