Are you living in the past? Do you feel that nothing can top the good ole days? Do you often long and yearn for the days of your childhood and youth? If your answer is yes, you may not only be living in the past, you may be trapped in it.
Read these thought-provoking quotes on living in the past and see if you identify with any of them.
You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re thinking about yesterday. – Charles Kettering
I got my best foot forward onto greener grass, cause there ain’t no future living in the past. – Black Hawk
When you’re hounded by the shame of the past, you can turn into a pretty miserable person who is always trying to measure up and please others. – Ed Cyzewski, Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together
When you put something out there into the world, there’s all these words you don’t want to hear, that you hope people don’t say. I don’t like anything that starts with ‘re’ – like retro, reinvent, recreate – I hate that. It’s always like living in the past – copying, emulating. – Jack White
The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living. – Roy T. Bennett
Letting go of your painful past is how you open yourself to a wonderful future. – Bryant H. McGill
The only reason time seems to be moving rather fast is that sometimes we’re too busy living in the past. – Dominic Riccitello
Unreasoning prejudices are bred out of the continual living in the past. – Prentice Mulford
Unfold your today beyond your yesterday, or else, there’ll be no tomorrow, only decay. – Abhijit Naskar, Honor He Wrote: 100 Sonnets For Humans Not Vegetables
It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over. – Paulo Coelho
Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causing you to bump into people not going your way. – Edna Ferber
Procrastination is a way of living in the past instead of the present moment. – Debasish Mridha
I do know that living in the past only messes up your present. – Laurie Faria Stolarz
The most overcrowded vessel is the one that sails on the golden sea of memories. – Stewart Stafford
You should never fall in love with your own press clippings, because it is very much the nature of the beast that the same journalists who build you up between Monday and Friday tear you down for weekend fun…My family’s habit of living in the past seems to me pathological, even dangerous. If all greatness lies in the past, what is the point of the future? – Stephen L. Carter
A lot of people have spent a lot of time keeping the future restrained so they can hold on to the past. Squeeze a few more years out of what they know because they’re afraid of what might be. She’s been restrained for too long. And we’re trying to let her go. – Joe Keatinge, Shutter #28
Imagine a future where we won’t be living in the past. I’d be flipping birds like a chicken breast on a spatula. – George Watsky
Never let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.
The past is a candle at great distance: too close to let you quit, too far to comfort you. – Amy Bloom
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. – Gautama Buddha
With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Rehashing thoughts of painful events from the past or imagining negative events of the future is self-abuse and can be more destructive than physical harm. – Maddy Malhotra, How to Build Self-Esteem and Be Confident: Overcome Fears, Break Habits, Be Successful and Happy
I knew that on that island one was driven back into the past. There was so much space, so much silence, so few meetings that one too easily saw out of the present, and then the past seemed ten times closer than it was. – John Fowles, The Magus
Without anyone’s help, Darth Maul will only commit himself to his mistakes of the past. Every time we find this character, he is living in the past and in some cases he is living with the dead. This character is desperate and he needs Obi-Wan’s help to move on. – Samuel Witwer
Only one person in a thousand knows the trick of really living in the present. Most of us spend fifty-nine minutes an hour living in the past, with regret for lost joys or shame for things badly done (both utterly useless and weakening) or in a future which we either long for or dread. . . . There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute, here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle. Which is exactly what it is-a miracle and unrepeatable. – Storm Jameson
Every cure for nostalgia is obsolete. – Raheel Farooq
Life is short. You can’t afford to put off what God has put in your heart. You don’t have time to live with things holding you back. – Joel Osteen
Perfecting the past blurs your focus of the future. – Marvin Davis
Nothing that happened before this moment has any power over you whatsoever, except to the extent to which you carry it into this moment. Dwell in the present with full forgiveness of yourself and others, and your life will be lifted to divine right order…perfection, prosperity and peace. – Marianne Williamson
Last Christmas someone stole my present. I’ve spent this year living in the past. – Terry Alderton
A spectator would conclude that I was living in the past. But I was very much living in the present. My present. – Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life – Fennel’s Journal – No. 1
The past is a stepping stone, not a millstone. – Robert Plant
Let the dead Past bury its dead! – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
We cannot move forward if we’re always living in the past. – Auryn Hadley, The Sins of Desire
Most people are prisoners, thinking only about the future or living in the past. They are not in the present, and the present is where everything begins. – Carlos Santana
You can only move on if you accept that it’s gone.
One must always maintain one’s connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it. – Gaston Bachelard
In my memories I have set my life in Brooklyn between pieces of glass, separate from my current existence, and this has enabled me to move forward. The past cannot tie me in knots, nor can it cause me to drown. And yet what is stored in glass belongs to me still. Each piece is a part of me: the hummingbirds, the locked doors, Mr. Morris in the yard, the pear tree, the woman covered by bees, and you. Especially you. – Alice Hoffman, The Museum of Extraordinary Things
We fall back into the past, we jump ahead into the future, and in this we lose our entire lives. – Thich Nhat Hanh
Chasing your tale? Sometimes we relive past accomplishments, failures and or past relationships to the point of exhaustion. When we do this, I liken it to a dog chasing its tail, just spinning round and round and going nowhere fast. Constantly chasing our own tales has the same effect on us. It leaves us in a state of dizzying immobility. When we wrap our arms so firmly around our past we leave little room to embrace our present future and that, my friends, is a sad tale to tell. – Jason Versey, A Walk with Prudence
Find us a deep wood; we will live in trees
Find us a lone beach; we will sleep with stars,
Or a greater favor do for us please;
Stop Earth from turning so Time can be ours.
