Have you ever wondered what this world would be like, if everything that needed to go right went right and most of our wishes came true? Of course it would be the Cinderella world for the ladies and the Superman world for the guys. But it doesn’t always happen, and it won’t always happen. The world wasn’t designed to be perfect…
Every day, we engage in conversations, hear lots of things and see equally as many. Every day we live experiences that influence the way our lifestyles are reflected and on the long run these shape our outlooks on life. It is not uncommon for us to hear success stories of people who tout their tough childhoods. Or to listen to couples in successful marriages refer to past abuses personally lived or parents marital failures. The bottom line is that our Experiences have a strong influence over our perceptions on many things. They strengthen your resolve to want to make a difference and to want to live a meaningful life.
I work for a company that brings brands to life by creating meaningful experiences for people who come in contact with their products. For the brand equity to be sustained, it is important for the experience to be memorable for all those who live it. Have you ever seen those cute BOGOF promotions we all love to take advantage of? How would you feel if you bought the product with the sole objective of getting another free sample, only to hear AFTER buying that they were out of the free samples? Not only dejected am sure, but outright disappointed and angry. If you have a way, you would seek reprieve! I know dozens of individuals who have stopped patronizing certain phone brands, cosmetics, banks or services (names are best kept secret) just because of one nasty experience. Those experiences make an impact.
My boss once told of a story he lived with his kids. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, he had decided to take the kids out for some fun at a Cinema hall/mall. In the midst of the merry-go-round that kids so love to lavish themselves with, they stumbled upon a free photo booth operated by one of the major telephone manufacturing companies. The idea is that you can take a cool picture, get it printed (for free I think) in the colours and logo of the phone company. When well managed it could be an awesome experience! I remember I had once taken such pictures myself at an International conference even as an Adult and I kept the pictures till date. Anyway, they got to the booth and the attendant was busy attending to a pair of sexy girls who had just taken pictures. My boss was more than happy to wait for his turn. I mean they were next and how many hours would you take to discharge 2 girls and attend to a company of 4? But as they tried to find other activities and little chit-chat to engage themselves in, the waiting period wore on and the excitement of waiting slowly started wearing off. He was there because of his kids, and they probably didn’t even notice all that was going on. But Daddy was getting nervy already and it was important for him to also support the kids in living the experience. The youthful attendant was busy flirting with the girls and enjoying it at that. He was asking for contacts and we know how daunting a task that can be: Picture an attendant and 2 beautiful sexy girls who had come to have “fun” at the mall!
My boss tries to draw the attention of the young man to his plight, the young man ignores. Why won’t this Daddy just let me enjoy my own youth in my prime? This willful drama ran for almost 20 minutes after which you would agree with me all excitement had now been replaced by contempt. What kind of face was he now hoping to snap in the pictures? Bored tired kids along with a thoroughly disgruntled father? My boss had had enough. And he remembered there and then he had worked in the same industry at this telephone company a few years back. A few seconds of frantic search on his phone number and he was live and direct to the Country CEO of the company. He reported his experience to the man and requested there and then that the rusty assistant be sacked! He was having this conversation right before the guy and you can only picture how tables turned and the guy’s excitement also turned immediately to a nightmarish stare and gazing surprise.
That was an experience that went from 100% on the speedometer to 0 in a matter of minutes. If I were my boss, I would have done the same thing if I had the contacts. And if I were the attendant’s boss, this is not only a case of firing the young man but of his immediate supervisor as well who hasn’t monitored him well enough. If there were no phone booths, would anybody have an experience? No! But why then would we set out to give people memorable experiences and then kill those same moments ourselves? Tough luck.
This scenario plays out in our lives every single day. I remember I bought a new phone some months back and a junior colleague had asked me to sow the old phone into his life. I agreed, but on the condition that he gave me enough time to copy out all the reports I had on the phone. Those were about 6 weeks worth of comprehensive reports I had accumulated (from my project’s field managers who send weekly results to me) and had to extract verbatim. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to complete it in record time. He probably saved enough to buy himself another phone too and the experience and excitement of getting a phone from me was gone. I couldn’t help it, but I had killed it too.
How many times do we say hurting words to our partners and refuse to say sorry when it would still matter and make a difference? Sometimes, we drag issues for too long, our “sorries” have no impact again when finally given. Time heals wounds and so if we wait for time, rather than our actions to heal the rifts we cause, we diminish our geniuses and stature before others. People begin to expect less and less from us until the strength of our characters are totally exhausted. Those genuine experiences are drained out and we do not have the pride of place in their hearts any longer.
How important is it today that IBB apologizes for June 12? How much did it shake us when Yar’adua died? In our minds he had died a long time ago and what we heard was just the official announcement. It’s like watching the replay of a match whose score you’ve heard, the most nerve racking goals would have the numbest of effects on us because in our heads, we had lived it all already.
At the end of the day, the morale of this story is this: Everyday, we have the power to make someone’s day more beautiful, more meaningful and to inspire one to action but our personalities, attitudes and environment sometimes dictate otherwise. This is a rejoinder in response to those feelings and a call to sacrifice more. We live more when we give more, and we help others give even more. Say hi to your guard, tip that waitress, tell your mum how much you love her while she can still appreciate it. Thank your boss for inspiring you today. Spread the love, amplify the experience, don’t kill it!