The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms.
—Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) Lebanese-born American Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Theologian, Sculptor
He that will not reflect is a ruined man.
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted; it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians.
—George Santayana (1863–1952) Spanish-American Poet, Philosopher
Becoming rich isn’t as much about getting rich financially as about whom you become, in character and mind, to get rich. I want to share a secret with you that few people know: the fastest way to get rich and stay rich is to work on developing you! The idea is to grow yourself into a successful person. Again, your outer world is merely a reflection of your inner world. You are the root; your results are the fruits.
—T. Harv Eker (b.1954) American Motivational Speaker, Lecturer, Author
Deliberation. The act of examining one’s bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist
When the waves are round me breaking,
As I pace the deck alone,
And my eye in vain is seeking
Some green leaf to rest upon;
What would not I give to wander
Where my old companions dwell?
Absence makes the heart grow fonder,
Isle of Beauty, fare thee well!
—John Milton (1608–74) English Poet, Civil Servant, Scholar, Debater
Oh, for boyhood’s painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day,
Health that mocks the doctor’s rules,
Knowledge never learned of schools.
—John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–92) American Quaker Poet, Abolitionist
Sum up at night what thou hast done by day, and in the morning what thou hast to do.—Dress and undress thy soul; mark the decay and growth of it.—If with thy watch, that too be down, then wind up both; since we shall be most surely judged, make thine accounts agree.
—George Herbert (1593–1633) Welsh Anglican Poet, Orator, Clergyman
One must be thrust out of a finished cycle in life, and that leap is the most difficult to make—to part with one’s faith, one’s love, when one would prefer to renew the faith and recreate the passion.
—Anais Nin (1903–77) French-American Essayist
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.
This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that everyone of those darkly clustered houses encloses it’s own secret that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of it’s imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it!
—Charles Dickens (1812–70) English Novelist
The reflections on a day well spent furnish us with joys more pleasing than ten thousand triumphs.
—Thomas a Kempis (1379–1471) German Religious Priest, Writer
The past is never dead, it is not even past.
—William Faulkner (1897–1962) American Novelist
Many people dream of success. To me success can only be achieved through repeated failures and introspections. In fact, success represents 1% of your work that results from the 99% that is called failure.
—Soichiro Honda (1906–91) Japanese Inventor
The past will not tell us what we ought to do, but it will what we ought to avoid.
—Jose Ortega y. Gasset (1883–1955) Spanish Critic, Journalist, Philosopher
To disdain today is to prove that yesterday has been misunderstood.
—Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949) Belgian Poet, Playwright, Essayist
Better by far you should forget and smile, than that you should remember and be sad.
—Christina Rossetti (1830–94) English Poet, Hymn Writer
Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) English Poet, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist
The Past: Our cradle, not our prison; there s danger as well as appeal in its glamour. The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition.
—Israel Zangwill (1864–1926) English Playwright, Novelist, Zionist Activist
Here’s to the past. Thank God it’s past.
That sign of old age, extolling the past at the expense of the present.
—Sydney Smith (1771–1845) English Clergyman, Essayist, Wit
Why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe?
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
We believe at once in evil, we only believe in good upon reflection.—Is not this sad?
—Dorothee Luzy Dotinville (1747–1830) French Dancer, Actress
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.
—John Wayne (1907–79) American Actor, Director, Producer
Reflection is a flower of the mind, giving out wholesome fragrance; but revery is the same flower, when rank and running to seed.
—Martin Farquhar Tupper (1810–89) English Poet, Writer
Enjoy yourself. These are the “good old days” you’re going to miss in the years ahead.
A little reflection will enable any person to detect in himself that setness in trifles which is the result of the unwatched instinct of self-will and to establish over himself a jealous guardianship.
—Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–96) American Abolitionist, Author
The past is one evil less and one memory more.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher