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 Opportunity in Time

The Thriving Essentials Series: Episode 11

To thrive, we must use time wisely.

A few weeks ago, I shared a defining story about my mom and me in the blog post: The Differentiating Quality. The events occurred when I was 12 and moved to a new country with my parents. There, I had the opportunity to accelerate in school, but my mom insisted I do not. Her rationale was that I might be knowledgeable enough to do well in the coursework but not sufficiently wise to thrive emotionally and socially with much older classmates. At the time, I was offended by her supposition, but over the years, I became fascinated by the value of wisdom and greatly appreciated her wise decision. To articulate why, I will share a story.

Opportunities arise

We have all heard that hindsight is 20/20! From this wise saying, one can deduce that gaining foresight requires time, and like many, I learned this first-hand.

A few years after the experience that I alluded to above transpired, I moved to the United States to attend university. In my sophomore year, I made friends with a classmate a few years older and quickly learned she was dating a man several years older than her. After about a month of sitting next to each other in class and sipping caramel lattés on Queen Anne Hill, she informed me she was engaged and invited me to her bridal shower. I was familiar with bridal showers because I was a bridesmaid at many weddings. Also, as I was extremely fond of celebrating love, I excitedly accepted her invitation.

Delighted, she agreed to pick me up a few weeks later on Saturday at 8:00 PM. The arrangement was ideal because I did not know how to drive. On the appointed Saturday night in the Fall season, she came to get me at my dorm, and we set off for South downtown Seattle, giggling and beaming with excitement! I was unfamiliar with the area, but given my love for adventure, I was thrilled to explore! Once we arrived, she parked her car on the street, and we walked to the location.

Doors knock

As we approached the building, I did not know what to think. The building looked like a menacing prop from a horror movie set. There were no windows, and the walls and doors were vantablack. I had never seen anything like it! Suddenly, a tall, muscular, bulky man opened the door and asked for our licenses. Naively, I took my university identity card out of my purse and handed it to him – with a smile.
He took it, glanced at it, smirked, and said, you cannot come in!
I was stunned at the rejection and asked: Why is that so?
Swiftly, he responded: You are underage!

Confused and slightly irritated, I thought to myself: What bearing does my age have on sipping Earl Grey tea and nibbling on scones with a lovely group of ladies in a garden? By the way, who paints a classy hotel entirely black? This place is in desperate need of renovation! 😉

Wisdom speaks

After a few seconds, I was jolted back to reality as my friend attempted to convince the bouncer to let me in. In a moment of swift awareness, I realized I was in a precarious position and immediately said to my friend: No! No! No! I cannot go in there! Where are we? With a guilty look, my friend informed me about the venue. Terrified but resolved, I repeated, I will not go in there. You can go in. I will hail a cab and return to my dorm. She continued to attempt to persuade me for a few minutes, but I was unmoved, and she was disappointed.

About ten minutes later, I asked her where her fiancé was and if he knew where she was having her bridal shower. She said he was hanging out with his groomsmen at his bachelor party at GameWorks, an entertainment venue with a large selection of arcade games on the other side of downtown Seattle. I told her I believed he had chosen the better option.
Surprisingly, she said Aké, I agree! I’m going to leave also. Let us go and meet my fiancé and his friends. Would you like to do that? I responded: Absolutely! Then, we hopped in her car, went to GameWorks, and had a blast! After a couple of hours, she drove me back to my dorm.

The opportunity in time

Later, I reflected on that experience with my friend and realized a gem. – If my mom had not prevented me from accelerating very quickly at school, I would have made a poor decision that night. – Perhaps out of naiveté or fear of rocking the boat and being perceived as a party pooper! However, over the years, I had gained the wisdom and conviction to stand up for what I believed in, even if it seemed I was alone.
To some, my choice might have been overly strait-laced. Others may have viewed it as admirable. But judgments were of no concern to me as, in my opinion, it was about principles. After years of hard work, I knew myself, what mattered to me, and what I wanted to contribute. Therefore, I could confidently stand up and refuse to compromise my values.

The story above represents one example of the value of using time wisely. Today, after decades of exploring, pondering, reading, and conversing with wise people, I do not call myself wise. I am honored to assume the title of constant learner forever! After all, there is no end to wisdom. Wisdom is an eternal pursuit – a worthwhile endeavor I choose to embark on every day, and I hope you do too!

To a wisdom-filled life!

For you and to you,



Image credit: Pexels | Eugene Shelestov



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