Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.
—Wayne Dyer (b.1940) American Motivational Writer, Author, Motivational Speaker
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
The future has a way of arriving unannounced.
—George Will (b.1941) American Columnist, Journalist, Writer
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
—William Allen White (1868–1944) American Editor, Politician, Author
There is no future in any job. The future lies in the man who holds the job.
—George W. Crane (1901–95) American Psychologist, Physician
We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.
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
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) Hong-Kong-born American Sportsperson, Actor, Philosopher, Film Director, Screenwriter
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
In the future, instead of striving to be right at a high cost, it will be more appropriate to be flexible and plural at a lower cost. If you cannot accurately predict the future then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.
—Edward de Bono (b.1933) Maltese-British Psychologist, Writer
Whether or not we have hope depends on two dimensions of our explanatory style; pervasiveness and permanence. Finding temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of hope: Temporary causes limit helplessness in time, and specific causes limit helplessness to the original situation. On the other hand, permanent causes produce helplessness far into the future, and universal causes spread helplessness through all your endeavors. Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair… The optimistic style of explaining good events is the opposite of that used for bad events: It’s internal rather than external. People who believe they cause good things tend to like themselves better than people who believe good things come from other people or circumstances.
—Martin Seligman (b.1942) American Psychologist, Author
The wisdom of the wise and the experience of ages may be preserved by quotation.
—Isaac D’Israeli (1766–1848) English Writer, Scholar
The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.
—Peter Drucker (1909–2005) Austrian-born Management Consultant
I believe the future is only the past again, entered through another gate.
—Arthur Wing Pinero (1855–1934) English Actor, Dramatist, Theater Personality
This is the true joy in life: Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) English Poet, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist
You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
The future is purchased by the present.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots. True enough, robots do not rebel. But given man’s nature, robots cannot live and remain sane, they become Golems,” they will destroy their world and themselves because they cannot stand any longer the boredom of a meaningless life.”
—Erich Fromm (1900–80) German Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, 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
The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face.
—Jim Bishop (1907–87) American Journalist, Author
Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and with a manly heart.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
There are admirable potentialities in every human being. Believe in your strength and your youth. Learn to repeat endlessly to yourself, ‘It all depends on me’.
—Andre Gide (1869–1951) French Novelist
Anxiety about the future never profits; we feel no evil until it comes, and when we feel it, no counsel helps; wisdom is either too early or too late.
I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.
—Hesiod (b.1493) Greek Poet, Economist
Salvation of the Dawn
Look to this day,
For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the truths
And realities of your existence;
The bliss of growth
The glory of action, and
The splendor of beauty;
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes
Every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
Such is the salvation of the dawn.
—The Bhagavad Gita Hindu Scripture
In its knowledges light, we must think and act not only for the moment but for our time. I am reminded of the great French Marshal Lyautey, who once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow-growing and would not reach maturity for a hundred years. The Marshal replied, In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
We already have the statistics for the future: the growth percentages of pollution, overpopulation, desertification. The future is already in place.
—Gunter Grass (1927–2015) German Novelist, Poet
A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is, but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
—Eric Hoffer (1902–83) American Philosopher, Author
When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.
—John M. Richardson, Jr.
It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
—Yogi Berra (1925–2015) American Sportsperson
He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.
—Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) German Chancellor, Nazi Leader
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. We should live for the future, and yet should find our life in the fidelities of the present; the last is only the method of the first.
—Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87) American Protestant Clergyman, Social Reformer, Abolitionist
There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.
—James Baldwin (1924–87) American Novelist, Social Critic
People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.
—F. Matthias Alexander (1869–1955) Australian Actor, Educationalist
It has been a thousand times observed, and I must observe it once more, that the hours we pass with happy prospects in view are more pleasing than those crowned with fruition.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Author, Playwright, Poet, Physician
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
When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind, and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
—Hugh Lawson White
Light tomorrow with today.
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–61) English Poet, Translator
The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to an idealised past.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canada Journalist, Playwright, Academic, Critic, Novelist
It is extraordinary that whole populations have no projects for the future, none at all. It certainly is extraordinary, but it is certainly true.
—Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) American Writer
Tomorrow is our permanent address.
—e. e. cummings (1894–1962) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Artist
The trouble with the future is that is usually arrives before we’re ready for it.
—Arnold Glasow (1905–98) American Businessman
My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there.
—Indira Gandhi (1917–84) Indian Head of State
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
In this great future, you can’t forget your past.
—Bob Marley (1945–81) Jamaican Musician, Singer, Songwriter
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
The future… seems to me no unified dream but a mince pie, long in the baking, never quite done.
—Edward Young (1683–1765) English Poet,
My future is righteousness.
—Bob Marley (1945–81) Jamaican Musician, Singer, Songwriter
We know nothing of tomorrow; our business is to be good and happy today.
—Sydney Smith (1771–1845) English Anglican Writer, Critic
Often do the spirits of great events stride on before the events, and in today already walks tomorrow.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) English Poet, Literary Critic, Philosopher
Learn the past, watch the present, and create the future.
We can’t always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer
That man is prudent who neither hopes nor fears anything from the uncertain events of the future.
—Anatole France (1844–1924) French Novelist
We are always looking to the future; the present does not satisfy us. — Our ideal, whatever it may be, lies further on.
—Ezra Hall Gillett
Show me someone content with mediocrity and I’ll show you someone destined for failure.
—Johnnetta B. Cole (b.1936) American Anthropologist, Educator
Study the past, if you would define the future.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.
—Billy Graham (1918–91) American Baptist Religious Leader
Tomorrow never comes.
The cradle of the future is the grave of the past.
—Franz Grillparzer (1791–1872) Austrian Dramatist, Playwright
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
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
—Peter Drucker (1909–2005) Austrian-born Management Consultant
Some new machinery with adequate powers must be created now if our fine phrases and noble sentiments are to have substance and meaning for our children.
—J. William Fulbright (1905–95) American Political leader, Politician
By the streets of “by and by,” one arrives at the house of “never.”
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
It is the business of the future to be dangerous…. The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur.
—Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) English Mathematician, Philosopher, Logician
The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.
—William Osler (1849–1919) Canadian Physician
Those who are unwilling to invest in the future haven’t earned one.
—Harold Warren Lewis
My interest is in the future because I’m going to spend the rest of my life there.
—Charles F. Kettering (1876–1958) American Inventor, Entrepreneur, Businessperson
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
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
There was a door to which I found no key: There was the veil through which I might not see.
—Omar Khayyam (1048–1123) Persian Mathematician
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Humanitarian
There is no medicine like hope, no incentives so great, and no tonics so powerful as the expectation of something better tomorrow.
—Orison Swett Marden (1850–1924) American New Thought Writer, Physician, Entrepreneur
Never make forecasts, especially about the future.
—Samuel Goldwyn (1879–1974) Polish-born American Film Producer, Businessperson
Your future takes precedence over your past. Focus on your future, rather than on the past.
—Gary Ryan Blair
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) American Novelist, Critic, Popular Scientist