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.



206 919 6440


It is not about you!

It is not about youMany of us might have heard these words spoken to us, or we might have said them to another. When these words are spoken to us, our thoughts might skirt between two extremes.
First thought: How dare you say that to me? Do you know how much I do for others?
In a state of insecurity masked as confidence, we might even say this aloud!
But the second thought is one we prefer to keep secret. It goes like this: I do not know what world you live in, but the world I live in is on planet Earth which revolves around me – as it should! Because I’m all that and a bag of Skittles! 😉

Who does the Earth revolve around?

Jokes aside, in an honest moment, most of us will admit we live as if the Earth revolves around us, not the sun, as scientists have long claimed. The challenge with this line of thinking is there are over 7.8 billion of us on Earth, and if the Earth revolves around each person, we live in a ball of chaos – to put it mildly!
Perhaps this explains the haphazard nature of society, where far too often, critical decisions that impact the masses satisfy one person and do not benefit the greater good. This reflects an over-prioritization of self.

Indeed, today, a glance at a news publication or reports on the state of families and workplaces suggests we live in a society that has over-indexed on self. By so doing, we have lost the ability to see beyond ourselves and forge deep connections. This leads to disconnection.  

Loneliness: An unwelcome guest.

Remarkably, the pervasive state of disconnection is a widespread issue, as evidenced by the astronomical increase in loneliness in our society.
Did you know? In May 2023, the U.S. Surgeon General stated that isolation and loneliness are an epidemic as damaging to Americans’ individual and public health as smoking and obesity. – This was a timely warning, as nearly half of U.S. adults reported experiencing loneliness in recent years. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-general-social-connection-advisory.pdf 

Additionally, several other reports echoed similar sentiments. For example, a Fortune magazine article reported that nearly 3 in 5 adults are lonely! Nearly 3 in 5 U.S. adults are lonely–and it could be one of the biggest under-the-radar issues the economy is facing | Fortune The notion that three out of five people are lonely is staggering! But if you are inclined to consider loneliness merely a period of prolonged sadness and moodiness for an individual, it might be a good idea to reconsider! Because the effects of loneliness extend beyond an individual and are far-reaching! 

Loneliness affects an individual’s ability to perform at work, and increases the toll on their health, the healthcare system, and the economy! Indeed, a study by Cigna showed that given the strain on several systems, including the healthcare system and workforce productivity in businesses, loneliness could be costing the U.S. economy a whopping $406 billion annually. Cigna_Loneliness_Whitepaper_081720.indd 

Indeed, loneliness is an unwelcome and expensive guest, and it does not have to take up permanent residence. But how does one handle this intruder?
Here, we will focus on loneliness from the individual perspective. Not the immense responsibility and duty that society has to alleviate this ill.

Lessons from 3rd grade

Fortunately, many have studied loneliness and shared ideas of what individuals can do to combat it, such as:
– Instead of focusing on what you can get, shift your focus to what you can give.
– Stop focusing so much on yourself.
– Create more social moments with the people who matter to you.
Feeling Lonely? Discover 18 Ways to Overcome Loneliness | Psychology Today

These suggestions might remind you of tips your 3rd-grade teacher posted on the dry-erase board as drawings on the first day of school. And if so, your teacher deserves a thank-you card because these tips do not only benefit 3rd graders, but they also benefit adults, as they enable connection.

And this reminds me of a peculiar era in my life.

Having fun but lonely

Many years ago, I lived in the Pacific Northwest and was exploring what it meant to be a female professional in a high-pressure job in the cutthroat corporate world! You know, the type of job where before you turn down at night, you feel compelled to check your email but instantly regret it because that single gesture delays your bedtime by 4 hours! Amazingly, it took me a while to realize that emails that fly in at 10 p.m. are not earth-shattering, and if I wait till morning to respond, the Earth will still rotate on its axis. 😊
Before I gained this awareness, to de-stress, I would plan alluring getaways., i.e., trips to locations I wanted to visit, with people I wanted to hang out with, and doing things I wanted to do. Yikes! A lot of I’s, aka me, in there! I bet you can see where this is going!

While these escapades were thrilling, I noticed the excitement and happiness quickly dissipated. And to generate more excitement, I had to plan another enchanting adventure – better than the last! You might be able to relate. Perhaps for you, rather than a fun trip, it is a new hobby, new friend, new partner, new job, or some other newness. After experiencing this a few times, I wondered what I was missing.

Initially, it was perplexing, but in time, I realized that through my efforts, I was creating moments of excitement, not cultivating fulfilling experiences, and I was lonely. Though trotting around from one sunny locale to another or indulging in some other newness can be a lot of fun, it neither relieves loneliness nor enables one to attain fulfillment. And it is a pricey but cheap substitution: distraction for soul connection.

A key that shuts the gate to loneliness.

Veritably, loneliness is not relieved by indulging in experiences, hobbies, fitness, continually changing jobs, constantly dating, or some other newness or thrill. While these activities provide physical company and generate excitement, no amount of physical company or excitement can cure loneliness. Because when one is lonely, one needs the thirst in their soul to be quenched. And fulfillment, not excitement, meets this need. Also, one must foster meaningful connections and live a worthy purpose to feel fulfilled. Essentially, one must live purposefully and walk with one another.

Indeed, a key that shuts the gate to loneliness is togetherness, and togetherness is intentionally walking with one another for a worthy purpose. Remarkably, togetherness is the overarching theme in the tips for alleviating loneliness. Specifically nurturing meaningful connections and serving others. And to do so requires one to be willfully vulnerable. – Willful vulnerability is the courageous choice to allow oneself to be known while being aware of the likelihood of being emotionally hurt. A Golden Opportunity – BLOG – www.akesatia.com

I would be remiss if I did not point out that vulnerability might be a taboo word, as many of us have experienced hurt feelings from being vulnerable. Unfortunately, this causes many to avoid vulnerability like a plague and therefore miss its many benefits. But it does not have to be so! For this reason, we will peek behind the curtain of vulnerability next!

In the meantime, if you are in the pit of loneliness, remember that you are not alone and do not have to suffer alone. In my life journey, therapists and coaches have assisted me greatly. Stay safe and be well!

Until next time.

For you and to you,



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *