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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Co-creating life!

The infinite pursuit of a precise aim!

Last week, I mentioned that today, I will share an invaluable concept: Co-creating life.
I introduced the idea of co-creating life in the book 
Adversity Brings Balance because it was a lifesaver during a uniquely vulnerable and incredibly challenging season. And it is a gem that can benefit many.

As you read this piece, I encourage you to reflect on a time – past or present, when you faced intense hardship and how you dealt with it. It is critical to do so because I will share a bit of my story to enable understanding. And though you may find the story touching, puzzling, or perhaps, relatable, it can only impact you to a limited extent. For you to derive true value, you must consider your story. 

The Crisis Point!

Like all of us, throughout my days, at various moments, I have faced adversity! But several years ago, the calamity I experienced challenged me to the core. At the time, I resided in Washington State and held a leadership position at a global company. To satisfy my appetite for charm, beauty, and breathtaking, expansive views, I lived in a high-rise, where my living room bordered views of Mt. Rainier, Lake Washington, and the iconic Seattle Space Needle. Also, I surrounded myself with many joys and thrills: great friends, fun adventures, and irresistible dark chocolate! 😊 Suffice it to say, I was feeling good!

Mysteriously, on a cold Saturday morning, at 6:40 am, I walked into my living room, and my legs gave way! Instantly, I knew something was wrong because I could not remember the last time I fell. After several hospital visits, I was diagnosed with a mysterious chronic illness: Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Also, devastatingly, my best friend and wonderful sister, Jessie, had unexpectedly passed away earlier, and I never recovered. In a flash, my body was ailing, my heart shattered – again, and my spirit broke!

Treading Water

However, highly driven and fiercely determined, I was intent on meeting my life goals and objectives. And I decided to pour myself into my work – the one thing I felt I could control! Strategically, I also began to let go of things I could not control, i.e., cherished hobbies like ballroom dancing and dreams of marriage and motherhood. I determined I could retain control by shutting the door to my aspirations rather than allowing MS to rob me of my abilities and agency. But despite my valiant efforts, I did not feel safe. And as I resided in a cocoon of fear, I nervously anticipated the next shoe drop!

Then one rainy autumn evening, I returned home from work and began preparing a meal – as I often did. While chopping parsnips and baking salmon, I spoke to God – the Supreme Being. But that evening was different! Because I was more heated than the salmon baking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven! Passionately, I expressed outrage and disappointment! – Stating that I was faithful, ardently committed, and had given Him my all. But, He had not held up His end of the bargain! Inexplicably, amidst the torrential downpour of rain and tears, a passage of scripture came to mind! And like in a trance, I recited the verse: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9.

THE breath of air!

As soon as I uttered the words, I was confounded! Because I was familiar with the passage, but this time, it sounded different: I could not understand how power or anything good could emerge from my weakness and suffering. However, as I pondered the passage, I realized that I had been thinking about it wrong all the while! I was waiting for a miraculous gift to descend from the sky like hailstones in Kericho. But I failed to realize the gift I longed for was there all along, and it was mine to take! – The gift was peace and the opportunity to stop observing my life. And instead, co-create it. Significantly, to receive the gift, I had to accept the opportunity, not resist it. And I could only do so when I developed complete trust in my Partner. As scenes from my life flashed through my mind, I realized God had always been with me. And I was never alone because He was crazy about me!  

Indeed, for decades, I knew of a Supreme Being. But on that rainy evening in autumn, I encountered my Creator and Friend. And our relationship transitioned from one based on knowledge and duty to an intimate connection. I fell in love with Him, committed to walking with Him and co-creating with Him – for a greater purpose that is not about me. Importantly, I learned that we cannot co-create with one we know of. We can only co-create with the one we know and walk with

Calm in the Storm

In the following days, in case you are wondering, I did not stroll into my neurologist’s office to receive a clean bill of health. Neither did I call my wonderful sister Jessie’s cellphone and hear her soothing voice on the other end. Essentially, my situation did not change. I did! My Creator became my Partner and my source of fresh air. And the opportunity to relinquish victimhood, gain hope, and reassume responsibility for my life was a priceless gift. 

Delightfully, over the years, I have been privileged to witness the inexplicable effect of co-creating life on the lives of others. And here, I will share an endearing instance.

