YOLO is an acronym for “you only live once.” It first became part of the vernacular when chart-topping Canadian rapper Drake popularized the term “YOLO” with “The Motto,” a bonus track from his 2011 album, Take Care.
Essentially, YOLO suggests that one should make the most of the present moment without worrying about the future, even if it means embracing behaviors that carry inherent risk.
The phrase “you only live once” inspires people to throw caution to the wind and follow their whims, wherever they may lead. Along the same lines as the Latin “carpe diem” (seize the day), it is a call to live life to its fullest extent, since it’s the only life you have.
My philosophy of life has a YOLO component to it. It’s not that I live only for today with no thoughts about the future. And I’m certainly not one who embraces risky behaviors. However, as someone who doesn’t believe in reincarnation or in an afterlife, I do believe that the life we lead is the only life we have, so we should try to make the most of it.