The habit of looking to the future and thinking that the whole meaning of the present lies in what it will bring forth is a pernicious one. There can be no value in the whole unless there is value in the parts.
BERTRAND RUSSELL, Conquest of Happiness
If we could unfold the future, the present would be our greatest care.
The future is not an inheritance, it is an opportunity and an obligation.
There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now.
EUGENE O'NEILL, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Always in motion is the future.
YODA, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Future, n. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil's Dictionary
He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
GEORGE ORWELL, Nineteen Eighty-Four
You can never plan the future by the past.
EDMUND BURKE, letter to a Member of the National Assembly
Rational behavior ... depends upon a ceaseless flow of data from the environment. It depends upon the power of the individual to predict, with at least a fair success, the outcome of his own actions. To do this, he must be able to predict how the environment will respond to his acts. Sanity, itself, thus hinges on man's ability to predict his immediate, personal future on the basis of information fed him by the environment.
ALVIN TOFFLER, Future Shock
People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
GEORGE ORWELL, Partisan Review, Winter 1945
The past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.
ECKHART TOLLE, The Power of Now
Tomorrow may never come to us. We do not live in tomorrow. We cannot find it in any of our title-deeds. The man who owns whole blocks of real estate, and great ships on the sea, does not own a single minute of tomorrow. Tomorrow! It is a mysterious possibility, not yet born. It lies under the seal of midnight--behind the veil of glittering constellations.
E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words
The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out.
A wise man would ignore the future and drink and carouse while he still has an opportunity to enjoy this world.
CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI, Brisingr
It is impossible for you to take power over the future because it isn't even real.
WM. PAUL YOUNG, The Shack
We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.
BARACK OBAMA, speech to joint session of Congress, sep. 9, 2009
The future was always more important than the past.
PAUL PARK, A Princess of Roumania
The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.
DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, Letters and Papers from Prison
I desire no future that will break the ties of the past.
GEORGE ELIOT, The Mill on the Floss
Of the future, man knows least; yet, about this, he worries most.
- Tomorrow gives a beck'ning hand--
- I turn my face away;
- I'll not invite her to my home--
- I only love Today.
ARDELIA COTTON BARTON, "Today"
You should never fast-forward into the future. Because every time you do, you rob yourself of the journey, the present moment, which, in the end, is all there really is.
Thank God we can't tell the future. We'd never get out of bed.
TRACY LETTS, August: Osage Country
Total self-confidence is built through positive expectations. You can build positive expectations by knowing that you have the power within to overcome any obstacle that lies ahead. So many people have a magnetic attraction to the past. They save momentos, clippings, old letters, and trivia. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you want to succeed, your mind must focus on where you are going, not on where you have been. Instead of saving momentos, clippings, old letters, and trivia from the past, it would be more productive to make a scrapbook with pictures of where you want to go and what you want to be in the future.
ROBERT ANTHONY, The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence
Our future will be shaped by the assumptions we make about who we are and what we can be.
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, America the Principled
The golden age is not in the past, but in the future; not in the origin of human experience, but in its consummate flower; not opening in Eden, but out from Gethsemane.
E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words
Change is the process by which the future invades our lives.
ALVIN TOFFLER, Future Shock
We are fond of looking to the future, because our secret wishes make us apt to turn in our favour the uncertainties which move about in it hither and thither.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe
The present is the food of the future.
Nothing dates harder and faster and more strangely than the future.
NEIL GAIMAN, foreward, The Stars My Destination
- Behind the curtain's mystic fold
- The glowing future lies unrolled.
BRET HARTE, speech, Jan. 19, 1870
I saw the days of the year stretching ahead like a series of bright, white boxes, and separating one box from another was sleep, like a black shade. Only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one box from the next day had suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day after day glaring ahead of me like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue.
SYLVIA PLATH, The Bell Jar
In a world without future, each parting of friends is a death. In a world without future, each loneliness is final. In a world without future, each laugh is the last laugh. In a world without future, beyond the present lies nothingness, and people cling to the present as if hanging from a cliff.
ALAN LIGHTMAN, Einstein's Dreams
- 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, The Hobbit
The Present only has a being in Nature; things Past have a being in the Memory only, but things to come have no being at all; the Future but a fiction of the mind.
The future is inevitable and precise, but it may not occur. God lurks in the gaps.
JORGE LUIS BORGES, "Creation and P. H. Gosse," Other Inquisitions
Every second that passes is like a door that opens to allow in what has not yet happened, what we call the future, but, to challenge the contradictory nature of what we have just said, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the future is just an immense void, that the future is just the time on which the eternal present feeds.
JOSÉ SARAMAGO, The Double
To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top.
ROBERT M. PIRSIG, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Welcome to the future.... All our tragedies and triumphs, our lives and deaths, our shames and joys are just stuffing for your emptiness.
The future ain't what it used to be.