“We must live life forward and attempt to make sense of it backward. So we fail in both directions.”
— James Hannaham, Pilot Imposter
Here is the full quote of the Kierkegaard that you often hear, from his journal in 1843:
It is really true what philosophy tells us, that life must be understood backwards. But with this, one forgets the second proposition, that it must be lived forwards. A proposition which, the more it is subjected to careful thought, the more it ends up concluding precisely that life at any given moment cannot really ever be fully understood; exactly because there is no single moment where time stops completely in order for me to take position [to do this]: going backwards.
Filed under: Time