Tag - vision

Vivid Talk™ Radio | Sanya Whittaker Gragg

I Set Out to Create a Positive Vision for Our Boys

I am Wife. Mom. Social Worker. And now Author. I’m Nashville native, and I have always had a passion for working with and inspiring kids. I hold degrees from the University of Memphis (Bachelor of Arts, Marketing), Georgia State University (Master of Science, Sports Administration) and the University of Southern California (Master of Social Work). I have worn many hats including nearly 10 years in marketing, public relations and athletics working for NIKE, the Detroit Pistons and the University of Michigan Athletics. I have also served on the board for an Ann Arbor homeless shelter for families and advocated in the courts for foster children.

My work in the community and with families prompted me to pursue my Master’s degree in Social Work. This led to my working in Tulsa Public Schools as a school based therapist and social worker. Over the years, I have also taken breaks in my career to be at home full time supporting her children with their many activities, as well as supporting my husband with his demanding career as an athletic director.

Vivid Talk™ Radio | Sanya Whittaker Gragg

I also now have a 3 year old “Tulsa surprise” who is keeping me busier than ever, but raising two black sons (now young adults) actually prompted me to write my debut book, “Momma, Did You Hear the News?” Its purpose is to give parents a way to have what’s known as “The Talk”. Unfortunately, it’s a conversation nearly all African-American parents have with their children–more specifically, their sons.

“Momma, Did You Hear the News” is centered around 10-year old Avery who is disturbed by yet another unarmed black man being shot. This prompts his parents to sit down with him and his brother to talk about what to do if approached by police officers. Their Dad references a catchy chant taught to him by his mother to help remember the five things to do to come home ALIVE, “A to the L to the I-V-E! Come home ALIVE…That is the key!” Vivid Talk™ Radio | Sanya Whittaker Gragg

I make a point in the book to stress that “all policemen are not bad”, and we should “pray for those in blue”.

My past experience working with kids taught me that when you add music or song and dance to a lesson, young people are more likely to engage, and more importantly, they are more likely to remember. Each letter corresponds with a reminder. For example, “V” is for VISIBLE hands always! The book encourages readers to Memorize the 5.

I know this book will not guarantee the end of unarmed black male fatalities. Our community will continue working to educate our kids on “The Talk”, but we need law enforcement to continue working to educate and train officers too. I make a point in the book to stress that “all policemen are not bad”, and we should “pray for those in blue”. However, as long as unarmed black men are disproportionately killed by the police, my debut self-published book will be one of the ways that we can give our boys a positive vision for their futures to do what we can to make sure they come home alive. It can be purchased now on Amazon. Click here to listen to my interview on Vivid TalkRadio.

Get a vision for every area of your visionary lifestyle

I have this unique ability to see big, giant, colossal, ridiculously huge projects–equal parts artist and architect. There is the most intense level of satisfaction as a big picture is defined and comes to life for others to understand and embrace. I’m a visionary. If there’s a problem to be solved, I’m like a moth to a flame. I have to try to solve it. I’m a visionary. Whenever I’m asked, “What are you working on?” I have to giggle before I respond because I realize that if I tell the truth, most of the time it will sound preposterous. Imagine the comfort I derived from the definition of the word visionary.

ADJECTIVE: given to or characterized by fanciful, not presently workable, or unpractical ideas, views, or schemes; NOUN: a person of unusually keen foresight; a person who is given to audacious, highly speculative, or impractical ideas or schemes; dreamer – dictionary.com

Ambiguity is my friend. Possibility and Purpose are her cousins. Even if you can’t agree with those sentiments for yourself wholeheartedly, the Bible clearly says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” So, that tells me that if I am not happy with any area of life, it’s because I don’t have a vision for better. I like the part of the definition that says “not presently workable”. Your vision, by its very nature, will not be workable this very moment. That’s why it’s a vision. It’s a big picture.

Vision gives you the spark you need to endure any test, trial, or trauma. In every life, there will be many. Click To Tweet

You can say, “I want a better job,” but you have to define what “better” is. It’s that blurry picture way out on the horizon. I imagine those dream sequences in movies. They are glowing and idealistic. So, even though your vision is impractical, it serves a vital purpose. Habakkuk 2: 2 says, “Write the vision, and make it plain.” Vision gives you the spark you need to endure any test, trial, or trauma. In every life, there will be many. Statistics for business success tells us that only 20% of new businesses will make it past their first year, and after five years, half of those will go out of business (usatoday.com). That tells me that there’s more failure than success, and any entrepreneur can attest that they are changed in the process.

