I was reading a wonderful book this week (The Artful Garden by James Van Sweden and Tom Christopher) and found it a surprising source of inspiration not only about gardening but about life and particularly the subject of goals.
In the book, the authors profile artist Robert Dash. Dash was a good friend of the artist Willem DeKooning who gave this bit of insightful reflection.
“I have to change to remain the same.”
–Willem De Kooning
I read this and just stopped. Most of the time, we think of change as shifting away from our “true selves” to something else that is less authentic, perhaps more in conformity with what others want us to be. This quote turns that concept around and forces you to ask yourself if you aren’t moving away from your true self by refusing to change. Perhaps the person you are “supposed to be” is a person who lives very differently from the way you do now. By sticking with the tried and true, while it may seem that you are maintaining yourself, perhaps you are slowly losing your vision, draining your energy and dulling your mental acuity. The “real” you might have taken the risk, put in the effort, or even made the mistake.
As you make your goals this month, consider how your change is not really to make you different but to keep you true to yourself.