I was in the secondary school, my first year, and I was 11 years old. I had gone out with some friends and got home late, tired and feeling sleepy. As soon as I had supper I hit the sheets the fastest I could. In the middle of the night, at about 12:30AM, I opened my tired eyes to discover that I had a snake in my room. It had coiled itself on the cane—sitter. How in the world did it get there I had no idea. Sleep disappeared from my eyes. I jumped off the bed and ran out the fastest way my scared mind and legs could carry me and locked the door outside.
Knock, knock, knock – “Ma, ma, ma!!! Open the door, there’s a snake in my room”. I was scared and breathing heavily. I didn’t want to go back to my room that night. I passed the night in my mother’s room; couldn’t sleep again, I kept thinking and permuting how a snake could have gotten into my room. How? I couldn’t just wait for the break of dawn so I could get some older person to kill this unlawful intruder. But what if it succeeds in hiding somewhere in my room that I become unable to locate it in the morning? That was the scariest possibility.
As soon as it was morning, and the sun was out, I walked gently– tip toed, like a criminal in a night operation, opened my door the gentlest way possible without making a noise. I was now carrying the longest stick I could find that could kill a snake from a considerable distance. As soon as I opened the door, tip toed toward the snake and raised the stick I was carrying to kill it…that was when I saw it – I couldn’t believe my eyes. I hit it a couple of times then picked it up with the edge of the stick and took it to my mother. “Ma, look at the snake that intruded my room last night!” My mother looked at me as if I had spoken in Hindi, as if it was a joke…then almost at the same time, we burst out in laughter. It was my black belt all along, not a snake. My tired eyes had deceived me in the night.
When I got to the room tired and sleepy I had thrown my clothes around the room in many directions and my black belt fell on the chair and coiled itself like a snake. I couldn’t stop laughing. Often I tell the story today, and we always have a good laugh at home.
It Was Just a Mirage!
Life will play that Snake-in-my-room trick on you many times, circumstances will come at you, and challenges will rise against you. You will be scared, no bullshit. Your first natural instinct will scream “Run, baby, run!” Your mind and even certain people will audaciously say to you to give up, but if you toughen up and look closely you’ll discover it is all a mirage; it isn’t real.
Challenges are a fact of life and all they want to do to you is to scare the shit out of you. Fear will make you blow things out of proportions — a man can never think straight at moments of fear.
Yes, problems do arise and things will not go as planned. But success would require that you be fearless; bravodo is a virtue; have staying-power, to persevere and not give up nor give in; to not allow yourself be intimated by internal or external fear and that’s how you will win many of life’s battles. You should win. Be fearless.
*This article original appeared on http://www.omojuwa.com
Follow me on Twitter: @WealthyJack
Stanley G. Jack is the author of “Who Took My Job?”(@WhoTookMyJob) and his next book “GOOD TO GO: How To Succeed In Life & Work After NYSC”, out in June 2014.