In World of Warcraft, there are seasonal holidays that roughly correspond to real world holidays. One of these holidays is Lunar New Year. In the Warcraft version of the holiday, in addition to fireworks, there’s a quest to defeat a gigantic two-headed demon named Omen.

Last year, I and the friends I play with took a beating trying to kill Omen. I know I took a number of tries just to defeat him, with my character dying over and over again.

This year, as I rode to Lake Elune’ara, I wondered how the battle against Omen would go. I found out quickly:

The demon had lost his bite.

I was able to tank Omen solo with just one healer and a random mage with ease. He went down faster than the stock market after a Federal Reserve meeting.

After the initial celebration wore off, I wondered how it was that Omen was so easily defeated. His abilities and capabilities were the same as last year…

… but I and my character were not. Quite the contrary. Omen hadn’t changed, but I had, significantly for the better. What killed my character last year was barely even worth mentioning this year, and what relatively insignificant damage I was able to do to Omen last year was replaced by a venti quadruple shot cup of whoopass with a twist of lemon.

It’s difficult for us to see how we’ve changed. We change slowly, over time, and in many cases are the last to get the memo on anything. Things like Omen are a good way to realize just how much we have changed, just how we’ve transformed from year to year. If you don’t have an Omen-like challenge in your life, look for one as a way to diagnose who you are and how you’ve changed. Find something that’s a challenge for you this year, win, and then see how the challenge feels next year. Have you grown? Have you changed? Have you become more proficient?

Bear in mind the challenge needs to be somewhat static. Maybe it’s an annual photowalk, a half marathon, a creature like Omen – whatever it is, make sure it’s something where you’ll see the difference in yourself while the challenge itself remains mostly the same.

Omen (and his meaning) is summed up best, oddly enough, by Nelson Mandela:

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

May your Lunar Festival grant you the insights you seek.

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