Darin’s gift

A couple of years ago, I was discussing with my brother-in-law, Darin. Darin is a great guy with a big heart and a kind soul! And over the years, we had many conversations. But on a particular Saturday, we had a memorable one! I gathered with my parents, sister, Darin, and their two kids to share a meal. At the table, Darin began narrating an experience about how he realized his dream career. Woven into his story was a conversation he and I had several years ago.

As Darin recounted his story, he referred to our past discussion and specific elements he put into practice, like imagining boundlessly and deliberately keeping account of his thoughts and actions. As I listened to him, I was overjoyed and screamed: YES! That is the art of co-creating life! Collectively, we rejoiced at his accomplishments and profound sense of contentment. 

Indeed, co-creating is vital for fulfillment professionally. But it is a dynamic force, personally!

Know what you seek.

Today, in pursuit of romance, some endeavor to find a rare gem. To enable this, many engage in an established practice known as co-planning, believing that they are co-creating life with one another. However, while co-creating life entails a measure of co-planning, the two are tremendously different in form and function.
Therefore, it is vital to distinguish between joint planning and creating a life with one another. Or co-planning and co-creating life. 

Co-planning is a known practice in various fields like teaching. In teaching, co-teachers collaborate on lessons and assessments. Also, they share ideas and jointly engage in a series of experiences, such as developing drafts for feedback and sharing resources. Whatis Co-Planning | IGI Global (igi-global.com)
Co-planning enables individuals to stay on the same page to realize a specific goal.

Nowadays, many engage in co-planning in dating relationships.
Specifically, two individuals might set out to build a relationship and determine if they are best suited for each other long-term by engaging in candid discussions and shared experiences. Markedly, they wish to make the relationship work. Therefore, they are willing to make some sacrifices. But ultimately, they prioritize their individual goals and self-interests.

However, in co-creating life, the pursuit embodies a different essence and takes a different shape.

For a Shared Purpose

When co-creating life, the primary focus is neither on the relationship nor on the individuals. Instead, the aim is to live a worthy shared purpose, greater than self and infused with love and affection. To enable this, both individuals embark on a singular course to live out their purpose – beyond self-interest. The journey requires growth, change, and sacrificial love. A strong partnership enables this, and the rewards are plentiful.
To bring this closer to home, I will share a charming story.

A few months ago, I was invited to lunch by a couple who have been married for over 37 years. They bond over several passions, especially their love for each other, family, charity, and art. He paints, and she does photography. Notably, their artwork enables them to support causes dear to them and care for loved ones. Individually, they are highly skilled at their crafts. But together, they are great because they inspire and lovingly critique each other’s work.
On this particular spring afternoon, while at their home, he was painting in their studio, and she was in the kitchen preparing tea, where I joined her.

The Muse

Curious, I asked her what her husband was working on. She said he was painting a portrait of their 14-year-old granddaughter. Immediately, I remarked that he was a great artist, as was she! In response, she flashed a bright smile and began raving about his artistic abilities. Then she made a captivating statement!
She said: Aké, I am very fortunate to know him. Knowing him enables me to do better art. Also, he inspires me to lead a better life beyond art. And I do the same for him. I always give him my honest opinion about his work. Most of the time, he does what I suggest. A few times, he does not. 😉 But he always values my opinion. He is my guy, and he is the best!
Moved by her statement, I responded: That is incredibly special! To you, he is in a league of his own. And he feels the same about you. You are his muse! And together, you are co-creating life.
Immediately, she responded: Definitely! I am his muse. And he is mine!

Certainly, humans can exist in solitude – for some time. But humans can only thrive when they forge strong partnerships and live beyond self-interests. Naturally, this would lead one to ask: what activates co-creation in lifetime partnerships?

Activating co-creation in Lifetime partnerships

Selfless love and unconditional positive regard activate co-creation in partnerships. Grounded in trust and commitment, partners see each other as helpers and supporters. And this translates into how they communicate. Also, they confidently call each other higher. And their confidence stems from mutual love, a commitment to each other, and their pursuit of a shared worthy purpose – that extends beyond any individual.
Indeed, co-creating life is the infinite pursuit of a precise aim.

And I leave you with this: 
Friend, with every thought, word, and action, you are creating a life that will impact yourself and others today and in the future. 
The worthwhile question isWhat are you creating, and who are you walking with?

For you and to you,



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