Toy soldiers can’t beat themselves

Isaac Big Events.jpeg Isaac Kyei Andoh

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 Source: Isaac Kyei Andoh

Our very upbringing sows in us a seed of competiveness and the desire to be better than everyone instead of being the best we can be with little attention to others.

From the moment we become rational human beings, we are pushed to do better than others and live the rest of our lives trying to be number one. Our joy is built around being better than others and it is on this basis that success is measured.

In school, children are ranked from the best to the worse.

The side by side comparison through one scope which is mostly education is the very reason why many people are unable to realise their potentials Growing up with this mentality will keep you looking at others instead of yourself. Granted, it is great to learn from people by looking up to them and taking inspiration from them because that is one way of improving in life. However, when we build a society by pushing people to outdo each other, we limit them or set unattainable heights for them

Many people make career choices based on the money it offers and the fact that it will place them in the place of the higher echelons of society. Very little attention is paid to what will really make them happy

We all can’t be academic gems or play football like Michael Essien. Sometimes, being the best us and not as good as others is the best gift we can give to this world because contentment is the only way to true happiness.

God didn’t create us to outdo each other and be the last man standing with the rest lagging behind. God’s plan is to give the world a perfect balance with the different talents, characters, privileges, different strength and different weakness

This is why the poor man must not be restless simply because another is rich or the unmarried desperate because others are married.

Life is not a race.

What everyone needs to know is that the world is big enough to contain their uniqueness and that they don’t need to be like others to be useful.

From the day we were born, our parents expected us to grow teeth before our neighbour’s son who was born around the same time we were born, they wanted us to crawl before him and be the first to walk.

Regardless of who grew a tooth first, regardless of who crawled or walked first, we all went through these developmental stages in our own time eventually. Our parents worried for nothing.

In school, we had those who were always vying for first position, the mid-table players and those who needed the last guy to remain in the school so that they don’t take their last position. The second placed guy’s measure of success was usurping the first, the 20th guy wanted to do better than those ahead of him.

The struggle to be the first and the struggle not to be the last takes place with little attention to the inherent strength and potential of every individual.

We fight psychological wars in a world that doesn’t require us to displace others before getting a place. The world wants everyone at their individual best doing what makes them happy with little care of how better others are doing.

In view of this, most of us have become toy soldiers in a non-existent battle that only denies us true fulfilment and the actualisation of our potentials.

There is no need dimming the light of another in order for your light to shine.

The world is big enough to accommodate as many shining lights as the human race can offer. Just as too many good footballers make football a better sport: the world will be better if we are all at our best.

This is why we need to stop the bickering and backbiting at the workplace and focus on delivering according to the terms of our engagements and ability.

Needless rivalry and competition for the boss’ attention and promotion affects productivity and places limitation on us.

Our world t has always been about doing better than others

The question is: is that really what the world needs?

The world needs each of us to be at our very best regardless of how poor we are in comparison with others.

Comparison makes us lose sight of our own shortcomings and place the focus on others. The truth though is, if we push ourselves to the limit, we won’t need to think about how good or bad others are to give the world our very utmost.

So many people are stuck in mediocrity because they compare themselves to people whose standard and potentials are considerably lower than theirs. It is easy to deem yourself so great just because of who you compare yourself to. I learnt a couple of years ago that there's enough space at the top to accommodate as many talents as possible.

After learning this, I made a conscious effort never to make another person my competition even if we do the same thing.

As a writer, I chose to see other writers as colleagues and people to learn from. I read everything they write and I must admit, that has impacted my writing than the years I spent training as a journalist.

It wasn’t always like this, in the past, I compared myself to other writers, worried about why some got so many comments on their articles and me sometimes zero. The more I paid attention to others, the more I was tempted to write controversial stuffs that did not reflect my personality and to a large extent principle. The result was that I never enjoyed writing during this time and only courted controversy needlessly.

When I changed and decided not to write for likes but write me to influence the little space I have with a piece of me, my writings started making more sense and the joy of writing became a norm

In this world, if there's anyone to overcome, that person is you. If you beat yourself, you will win. Needless competition is the root of stagnation. It makes you a critique instead of an admirer and a learner. It makes you want to dig the weaknesses of others instead of working on the devil you see when you look into the mirror.

The more we try to be the best us, the better we become because then we can discover ourselves and unearth the unlimited potentials in us.

Every individual has a unique gift to brighten the corner where she is and make their lives better and life worth living.

Granted, some gifts may not be as flamboyant as others or attract praise like other. All of us can’t be famous. The good thing is: we can all be happy if we decide not to war with people imaginarily.

Toy soldiers can’t beat themselves because their lives revolve around being better than others. You can be first and not be the best you.

Success to me is not being first: success is being the best you can be even if it means lagging behind others.

Regardless of how much you give to this world, as long as it is less than your best: you are a failure. Real success comes from giving the best you because it is the only stage you cannot give an inch more.

Your best is your all and enough even if not ‘enough’

Columnist: Isaac Kyei Andoh