Image of Bob Ross ; Credit – Wikipedia 
Source –

Recently, my boyfriend reminded me of an old childhood favorite – Bob Ross.

If you’re unfamiliar, Bob Ross was a famous oil painter who used to host his own TV show, The Joy of Painting, on the PBS network. I used to watch him off and on as a kid, right along with Mr. Rogers who I also watched right along with Wishbone and the Magic School Bus.

So anyway, my boyfriend is an art student and we often watch a lot of different artists online together, especially on YouTube, but what’s funny is we keep going back to Bob Ross’ old PBS segments because they are seriously relaxing, optimistic and encouraging which got me to thinking – I want my childhood optimism back!

Somehow, I feel like we’ve all lost this childhood optimism and curiosity somewhere along the way.

I don’t know, maybe every generation feels this, but the 90’s seemed to me a more optimistic time than the present, though maybe that’s only because we no longer have Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross or perhaps the fact that I am no longer a child.

Who knows?

So then I thought about how inspiring Bob Ross has been to me, not even because of his painting (though I like that too!), but just because of his philosophy and attitude in life. For instance, he had famous lines such as “If you believe, you can do it,” and “We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.”

In childhood, this never really made any sense to me. I simply enjoyed watching the show and listening to Mr. Ross’ calming voice, but looking back at the videos now, I am so moved, encouraged and inspired by it. I know a lot of people might look at it and mock it or maybe laugh and think it’s a joke, corny, or stupid, but I find it really touching, inspirational, optimistic, a little nostalgic and, most of all, uplifting.

After growing up and becoming an adult, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve lost a bit of my childish optimism to jaded sentiments, but each time I watch Bob Ross’ soft spoken painting advice, I feel a bit of that happy inner child returning.

Thanks for listening to my /rant.

For your troubles, here’s an awesomely composed Bob Ross’ clip mash up video that’s been autotuned into a really inspiring song & some of his famous quotes!

[Direct Video Link: ]

Bob Ross Quotes: 

  • “We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.”
  • “You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy.”
  • “…Gotta give him a friend. Like I always say ‘Everyone needs a friend.” [on painting more than one tree]
  • “…And just beat the devil out of it.” [on cleaning your paintbrushes]
  • “…In our world there lives a happy little tree over there.”
  • “You can do anything you want to do. This is your world.”
  • “The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.”

3 thoughts on “Life Optimism & Encouragement From One of My Childhood Favorites – Bob Ross

  1. healthyfrenchie

    Great reminder! I had a difficult childhood and lost my innocence to early, so for me it’s the other way round.. I find myself being more hopeful and optimistic as I get older.. But we could all do with remembering those quotes

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      Haha thanks. I think it was more for myself than anything, but I do hope others enjoy it as well! Yeah, I did too, but somehow I tried to hold onto that innocence in my teens. And now I find myself all jaded and cynical. The quotes remind me to have faith, believe and see the world with new eyes. 🙂 x


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