Future

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If you don't think about the future, you cannot have one. ~ John Galsworthy

The future is the period of time after the present, or the events that will occur in that time.

Quotes[edit]

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present. ~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. ~ Winston Churchill
If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future. ~ Winston Churchill
Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you -- be futurewise. ~ Patrick Dixon
Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry
The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented. ~ Dennis Gabor
The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed. ~ William Gibson
The greatest danger to our future is apathy. ~ Jane Goodall
The future is not what is coming at us, but what we are headed for. ~ Jean-Marie Guyau
A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future. ~ Robert A. Heinlein
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. ~ Eric Hoffer
The best way to predict the future is to invent it. ~ Alan Kay
The future is not laid out on a track. It is something that we can decide, and to the extent that we do not violate any known laws of the universe, we can probably make it work the way that we want to. ~ Alan Kay
We can have faith in the future only if we have faith in ourselves. ~ John F. Kennedy
The future exists only in imagination; and that is why, no matter how hard you try to imagine it, you will not be able to predict the future with total certainty. ~ Barry Long
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
The future is a world limited by ourselves. ~ Maurice Maeterlinck
The wave of the future is coming and there is no fighting it. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
We have a choice. We can shape our future, or let events shape it for us. And if we want to succeed, we can't fall back on the stale debates and old divides that won't move us forward. ~ Barack Obama
Don’t shortchange the future, because of fear in the present. ~ Barack Obama
We must discipline ourselves to convert dreams into plans, and plans into goals, and goals into those small daily activities that will lead us, one sure step at a time, toward a better future. ~ Jim Rohn
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present. ~ Adlai Stevenson
Stop haunting your past and try to drop in on the future. ~ Antonio Tabucchi
Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine. ~ Nikola Tesla
Whatever the future may bring, the universal application of these great principles is fully assured, though it may be long in coming. ~ Nikola Tesla
It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
  • Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
  • People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Predicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want better.
  • I come before you and assume the Presidency at a moment rich with promise. We live in a peaceful, prosperous time, but we can make it better. For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn; for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over. The totalitarian era is passing, its old ideas blown away like leaves from an ancient, lifeless tree. A new breeze is blowing, and a nation refreshed by freedom stands ready to push on. There is new ground to be broken, and new action to be taken. There are times when the future seems thick as a fog; you sit and wait, hoping the mists will lift and reveal the right path. But this is a time when the future seems a door you can walk right through into a room called tomorrow.
    Great nations of the world are moving toward democracy through the door to freedom. Men and women of the world move toward free markets through the door to prosperity. The people of the world agitate for free expression and free thought through the door to the moral and intellectual satisfactions that only liberty allows.
    We know what works: Freedom works. We know what's right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state.
  • I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger. Our challenges are great, but our will is greater. And if our flaws are endless, God's love is truly boundless.
    Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that. But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning. The new breeze blows, a page turns, the story unfolds. And so today a chapter begins, a small and stately story of unity, diversity, and generosity — shared, and written, together.
  • The future will soon be a thing of the past.
  • If you are living in the past or in the future, you will never find a meaning in the present.
    • Fausto Cercignani in Simply Transcribed : Quotations from Fausto Cercignani (2013) by Brian Morris, p. 9.
  • The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
    • Winston Churchill, speech at Harvard University, September 6, 1943, in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations(1999), Knowles & Partington, p. 215.
  • Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.
  • I've seen the future, brother; it is murder.
  • Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you -- be futurewise.
  • The only thing we know about the future is that it is going to be different.
    • Peter Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (1973), Part 1, Chapter 4.
  • I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
    • Albert Einstein, Attributed in The Encarta Book of Quotations to an interview on the Belgenland (December 1930), which was the ship on which he arrived in New York that month. According to The Ultimate Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (2010), p. 18, the quote also appears as "Aphorism, 1945-1946" in the Einstein Archives 36-570. Calaprice speculates that "perhaps it was recalled later and inserted into the archives under the later date." According to a snippet on Google Books, the phrase '"I never think of the future," he said. "It comes soon enough."' appears in The Literary Digest: Volume 107 on p. 29, in an article titled "We May Not 'Get' Relativity, But We Like Einstein" from 27 December 1930. The snippet also discusses the "welcome to Professor Einstein on the Belgenland" in New York.
  • Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.
  • In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
    • Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), Section 32
  • The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.
    • Dennis Gabor, Inventing the Future (1963)
    • Variants:
      • We cannot predict the future, but we can invent it.
      • The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
        • Alan Kay Alan Kay. Retrieved on 2008-02-18.; Stanford Engineering, Volume 1, Number 1, Autumn 1989, pg 1-6
    • Similar remarks are attributed to Peter Drucker.
  • If you don't think about the future, you cannot have one.
  • The greatest danger to our future is apathy.
    • Jane Goodall, "The Power of One", Time Magazine (August 26, 2002).
  • Le futur n'est pas ce qui vient vers nous, mais ce vers quoi nous allons
    • The future is not what is coming at us, but what we are headed for.
    • Jean-Marie Guyau (Le Genèse de l'idée du temps), translation by Astragale.
