24 Quotes About Moving On and Forward Thinking

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A lifetime of experience will offer many lessons and cultivate many skills.

Some of them will be explicit, like how to do your laundry, invest your income, and raise your children.

Some of them will be more subtle and abstract, but important nonetheless. Ideas such as how to respond to illness, deal with rejection, and what to do when a relationship isn’t working.

One of the most valuable skills that everybody would benefit from learning, should they want to live a fruitful life, is when to move on.

Moving on, and thinking towards the future, can be a difficult task for a number of reasons.

First, we may be emotionally connected, or even addicted, to that from which we need to move on. Second, it can be hard to strike a balance as to when to let things go, and when to keep pushing forward because we’ve already invested so much.

When we make the mistake of holding on for too long, behavioral economics call this the sunk costs fallacy.

Fortunately for us, the complications of moving on can be minimized by listening to wise people who have had to deal with moving on.

Here are 24 quotes about moving on and forward thinking.

Moving on and letting go

A pivotal part of knowing when to move on is knowing when to let go, whether that be to a relationship, a shop, or even just an idea you still hold about yourself.

A tan suede duffel bag sitting by the door of a house ready to move on
“To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up, and move on.” – Dave Pelzer

It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.

Steve Maraboli

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.

Steve Maraboli

You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces of the floor and move on.

Tupac Shakur
A man hitchhiking on a long desert road as a storm forms over distant mountains
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost

Moving on from heartache

When people talk about moving on, it’s so often related to relationships and heartbreak.

That’s because one of the most profound emotional experiences is that of love, and the same neurochemicals that underpin certain drug addictions are those that exercise control when we are in love.

Clouds and mist moving on from above a frosty field at sunrise
“If love becomes too painful, then it’s time to let that love go and save yourself. You have to keep this in mind because you’ll be able to find another love but not another self.” – Robert Tew

You can meet someone who’s just right, but he might not be meant for you. You break up, you lose things, you never feel the same again. But maybe you should stop questioning why. Maybe you should just accept it and move on.

Winna Efendi

I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to move forward.

Fridtjof Nansen

A very wise man once told me that you can’t look back – you just have to put the past behind you, and find something better in your future.

Jodi Picoult
A girl in a checked shirt walking down a road at sunset with moving on quote
“Moving on is easy. It’s staying moved on that’s trickier.” – Katerina Stoykova Klemer

Moving on and self-improvement

As we become more mature and competent individuals, we begin to truly understand that everything will pass. This is why knowing when to keep moving forward is so intimately tied to personal development and emotional maturity.

Dozens of manuscript pages laid out on a desk
“There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.” – Shannon L. Alder

It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.

Nicholas Sparks

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.

Beryl Markham
An old bicycle resting against the iron railing of a concrete staircase
“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

The importance of planning and forward thinking

When we decide it is time to let go, we must go forth with a plan so we have the confidence to know where we are going.

The view of a bay leading to the North Sea from inside a vast drainage pipe
“Look forward, not behind. Your best days are still out in front of you. Be focused and keep your dreams ALIVE” – Adedayo Olabamiji

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.


You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Steve Jobs

If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling back.

Sam Waterson
A brightly lit hallway leading to underground laboratories
“Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1000 percent return on energy.

Brian Tracy

Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.

Thomas Edison

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

Pablo Picasso
The stem of a thorny plant letting go of a thistle pod
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
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Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's lead editor and content writer, and has invested in online properties since 2009. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.