Dr. Eric Scroggins’ new book Vision Blockers: How to Shatter Barriers to Achieve Your Destiny is a unique, inspirational, and personal growth book. Many books try to help people move ahead in life, but few have pointed out the main problem they face so succinctly: “The reason they’re stuck is that they have no vision. They absolutely can’t see from point A to point B in their lives, and point B is where their destiny lies.”
Eric, who is both a banker and a pastor, builds on the biblical verse Proverbs 28:18 “without vision the people perish” to create his argument that people need to have a vision of what they want in their lives if they are to be happy and successful. While he uses several examples from the Bible in making his arguments, most of the book focuses on what are really common sense but enlightening arguments about what blocks people from having a vision. Eric says in the book that he came to realize his role as a pastor was largely to be a literal eye-opener so people could see what is blocking them from having vision.
The first part of the book is all about identifying what are the vision blockers in our lives. Some of those vision blockers surprised me, such as strife, double-mindedness, and the Pharisee complex, while others were more obvious, but still difficult to overcome, such as relationships with negative or insecure people, bad habits and poor life choices, and traditional “it’s always been done this way” thinking.
For me, each chapter made me feel as if I were in a round during a boxing match, each time being hit with a different vision blocker until I definitely wanted to remove them all. And while I’ve read a lot of self-help, personal growth, and inspirational books, and several of the vision blockers Eric discusses I have worked through in the past, I found points here I hadn’t considered before, especially in the chapter on the Pharisee complex, which refers to the self-righteous religious leaders of Jesus’ time who were too blindly tied to religion and tradition to see that Jesus was the Messiah. Similarly, Eric made me realize I am sometimes too tied to believing the good old days are past to embrace all the advantages around me in the present.
The second part of the book helps people to remove their vision blockers now that they’ve identified them. These chapters are given an added punch because Eric doesn’t just let people have a reading experience. He wants them to learn and apply what they read, so he asks them some hard-hitting questions such as to envision what your life might be like free of sin or bad habits, what actions you can take to eliminate strife and be a peacemaker, what negative people in your life might you need to get rid of, and how might you give of your time and resources to help others, and in doing so, refine your own vision.
Throughout the book, I appreciated that Eric, though a pastor, did not preach religion or try to convert the reader; he obviously is a Christian and feels that God’s plan is part of the vision he has for his own life, but he presents the biblical aspects of the book in a straightforward way, such as clarifying that the Bible is not just a set of harsh rules from God but guidelines for our lives intended to help us “make sound choices for life that will lead us down a path to prosperity and power.” He encourages the reader to see what role God might play in unblocking his or her vision, but he leaves it up to the reader.
I also commend Eric for his honesty in telling his own personal stories of times when his vision was blocked, including his being abused as a young man, and his self-doubts about his ability to share his message with others. Eric has been a pastor, banker, in the military, a father and husband, and someone who has coached many other people to remove their vision blockers. These many diverse experiences and his easy conversational writing style definitely make him well-qualified to write this book. He has obviously taken the Bible’s advice to remove the plank from his own eye before he tries to remove the speck of dust from someone else’s.
Vision Blockers is filled with great examples and inspirational quotes, but my favorite quote was this humorous one from Mark Twain: “I can teach anybody how to get exactly what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who knows what they want.” This book helps you figure out what you want—what the vision should be for your life—so you can feel your life has purpose. By knowing that purpose, your life will have direction and you will be happier; I know because I have found my purpose in life as a writer, but I still found this book immensely helpful because we can all use a little course correction and extra guidance. Whether or not you’re Christian, whether or not you feel stuck, I encourage you to read Vision Blockers. It certainly won’t hurt your vision, and I suspect you’ll see much better when you’ve finished it.
For more information about Eric Scroggins and Vision Blockers, visit the author’s website.