Adolf Hitler started his spectacular career in his early teens with a colossal blunder. It did not prevent him from becoming the Führer of Germany and one of the most powerful leaders and statesmen on the planet but it did ultimately caused his downfall. And the demise of the Third Reich.
Every successful career invariably starts with the decision to pursue it. Unfortunately for him, Germany and the whole Europe (thankfully, not the whole world), Adolf Hitler made an utterly wrong career choice. And by choosing the wrong career committed a colossal blunder which at least subconsciously haunted him for the rest of his turbulent life.
Either he totally misread the ‘signs’ or ignored them altogether, but at age eleven he chose the totally, absolutely, completely wrong career for himself. And – what was much, much worse – stubbornly pursued this career for almost twenty (!) years. And only in 1919, when he was already thirty years old, identified his true calling, his Mission, his Destiny.
His father Alois Hitler started at the very bottom of the social ladder (an illegitimate son of a 42-year old unmarried peasant woman) but through burning desire, ruthless determination, iron discipline, dare, faith and possibly some Divine Guidance made an impressive career in Austro-Hungarian Imperial Customs Service eventually rising to the rank of full inspector of customs – the highest possible rank for the customs official who did not have a higher education (college or university degree).
His experience in supervisory positions made him a competent judge of character, including natural inclinations, abilities and thus the optimal career path for a particular individual.
It appears that he saw something in his son Adolf that made the latter an excellent candidate for a stellar career in government service. History proved him right (at least as far as the ultimate objective was concerned) – Adolf Hitler did rise to the highest possible rank in government service, becoming first the Chancellor – head of the Imperial German Government and then the Führer of the German Reich much more powerful than the Chancellor and the Emperor combined.
However, Alois Hitler was wrong about the path to the ultimate objective – he wanted his son to ultimately get the university degree, join the civil service (customs or some other service) and rise through the ranks of government bureaucracy to the desired position.
He was wrong because psychologically Adolf Hitler was totally incompatible with government bureaucracy (or any bureaucracy for that matter). Psychologically, Adolf was not a servant at all – he was a rebel, an insurgent, a revolutionary.
Consequently, although he did obtain the highest position in government system – that of the all-powerful Führer, he did it not through the government bureaucracy, but through the political system. In other words, by becoming a politician, not a civil servant.
Which means that he should have chosen the career path of a politician – and structure all his education and all his life accordingly. Which should have been a no-brainer really, because all signs, facts, logic and common sense screamed politics.
He was born in Braunau-am-Inn – a town on German-Austrian border with a long and distinguished history of German nationalism (and a German nationalist stronghold in Hitler’s time). A very clear indication (a ‘sign’, if you will) that his great and glorious Mission was to become a German politician and to unite Germany and Austria into Ein Reich.
His favorite subjects in school were geography and history – the natural favorite subjects of any politician. Moreover, his history instructor – Dr. Leopold Pötsch (who made a very powerful impact on young Adolf and became a second role model for him) taught him to use history to analyze the present and predict the future. In other words, provided him with tools for political analysis and forecasting – the key instruments of any politicians.
From early age Adolf Hitler clearly demonstrated a powerful desire and uncanny abilities for public speaking (constantly delivering lectures on geography and history to his mother, sister, friends, classmates, etc.). Including, of course, a powerful charisma. As well as evident leadership abilities (confirmed by at least one of his instructors at school).
He later wrote in Mein Kampf:
“My inborn talent for speaking began to develop and take shape during the more or less strenuous arguments which I used to have with my comrades. I had become a juvenile ringleader”
What is no less important, young Adolf wanted to speak to an audience (and the larger, the better). He wanted attention, admiration and adoration from this audience, he wanted to feel in control, to feel the hold he had on the audience. He wanted to be the leader, to be in charge, to be in control, to make others submit to his iron will.
Which he had demonstrated at a very early age. He was a rebellious, stubborn and resentful teenager, demonstrating typical qualities of a politician. Actually, more than just a politician – a rebel and a revolutionary. Whom he ultimately became.
In fact, he entered politics during his early teens when he was studying in Realschule at Linz. Years later, he wrote in Mein Kampf:
“At a comparatively early age I took part in the struggle which the nationalities were waging against one another in the old Austria [i.e., in politics]. When meetings were held for the South Mark German League and the School League we wore cornflowers and black−red−gold colors to express our loyalty [to Germany]. We greeted one another with Heil! and instead of the Austrian anthem we sang our own Deutschland über Alles, despite warnings and penalties.”
“Within a little while I had become an ardent ‘German National [i.e., nationalist]”.
As I have already mentioned, his father wanted him to become a civil servant (e.g., a government official). Obviously, to achieve anything significant (let alone unite Germany and Austria into Ein Reich) a politician had to become a government official/statesman (head of government and/or state). Hence, young Adolf should have listened to his wise and experienced father.
Instead, at the age of eleven, Adolf Hitler made a firm (and ultimately a fatal) decision to become… an artist.