There's much we can learn from the past. We take inspiration from it, reflect over lessons from it, and every so often, get a little nostalgic over it, too.

If you avoid the present moment or keep going back to memories of the past, there's a good chance you may feel a bit anxious about the future. This is valid--uncertainty and the unknown can be scary.

But if you want a smoother ride towards your goals, it's time to replace that anxiety with excitement. Here are 17 inspirational quotes that will change how you think about the future.

1. "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." -- Søren Kierkegaard

2. "A person can change his future by merely changing his attitude." -- Earl Nightingale

3. "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

4. "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

5. "The past is always tense, the future perfect." -- Zadie Smith

6. "Always remember that the future comes one day at a time." -- Dean Acheson

7. "My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." -- Charles Kettering

8. "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." -- Buckminster Fuller

9. "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

10. "The future rewards those who press on. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I'm going to press on." -- Barack Obama

11. "Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so." -- Noam Chomsky

12. "People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn't believe in that. Tomorrow wasn't getting ready for them. It didn't even know they were there." -- Cormac McCarthy

13. "It's amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday." -- John Guare

14. "The future depends on what you do today." -- Mahatma Gandhi

15. "I never think of the future--it comes soon enough." -- Albert Einstein

16. "Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself......" -- Yogananda

17. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -- Eleanor Roosevelt