60+ Inspiring Past Quotes to Move Forward and Appreciate the Present Moment

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These inspirational past quotes will remind you to let go of the past and enjoy and live in the moment.

While the past is an important chapter in our lives, we should not allow ourselves to live in it and stop us from enjoying what’s happening in front of us, from appreciating the present moment.

Life is far too precious to spend it looking back at our mistakes and regrets.

I believe that the past doesn’t define us. It is merely a step or a chapter in our lives that’ll help us define and choose who we want to become in the future.

Past quotes and quotes about past


Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

— Søren Kierkegaard

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


Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

— Mother Theresa

Past quotes and quotes about past

The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.

— Marcel Pagnol

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.

— Bill Keane

I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going. I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place.

Maya Angelou

The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.

— Kiran Desai

We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

— Charles R. Swindoll

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

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.

— Johnny Cash

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.

— Rick Warren

The hardships that I encountered in the past will help me succeed in the future.

— Philip Emeagwali

The past can’t hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.

— Alan Moore

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

— Melody Beattie

Sooner or later we’ve all got to let go of our past.

— Dan Brown

See, when you drive home today, you’ve got a big windshield on the front of your car. And you’ve got a little bitty rearview mirror. And the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what’s happened in your past is not near as important as what’s in your future.

— Joel Osteen

The past was always there, lived inside of you, and it helped to make you who you were. But it had to be placed in perspective. The past could not dominate the future.

— Barbara Taylor Bradford

I’m looking forward to the future, and feeling grateful for the past.

— Mike Rowe

My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.

— Steve Maraboli

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.

— Jack Canfield


Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

— Albert Einstein

The one charm of the past is that it is the past.

— Oscar Wilde

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 a foreign country; they do things differently there.

— Lesley Hartley

Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.

— Euripides

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

— Luke the Evangelist

We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow. — Fulton Oursler

The past has no power over the present moment.

— Eckhart Tolle

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

Don’t let the past steal your present.

— Cherralea Morgen

I like to use the hard times in the past to motivate me today.

— Dwayne Johnson

I was so in the present moment the past was no longer part of me.

— Laurel Hoodwrit

Inspiring past quotes and sayings

The living moment is everything.

— D.H. Lawrence

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

The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.

— Wendell Berry

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Bring the past only if only you are going to build from it.

— Domenico Cieri Estrada

The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.

— Robert M. Pirsig

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

— Thomas Jefferson

I have memories-but only a fool stores his past in the future.

— David Gerrold

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


Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

— Will Rogers

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

— Robin Sharma

Consider the past and you shall know the future.

— Chinese Proverbs

You can only lose what you cling to.

— Buddha

We go to the past to lay the blame – since the past can’t argue.

— Glen Duncan

Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.

— Toni Morrison

If you worry about yesterday’s failures, then today’s successes will be few. The future depends on what we do in the present

— Mahatma Gandhi

Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.

— Sarah Breathnach

Holding on is believing that there’s a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.

— Daphne Rose Kingma

A medicine cat has no time for doubt. Put your energy into today and stop worrying about the past.

— Erin Hunter

Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.

— Jane Austen

Everyone has a past, but that’s just it–it’s in the past. You can learn from it, but you can’t change it.

— Nicholas Sparks

I am not someone who is ashamed of my past. I’m actually really proud. I know I made a lot of mistakes, but they, in turn, were my life lessons.

— Drew Barrymore

Your past doesn’t define who you are. It just gives you the starting point for who you’re going to be.

— Agent Carolina

Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.

— Dale Turner

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.

— Alan Wilson Watts

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

— George Bernard Shaw

When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Your past does not determine who you are. Your past prepares you for who you are to become.

— Joel Osteen

Your past is always your past. Even if you forget it, it remembers you.

— Sarah Dessen

Inspirational Past quotes 1

The past speaks to us in a thousand voices, warning and comforting, animating and stirring to action.

— Felix Adler

The past is never where you think you left it.

— Katherine Anne Porter

Which of these past quotes inspired you the most?





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