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150 Past Quotes To Inspire You To Move Forward

Last Updated: September 27, 2022 by Team

We can all learn a lot from our pasts. Sometimes we all need a gentle reminder that the past is in the past. And to not let it affect the here and now.

We are too attached to something that has already happened and keep thinking about how it could have gone better, which spoils our current moment. Either way, the past is in the past. Take what you can from it and if it doesn’t serve you well, then acknowledge that and move on.

While some people believe that you should never look back, others believe that our past experiences can be great fuel for our desired futures. You can use your past experiences to become more effective, productive, and wiser. To Understand what’s happening in your present and before you decide what will happen in your future, try and reflect on your past. Recall your strengths from the past and learn from the weaknesses that frustrate you.

Here are 150 powerful quotes to remind you to let go of the past. To take what we need from experiences, mistakes, and memories and to move forward in life.

The Past Sayings and Quotes

Top 10 Past Quotes

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

“Hanging on to resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” – Ann Landers

“He who has courage despises the future.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.” – John F. Kennedy

“Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future.” – Elie Wiesel

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy

“Live each day as if was your last, not in the future, not in the past. You may not get what you want, but, in the long run, you will get what you expect.” – Denis Waitley

“Look back and smile on perils past.” – Walter Scott

“Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.” – Denis Waitley

I don't regret my past. I just regret the time I've wasted with wrong people.

My Past Quotes

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“’How do you get so empty?’ he wondered. ‘Who takes it out of you?’” – Ray Bradbury

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” – Thomas Jefferson

“I like to use the hard times in the past to motivate me today.” – Dwayne Johnson

“I realise there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.” – Jeffrey McDaniel

“I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes.” – Carl Sandburg

“I think when you move past your fear and you go after your dreams wholeheartedly, you become free.”

“I use memories, but I will not allow memories to use me.” – Deepak Chopra

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” – Charles Dickens

“I’m looking forward to the future and feeling grateful for the past.” – Mike Rowe

“No matter how dirty your past is, your future is still spotless.” – Drake

“Your past is just a story. And once you realize this it has no power over you.” – Chuck Palahniuk

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein

Yesterday has nothing to do, with what you can become today.

Sad Past Quotes

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“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear.”

“In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people. They no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”

“Mindfulness can help people of any age that’s because we become what we think.” – Goldie Hawn

“Never erase your past. It shapes who you are today and will help you to be the person you’ll be tomorrow.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour

“No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future.” – Umar

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Gautama Buddha

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” – David Mitchell

“Praises for our past triumphs are as feathers to a dead bird.” – Paul Eldridge

“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.” – Albert Camus


Forget The Past Quotes

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“A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives – of approving of some and disapproving of others.” – Charles Darwin

“A person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Earl Nightingale

“All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.” – Robert H. Schuller

“Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.” – Dean Acheson

“Bring the past only if only you are going to build from it.” – Domenico Cieri Estrada

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha

“Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow.” – Catherynne M. Valente

“Don’t allow your past or present condition to control you. It’s just a process that you’re going through to get you to the next level.” – T.D. Jakes

“Don’t ever think that the sin of your past means there is no hope for your future.” – John Piper

“Don’t judge me by my past. I don’t live there anymore.”

“Don’t think about the past. Just be here now.” – Ram Dass

“Forget the past.” – Nelson Mandela


Living In The Past Quotes

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“Children have neither a past nor a future. Thus they enjoy the present, which seldom happens to us.” – Jean de La Bruyère

“If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”

“If we could unfold the future, the present would be our greatest care.”

“If you can create something inspirational for the future, it’s easy to let go of the past.” – Melchor Lim

“The core principle for being at peace in the present moment is to act or accept, but never stay stuck.”

“The empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” – Winston Churchill

“The first recipe for happiness is: Avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.”

“Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come.” – Lucy Larcom

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“When you begin to realize that your past does not necessarily dictate the outcome of your future, then you can release the hurt. It is impossible to inhale new air until you exhale the old.” – T.D. Jakes

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Theresa

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” – Bill Keane

“You can’t look back – you just have to put the past behind you, and find something better in your future.” – Jodi Picoult

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

“You have to know the past to understand the present.” – Carl Sagan

“Your life requires your mindful presence in order to live it. Be here now.” – Akiroq Brost

“There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.” – Augustine Of Hippo

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” – Victor Hugo

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” – American proverb

“Understand your past, live this moment, dream your future.” – Maxime Lagacé

Don't give your past the power to define your future.

Letting Go Of The Past Quotes

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“Forgiveness means letting go of the past.”

“Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Focus on opportunities not setbacks. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Focus on the present moment, not the past or the future.”

