His looks don’t cut much except that he has this quiet confident air about him as someone who understands where he’s at. His good looks don’t also betray the fact that he has a good head on his shoulder. We have this preconception that beauty and brains don’t always go together. But in this case, they do.
Steve Ajayi is a Nigeria-born, Nigeria trained Physiotherapist and an entrepreneur. He is a thorough-bred professional whose practice spans across three countries – Nigeria, his country of birth, Ireland, and Canada. Steve is a potpourri of high intellect, wit, intuition and good vibes, with a mission to make his world, which at present is Canada, much better than he came into.
Most immigrants make it seem easy but it takes a lot of guts and hard-work to migrate from one’s home country to an entirely different world in search of opportunities. There are the high mountains of expectations and the deep valleys of doubt and possibility of failure. At best, immigrants, with all the outer euphoria, usually is battling with much uncertainties. This is sadly, the narrative of most immigrants who step out to conquer, but many don’t end up conquering after all.
“Navigating the tough terrain of immigrating and integration starts and ends with the mindset,” Ajayi says. Optimism is his forte. He views glass half-full rather than half-empty. He left the comforts of his home after 45 days of marriage, to find his professional feet in Ireland where he spent 12 years.
He felt that he was a not making a greater impact in Ireland which led him to choose Canada. Within a few years in Canada, he has his own practice, and is giving employment to twelve others. How did he achieve such a feat and in such a short time? “Sometimes you have to be naively blind to the things that are going to limit you from achieving the peak of your potential,” he says.
He is a big believer in having the right mindset — mental attitude or inclination that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. It is largely responsible for a lot of outcomes, both positive and negative and that applies to every immigrant. “Be ready for culture shock and react to it with the right mental attitude. Just carry the right attitude,” he tells every immigrant.
The natural transition of getting used to a new environment physically, culturally, language wise, and improving one’s communication skills are all part of an immigrant’s journey. Like the chameleon, every immigrant has to adapt to his new environment – the extreme cold weather, the language, the intonation, the environment generally and the struggle over acceptability. “It’s just okay that you look and speak different. Accept this as your new reality. Take things in their stride. Get comfortable with the fact that it may take some time for people and the environment to get used to you and you to them. It may take some time, but it WILL happen,” he tells!
His advice to new immigrants is be involved. Get involved in your local community. Seek support, offer support. “Be clear minded about your expected reality. It’s all in you. Stay true to your pursuit and you will achieve your goals.”
Join the host of The Immigrant Life in this insightful no-holds-barred interview which promises to be the delight of the immigrant community. If he can do it, we all can!
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