  • The challenge of the next half century is whether we have the wisdom to use that wealth to enrich and elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our American civilization….
    The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.
    The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.
    It is a place where man can renew contact with nature. It is a place which honors creation for its own sake and for what it adds to the understanding of the race. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.
    But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.
    • Lyndon B. Johnson, remarks at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (May 22, 1964). Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963–64, book 1, p. 704.
  • The future is not laid out on a track. It is something that we can decide, and to the extent that we do not violate any known laws of the universe, we can probably make it work the way that we want to.
    • Alan Kay in 1984 in his paper Inventing the Future which appears in The AI Business: The Commercial Uses of Artificial Intelligence, edited by Patrick Henry Winston and Karen Prendergast.. As quoted by Eugene Wallingford in a post entitled ALAN KAY'S TALKS AT OOPSLA on November 06, 2004 9:03 PM at the website of the Computer Science section of the University of Northern Iowa.
  • For if Freedom and Communism were to compete for man's allegiance in a world at peace, I would look to the future with ever increasing confidence.
    • John F. Kennedy, State of the Union address, January 30, 1961. The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 23.
  • But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.
  • Yet this corporate being, though so insubstantial to our senses, binds, in Burke's words, a man to his country with "ties which though light as air, are as strong as links of iron." That is why young men die in battle for their country's sake and why old men plant trees they will never sit under.
    • Walter Lippmann, Essays in the Public Philosophy (1955), chapter 3, part 2, p. 36. The quotation is from Edmund Burke's speech on "Conciliation with America" (1775).
  • The more you observe life in relation to yourself the more you will see the fact that you are hardly ever correct when you think about something in the future. The future exists only in imagination; and that is why, no matter how hard you try to imagine it, you will not be able to predict the future with total certainty.
  • 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.
  • We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.
    • Barack Obama, In aspeech to joint session of Congress, (september. 9, 2009).
  • The past and future are veiled; but the past wears the widow's veil; the future, the virgin's.
    • Jean Paul, as quoted in Treasury of Thought (1872) by Maturin M. Ballou, p. 521.
  • We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up until now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future.
    • Max Planck, The Universe in the Light of Modern Physics (1931).
  • We must discipline ourselves to convert dreams into plans, and plans into goals, and goals into those small daily activities that will lead us, one sure step at a time, toward a better future.
    • Jim Rohn, Five Major Pieces To the Life Puzzle (1991).
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
    • Eleanor Roosevelt, as quoted in Leonard C. Schlup and Donald W. Whisenhunt, It Seems to Me: Selected Letters of Eleanor Roosevelt (2001), p. 2.
  • The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944–45 (1950), p. 616, which states: "This is the latest draft of the President's proposed speech [for Jefferson Day, April 13, 1945]. The last sentence [quoted above] was written into the typed draft in his own hand. The draft was not the final one; the preparation of the final draft was prevented by death."
  • If you can look into the seeds of time,
    And say which grain will grow and which will not;
    Speak then to me.
  • To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
  • "So you've been over into Russia?" said Bernard Baruch, and I answered very literally, "I have been over into the future and it works."
    • Lincoln Steffens, The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens (1931, reprinted 1958), vol. 2, chapter 18, p. 799. Steffens had made his second trip to Russia in 1919, as part of a mission sent by President Woodrow Wilson.
  • We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present.
  • ...stop haunting your past and try to drop in on the future.
  • Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.
    • Nikola Tesla, On patent controversies regarding the invention of Radio and other things, as quoted in "A Visit to Nikola Tesla" by Dragislav L. Petković in Politika (April 1927); as quoted in Tesla, Master of Lightning (1999) by Margaret Cheney, Robert Uth, and Jim Glenn, p. 73 ISBN 0760710058  ; also in Tesla: Man Out of Time (2001) by Margaret Cheney, p. 230 ISBN 0743215362 .
  • I have obtained... spark discharges extending through more than one hundred feet and carrying currents of one thousand amperes, electromotive forces approximating twenty million volts, chemically active streamers covering areas of several thousand square feet, and electrical disturbances in the natural media surpassing those caused by lightning, in intensity.
    Whatever the future may bring, the universal application of these great principles is fully assured, though it may be long in coming. With the opening of the first power plant, incredulity will give way to wonderment, and this to ingratitude, as ever before.
  • The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter — for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. He lives and labors and hopes.
    • Nikola Tesla, "Radio Power Will Revolutionize the World" in Modern Mechanics and Inventions (July 1934).
  • Man remains in the end what he started as in the beginning: a biosystem with a limited capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the consequence is future shock.
  • The nation is burdened with the heavy curse on those who come afterwards. The generation before us was inspired by an activism and a naive enthusiasm, which we cannot rekindle, because we confront tasks of a different kind from those which our fathers faced.
    • Max Weber, address to convention of the Verein für Socialpolitik, Germany, 1893; reported in Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber (1960), p. 53.
  • You can't fuck the future. The future fucks you! It catches up with you and it fucks you if you ain't planned for it!
  • It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties.
  • My clients are the children; my clients are the next generation. They do not know what promises and bonds I undertook when I ordered the armies of the United States to the soil of France, but I know, and I intend to redeem my pledges to the children; they shall not be sent upon a similar errand.
    • Woodrow Wilson, address in Pueblo, Colorado (September 25, 1919); reported in Albert Shaw, ed., The Messages and Papers of Woodrow Wilson (1924), vol. 2, p. 1127.
  • The future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today.
    • Malcolm X, Speech at Founding Rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (28 June 1964), as quoted in By Any Means Necessary (1970)

