There’s a secret hidden in this painting by my father.

I don’t mean like ‘Where’s Waldo?’

And even though, as a kid, I used to love those Highlights magazine pictures where you had to find the hidden objects, it’s not like that either.

Hidden in my father’s painting is the secret to achieving your goals, personally and professionally.

The picture, in its frame, may look a bit distorted because I took the photo in a gallery, so I had to shoot from below but you can still ‘see’ the secret.

(credit: Bill Kaplan)


I first came across the painting hanging in my father’s house.

“Oh, this is new!”, I said as I discovered it.

“Well, yes.”, he said. “But you know, there’s something funny about that painting. When I first started it, the lines were horizontal. But then, at some point, I just realized, they needed to stand up.”

And, in that moment, I was moved.

I could finally see the forest for the trees.

Flexibility is the key to achieving your goals.


My father had a goal.

He wanted to make a painting.

He started out in one direction but ‘at some point realized’ he needed to make a change.

Just as easily he could have insisted upon his initial course and become frustrated or disappointed that things weren’t working out as planned.

This is where many of us get stuck.

But he was open to the idea of there being more than one way to achieve his goal…and that’s how he got there.


Every plan changes.

Life does not work out as you’d expect.

Are you flexible enough to consider a different direction?

Recognizing the need for change is the first step.

But actually being able to make the change – and being able to embrace it…

Now that’s an art.

On a scale of 1-10, how flexible are you?

Have you had to change your plans??

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