Jean Croker Petke

Batting Courage

Batting Courage

“It takes courage to want what you want.”

I jotted Cathy Heller’s words in my zibaldone as I listened to her podcast. She’s a music writer and encourager of dream pursuits.

We all have dreams — of what we’d like to do some day, of who we’d like to be someday, of fame, of fortune, of success, of recognition as a creative, of ease in our life. But such dreams stay in our inner vault to which we alone have the combination. They remain hidden in fear of ridicule or laughter or dismissal. We could fill volumes titled, “The Silence of the Dreams.” 

The truth is we’ve already dismissed these dreams. Why spend time thinking about such impossibilities when you have work to do, family to attend to, money to make, and sleep to rid you of exhaustion?

Courage, as Cathy Heller says, is necessary to want what you want. To take it out of hiding. To say it out loud. To post it on your wall. To write it in your journal. To own it. To claim it.

First steps are hard because they happen in places we’ve never been before. Otherwise, there’d already be a path and we could simply follow it. You will need courage to step out in pursuit of your unique dream.

Once we’ve decided to bring dream to reality, we have to consider Cathy Heller’s question:

“Are you going to get up to bat?”

The answer’s simple: yes or no. That’s it.

What are you going to do, now that you’ve brought your dream to light? Will you leave it in the land of wishful, some day thinking (“No, I’m not batting.”) or will you take a step towards your dream (“Yes, I’ve got the bat.”).

What good is a dream if it doesn’t guide and inspire us to action? What good is a dream if it only causes us to say, ” I always wanted to _________ (you fill in the blank) but I never got around to it. Now it’s too late.”

Recently, a would-be writer said, “I’ve got a whole book in my head. I just can’t seem to get it on paper.” Wanting and hoping to be a writer, but no written words. A book cannot be written if words don’t get on the paper.

Butt in chair. Paper and pencil in hand. Words on paper. 

Not the entire novel at the first sitting. Perhaps only one sentence or five sentences or one paragraph or twenty-five words. Start small. But start.

You can’t hit the ball if you refuse to pick up the bat, step up to the plate, face the pitcher, and swing at the ball. You’re not even in the game.

Yes, to bring our dreams to light, to take action to pursue that dream, requires courage. Perhaps more courage than you believe you have.

Start with a first step, a tiny step, a step you know you can take. Then take another tiny step. Little steps accumulate into an entire journey.

You can do this.

Until next Tuesday . . .



One Comment - Leave a Comment
  • Linda Dingus -

    My dream of being a ballerina as a child could never happen because of my circumstances. No place to train. No way to get anywhere. I knew I had to throw that dream to the wind.

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