Colouring Pictures Process

How to be brave

So you’re sitting there in your pyjamas, wondering whether to write that scary blog post, record that cringeworthy video or say NO to that lovely offer in your inbox which, if you’re completely honest, won’t do a jot to move you towards your goals. But it feels nice, and safe and warm and somehow less lonely.

When you’re not feeling clear or brave, the easiest thing is to make another cup of tea and get cosy on Facebook or read that distracting blog post. Like this one. But carry on for a moment, because this one is distracting-but-helpful. It’s about goals, and choices and (dare I say) BHAGs. That’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or, more colloquially, Big Hairy-Arsed Goal. Have you got one?

‘It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’

Dumbledore, Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets.

Now, when you’ve got LOTS of ability and are a bit crap at making decisions (like moi), then you clearly need a flow chart. And a Dumbledore. Ready?


Dumbledore is the kind of wizard who makes you want to not let him down. I know this, because I was up until eleven thirty reading the end of the Chamber of Secrets with my daughter. It was gripping.

And when she saw the book on my desk and asked me what I was doing with it, I said I was writing down my favourite quote. Oh, she said. You mean the one about being loyal. She picked that out herself, too.

‘First of all. Harry, I want to thank you,’ said Dumbledore, eyes twinkling again. ‘You must have shown me real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could have called Fawkes to you.’

In the face of a deadly serpent, an evil mirror-self, wandless and armed only with an old floppy hat, Harry Potter refuses to stop believing in Dumbledore even though he can’t see a way out of his mess.

This act of belief is enough to summon Fawkes, Dumbeldore’s magical golden Phoenix, who saves Harry’s life.

I’d love to have my own personal Fawkes and a Dumbledore to consult. But I don’t, and you don’t either. But I don’t see why my BHAG can’t be my own inner Dumbledore. After all, it’s so much easier to stay loyal to an idea-person than a thing.

So, if it works for you, make your biggest, scariest, hairiest goal into a Dumbledore. Stay loyal. Believe. And know that there’s always going to be a golden phoenix when you most need it.

By Jo

Writer, artist, builder

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