the first issue of mesh culture magazine

July 26th, 2009

TheThinkMovement.com by j.sakiya sandifer

J. Sakiya Sandifer is an author, motivational speaker and philosopher.  With his innovative ideas, uncompromising energy and unorthodox approach, he has received much success and acclaim and is steadily moving closer to being one of the great thinkers of our time.  MESH Culture caught up with Sandifer to talk about the man, the movement and the mission.

First off you don’t seem like the typical philosopher or motivational speaker as young black men are largely underrepresented in this industry, why did you choose to get into this profession and has it been hard to succeed and get to the point where you are?

It was back in 2005 2006, a voice inside me said, “You’re going to be in front of people, so get ready!” I really didn’t know what it meant, yet it felt so right to me that I decided not only to listen to it, but to embrace it.  I was slowly but surely becoming obsessed with being in front of people to share my ideas in a verbal form.It was an easy decision once I stopped fighting myself.  I always knew that I would be successful in life, but for whatever reason I never defined the success.  I can recall getting upset when I would hear other so called motivational speakers because it seemed so obvious to me. I would look around the room like, “Y’all don’t freaking know this stuff?” But all that changed after stumbling across a Wayne Dyer presentation on PBS some years back.  How he described his life experiences in a laid back conversational style really stood out to me.  And I must admit that his words hit home with me when he said, “when you change the way that you’re looking at something, what you’re looking at will change.”  I couldn’t argue with it.  It was one of the many confirmations in my life that this is what I was put on this planet to do.  AND YES YES YES YES YES getting to the point where I’m now has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life!  It is and will always be hard to do truly what you want in life.  No one should ever expect different.  Opposition is a part of life.

Many people may know your name from your collaboration with Kanye on the book entitled “Thank You and You’re  Welcome”, how and why did that project come about?

I get that question a lot and the tripped out thing is that I never had any intentions in writing a book with him. I just have a talent in being able to recognize great opportunities. As far as I saw it, as long as he wrote my foreword for my first book, “Think Think Think and Think Again”, I was good. I can still remember the first time I showed him some of the sample pages. I’m so freaking glad that I did because I think it was the set off point for everything that was to come. I remember it vividly how he got lost while reading the “Power” page as I was in my full sales mode talking about what I was about to do. It was at that point when he first stated how he wanted to help me get my book published. The publishers I went to didn’t believe in it enough to give me a deal, so I had no other choice but to get on my grind and self-publish. I reached out to Kanye to write the foreword in order to give it a celebrity component.  I believe it was my extreme focus, passion and work ethic that struck a cord with him. My efforts were rewarded when I got that call from him asking if I wanted to co-write a book with him.

You have one of the most interesting blogs online – thethinkmovement.com.  Most blogs seem to be fleeting and based around entertainment and the cutnpaste culture, why did you choose to create such an intense and thought provoking blog and have you been shocked by its success?

My work is merely a reflection of my thoughts and my blog is just one of the many mediums that I use in getting them out.  It’s like when I decided to write my first book, there wasn’t any type of research done on how or what to write about.  I had an idea of a book for fellow non-readers like myself who needed that extra spark in life, so I simply wrote it!  For the most part, I use past conversations instead of typical research.  Now we also have WeThinkRadio, which is an internet radio show with me and a co-host discussing thought-provoking content.

The gossip and entertainment sites are cool and they have their place, but when it comes to what I want to present to the world, they all seem like they’re giving sugar water to the thirsty. Yeah, it’s a little bit sweeter, but drinking too much of it will surely rot my teeth.  I’m totally convinced there are an infinite amount of dormant thinkers in the world who all have a deep down craving for something different to spark their minds…so instead of cursing the darkness, I decided to light a candle.

Now as far as being shocked by its success…not so much!  Honored by it…Absolutely!!! Satisfied with it…NEVER!!!  I know that this is just the beginning!!!

I look at this moment in time as my thoughts have taken root and now just begun to break the surface.  Please understand that I’ve planted a mighty tree of infinite thought, and it has many years of growth ahead of itself before it even begins to reach its full potential.

MESH Culture is all about Liberation and Innovation. What do those two words mean to you?

Great question! It’s two ideas necessary to have a progressive life.

Lastly what does the future hold for J. Sakiya Sandifer?

More books of course!  I’ve already started my next one entitled, A Book of Questions with One Answer, which should be out later this year.  I’m also looking to do more of the Thinking (like an entrepreneur) Change My Life lectures as well as speaking performances.  My goal is to be presenting my ideas on stages around the world to spark as many people as possible who are seeking to create a positive change in their lives.

When it’s all said and done what do you want your legacy to be?

To be known as one of the most influential creative thinkers of this generation!!!

For more on J. Sakiya Sandifer: www.thethinkmovement.com

Words: Yaw Owusu


Read the full issue at www.meshculture.com/inprint.html

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1 Comment

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  • 1. tgood  |  July 28th, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    “It is and will always be hard to do truly what you want in life. No one should ever expect different. Opposition is a part of life.”

    -enough said!

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