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50 Quotes About Moving On

photo by: josef.stuefer

Moving on is something we all have to do now and again.  But many times we don’t like to do it.

Leaving behind relationships, careers, the cities we live in, or even just a version of yourself that you have outgrown is painful, albeit necessary, to continue growing and moving forward.

Here are 50 quotes about the emotions, the process and the results of moving on.  Enjoy.

“There is a time for departure, even when there is no certain place to go.”  –  Tennessee William

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

“You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard.” – Dave Mustaine

“One must be thrust out of a finished cycle in life, and that leap is the most difficult to make – to part with one’s faith, one’s love, when one would prefer to renew the faith and recreate the passion.”  – Anais Nin

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”  – Helen Keller

“I have accepted fear as a part of life – specifically the fear of change…I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back…”  – Erica Jong

“One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.”  – Niccolo Machiavelli

“Change means the unknown.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

“To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard.  If one changes internally one should not continue to live with the same objects.  They reflect one’s mind and psyche of yesterday.  I throw away what has no dynamic, living use.”  – Anais Nin

“Let the past drift away with the water.”  – Japanese saying

“I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but forward.”  – Firdtjof Nansen

“Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence.”  – Sholem Asch

“The worst thing you can do is to try to cling to something that’s gone, or to recreate it.”  – Johnette Napolitano

“Don’t look back.  Something may be gaining on you.”  – Satchel Paige

“Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it is good only for wallowing.”  – Katherine Mansfield

“Tis better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.”  – Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Sadness flies away on the wings of time.”  – Jean de La Fontaine

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  – Winston Churchill

“There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.” – Harry Crews

“I thought when love for you died, I should die. It’s dead. Alone, most strangely, I live on.” – Rupert Brooke

“No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today.” – Brendan Francis

“Let the dead Past bury its dead!”  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  – Charles Dickens

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.”  – Soren Kierkegaard

“Living in the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way.”  – Edna Ferbe

“The biggest thing in today’s sorrow is the memory of yesterday’s joy.”  – Kahlil Gibran

“Anyone who limits her vision to memories of yesterday is already dead.”  – Lily Langtry

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

“The past is a funeral gone by.”  – Edmund Gosse

“Never let yesterday use up today.”  – Richard H. Nelson

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

“This, too, shall pass.”  – William Shakespeare

“What we call the beginning is often an end.  And to make an end is to make a beginning.  The end is where we start from.”  – T.S. Eliot

“Time is like a river of fleeting events, and its current is strong; as soon as something comes into sight, it is swept past us, and something else takes its place, and that too will be swept away.”  – Marcus Aurelius

“Make voyages.  Attempt them.  There’s nothing else.”  – Tennessee Williams

“I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken, and I’d rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken pieces as long as I lived.”  – Margaret Mitchell

“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future.  I live now.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The past is a bucket of ashes, so live not in your yesterdays, nor just for tomorrow, but in the here and now.”  – Carl Sandburg

“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

“Don’t waste today regretting yesterday instead of making a memory for tomorrow.”  – Laura Palmer

“I just take one day.  Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow has not come.  We have only today to love Jesus.”  – Mother Teresa

“The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.”  – Mignon McLaughlin

“When I look at the future, it’s so bright, it burns my eyes.”  – Oprah Winfrey

“Everything passes; everything wears out; everything breaks.”  – French Proverb

“Life is always at some turning point.”  – Irwin Edman

“Everything flows, nothing stays still.”  – Heraclitus

“One must never lose time in vainly regretting the past or in complaining against the changes which cause us discomfort, for change in the essence of life.”  – Anatole France

“Each new season grows from the leftovers from the past.  That is the essence of change, and change is the basic law.”  – Hal Borland

“Readjusting is a painful process, but most of us need it at one time or another.”  – Arthur Christopher Benson

Do you have any other “Moving On” quotes to add?  Please share in the comments!

Published inQuotes


  1. “You just slip out the back, Jack
    Make a new plan, Stan.
    You don’t need to be coy, Roy.
    Just listen to me.
    Hop on the bus, Gus.
    You don’t need to discuss much.
    Just drop off the key, Lee,
    And get yourself free.” ~Paul Simon
    .-= Jay Schryer´s last blog ..A Christmas Story =-.

  2. Joana Joana

    The hospital corporation for which I work and the nature of the work I do is in this very process – one entity (the corporation) is fragmenting and we don’t know what the new “whole” will be; my profession is also changing in the types of software and how the work process is done. I have been reminded (and am telling myself) that endings are indeed new beginnings, new chances to learn – but I agree with Erica Jong, especially – it’s still frightening but one has to go thru. I always liked this from Frank Herbert’s first DUNE novel:

    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

    Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear.

  3. Hi Amanda — I like the metaphor of letting the past drift away like the water — I think that’s a great approach to take to all of our experiences in fact, just allowing them to float by without fighting them or trying to cling onto them.

  4. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Jay – Nice one. 🙂

    Hi Joana – I like this quote. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Hope all goes well at your job.

    Hi Chris – I like that imagery too. 🙂

  5. Wow, Amanda, I’m bowled over by your list of quotes. Nothing to add. They’re wonderful and all worth sinking into.
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog ..Before the New Year =-.

  6. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Thanks Patty. 🙂

  7. Jay is so funny! Love the quotes. I just know once you do move on there is no going back, for me anyway. I saw several old friends when I returned to MI for Christmas. After being gone for a little over 2 years I know I did the right thing by moving on. Not that I didn’t know before but it certainly was confirmed.

    I love these quotes…so much wisdom!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Happy Holidays from The Bold Life =-.

  8. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Tess – And I think that’s a good thing – that you can’t go back once you’ve moved on. It would be too tempting otherwise. 😉


    hi,your quotes have really impacted my life to continue with positive living.
    May the Lord bless you richly!!

  10. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi John – Thanks! Glad you liked them.

  11. Mark Mark

    Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

    Philippians 3:13

  12. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Mark – Thanks for adding this. I liked it.

  13. JB JB

    You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. ~Jan Glidewell

    One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us. ~Michael Cibenko

  14. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi JB – Nice additions. 🙂

  15. Where did you get all those inspiring moving on quotes. I managed to read all of it because every quote that you have in this post are very interesting.

  16. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  17. This is a truly great collection of quotes! Thank you so much for sharing.

  18. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Love Out Loud – You’re welcome!

  19. Susan Susan

    Each new day brings hope ~ Look to the future! When you go back – you lose your momentum to keep moving forward.

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