A Vision That Compels Me

January 20, 2022

What am I going to do this week? Ask instead, Who am I going to be this week?

What do I have to do today? Ask instead, What do I get to do? Who do I get to be today?

“Having a compelling vision is what gives us a sense of absolute fulfillment and joy, knowing that we are pursuing something greater than the current moment.” – Tony Robbins.

This post began when I asked myself, What’s my compelling vision for my life? A vision that pulls me towards my ultimate destiny? And, What would I do for such a vision?

… No sweat, right?

So I began here: What is driving me?

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” – Mary Oliver.

I feel my inner artist rising up and curious to walk. I feel creative work calling me to worlds of exploration – colorful and exer-expanding, inviting me to play.

The alternative is regret. To deny the call and arrive at Death’s door never having known what is possible to create in this life. I’m certain that will not be my fate.

I’m giving my creative Voice the power and time to drive my life, wherever it may go.

Why give control to my Creative Voice?

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs.

I trust my heart and intuition to guide me, because I cannot see the path ahead. It’s impossible for me to know the future. My heart and intuition – my belief – tells me the future is even brighter than I can imagine. That’s Faith to me. Faith unlocks the Courage to act first from my heart.

How the hell do I get there?

“Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction” – Harry Truman.

Limiting belief: My writing has to be perfect before I publish. People have to understand what I’m trying to say.

Wait, what? My desired outcome is not the perfection, it’s the action.

The action is publishing this blog. This first blog post will not be perfect! In fact, from a literary standpoint, there will be many things “wrong” with it. Including but not limited to grammar, punctuation, structure, and in some cases comprehension.

“There is no failure. You either succeed or you learn.” – Richard Feynman

I was coached today that I might create a new definition of perfection. Instead of perfect meaning something that other people will love and admire (outstanding), maybe perfection can mean being authentic.

Make it Authentic; a work in progress. A work that is visible for all to see this creative process play out. I believe writing is a skill to be developed, practiced. My skills might not be outstanding yet but my commitment, my energy, my attitude can be. I’m in control of that, aren’t I? Sharing my experiences to better understand myself, enjoying and appreciating the process; that’s my outcome here. So smile. Exercise Courage by acting from my heart, writing from my heart. That is who I want to become. That is Authenticity to me.

So what’s my vision? Why is this so important to me that I have literally dropped everything and pursued this path of Creativity? The following is from my Integration Journal. An excerpt with my creative process on full display…

Vision. Stand up, shake my body out. Breath, make myself feel really good. Breath. Stretch. Breath. What’s going to be the standard for my life from now on? Outstanding. Vision bigger than where I am right now. Even if I don’t achieve this Vision perfectly, the pursuit of this Vision will create an extraordinary life of growth and enjoyment.

Compels Me. Pulls me towards it.

A vision like that of seeing my newly born baby in all their beauty. A vision of raising that child in a love filled family. A vision so compelling, I know I will do whatever it takes to create it. I will become my best self so I may be the best husband to my wife and the best father to my children. That compels me.

For this area of my life–my Work, my Mission–I’ve felt compelled to start this blog for many years now. Headwater. A Source For Goodness. As I’ve become more clear, my vision has taken on many forms. Yesterday, I had a Breakthrough. My vision went from outside of myself to within. As if I stepped into a scene from my future:

I’m sitting at my desk in my bedroom. The music is playing Cloudy Day by Tones and I, the sun is warming my face. Mads is typing away at her desk. Fresh cut flowers and new plants surround her. It’s 9:06am, January 10th; the whole day is before us to be creative. To laugh and to love. I take a look at my dm’s on Twitter and I see a new message. Woah! It’s a response to my latest piece on Headwater:

Yooo Eric, I just wanted to reach out to you and thank you for starting up the Headwater community. A few years ago today, I was in a dark place. To be honest, I was planning my suicide. I couldn’t see any light in my future; only more pain and sadness. I felt like I had tried everything, and it was just too hard. This life was too hard. I didn’t want to play the game anymore. I was ready to check out. Whatever is after life, I believed it was probably better than this. To my family and friends I thought, this is my decision, it’s what I need to do, they’ll understand that. I wrote a letter explaining this to them…

