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Opinions Fri, 31 Mar 2017

New levels. New devils!

Life is like an adventurous video game. Every new level has a new devil. As you progress, the tendency for you to retrogress becomes even higher. There are tougher battles to win. There are weightier puzzles to unravel. No new level ever comes with the same headaches.

As long as we have life, fighting battles will be a daily thing. Inasmuch as we have breath, warding off attacks will be a thing we can’t ever put a stop to. We will attract enemies with our successes. We will attract competitors who will do anything within their power to bring us down. Every new level in this life has its own demons!

I have come to learn one simple life lesson that you can’t expect a new level without expecting its accompaniment of a new devil. Fighting the same battles all through life means you haven’t changed level yet. Battling with the same issues as a married man, for instance, means the marriage is not growing. You can’t be fighting the same people and issues on your tenth anniversary, for instance, as you did on your first anniversary!

Growth comes with an experience of fighting off new devils. The battles of a toddler are not same as that of a teen. The devils that haunt a teen, believe you me, are nothing compared to those of a retiree. Every stage in life has its own headaches. The higher the stage, the weightier the headache. When we were kids, we used to fight over football.

Football was held in such high esteem. The one who had it could literally dictate how every other person lived their life. As adults today, we have weightier matters to think about… not petty matters like who has a football and who hasn’t.

We still can’t be fighting over football as adults. The demons that haunted us as children can’t be compared to those that haunt us today. It doesn’t make sense to keep fighting the same petty issues, like football, over and over again in our lives. When we still keep worrying our heads over the same people from time to time, it is obvious we are stagnant; we have willingly refused to move on to a new level.

Anytime the raging storms of your life intensify, convince yourself that a new level is approaching. When the unexpected disappointments start trickling in, know that you are being ushered into a new level in this life already. When people start hurling verbal attacks at you at the slightest opportunity, unlike before, be convinced that every new level demands a new devil.

To be at the top, you need sense to take nonsense. You need to have a thick skin to repel any abuse of any sort. The top is not for the faint-hearted. If you want to climb to a new level in life, you need to have a big heart that can contain everything, even nonsense!

In this life, the kind of battles you fight often tells where you are. Your challenges tell how far you’ve come and how far you can go. The challenges of a fresh graduate and another who’s had a successful twenty year career, for instance, are not same. The devils the former are yet to fight, the latter has fought all and conquered.

Growth requires a change in environment, thus, a change in attacks or battles. Fighting same battles every day of your life means you are not growing. Having to come head on with the same problems year after year means you’re still stuck in the same environment; same level. It simply means you are not advancing from one level to the other.

New levels should attract new devils!

Every new environment brings on new challenges. Fighting the same people all your life is a sign of stagnancy. Growth comes when we conquer new headaches. We grow when we face our new devils head on and overcome them. When we fear new challenges, we can’t grow. And where there’s no growth, there’s no change in environment.

When starting a business, for instance, your battles are few? mainly financial. As the business grows, however, the intensity of battles increases. Your employees begin to fight you on better conditions of service and salary adjustments. Your competitors hurl propaganda at you. You fight lawsuits here and there. The media will trumpet your losses and whistle your achievements. Fact is, your battles become weightier!

It’s same with relationships and marriages. The romance seems to wane with time. Weightier challenges set in. Children come with their own troubles. Utilities haunt you as external family affairs chase you. Life becomes almost unbearable. However, take note that it is a whole new enviable level. A responsible married man is that new level!

Gird your loins. Life is not going to become any easier, especially if you want to progress. Every advancement comes with its own headaches. Every new level is accompanied with its own devil. If you really want to progress in this life, fact is, prepare for battle. Prepare for attacks from all angles; spiritual, physical and even emotional.

Leaving your job to go start yours will attract a new devil. Leaving your boring single life to marry will come with its attendant headaches. Every attempt of progression will come with its attendant retrogression. However, when the battles come, don’t fret. Smile and say, “Welcome new level.”

You want to know whether you’re growing up? Take a look at the battles you are fighting… whether it’s still about ‘Case 5’ football or something weightier. Take pride in the battles you fight; the challenges you need to overcome.

Columnist: Kobina Ansah