Hold onto those sweet moments giv’n we will
Of the love we had when Earth was held still.
– Kelleen Goerlitz, The Complete Works of a Lost Girl
Your future starts today. Don’t go through life looking in the rearview mirror. Your life is filled with possibility. – Joel Osteen
Perhaps it had something to do with the part of town he was in. It was known to the locals as the Nostalgia District, though no one really knew how the area had gotten its name. Did it come about through the feeling that it evoked in its residents and visitors? Or was it due to a lack of modern conveniences? The former certainly seemed less likely than the latter as it seemed doubtful that its long-time residents could continually, over the course of years, manage to be subject to a sense of nostalgia. After all, wouldn’t the perpetual absence of a modern context, eventually, defeat the purpose of evoking such a feeling? In fact, it would seem more appropriate to assume that visitors who spent enough time within the confines of this area were unwittingly apt to live in the past and become nostalgic for the modern day…or even the future. – Ashim Shanker, Don’t Forget to Breathe
I have a lot faith in the younger generation of music lovers. Youth isn’t living in the past; if somebody tells them that there’s something better than what they have, they’re going to check it out. And if they like it, they’re going to get it. I’m not worried about the youth. Young people aren’t just looking back, they are also looking forward. – Neil Young
I am the type that cannot stay put in living in the past and solely in the past. It’s not healthy and it doesn’t feel right. – Phil Anselmo
Memories are a nice place to visit, but a terrible place to live. – Marty Rubin
I don’t believe in yesterday, I believe in tomorrow. Whether it’s positive or negative, the future is a new experience and not a ghostly replay of a time that was and can never be again. – Stewart Stafford
I don’t believe in living in the past. Living in the past is for cowards. If you live in the past, you die in the past. – Mike Ditka
I’d wish it were easier to not allow other people’s pasts to create my own present. – Jonathan Harnisch, Freak
I’m not living in the past, I don’t want to go back – I don’t want to “Make America Great Again.” No, no, no. – Zendaya
Often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. – Helen Keller
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
Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. – Doug Larson
My soul is not a palace of the past. – James Russell Lowell
I have always wished the present to resemble memory: because the present can be flat at times, and bald as a road. But memory is never like that. It makes hills of feeling in collapsed hours, a scene of enclosure made all precious by its frame. – Lydia Millet, My Happy Life
Nostalgia is a dirty liar that insists things were better than they seemed.
Your past has forgotten you, your future is waiting for you. – Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words
We go through our lives thinking we are living in the present when in truth we are living in the past and the future. – David Icke, I am me I am free: The Robots’ Guide to Freedom
No man is rich enough to buy back his past. – Oscar Wilde
Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love? – Leo Buscaglia
Two things prevent us from happiness: Living in the past and observing others.
There is nothing you can do about the past except keep it there. – Michael Connelly
The authoritarian character worships the past. What has been, will eternally be. To wish or to work for something that has not yet been before is crime or madness. The miracle of creation—and creation is always a miracle—is outside of his range of emotional experience. – Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom
I spend so much time like living in the past or the future. I mean, I think most people do, really. And the moments when you’re really present in your life can be pretty rare, really. – David Sedaris
The past cannot be cured. – Elizabeth I
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.
People who live in the past generally are afraid to compete in the present. I’ve got my faults, but living in the past is not one of them. There’s no future in it. – Sparky Anderson
Do not allow past experiences to be imprinted on your mind. Perform asanas each time with a fresh mind and with a fresh approach. If you are repeating what you did before, you are living in the memory, so you are living in the past. That means you don’t want to proceed beyond the experience of the past. Retaining that memory is saying, ‘Yesterday I did it like that.’ When I ask, ‘Is there anything new from what I did yesterday?’ then there is progress. Am I going forward or am I going backward? Then you understand how to create dynamism in a static asana. – B.K.S. Iyengar
Insisting on living in your past will kill your future. Let it go. – Tony Evans
The past is a great place and I don’t want to erase it or to regret it, but I don’t want to be its prisoner either. – Mick Jagger
To heal a wound, you need to stop touching it.
If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears. – Miguel Angel Ruiz
Faith, courage, optimism, looking forward, bring us new life and more life. Futility, frustration, living in the past are not only characteristic of ‘old age’; they contribute to it. – Maxwell Maltz
You have to grow. If not you’re then living in regret and you’re living in the past and you’re not progressing forward. And I learned the mistakes that I made and they made me stronger. – Liz Carmouche
If you are at peace, you are living in the present. – Laozi