“Forgiveness is about empowering yourself, rather than empowering your past.” – T.D. Jakes

“Study the past if you want to define the future.” – Confucius

“Take each day as it comes and focus on the present moment.” – Vera Lynn

“The past is a ghost, the future a dream and all we ever have is now.” – Bill Cosby

“The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.” – Nikola Tesla

“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” – Abraham Maslow

“The best gift we can have is living in the present moment and really enjoying it for what it is; and, not being in our heads and getting sidetracked.” – Amy Smart

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

“We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.” – Robin Sharma

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility of our future.” – George Bernard Shaw

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” – Rick Warren

“We celebrate the past to awaken the future.” – John F. Kennedy

“We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.” – Barack Obama

“We have to get back to the beauty of just being alive in this present moment.” – Mary McDonnell

“We invest in the future.” – Greg Plitt

“We need not destroy the past. It is gone.” – John Cage

“We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment.” – Chanakya

“We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.” – George Washington

Release your past, accept your present, create your future.

Learn From The Past Quotes

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“The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.” – Robert M. Pirsig

“The past has no power over the present moment.” – Eckhart Tolle

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” – Lesley Hartley

“The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post.” – L. Thomas Holdcroft

“The past is a stepping stone, not a millstone.” – Robert Plant

“The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” – Thomas S. Monson

“The past is just a story we tell ourselves.” – Spike Jonze

“The past is strapped to our backs. We do not have to see it; we can always feel it.” – Mignon McLaughlin

“The past is the beginning of the beginning and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.” – H. G. Wells

“The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” – Stephen Hawking

“The point of power is always in the present moment.” – Louise L. Hay

“The one charm of the past is that it is the past.” – Oscar Wilde

“The only person with whom you have to compare ourselves, is that you in the past. And the only person better you should be, this is who you are now.” – Sigmund Freud

“The past attracts me, the present frightens me, because the future is death.” – Guy de Maupassant

“The past can’t hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.” – Alan Moore

“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” – Mary Pickford

“The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.” – Kiran Desai

“The present moment, if you think about it, is the only time there is. No matter what time it is, it is always now.” – Marianne Williamson

“The technology is unstoppable. The future is bright.” – Naval Ravikant

“The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.” – William James

“There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.” – Eckhart Tolle

“There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday.” – Robert Nathan

Don't let your history interfere with your future.

Forget Your Past Quotes

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“Just because you have a past with someone, doesn’t mean you should have a future with them.” – Robert Tew

“Remember the past, plan for the future, but live for today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.”

“Remember: we all get what we tolerate. So stop tolerating excuses within yourself, limiting beliefs of the past, or half-assed or fearful states.” – Tony Robbins

“Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.” – Nhat Hanh

“Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.” – Robin Sharma

“Stop longing. You poison today’s ease, reaching always for tomorrow.” – Robin Hobb

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

“The future has a way of arriving unannounced.” – George Will

“The future hasn’t happened yet and the past is gone. So I think the only moment we have is right here and now, and I try to make the best of those moments, the moments that I’m in.” – Annie Lennox

“The future is always beginning now.” – Mark Strand

“The future starts today, not tomorrow.” – Pope John Paul II

Just because your past has been damaged, it doesn't mean that your future has to be worthless...

Past Quotes About Life

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“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 your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” – Simone de Beauvoir

“Don’t make excuses, don’t blame the past. The rest of your life can be the best of your life!” – Joel Osteen

“It’s a complete life change when you really want to better yourself and completely change the patterns that you have had in the past. Do I think I still need work? I think everyone needs work. I just keep working on myself.” – Demi Lovato

“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.” – Tennessee Williams

“Most people spend their entire life imprisoned within the confines of their own thoughts. They never go beyond a narrow, mind-made, personalized sense of self that is conditioned by the past.” – Eckhart Tolle

“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shop window to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.” – Leonard Ravenhill

“Nothing of life is lost; no, not even the experiences of the past you so cherish and believe lost.” – Angelina Kiena Mascari

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.” – Buddha

“Whatever has happened to you in your past has no power over this present moment, because life is now.” – Oprah Winfrey

The past is not the present and the present is not the future.

Past Quotes About Love

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“He loved me, but he doesn’t love me anymore, and it’s not the end of the world.” – Jennifer Weiner

“He who has loved and who betrays love does harm not only to the image of the past, but to the past itself.” – Theodor Adorno

“I haven’t had that one great love, which is good. I don’t want that to be in the past – I want it to be in the future.” – Taylor Swift

“It’s better to have loved and lost than to do forty pounds of laundry a week.” – Laurence J Peter

“Love doesn’t erase the past, but it makes the future different.” – Gary Chapman

“Love your past and forgive your hurts. For your past is ‘you’ and you are your ‘past’.” – E.C. Addison Steele

“Men who think that a woman’s past love affairs lessen her love for them are usually stupid and weak.” – Marilyn Monroe

“The past explains how I got here, but the future is up to me – and I love to live life at full throttle.” – Janice Dickinson

“Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love, and the future to His providence.” – Saint Augustine

“You find new love not to forget the past love. But you forget the past because of that new love.” – Ayaka

“The arms of love encompass you with your present, your past, your future, the arms of love gather you together.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


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