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 304-06.
  • That what will come, and must come, shall come well.
  • Making all futures fruits of all the pasts.
  • Some day Love shall claim his own
    Some day Right ascend his throne,
    Some day hidden Truth be known;
    Some day—some sweet day.
  • The year goes wrong, and tares grow strong,
    Hope starves without a crumb;
    But God's time is our harvest time,
    And that is sure to come.
  • Dear Land to which Desire forever flees;
    Time doth no present to our grasp allow,
    Say in the fixed Eternal shall we seize
    At last the fleeting Now?
  • You can never plan the future by the past.
    • Edmund Burke, letter to a Member of the National Assembly, Volume IV, p. 55.
  • With mortal crisis doth portend,
    My days to appropinque an end.
  • 'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
    And coming events cast their shadows before.
  • Certis rebus certa signa præcurrunt.
    • Certain signs precede certain events.
    • Cicero, De Divinatione, I. 52.
  • * * * So often do the spirits
    Of great events stride on before the events,
    And in to-day already walks to-morrow.
  • There shall be no more snow
    No weary noontide heat,
    So we lift our trusting eyes
    From the hills our Fathers trod:
    To the quiet of the skies:
    To the Sabbath of our God.
  • Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quærere: et

Quem Fors dierum cunque dabit, lucro
Appone.

