From the Valley to the Top of the Mountain

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May 13, 2016

The mountain of your life is a symbol of success whilst the valley of your life defines the challenges holding you at that particular level you find yourself in. However you are the architect capable of designing your journey from the valley to the top of the mountain. 

Those that have climbed to the top of the mountain of their lives are able to see ahead and they are on top of their game in pursuit of their dreams. No one will like to live in a valley as it’s one of the most challenging environments to live your life. It has a depressing atmosphere and it’s an environment where you cannot see the journey ahead. Hence to climb to the top is a herculean task.

Therefore as people in pursuit of our dreams, we normally find ourselves at different locations on the mountain ladder of our lives..

Challenges encountered in getting to the top of the mountain of your life are what separate those at the valley to the ones at the top. Therefore there are four categories of people you will encounter when you start the journey from the valley of your life to the top of your mountain of success. The first category is people who have lived in the valley the whole of their life. The valley is the only environment they know and hence have created the valley as the best place to live in spite of all the insurmountable challenges they encountered on the daily basis. Anything or experience outside the valley is like a taboo. They are accustomed to their own story such that no other story fascinates them. Hence to convince such people to get to the top of the mountain of their lives is one of the difficult tasks to take in life.

Many of us behave like the first category of people in life. We don’t accept change and anything that takes us outside our comfort zone makes them resist that change. The fact is, seeing yourself in this category in 21 st  century means that, you are born to stay where you are and not to take any step that will bring a difference to your life. If this category is you, then you need to take a step that will bring change to your life.

The second category of people are those that have made an attempt to get to the top of the mountain and they encountered some storms such as strong winds, rain, thunderstorms, lightening and severe weather conditions that caused them to return back to the valley. These storms have caused many members of this category of people to swear not to make any attempt to get to the top of the mountain. What challenges have you faced in the past that have served as a deterrent to pursuing your dreams? It has caused to give up in life and has made you to settle for less and not where you are destined to be in life. The sad aspect is that, sharing their experience after returning to the valley has influenced those that have never stepped a foot outside the valley to believe that they have made the right decision.

It has put more fear in them preventing them from stepping out of the dungeon of their valley making their situation worse and hope of taking a step outside their valley of life dashed. The fact is who is sharing their experiences with you in life that is putting fear in you and preventing you from taking a step in life? Your destiny is different from that person discouraging you.

The fact that you are using the same road to your destination of success does not mean you cannot overcome the challenges on that road. What shows you will meet the same challenges that person encountered? I remember University days in Ghana, a friend of mine went to the British Embassy and he was refused a visa. He arrived at Campus, I was

going for mine the next week, so this guy discouraged me from going because there is the likelihood I will be refused the visa like him. However I went as planned as I knew my destiny is different from him and I got my visa the same day. Therefore judging your life from another persons experience is one of the biggest mistakes one can ever make. Moreover, the third category of people is those that took a step outside the valley, encountered some challenges but decided to settle at that particular region along the road to the top of the mountain. Therefore when you take a step outside the valley of your life and get to the region of this category of people, they will tell you their experiences and let you know the challenges you need to expect when you want to continue the journey to the top.

They will tell you their reason for settling at that destination along the journey to the top of the mountain. Normally, majority of this people wouldn’t like you to take a step ahead of them so they are more likely to discourage you. But what you need to understand is that, success is a journey but many people have decided to settle at one of the destinations along the journey of success like this category of people. Even when you get to the top of the mountain of your dreams and aspirations, you need to continually work hard to stay at the top position at all times. This substantiates the fact that, the journey does not stop even when you get to the top. Meaning maintaining your position at the top is more difficult than managing the stress when living in the valley.

Finally, only the few determined ones can fight to the top. They will defy all the discouraging stories of all the categories of people who have settled at different locations in pursuit of getting to the top of the mountain. This last category of people is ready to take risks and believe in themselves. They know that failure is part of the success journey; hence they don’t see it as news when you use failure as the reason for settling at where you are in life. Their source of inspiration is those that have climbed to the top of the mountain not those that have decided to settle along the journey to the top.

If someone can get to the top of their mountain of life, then the message here is that, it’s achievable. Meaning, we are our own limitation and to be successful is to work hard with a strategic purpose to defy all odds to get to the top.  Hence the idea behind this article fits the story of a young man who has taking the Hollywood movie industry and the Ghanaian fraternity by surprise, Abraham Attah, the Ghanaian actor in the movie titled; ‘The Beast of No Nations’. His story is the philosophy behind this article. He defines living in the valley and climbing to the top. His story is an unusual one but worth learning from it. He is currently trending on social media and has won many admirers because of his achievements within a short space of time.

Abraham Attah was plucked off the street when he landed the role of Agu in Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation and he had never acted a day in his life! This is synonymous to living in a valley because not have any knowledge in acting makes him start the journey from a place of darkness. But his charisma, willingness to learn and exuberance of his talent became an asset that conquered fear and challenges ahead. Any child at all would have easily turned down this opportunity as the film producers confirmed his initial reluctance not to take the role. Because the stress of learning something new and been under pressure within a short space of time to deliver excellently can cause anyone to give up. However this boy has exceeded expectations. His story is an epitome of favour, sudden breakthrough and hard work within a short space of time.

His story is a fast track from the valley to top of the mountain. Living in Ashaiman, one of the slums in Accra and going to Hollywood is a symbol of making a transition from the valley of his life to the top of his mountain. This is a huge leap from the bottom of the ladder of life to the top. Hence he has proven that your geographic location should not be a deterrent to your success but your attitude towards what you do, your mindset and how prepared you are to learn and fight to succeed is what will take you to the top of your mountain of success.  However your journey might not be fast tracked like Abraham but that does not mean your breakthrough will not show up. The difference between you and Abraham is that you have probably giving up on your dreams. Though your destinations can be the same in relation to success but the journey is always different.

Therefore the irony is that, as far as you continue to take one step at a time to getting to the top of your mountain, breakthrough can happen at any time. Abraham Attah was spotted playing football which has no link to movies, but he landed the role he has no experience in. Hence stop focusing on where your breakthrough will come from but rather concentrate on working hard and you will be spotted by your destiny helpers from a very unusual place.

Abraham Attah is an inspiration to me and many in life. His ability to learn quick, deliver his role to exceed expectations and finally become a success means you need to stop giving excuses of not having enough time, experience or the knowledge needed to fulfil that dream of yours. You have complained for far too long and this is the time to take a bold step outside your comfort zone. Abraham did, and it has paid off. Why not you? It is time to stop repeating the same experience and step into a new realm of uncertainty but full of opportunities. Meaning success is not achieved in sameness but the difference you
bring to the competitive market.

Now Abraham, the 14-year- old has arrived at the top of the mountain of his life, recently won the coveted ‘Best Young Actor Award’ at the Venice Film Festival and he presented an award at the just ended Oscar Awards. My prayer is that, God should give him wisdom, courage and humility to be able to handle the pressures at the top of the mountain. I also pray he grows from strength to strength and his
story should be an inspiration to many that have given up in life.

Abraham Attah, Ghanaians say to you Ayekoo.

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