"The Crossroads of Should and Must" by Elle Luna


| 📖 # 66 |


Title: The Crossroads of Should and Must
Author: Elle Luna
Start Date: 4/8/17
End Date: 4/8/17
# of Pages: 176
Edition: Workman Publishing Company hardcover (2015)
ISBN: 9780761184881
Purchase: Amazon

Quick Take: aspirational

Source: Jon Acuff

Why I Chose It: The cover stood out to me as I scrolled past Jon Acuff's Instagram post. To be honest, I expected it to be a little spongy and self-helpy, but the title (and my interpretation of the message behind it) seemed relevant to some of my internal deliberations at the moment, even if I'm not necessarily in the "follow your passion" camp. I decided to judge the book by the cover and give it a try.

Quotes: (1) "And we might even find ourselves as adults still living in a world of Shoulds from childhood that we have not consciously examined." (2) "What were you like as a child?...If you don't remember, call your mom, or someone who knew you well in your early childhood, and ask for stories about what you were like as a kid. Take notes on a piece of paper and hold onto them. These stories hold the earliest seeds of your Must." (3) "Your activities might appear to be unrelated, but over time, your interests will integrate and cross-pollinate because they have one common element - you. As designer Charles Eames was fond of saying, 'Eventually everything connects.' And it will." (4) "'The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.'" (5) "'...what a man can be, he must be.'" (6) "And if, for some awful reason, you forget that money is a game, a make-believe concept that some people invented, you could be led back into the complex layered world of Should. And here, the loss isn't a financial one. You are the cost. Is it worth it?" (7) "'Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.'" 

Other Notes: I was pleasantly surprised by the positive takeaways I found in the book. By the way, if you want a free overview of Luna's thesis, the book is based on her viral Medium post. I especially appreciated her approach (very artistic, very visual, very creative...maybe not for everyone) to moving yourself into the right mindset to answer the questions of "what should I do" etc. Ideas like writing your obituary as it would read now (based on your past and current trajectory) and writing it based on what you hope it would say at the end of your life, and comparing. It seems to me her overall point is that you should ignore what you "should" do and make the effort to discover what you "must" do (and embrace honestly). As she acknowledges, this book won't answer your questions, but it might help you figure out how to asking them the right way to figure out the answers. In any case, it is a pleasure to read with all of the illustrations.

BooksKarl Magnuson