This has proven true in my own life, and I have seen it in the lives of entrepreneurs around me. What’s most astounding is that those same people (me included) keep going and going and going. It’s truly a way of life–the visionary lifestyle. That’s the reason for Vivid TalkRadio, a featured Blogtalk Radio Show, Vivid TalkLIVE, a live streaming video show, and Vivid Magazine, available in print, digital, and online versions, to cultivate the visionary lifestyle. You need to get a vision for every area of life. We have summed it us as your inside, your outside, and your surroundings. Making your vision “plain” is a process. I have defined it as the V.I.V.I.D.Model for growth and development. It serves as the foundation for everything we do, and we are bringing together other entrepreneurs and visionaries to coach you through the process.

As the Principal of Adam Red, a branding agency, and Better Life Coach, I am most concerned about the core–your inside. You will find me talking about faith and identity as a foundation because without a vision of who we are and where we ultimately come from, success will be fleeting. Dr. Jada Moore-Ruffin and I connected through a women’s network. After 20 years in family practice, she launched REAL Weight Loss + Wellness, and as a Wellness Coach, she wants to help you get a vision for your outside. You need a vision for the physical body that carries you through this life. Katherine Jordan and I met through The Pinkpreneur Network. She is the owner of The Savvy ID where she is the Creative Director offering home staging for real estate agents and interior styling for female entrepreneurs. Katherine will help you get a vision for your surroundings. The environments that you create for yourself matter in this visionary journey. We decided to collaborate so that we could create, execute, and sustain something bigger than ourselves. Hear about our visionary lifestyles here, and tell us about yours for a chance to win Vivid swag!

Dr. Jada Moore-Ruffin

The Entrepreneur’s Struggle Boils Down to a Decision

The precursor to our first episode of Vivid TalkRadio was my answer to Co-Host Gwen‘s question, “How are you doing?” I was at a point where I was seriously feeling the pains of being a new business owner. The overhead at my startup, REAL Weight Loss + Wellness, seemed to be taking over, emails coming by the page full, employee out sick, and I’m like, “Really? Is this gonna work out after all? What would happen if I gave up and went back to the ‘safe and steady’ world of getting a job?” My ego would eventually recover, but so much more was at stake. The debt I incurred would most certainly require a REALLY good gig. My family has sacrificed so much already. I have other people depending on me for their livelihood (my great team, who has not missed a step in this visionary journey). But most importantly, the decision to give up would mean I would never get to see the vision God intended when He planted the seed and started this meager bumper garden. At that moment, I didn’t have a choice. I had to make a decision.

I said to myself, “Look, you gotta make a decision. Either you are going to lose, or you are going to win. It’s up to you.”

Choices are options waiting for selection. Chocolate or vanilla? Tie or no tie? Burger or salad? We make choices every day–often without much contemplation. However, a decision very often requires you to create your own set of options or surmise possible outcomes. If I decide to go back to school and get that advanced degree, that may allow me to earn more income to meet a personal goal. If you decide to go to counseling in an effort to save your marriage, your kids could get to live with the benefits of both parents in their lives each day. Obviously, decisions take way more contemplation than a choice because we have to determine what’s at stake.

'I never lose, either I win, or I learn.' – Nelson MandelaClick To TweetSo, after much self-talk, cheerleading, mantras and serious prayer, I had a revelation. I said to myself, “Look, you gotta make a decision. Either you are going to lose, or you are going to win. It’s up to you.” This was not a choice, because I knew deep inside that either way there was going to be some type of aftermath. So no, the choice thing was not about picking. It was about determining in my mind that my decision would result in an intended outcome. Now, just how that looks, only time will tell. So, that day I posted on Facebook Live. (I make rare appearances when really compelled and the spirit hits me that somebody else may need this too.) I gave a little bit of me to the universe. It was a declaration that I had decided to win.

When that happened, things began to shift. The problems, setbacks and annoying issues didn’t stop (no they did not), but my approach was new. I decided that no matter what, I am winning. I am a winner. I am often reminded of my favorite quote, by the legendary, Nelson Mandela. It goes like this, “I never lose, either I win, or I learn.”

Is it time for you to make a decision? What decision do you need to make to take your life and your vision to the next level? Reply in the comments section below.

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