    • Cease to inquire what the future has in store, and to take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.
    • Horace, Carmina, I. 9. 13.
  • Prudens futuri temporis exitum
    Caliginosa nocte premit deus.
    • A wise God shrouds the future in obscure darkness.
    • Horace, Carmina, III. 29. 29.
  • You'll see that, since our fate is ruled by chance,
    Each man, unknowing, great,
    Should frame life so that at some future hour
    Fact and his dreamings meet.
  • With whom there is no place of toil, no burning heat, no piercing cold, nor any briars there … this place we call the Bosom of Abraham.
    • Josephus, Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades. Homer, Odyssey, VI. 42.
  • When Earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried,
    When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
    We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it—lie down for an æon or two,
    Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall set us to work anew.
  • Le présent est gros de l'avenir.
    • The present is big with the future.
    • Leibnitz.
  • There's a good time coming, boys;
    A good time coming:
    We may not live to see the day,
    But earth shall glisten in the ray
    Of the good time coming.
    Cannon-balls may aid the truth,
    But thought's a weapon stronger;
    We'll win our battle by its aid,
    Wait a little longer.
  • The future is a world limited by ourselves; in it we discover only what concerns us and, sometimes, by chance, what interests those whom we love the most.
  • Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
    • Matthew, VI. 34.
  • The wave of the future is coming and there is no fighting it.
  • There was the Door to which I found no key;
    There was the Veil through which I might not see.
  • Venator sequitur fugientia; capta relinquit;
    Semper et inventis ulteriora petit.
    • The hunter follows things which flee from him; he leaves them when they are taken; and ever seeks for that which is beyond what he has found.
    • Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), Book II. 9. 9.
  • Ludit in humanis divina potentia rebus,
    Et certam præsens vix habet hora fidem.
    • Heaven makes sport of human affairs, and the present hour gives no sure promise of the next.
    • Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, IV. 3. 49.
  • Nos duo turba sumus.
    • We two [Deucalion and Pyrrha, after the deluge] form a multitude.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, I. 355.
  • Après nous le déluge.
    • After us the deluge.
    • Mme. Pompadour. After the battle of Rossbach. See Larousse, Fleurs Historiques. Madame de Hausset, Memoirs. (Ed. 1824), p. 19. Also attributed to Louis XV by the French. Compare Cicero, De Finibus, XI. 16.
  • Oh, blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
    That each may fill the circle mark'd by heaven.
  • In adamantine chains shall Death be bound,
    And Hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound.
  • And better skilled in dark events to come.
  • Etwas fürchten und hoffen und sorgen,
    Muss der Mensch für den kommenden Morgen.
    • Man must have some fears, hopes, and cares, for the coming morrow.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Die Braut von Messina.
  • But there's a gude time coming.
  • Calamitosus est animus futuri anxius.
    • The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable.
    • Seneca, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XCVIII.
  • How many ages hence
    Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
    In states unborn and accents yet unknown.
  • God, if Thy will be so,
    Enrich the time to come with smooth-faced peace,
    With smiling plenty and fair prosperous days!
  • Quid crastina volveret ætas,
    Scire nefas homini.
    • Man is not allowed to know what will happen to-morrow.
    • Statius, Thebais, III. 562.
  • When the Rudyards cease from Kipling
    And the Haggards ride no more.
  • When I am dead let the earth be dissolved in fire.
    • Suetonius. Quoting Nero. Nero. 38. Quoted by Milton from Tiberius in his Church Government, Book I, Chapter V. Tiberius, quoting an unknown Greek poet. See note of Leutsch, Appendix II. 56, to Proverbs LVIII. 23. Euripides, Fragment Inc. B, XXVII.
  • Till the sun grows cold,
    And the stars are old,
    And the leaves of the Judgment Book unfold.
  • Istuc est sapere, non quod ante pedes modo est
    Videre, sed etiam illa, quæ futura sunt
    Prospicere.
    • That is to be wise to see not merely that which lies before your feet, but to foresee even those things which are in the womb of futurity.
    • Terence, Adelphi, III. 3. 32.
  • I hear a voice you cannot hear,
    Which says, I must not stay;
    I see a hand you cannot see,
    Which beckons me away.
  • Dabit deus his quoque finem.
    • God will put an end to these also.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I. 199.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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