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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Where are you Going?

Your direction of travel leads to a destination. Are you heading where you intend to go?

First, it is comical that I am writing a blog about direction because I am, as some would say: directionally challenged. By the way, did you catch the political correctness there? In the deliberate use of the term: directionally challenged? 😉 Notably, the ultra-politically correct term is topographically disoriented. But I cannot bring myself to use that term. Nope! We are not working on a medical encyclopedia.
Also, since I am referring to myself, I will take the liberty to break it down in the common vernacular! 
Simply put, I do not have a poor sense of direction. Instead, I have NO sense of direction! Stunning! Huh?!

Where are you going? No, really! Where are you going?

Case in point; In my adult life, whenever I moved to a new home, I typically leveraged my GPS, aka Global Positioning System, to navigate from home to work for at least one month. Yes, you heard that right! Five days a week for one month, I would use an assisted navigation system to and from my home and office. And why did I do so? 

Because I was terrified of what would happen if I attempted to find my way from memory. Usually, most people jog their memories to find their bearings. They don’t rely on an assisted navigation system therefore, as I share this, I realize it might sound loony. However, my fear was not a wild product of my vivid imagination. My fear arose from a lived experience. Because whenever I moved to a new home, which happened every three years on average, I frequently got lost returning home from work! Yep! A little strange but it is what it is.

And for this reason, I often tell friends that unless I am extremely familiar with an area, allowing me to lead the way is like throwing oneself on a hair-raising adventure along the likes of Phileas Fogg in Around the World in Eighty Days. 😊

The Boundless Realm of Opportunity.

Fortunately, there are two sides to a coin.
Though I often struggle to find my bearings spatially, I traverse life in other dimensions lucidly. And this is in part because I can be very determined and committed. Which makes charting a course for the future a thrill! However, too much of a good thing does not necessarily yield a better thing! Indeed, we know the bounty of disasters that can ensue when determination and commitment go overboard. It can lead one to endlessly spin on the proverbial hamster wheel without knowing when to get off. Yikes!

But while conscious of the potential downsides of these traits, I do not let them dissuade me from enjoying their benefits. Instead, I am committed to developing them. They help me to focus and stay at a high level of flow and creativity. And as I revel in my imagination, I can nurture hope and imagine a better tomorrow. Remarkably, this aided me in dealing with a childhood bullying experience and navigating Multiple Sclerosis.

Of course, imagining and believing in a bright future is often easier said than done because it is not a physical occurrence. Instead, it is a mental and emotional experience.

Imagination is golden!

As was apparent in the piece last week, where we dwell mentally and emotionally has a profound impact on our lives. And the ability to harness the power of our minds via imagination enables one to adroitly cultivate an optimistic mindset and spot glimmers of hope in the unexpected. Where do you Dwell? – BLOG – www.akesatia.com

Naturally, you might be thinking: What enables one to maintain an optimistic mindset, especially amidst adversity? This is a question I often ask myself because I intend to lead a fulfilling life. However, it is impossible to be fulfilled if one is uncontrollably seesawing between fleeting moments of happiness and sadness. And I know this well because once upon a time, I lived such a life. Perhaps, you can relate.
Fortunately, many have and continue to set an example of departing from this mindless existence by imagining a better tomorrow and taking action. And here, I will share one such example.

A Serendipitous Chat!

What are you worth, and where are you going?: This is a fun two-part question! But it is also one that many of us shy away from. Perhaps because it reminds us of missed opportunities and what could have become of us if only we dared to try, and it is understandable why one would avoid addressing the question! After all, who wants to lead a guilt-ridden life? That is a miserable existence! 

Ironically, this reminds me of an experience I had a couple of weeks ago!
On a Friday evening, a close family friend, Brielle, sent me a text message and immediately followed up with a phone call! Perhaps, you are familiar with these types of communications. You know… those that seem panicky and desperately urgent! Whenever I receive one of these, instantly, I imagine three elaborate scenarios ranging from doom and gloom to babies and blue skies. 😊 But that weekend, I decided to spare myself the mental escapade and quickly return Brielle’s call.

You see… Brielle has been around my family for as long as I can remember! While she attended university, I was still in primary school (aka elementary). And at the time, Brielle frequently visited our home on the weekends and had lunch with my family. Since then, she has regarded me as a sister and my parents as hers. Therefore when she reached out a couple of weeks ago and asked if I had a moment to chat, I eagerly responded!

Know Your Worth and Where You Are Going.

Once we connected on the phone, she asked for my help in getting a Father’s Day gift for my dad. And after a lively discussion, we landed on a suitable gift. Then I inquired about her job. Surprisingly, Brielle began to tell me about some peculiar challenges she was experiencing at work: Her leadership asked her to put in significantly more time and travel without compensating her for the additional effort. Brielle noted that such requests were not new and were frequent during her 15+ year tenure at the company. But in the past, she interpreted them as an acknowledgment of her worth, and despite the inconvenience, she went with it.
However, recently, she gained a new perspective and realized her worth. Therefore, she felt aggravated by the frequent demands for free labor under the guise of “good growth opportunities.”

I have a hunch the scenario above is familiar to many. And given how frequently it surfaces in conversations, one might surmise it is par for the course today, in the working world.

Two essential Cs: Courage and Confidence!

Delightfully, as I discussed with Brielle, I was most intrigued by the amount of courage and confidence she displayed. She explained that as a mother of a severely disabled child and teenage children, spending time with her family was of utmost importance. Also, she has the undying support of her husband and dear friends. And as she recounted her experience advocating for herself and confidently pushing back on excessive requests, I could not resist cheering her on. In clearly communicating her results in the organization and politely articulating her needs, her leadership pulled back on the extraneous demands. Brielle was successful in her pursuit!
But far be it from me to minimize the risk she undertook! Indeed, saying NO can be challenging, especially when the person one is saying no to can negatively impact their career.

However, Brielle’s lightheartedness and sense of contentment left no uncertainty about her resolve with her decision. And this illustrates a well-known truth: Fulfilling a dream or attaining a worthy goal often requires optimism and risk-taking. And optimism is propelled by courage and confidence. Undeniably, Brielle knows where she is going, and with her loved ones by her side, she is charting the course for her future. Remarkably, this opportunity is available to all who dare to try.

Therefore, we revisit our original question: Where are you going?

For you and to you,



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