I think it's pretty much a cliche that has been incorporated into a lot of people's remarks...
If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.
--Buddhist Saying http://home.att.net/~quotesexchange/past.html
As the old cliché goes, you can't know where you are going until you know where you have been
"Look back to where you have been, for a clue to where you are going"
"Not only know thyself. Know where you have been. Know where you are going. Know the place of 'all knowing'. Know the present moment."http://goldenlight.zoovy.com/category/quotations
It is said that history repeats itself, but we are only doomed to relive our past if we fail to learn from it. The past is not a map to where you are going, it's a record of where you have been. Its purpose is not to drag you back through emotional muck, but to serve you best by reminding you of lessons learned so you can avoid them in the future.
~from React or Respond
by Kimberly and Tom Goodwinhttp://www.cyberquotations.com/articles/react_or_respond.htm
Do not run through life
so fast that you forget
not only where you have been,
but also where you are going.
~from "Peace" by author unknownhttp://www.thehrdgroup.com/thinkers_i.htm
or "You Are Unique" by samehttp://www.sfpnn.com/PNNs/PNN2000/03102000.htm
May you have the hindsight to know where you have been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.
He knows the universe and doesn't know himself.
~La Fontaine, Fables, VIII., 26 Democrite et les Abderitains
"Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown proposed as things forgot."
~Pope, Essay on Criticism, pt.iii, 1, 15
"The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself."
"Learn to know yourself, and go down in yourself."
"Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it."