Greetings my comrades!

I celebrate each and every one of you for all the giant strides you are have been making in order to make your life much better. It‘s a plain truth that nothing good comes easy. Every success comes with its own price and it is the price that ushers in blessings and opportunities for you. Every blessing comes with its opportunity to explore, and it is what we do with this opportunity that gives us experience in life. Without experience, it will be difficult to tell our story. There is a saying “he who wears the shoe knows where it pains”.  Experience comes in different shapes and size. We have all encountered one form of experience or another.  It can be in business, relationship, health, politics, job, or personal depending on the issue. For example, if you are seeking a job, most employers will demand your experience in that field.

Experience can be defined as the  knowledge or skill in a particular job or activity that you have gained because you have done that job or activity for a long time. It can also be refer to past events, knowledge, and feelings that make up someone’s life or character. Today we shall be looking at how the various forms of experience has added so much value to our lives and how we can appreciate the blessings of experience. Experience is very good for our growth. Experience has shaped a lot of people, that’s why most people say experience is the best teacher. Most people react and change to different issues and circumstances because they feel different things.  If you haven’t had experience, it will be hard to share a compelling story.

It is because of the experience that many successful go through that makes them put their thoughts down so that posterity will always reference them when the need arises. Experience is necessary for growth and maturity, it can’t be bought or attained in a classroom setting. It’s quite unfortunate a lot of people don’t seem to appreciate the blessings that come with experience. Some schools of thought opine that every disappointment is a blessing. In as much as I agree with this saying to some extent, I also believe that in order for an experience to be a blessing, we need to do our part, that is all things being equal. If you have an examination and you fail to prepare for the exam, if you fail, it’s simply your fault. If you are searching for a job and you haven’t taken the time to follow the instructions in the application and you simply applied. If your application is denied, it’s simply your fault; if you have a health challenge and you fail to apply due diligence in taking care of your health by following the right medical advice, you will be liable for whatever happens to you. The moral of this analysis is that experience will only be a blessing if you have played your part very well.

Life is indeed a mystery. I have always opined that the best way to understand life is BY trying to understand a woman, this because you can never understand a woman. One of the best ways of understanding life is to apply the words of Mother Theresa. According to her Life is a challenge –   Meet it,

Life is a gift –    Accept it

Life is an adventure –   Dare it

Life is a sorrow –        Overcome it

Life is a game     –     Play it

Life is a mystery –      Unfold it

Life is a song    –        Sing it

Life is an opportunity – Take it

Life is a journey –        Complete it

Life is a promise    –    Fulfill it

Life is a love –             Enjoy it

Life is a beauty         Praise it

Life is a struggle –   Fight it

Life is a puzzle  –      Solve it

Life is a goal –          Achieve it

 

As mentioned earlier we all need experience to get through life, you might be looking for a particular opportunity in life because you are not where you are supposed to be. You might also feel very dissatisfied with where you are now either in your professional life, health status, relationship or a situation that seems to be perplexed. I have a good news for you, enjoy the moment by appreciating the experience. It is this experience that will later on give you the desired opportunity you need. Sometimes in life, opportunity comes in different shapes. You need to have an insightful mind to understand the season you are into. I will some personal experience for you. During my formative years in the USA, I was working as a Security Officer in New York City, on one fateful night, I met a cleaner who came to pick up the garbage. He saw me reading and was curious o know what I was reading. I told him I’m studying for my law exams, he was shocked to know I have a law degree while working a security officer, he told me his elder sister is a big lawyer and also an accountant, he was kind enough to give me her number to reach out to her which I did. To end the story, I started working with her Law firm the following week after a successful interview. Another experience that shaped me was while I was in New York Law School studying Taxation law a graduate program, I joined Nigerian Lawyers Association and as fate have it, I was elected as the Public Relations Officer for the Association. I had a time learning how to write and communicate for the association with my fellow Executives because the standard was high. The challenge almost made me resign my position, but I remained positive after listening to my mentors,. To the end the story, I later contested for the same office the following year and won. But the interesting about my second tenure was that I was able to make strong connections with some reputable leaders in the world and one of time is Chief Dele Momodu, a former presidential candidate in Nigeria. Today, that relationship has opened many doors for me. Another worthy experience was when I was in New York Law School, studying Taxation law which  I had little interest in, I was in the process of quitting the program when my Dean advised me to try another professor which I did. To end the story, I later graduated with scholarship in the program, but the interesting part of the story is that the major has broadened my mind in addition to creating another stream of income for me while preparing me for the future task ahead. The biggest experience and opportunity that led to my turning point was when I was working as Security Officer in New York City, despite working in cooperate companies in contractual position, I still have to work security to support my family. I can vividly remember one day when licensed expired, I was helpless, but I couldn’t do anything to salvage the situation. I decided to use the opportunity to publish my book. I must be frank if not for the temporary stay out of work, I wouldn’t have the desired time I need to research for my book. The moral of this story is that opportunities can sometimes be disguised in blessings. Assuming I was in a different state doing a different work, I doubt if I would have been able to publish my book in addition to meeting resources persons who have developed an interest in my work.

