I neither complain of the past, nor do I fear the future.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
How happy the station which every moment furnishes opportunities of doing good to thousands!—How dangerous that which every moment exposes to the injuring of millions.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
I fear there will be no future for those who do not change.
—Louis L’Amour (1908–88) American Novelist, Short-story Writer
Imagine a baseball thrown thru the air. A high speed camera takes pictures of it showing very great detail—names, laces, etc. Someone shows you a picture—can you tell what direction it is travelling? or even if it is moving? NO. You would have to know where it was thrown FROM to know what direction it is going. In times of high change, it’s good to know a little bit about the PAST to understand the present freeze frame of the NOW and project to some degree of accuracy where we are GOING (The Future).
Tomorrow never comes.
I have always sought to guide the future— but it is very lonely sometimes trying to play God.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) American Jurist, Author
This is the first age that’s ever paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.
—Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008) British Scientist, Science-fiction Writer
We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.
—David Suzuki (b.1936) Canadian Scientist, TV Personality, Environmental Activist
Very strange is this quality of our human nature which decrees that unless we feel a future before us we do not live completely in the present.
—Phillips Brooks (1835–93) American Episcopal Clergyman, Author
Never make forecasts, especially about the future.
—Samuel Goldwyn (1879–1974) Polish-born American Film Producer, Businessperson
The good days weren’t really so good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.
—Billy Joel (b.1949) American Singer, Songwriter, Musician
I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
The child is not to be educated for the present, but for the remote future, and often is opposition to the immediate future.
—Jean Paul (1763–1825) German Novelist, Humorist
The future can be anything we want it to be, providing we have the faith and that we realize that peace, no less than war, required blood and sweat and tears.
—Charles F. Kettering (1876–1958) American Inventor, Entrepreneur, Businessperson
The future is an unknown, but a somewhat predictable unknown. To look to the future we must first look back upon the past. That is where the seeds of the future were planted. I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It’s not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past.
—Milan Kundera (b.1929) Czech Novelist
All futurity seems teeming with endless destruction never to be repelled; Desperate remorse swallows the present in a quenchless rage.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
The future looks extremely bright indeed, with lots of possibilities ahead—big possibilities. Like the song says, “We’ve just begun.”
—Bruce Lee (1940–73) American Martial Artist, Actor, Philosopher
Everything that looks to the future elevates human nature; for life is never so low or so little as when occupied with the present.
—Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–38) English Poet, Novelist
It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our every man must take on a science fictional way of thinking.
—Isaac Asimov (1920–92) Russian-born American Writer, Scientist
I don’t think the human mind can comprehend the past and the future. They are both just illusions that can manipulate you into thinking there’s some kind of change.
—Bob Dylan (b.1941) American Singer-songwriter
I don’t ever look back. I look forward.
—Steffi Graf (b.1969) German Tennis Player, Philanthropist
The future lies before you, like paths of pure white snow. Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.
Our children are our only hope for the future, but we are their only hope for their present and their future.
—Zig Ziglar (1926–2012) American Author
For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today
Men see only the present; heaven sees the future.
We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
I’m not a big believer in long-term planning and far-off goals. In fact, I generally set 3-month and 6-month dreamlines. The variables change too much and in-the-future distance becomes an excuse for postponing action.
—Tim Ferriss (b.1977) American Self-help Author
Everything you need for your better future and success has already been written. And guess what? It’s all available. All you have to do is go to the library.
—Jim Rohn (1930–2009) American Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker