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March Book Review

The Crossroads of Should and Must

MARCH 1, 2016

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

by Elle Luna

Who might enjoy this book:

Anyone who has a lingering feeling that something is missing from their lives.

Anyone who feels that they might not be quite on the right path.

Anyone who is trying to figure out their passions and purpose, whether they are a recent college grad, heading into retirement or anywhere in between.


I recently bought this book for a friend who is going through a career transition and decided to pick up a copy for myself. It's an easy read- you could finish it in an hour or less.  It’s filled with quotes, drawings and artistic prose, and flows in a simple and appealing way that swiftly carries you through the pages.

It examines the difference between doing what we feel like we Should do – as determined by the people around us, culture and society - and doing what we Must do. The Must is what we feel like we are here to do, where we feel most like ourselves and essentially is our calling or purpose. Luna gives us practical suggestions for figuring out what our Must is if we aren’t quite sure and also gives us thoughts on how to work around the barriers to Must (e.g. the need to make money, lack of time and space, and fear).

Favorite excerpt:

“If you believe that you have something special inside of you, and you feel it’s about time you gave it a shot, honor that calling in some small way – today. If you feel a knot in your stomach because you can see the enormous distance between your dreams and your daily reality, do one thing to tighten your grip on what you want – today. If you’ve been peering down the road to Must but can’t quite make the choice, dig a little deeper and find out what’s stopping you – today. Because there is a recurring choice in life, and it occurs at the intersection of two roads. We arrive at this place again and again. And today, you get to choose.”

Why I liked this book:

I appreciated the reminder to consider whether or not we are in a JOB, CAREER or CALLING.

I liked the recommendations for taking manageable baby steps towards your Must.

It covers a deep topic in a playful and whimsical way, which inspires the creative-thinking side of the reader.

What I question about the book:

I don’t think your calling necessarily has to replace a job or a career. This book frames callings in a very work-oriented way. Sometimes people are able to enjoy their job or career or be running their households and incorporate their calling into their lives in other ways. This author happens to have left her job at a start-up in San Francisco to focus on her art and writing and this is apparent in her perspective and how she frames what she expresses in the book. However, I think there are plenty of ways to interpret this message into very different life situations.

In Summary: 

A fun, quick read that might just might spark a conversation with yourself about where you are on your path to living purposefully. And a nice gift idea for your family members or friends who are looking for additional inspiration in choosing their next steps along their own paths. (You can find it on Amazon for under US$10.)

What about you? Do you consider what you do a job, career or a calling? If you took stock of your Shoulds vs. your Musts how would they line up?

“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.” – Howard Thurman, Philosopher

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