When I Grow Up, I Want To Be Like Bob Ross



Not because of his awesome retro clothes, even though his hair was epic. Not because I want to be immortalized on PBS, whispering to a canvas and floating around with soft clouds, bunches of little babbling brooks and happy little trees, even though that would be cool. Not even because he was an awesome painter…

I want to be like Bob Ross because I want to show people how they can create masterpieces. Not with paint, but with their health. Our health and lives are our personal works of art. My goal in life is simply to teach people how easy it can be to create their own masterpiece.

In creating our picture of health, just like in creating a painting, it can be so easy to get caught up in how difficult it can be to make it a work of art. From “I don’t know how” to “it’s too hard” or “I’m not good at it” we all have times where, in essence we are saying we don’t know how to paint. I want to change that. I want to teach people how to paint and I want to show them how easy it can be.

I can think back to many times watching Bob Ross paint a picture. Starting with a blank canvas, some paint, a few brushes and a bright outlook, he takes you on this journey that is utterly fascinating. He starts simple and lays some background, a little foundation if you will. You think, “where is he going with this?” It seems so simple from there: a few strokes here, some brushing here and voila, some mountains. Then a few more dabbles and flicks of the wrist and clouds appear out of nowhere. Bit by bit, tree by tree this unbelievable picture unfolds right before your eyes. And the crazy thing is, it seems so simple!

What seems almost impossible becomes reality right before our eyes. It’s not complicated or intense. It’s a skill that has been developed over time. Once you learn how to paint and collect the right tools the world and your health is a blank canvas waiting to be explored. That, my friends, is exciting.

Even better, it can be just that simple to paint a masterpiece once you have the tools and techniques.

Let’s take a closer look at developing a beautiful “painting”…

Get the Tools
Acquire the tools to paint. Get your rainbow of paint and brushes of all kinds. Every thing we come across is a tool we can use. Education. Support. Journals and food logs. Bare 5. The Internet. Exercise protocols. The Paleo diet. The raw food movement. Friends and family. Books. These are all tools/colors you can use. You decide how and when to use them. Practice, experiment, live and learn.

Learn the Skill of Painting.
Learning the brushstrokes is application. The “How to” of applying a tool into your life. The intricacies of brushwork takes many repititions to learn. Your brushes might be your diet or workout program. This gives you the framework to choose how the paint goes down on the canvas. Everyone prefers a different brush and you can even use more than one. Experiment and find out when, where and how you like to use different brushes.

This just means getting our reps in. Every time you practice you get better. Some people get the feel for it right away, others don’t. But good painters practice and get better. Every brushstroke is a chance to hone the craft of painting. The more you work at it, the better you get.

Once you’ve gotten your tools, developed your skills and practiced, it’s time to create your masterpiece…

Start With A Blank Canvas
Just like a new painting, start with a clean slate. Whatever picture you painted before, let it go. Whatever truths you cling to, let them go. It’s time to start from scratch. Just like a new picture, start fresh. Your new masterpiece starts pure.

Have A Vision
Know what picture you want to paint. It doesn’t have be planned down to the last “leafy green” but know where you’re headed. Have an idea of what you want your health masterpiece to look like. It will certainly change and evolve as you paint it but always start with a vision, it will give you a nice foundation, point you in the right direction, focus your journey and anchor your resolve.

Paint With A Good Outlook
Look forward to your journey. Although it may seem intimating to try to create a masterpiece from the blank canvas before you, know that you can do it. Enjoy getting closer to your masterpiece with every brush stroke. This is your painting. Paint it for you. Enjoy the feeling of being able to create virtually anything you want.

Have Patience
Works of art take time. Both in developing the skill to create them and then the actual creation itself. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a optimally healthy life. Health is not a race, it is a journey. If it is taking longer than you thought, have patience. Know that benefit lies in the process and be patient, you will get there in time.

Be Resilient
During this journey you might look at the picture you’re painting and think it will never turn out right. Just like Bob Ross, keep painting and let the picture develop. Fall back on your skills, keep your vision in mind and keep painting. You might even need to take a deep breath, step back from the canvas and take a break for a while. That’s ok. We all have a unique path to travel. With a vision and determination you will always end up painting a good picture.

Be Flexibile
Be open to change. Maybe you had an idea of painting some aspect of your health in the beginning that ends up needing an adjustment. Expect that things will change every once in a while. Maybe you try a new brushstroke and it doesn’t work out. Learn from it, adjust and make it into something different. Go with the process and add some more nice little bushes instead of the trees you originally had planned. With the right outlook it will still look beautiful.

We are always able to expand our color wheel and brush kit. We will have our “go to” brushes and standard colors that we feel comfortable with but always be open to new tools, colors and mixing up brushes or combining colors. There is endless opportunity in mixing colors, brushes and brushstrokes. You can have the ultimate control of the paint you lay down and create colors and a picture no one else has ever used or seen.

Keeping all of this in mind, watch this clip but pretend he’s talking about painting your health masterpiece…

When you learn how to paint, you can create anything.

It’s not always perfect. You can start over. But always know that you too can go out, get out a blank canvas and paint a masterpiece.

Thanks for reading, have a great masterpiece painting day!


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