– DEAL WITH IT Everyone in life wants the good part of living; the fun, the progress, the prosperity and pleasure. Everyone wants to be happy and successful. Everyone hopes for the good and rejects the bad, everyone wants the blessings and the ease of access; no one likes to struggle and give so much to obtain the good they want out of life. Many of us want life to be exclusively easy and rosy; no bad just good. May I say this morning that this kind of mindset and desire is absolutely a fantasy? Life is not designed that way. Good and bad is the name of the game. The good and the bad are inter related, you can’t access the positive without experiencing the negative if not; you will destroy the positive. The negative exist to develop your capacity to handle and manage the positive effectively. The negative, no matter how much you hate it, serves to prepare your body, soul and spirit to cope, manage and even improve on the positive side of life. You can’t appreciate love if you’ve not experienced rejection. The pain of rejection will make you value a relationship with someone who really loves you, and you won’t take the person or the relationship for granted. You can’t appreciate food unless you’ve really suffered hunger. Having something to eat every time, if you’ve never gone through a season of hunger can make you wasteful and insensitive to those who have nothing to eat. If you’re lucky not to have experienced a season of delay in childbirth as a married woman, you may never really appreciate the honour and fulfilment of motherhood. If you’ve never experienced a season of joblessness, you may not really respect or appreciate your employer. If you’ve never failed in business, you won’t really respect or think much of those who are doing well in business. If your mother is still alive and well you would never appreciate the blessing of having her around; some of us can tell what it means to lose your mother to death; you feel so vulnerable and uncovered. If you’re lucky to still have your mother alive; treat her right and nice, if you don’t, you may regret it when she’s gone. The pain in life, the hurt in life, the negative in life doesn’t exist to destroy us, oh no, it’s actually there to enable us appreciate, value, and preserve the good we have. The negative also inspires in us the passion and will to become creative and innovative. The best inventions ever recorded occurred in the time of war, when survival became the single most important thing. When you’re in pain, under pressure, going through stuff, your brain is activated to think and become creative – the need to find a solution makes you a thinker and brings to the fore your solution mindedness. That’s why managers of startup businesses are often more diligent, sacrificing, meticulous and aggressive than managers of well established businesses. Managers of startups are constantly faced with the threat of failure and intense competition from established rivals; so they think more, become more creative and amiable to customers – they must survive! Isn’t it unfortunate how some of the most respected and well branded new generation banks in Nigeria today for example have degenerated so much that they have no respect or value whatsoever for their individual account holders? You need to visit many of their branches and see individual account holders in queues waiting and waiting for attention and service from these bank staffs; that are unfortunately indifferent to the plight of these customers standing and frustrated. These so called bankers are usually snooty and carry an air of superiority over customers with disdain in their attitude and service style. Their systems are always down; forever hanging or very slow, their ATM service points usually have very long queues because many are temporarily unable to dispense cash; yet the bank employees are so unmoved and care less about how customers feel. For these banks it wasn’t like that when they started, then, the customers were extremely important and precious; the motive then I believe, was essentially to woo customers away from old generation banks not because they really believed in any customer service philosophy or concept; now that they have enough customers, that customer service orientation has become a matter of lip service. Individuals and organisations never value or appreciate what they have until they go through the negative experience of a major loss. I’m convinced a sudden collapse of these careless new generation banks is a necessary negative that will teach future managers how not to treat customers – and I dare say this sudden collapse is imminent. This is because individuals also own the corporate accounts and with time this misconduct will spread to corporate account holders; it’s a matter of word of mouth, it’s a matter of time, advertising won’t help anymore; branding will also fail because you can’t successfully brand a bad product. Negative experiences are hence, important for great and positive ideals, concepts, businesses, and possessions to be cherished, valued, sustained and built upon. Negative is necessary for positive to thrive. The challenge however, is the fact that many of us don’t understand the relevance and importance of a negative experience. A negative experience or a temporary setback in your life or career is not intended to stop you; it’s actually supposed to make you better. It’s suppose to fire up in you, quality thinking, creativity and innovative reasoning that will make you surge forward and achieve your dreams, goals and desires. Sadly many of us without this understanding have stopped on our journeys and progressions for many years at the point of a negative experience. We have pitched a tent at the point of our refining, grooming and training; thinking it’s the end of the race or the end of our journey. We have decided to settle in and adapt to that negative and average juncture in life because we think it’s the end of our road. May I say to you this morning my friend that you’re not at your end yet, your journey is not over my friend, you’re just getting warmed up? You have all the power, wisdom, creativity, ability and potential to still move on and reach your destination. That negative experience is not meant to stop you, it’s meant to build you, strengthen you and prepare you for the next level of success and greatness. The negative experience is to toughen you to handle the pressure that comes with every new glory, greatness and responsibility. Don’t settle for less, you have much more in you than you can imagine. My dear friend you are indeed better and greater than the bad experience, it happened to you, you didn’t happen to it; hence you’re greater than it! You’re the superior one, that bad experience is too small to stop you – so what if you failed the exams, write a tougher one and pass, so what if you got fired from that job, get a better one, so what if your husband left you or your wife left you, come on get up, inspire yourself and encourage yourself, you were alive and well and happy before you met him or her don’t let that loser stop your life and mess up your rhythm. There are millions out there much better, and finer, and nicer, and kinder and warmer, and funnier, and trendier, and more intelligent and more successful and more responsible and more God fearing who would do anything to have you in their lives. The whole feeling of rejection is all in your mind, the fact that someone rejects you simply indicates they don’t know what good quality is hence, they never really deserved you in the first place, forget the past, start afresh, treat yourself well and move on to your next out of this world experience of love and good living. Don’t let it affect your work, your productivity, performance and professionalism. Concentrate on your career and become somebody, don’t let emotional setbacks destroy your whole life especially success in career. Never build permanent structures with temporary people. You are the only permanent person in your live – no one else. My dear friends learn from the negative and move into a greater positive. Think of your pain, your hurt, your disappointment, your failures and that bad situation, that negative experience this morning, speak to it and say, I’m bigger than you, you’re not bigger than me, you can never stop me, I will stop you, you can’t hold me back, I am leaving you behind, you’re here to make me better, not to stop me from being better, I’m moving forward, my life is indeed richer, I welcome me, into a new world. Enjoy your day.