Quotations reflecting on the future, sometimes in relationship to the present and past.

Goto page: 1 2 3

How can we predict what we shall want in the future, since we do not know exactly what we want at the moment?

— François de La Rochefoucauld

Any one response to the universe, however powerful, becomes inappropriate with time and change. Those who become utterly dependent on one means of mastery will find themselves unable to cope with the future.

— Frank Herbert

The future influences the present just as much as the past.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The ultimate test of a man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.

— Gaylord Nelson

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

— George Bernard Shaw

It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.

— George Harrison

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’

— George Orwell, 1984

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because some day in life you will have been all of these.

— George Washington Carver

The future has a way of arriving unannounced.

— George Will

When I’m talking to people, I find myself quoting the three organizing rules of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter was initiated by three young women, and too few people know that. But, anyway, the first one is lead with love. The second is low ego, high impact. The third is move with the speed of trust. I must say those make me feel very hopeful for the future.

— Gloria Steinem

To understand what a person is, it is necessary always to refer to what he may be in the future, for every state of the person is pointed in the direction of future possibilities.

— Gordon W. Allport, Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.

— Groucho Marx

Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.

— Hannah Arendt

The past, the present and the future are really one: they are today.

— Harriet Beecher Stowe

You had better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.

— Harriet Martineau

Once I knew only darkness and stillness… my life was without past or future… but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.

— Helen Keller

Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.

— Henry David Thoreau

Do not look back on happiness or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today; do not let yourself be cheated out of it.

— Henry Ward Beecher

To be hopeful in bad times is based on the fact that human history is not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand Utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

— Howard Zinn

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

The domain of leaders is the future. The leader’s unique legacy is the creation of valued institutions that survive over time. The most significant contribution leaders make is not simply to today’s bottom line; it is to the long-term development of people and institutions so they can adapt, change, prosper, and grow.

— James Kouzes and Barry Posner

The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present.

— James Kouzes and Barry Posner

Whereas underprivileged strata of society religiously hope for a better future, the overprivileged, disavowing any idea of transcendence, “live for the present by exploiting their great past.”

— James MacGregor Burns, The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America

The greatest danger to our future is apathy.

— Jane Goodall

The greatest danger to our future is apathy.

— Jane Goodall

We tend to think of the Faustian man, the one who fabricates, manipulates, seduces and ends up destroying. But the new image will be man the creator, the artist, the player.

— Jean Houston

Fancy rules over two thirds of the universe, the past, and future, while reality is confined to the present.

— Jean Paul Richter

The future is not out there in front of us, but inside us.

— Joanna Macy

Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

— John F. Kennedy

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

— John F. Kennedy

The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.

— John F. Kennedy

If our salmon are not healthy, then our watersheds are not healthy-and if our watersheds our not healthy, then we have truly squandered our heritage and mortgaged our future.

— John Kitzhaber

When we build … let it not be for present delights nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think … that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labor, and the wrought substance of them, See! This our fathers did for us!

— John Ruskin

When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for our use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will look upon with praise and thanksgiving in their hearts.

— John Ruskin

The idea of self-denial for the sake of posterity, of practicing present economy for the sake of debtors yet unborn, of planting forests that our descendants may live under their shade … never I suppose, efficiently takes place among publicly recognized motives of exertion. Yet these are not the less our duties; nor is our part fitly sustained upon the earth, unless the range of our intended and deliberate usefulness include, not only the companions but the successors of our pilgrimage. God has lent us the earth for our life; it is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who are to come after us … as to us; we have no right, by anything that we do or neglect, to involve them in unnecessary penalties, or deprive them of benefits which it was in our power to bequeath.

— John Ruskin

One of the major obstacles impeding any positive future change in our lives is that we are too busy with our current work or activity. Levi quit his tax-work, Peter stopped fishing at lake, Paul ceased being a priest. They all left their jobs because they thought it was necessary.

— John Ruskin

The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.

— John Sculley

The perennial conviction that those who work hard and play by the rules will be rewarded with a more comfortable present and a stronger future for their children faces assault from just about every direction. That great enemy of democratic capitalism, economic inequality, is real and growing.

— Jon Meacham

Leadership is about creating, day by day, a domain in which we and those around us continually deepen our understanding of reality and are able to participate in shaping the future. This, then, is the deeper territory of leadership — collectively ‘listening to what is wanting to emerge in the world, and then having the courage to do what is required.’

— Joseph Jaworski

Whoever doesn’t know the past must have little understanding of the present and no vision of the future.

— Joseph S. Raymond

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.

— Leo Buscaglia

Grace happens to me when I feel a surge of honest joy that makes me glad to be alive in spite of valid reasons for feeling terrible. Grace happens when I accept my wife’s offer to begin again with me in love after I have hurt her. It happens when I feel powerfully free to follow my own conscience in spite of those who think I am either crazy or wicked. Grace is the gift of feeling sure that our future, even our dying, is going to turn out more splendidly than we dare imagine. Grace is the feeling of hope.

— Lewis B. Smedes

Everyone’s life lies within the present; for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain.

— Marcus Aurelius

If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.

— Maria Edgeworth

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.

— Marie Curie

It states, History should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future. It also suggests that this celebration of the end of slavery is an important and enriching part of the history and heritage of the United States.

— Mark Foley

We need to broaden our sympathies both in space and time — and perceive ourselves as part of a long heritage, and stewards for an immense future.

— Martin Rees

They invent the future while dealing with the past.

— Meg Wheatley
Goto page: 1 2 3
, , , ,
Related
Latest Posts from Wisdom Quotes