Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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The Mindset Series: Episode 10

As you can infer from the image above, goodness and chocolate are synonyms – in my world. And I know I am not alone! But let us revisit that after supper 😉

Over the last couple of weeks, exploring the realms of faithfulness and self-control was incredibly fulfilling and challenging as both qualities appear superhuman. Nowadays, being faithful and showing self-control could seem like a pursuit of perfection on a solitary road. Because many seem to make it farther by cutting corners, wearing a mask, and shoving mistakes under the rug. However, one of the most courageous and necessary things a person can do is accept their imperfections and innate tendency to do wrong and be wrong. Because until we do, we hold ourselves back, whether we realize it or not! For this reason, in our last episode of The Mindset Series, it is fitting for us to explore the highly desirable quality of goodness.

Accepting our innate fallibility

Unlike one might think, being good is not the pursuit of perfection. On the contrary, being good requires seeking humility to accept our weaknesses and unleash our value.

For this reason, if any mindset could make one feel challenged and grossly inadequate, it is goodness. Goodness, or being kind, helpful, and honest, is associated with high-ranking qualities like merit, honor, and virtue. – This is an impressive list, and descriptions for the perfect job, friend, and life partner would embody these qualities. But as tends to be the case with esteemed values, these are difficult to cultivate, especially when we ignore our mistakes and shortcomings.
Indeed, to grasp the mindset of goodness, we must understand and admit that we fall short, as do others!

All do good, and all stray. None is good!

How can you tell whether one is good? Do you form the conclusion based on what they do, what they say, or the labels pasted on them by society? 

Labels are necessary: They prevent us from making unsavory cuisine by confusing mustard for peanut butter or salt for sugar. 😀 But when we use labels to define ourselves, they box us in and impede progress because our characters are multifaceted, not an absolute representation of a single quality. People possess and demonstrate qualities such as goodness or kindness on a scale with a measure of inconsistency. That said, I can imagine when some of us glanced at the sub-heading above, we wanted to jump out of our chairs, slam our laptops shut, or toss our cell phones across the room and say That does not apply to me! Everyone knows I am a good person. A model citizen: I pay my taxes on time, I keep my yard clean through the seasons, and when I see a delivery in front of my neighbor’s garage door, I walk it to their front door. Also, not to toot my own horn, but last year, on Giving Tuesday, I practically gave as much as the GDP of a small African nation! 😉

Well then! Anyone who does all of the above has a noteworthy list of good deeds. Unfortunately, our list of good deeds tends to be accompanied by an equally long list of misdeeds, and we cannot grow or live authentically without accepting the less attractive sides of ourselves that we often label negatively.

Wrestling with the good and the not-so-good

A child does not stop telling lies until they accept that they fibber and commit to doing better. Also, a worker who takes all the credit cannot learn to share success until they realize their struggle to acknowledge others and commit to improving. Likewise, a spouse who undermines their mate cannot become supportive until they admit their insecurity and learn to honor their partner.
Understandably, as we read the above, we might think: Yep! Aké, I know many such annoying people, but I am not one of them! 😊

Unsurprisingly, we tend to point the finger at others when referring to the negative and take center stage when discussing the good. – Being savvy, we may not say so, though we think it! Yet, no one is the epitome of goodness! – Many work hard to improve their self-awareness and keep their dishonorable tendencies at bay, but the tendency to do what is not good is always lurking, and it knocks at our door!

What do you let in?

Both the good and the not-so-good seek to enter our minds and hearts. Fortunately, each of us gets to decide what we let in and pour out, and we can all find ways to do good! – Perhaps open the door for an elderly gentleman in the grocery store, help a stranger lift their suitcase onto a plane, or smile at a crying kid to cheer them up! Doing good things is not that hard. But being good is a whole new ball game! Because to be good requires both sacrifice and rigorous consistency. Essentially, it requires one to align one’s actions and intentions! It might show up as routinely sacrificing by donating without asking for credit or by regularly giving coworkers much-needed help to nail their presentations. Then, doing it again and again and eliminating the level of inconsistency.

And herein lies a gem: Goodness does not exist in solitude. It is an all-encompassing virtue! Indeed, to be good, one must embody the other critical mindsets of kindnessgenerositylovefaithfulness, peacejoy, patience, gentleness, and self-control. Setting one’s heart and mind on being good and doing good is hard work. But unless love has depleted from the heart and life from the soul, we desire to be good and do good. And even when our innate tendencies derail us, we know the pursuit is always worthwhile.

Friend, we all stumble: We put our foot in our mouth, say the wrong thing, and do what we know we ought not. But endeavoring to be good is invaluable and starts with taking the first step. And I leave you with this:
What is one good thing you can do for someone today?


Have a good week!

For you and to you,



Image credit: Pexels | Cottonbro Studio



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