Posted in Happiness, Musings

Hitler Wanted to be an Artist
Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ 1913

Here is something crazy I learned recently. Hitler wanted to be a painter and was rejected from art school. He painted a lot of paintings too. You can find out more at and

I actually like the details and the subjects of his paintings. It’s unfortunate that his creativity was muted and his life took the direction it took. The article ponders the obvious, how different the world would have been if he had gotten into art school. One can only imagine the heartbreak in Hitler’s backstory that occurred starting with this event to his rise as a dictator.


It makes me think about what is the need to critique people’s art – and even their actions. Yes surely, without some direction we can’t improve, but someone took the time to create a piece of work, why is it necessary for someone to judge what is good or not good about it? Some works might speak to one person more than another, but it holds meaning for the creator.

I remember writing a short poem in college and receiving feedback from the professor (who was a great teacher by the way) something along the lines of the poem being vague and not making sense. However, I remember reading that same poem years later and it made sense to me and I remembered what I was talking about. Perhaps I’m wrong and if that were a poem for the public it would have to be more understandable, but to me, that poem expressed what I wanted it to and I was always content with that. It’s the same with a short story, there aren’t very many I completed, but once I was satisfied with a story, I didn’t really care what feedback I received. (Since I’m usually very critical of my dedication to my writing, I’m taking a moment here to be pleased with myself.)

Our present time is full of criticism. Even the news can’t just report the facts without offering an opinion, and opinion is just that one person’s thought or a particular group’s thought. It would be nice if instead of being so ready to criticize, people could relax and focus on something better.

Hitler is an extreme case, but perhaps violence we currently experience starts out as a seed of criticism and grows like a weed, and eventually takes over. Our own criticism of ourselves, that no one may ever even hear, can keep us from doing things that make our souls happy. Our criticism of others could cause them to misdirect their own frustration at innocent people who couldn’t even begin to know what is bubbling below the surface.

I don’t exactly know how to do this, I could very easily have a critical thought or make a remark moments after completing this post, but the fact that Hitler wanted to be an artist and devastated by criticism is hard to forget.

The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich
The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich
Posted in Happiness

Is it easy to be happy?

The following is a repost from 4/14/15 that was accidentally overwritten.

On January 1st my friends and I decided to take the 100 Days of Happiness Challenge. We would post something on Facebook that made us happy every day for 100 days.

We just reached the 100th day this weekend. I learned some things about happiness along the way.

I don’t think I would have made it to the end if my friends weren’t doing it. I missed some days here and there, but because they kept it up, I eventually got back on the wagon. Reasons Why I Didn’t Post:

1. It takes effort to consciously look for something to point out and sometimes I just didn’t make the effort. This is where it was helpful that my friends were doing it, because it was a reminder to think about my day and what made me happy.

2. Sometimes I just didn’t feel like going on Facebook. Facebook is wonderful for keeping it touch family and friends, but sometimes it’s a lot of clutter.

3. I put off posting to a more convenient time and then I lost the original excitement I felt during the happy moment.

4. Sometimes things were crappy and I just didn’t want to be happy. Fortunately, I didn’t have this issue very often, but from talking to some others about happiness throughout the 100 days I realized some people feel like this a lot.

100 Days of Happiness was a wonderful project for many reasons: 1. I got to know more about my friends from seeing a snippet of their days and because they shared their thoughts. Some people tend to post things often but not everyone does that, so this got them to do so.

Like:Things Overthinkers Will Understand

2. My favorite thing was I noticed that instead of paying attention to things that annoyed me, I was too busy trying to look for positive things. This was especially true earlier on. I hope to get that back.


Going to Target always makes me happy
Going to Target always makes me happy

3. I saw that happiness isn’t about the big things it’s about the little things.


4. But sometimes it is about big things. Like getting to be in the Sun Sentinel.

Dancing Darlingz

 5. I took some time to check out all of the pictures of our memories and it was nice remembering these moments and reading the comments. Some of them made me laugh. I also saw posts that I missed along the way.


 6. My friend in Connecticut and my cousin in Michigan participated. It was fun having this tie friends together near and far.

Window cleaners dressed up as superheroes for the children's hospital
Window cleaners dressed up as superheroes for the children’s hospital

7. It forced us to think about what really makes us happy, and it fostered discussions analyzing how we perceived happiness.

We all liked it so much we decided to continue. Hopefully more people will join us this time. It doesn’t really matter if we do it every day but it’s important to do it most days.