I don’t know what your story is, I don’t know where you are at the moment, I don’t know the challenge you are facing, I have just one news for you, just remain steadfast in your hustle, because this too shall pass. I have seen people who had life challenging situations which made them lose their resources, health and even became an object of mockery in the society, but God was able to turn their fortunes around and they became stronger. What you are you facing can be used as a testimony tomorrow. Therefore I will strongly encourage you to appreciate the lesson because that is what will make your story sweet in due time.

Sometimes we go through storms in life and think that’s the end of the road not knowing that you are being prepared for the greater task. If only you are able to think out to the book, you will discover that experience is valuable in life. President Nelson Mandela of South Africa was in prison for 27 years before he regained his freedom and contested for South African president which he won overwhelmingly. There are other stories of other great people who suffered a similar fate before they were able to achieve a cause they truly believed in. According to Beverly Hills “If you are aiming for greatness, just know that there’s no shortcut to any place worth goings” Therefore, I will greatly appreciate encourage you to appreciate whatever challenges or process you are currently facing. They will help to reform to a better-informed person. Even if you make mistakes during the trying peoples of your life just note the words of Sophia Loren “Mistakes are the part of the dues one pays for a full life”. Mistakes are very necessary for you to learn just like failures is necessary for success to be achieved. If you don’t make mistakes, learning can be a little bit difficult. According to Theodore Roosevelt  “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything”.

We learn everyday, the day we stop to learn is the die. According to Dough Larson ”The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate”. The more you know the more people reach out to you for assistance. Employers love employees who are very resourceful. Most people fail to realize that you only get paid for your value.  That’s why in today’s world, people with skills are in high demand.

 

Words of Advice:

Don’t be afraid of failing. Be affirmative and focus on the cause you are passionate about. In the words of Robert F. Kennedy “’Only those dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

Experience comes in different styles, you need to think out of the box by reading the handwriting on the wall. They can come in form of volunteering, paying to learn a product or service. According to Joan Rivers, “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened”.

Once you love what you do, stick to it, learn as much as you can by reading, asking questions, researching, volunteering and taking classes. Disregard any failures and mistakes that may come your way. Just be positive enough to note the words of Aristotle “Pleasure in the job put perfection in the work”.

John Maxwell, was definitely right when he said, “ Pay now and play later” Do you want to play now and play later? The choice is yours. Experience gives you the opportunity to pay it forward, that’s why in the dictionary the letter L comes before E in the learn. You need to learn something before you begin to earn. According to Ginger Rogers “The only way to enjoy anything is to first earn it”.

When you have fully acquired the desired skills and experience you need in a particular field, you will definitely get clients that will need your services. This is because Aristotle Onasis made us understand that “The secret of business is know something that nobody else knows.

“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” – Buddha

 

In conclusion, let’s abide by the words of Oscar Wilde whenever we make a mistake. According to him “Experience is simply the name we give our mistake. Therefore, don’t be angry if you make any mistake, just see it like you are learning new things which you weren’t exposed to.

 

I will end this article by posing a question that will make you think deep regardless of any experience you may have experienced or passed through. Based on what you have learned so far, how can you begin to see experiences as blessings, particularly those painful experience?

 

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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