Somehow, I don’t even remember, I found my way to your blog. I think it was a retweet that had the word suicide in it. It brought me to your first essay, to this story. Holy shit man, did that change everything. At the time it was just a moment of connection, a tiny flicker of light in the darkness. But that light outlined a door, an opening. At that moment I had nothing to do, no place left to go… so Fuck it, I opened the door and what I saw saved me. I saw snow covered mountains, oceans filled with life, all kinds of animals, a garden with people laughing – so much color and life and opportunity. I thought, if I died, truly died, and I came back without any of my past… if I was born again into this world with a clean slate, a fresh start, right now… I would live here, in this place of beauty. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Then I heard a voice say, Why not start now? Why not live here now? Why can’t I live the rest of my life here?

I’m not going to lie, the road to where I am now wasn’t easy. There were long periods of “depression” and isolation, but whenever I came to the edge of the cliff, I heard that voice–Why not go live in that beautiful place? We don’t have to be here. We don’t have to do this. I was contemplating suicide again!… wasn’t leaving everything and everyone behind to go off and live in Nature a better answer? “But people wouldn’t understand that!”, I thought. And they’d understand me killing myself?! the voice shouted back. Even if they’re upset and don’t understand me going out there to experience the beauty in life, isn’t it better than my loved ones having to live with me dead? Ask any of them and they’d choose this without question.

The downs became shorter and I spent more time searching for my inner voice, listening to faint whispers from my heart and intuition. Letting that guide me. It took me across the country in my van, to a NOLS program, to change my degree from Aerospace to Psychology, to write my capstone on The Effects of Psychedelics in Treating Anxiety and Depression. That search led me to blogs like waitbutwhy, podcasts like Tim Ferriss, and to crypto twitter… and regular twitter. It led to Naval and Perrell, Butcher and Robbins and this community of creators who were showing everyone what is possible.

Another road trip after I graduated, another downward spiral after that. Remember who you are. Remember the door and the garden and the decision. And so my search continued. Horticulture, a job at the Arboretum, personal power, a girlfriend I’ve fallen deeply in love with, coaching, the Artist’s Way, full immersion, and a creative business of my own.

A community I’m building, to be a node in this beautiful network of creation. Your writing, all those years ago. That flicker of light when I saw that door and I opened it. Once it was open, it does not close again. I couldn’t forget the beauty entirely. And now I’m joining you and all the others, because if we all shine our light – I believe – we’ll light up this world. The vision that compels me is to one day receive a letter like this in my dm’s. We are not alone in this life. There is a path for all of us. Let’s open some doors!

All the love in the world…


“If you want to write a good book, write what you don’t want others to know about you. If you want to write a great book, write what you don’t want to know about yourself.” – Suleika Jaouad told by Benjamin Schreier (a mantra passed down to desperate artists and writers who are trying to get unstuck).

The vision I wrote above turns out to be my story. A Vision that pulls me forward, giving power and time to my Creative Voice. I believe that force is within all of us. I believe the potential for each of us is unlimited, beyond imagination.

Many of us know someone who has committed suicide or overdosed on painkillers or heroin or other drugs. Someone who is suffering alone with depression or anxiety or addiction. Friends, family, or simply people who help shape our lives in some profound way, even after they’re gone. There are people in our lives right now who are moving towards suicide or overdose, too afraid to tell anyone – not mom or dad, or brother or sister, or best friends, or therapist or coach or teacher – when that is the cure. To tell people, to let the weight fall from our shoulders, to connect and share love with someone.

I don’t want one more person in my life to commit suicide, or overdose on drugs, or even to feel like they are totally alone with their anxiety and depression. I want them to know that I’ve been right there with them. That I’ve shared their suffering. That they are not alone.

That until death, it is all life. – Cervantes.

At least if I put it out there, I’ve taken action. Courage is anytime I act from my heart. And who knows, maybe one day on a January morning I’ll get a message saying this action mattered, just like all those people who shared their journeys saved my life all those years ago.

So… What’s important for me to write today? And in doing so, Who do I get to become?

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