Discovering Your True Calling: Unveiling the Crossroads of Should and Must

In her inspirational book, “The Crossroads of Should and Must” author Elle Luna explores the pivotal choices we face in life—the choice between following societal expectations and obligations (Should) or embracing our true passions and desires (Must). With captivating stories and introspective guidance, Luna encourages readers to dare to live authentically and find fulfillment by embracing their Must. A deeply insightful artist and designer, Elle Luna brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to her writing. Having worked with renowned companies like Mailbox, IDEO, and Medium, Luna has cultivated a unique perspective on creativity, purpose, and self-discovery that she shares generously with readers around the world.

Chapter 1: Choosing Between Should and Must

The path of should represents societal expectations, obligations, and external influences. It is the safe and conventional path that we are often urged to follow by family, friends, and society. Shoulds are the tasks we feel obligated to do, the responsibilities we take on, and the decisions made to appease others. However, Luna argues that following the path of should can lead to a life filled with regret, unfulfilled dreams, and a sense of imprisonment.

On the other hand, the path of must represents one’s true calling, authentic self, and inner desires. Musts are the activities and passions that truly make us come alive, the things we cannot ignore or imagine our lives without. Luna believes that following the path of must allows us to tap into our unique purpose, creativity, and potential.

Throughout this chapter, Luna shares personal stories and experiences to illustrate how she navigated through the crossroads and chose the path of must. She encourages readers to reflect on their own lives and consider what they are really meant to do, what they feel most passionate about, and what truly brings them joy. By exploring the path of must, Luna believes that individuals can lead more fulfilling and authentic lives.

In summary, Chapter 1 presents the fundamental dichotomy between the path of should (external expectations) and the path of must (inner calling), highlighting the importance of introspection and self-discovery in choosing the path that leads to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

Chapter 2: Exploring Your Must: Passion and Calling

Luna emphasizes the importance of uncovering and pursuing one’s Must by reflecting on personal experiences and identifying the activities and moments when one feels fully engaged. By recognizing and following these signs, individuals can begin to uncover their passions and discover their true purpose. Luna notes that Must often reveals itself through subtle whispers, and it takes courage to listen and respond to these inner voices.

The author distinguishes Must from Should – external expectations imposed by society, family, or professional demands. Must is a deep desire that stems from an individual’s core being, while Should is often driven by external pressures and conformity. To illustrate this distinction, Luna shares personal stories and anecdotes from others who have followed their Must, showcasing the transformative power of aligning one’s life with their true passion and purpose.

Luna guides readers through an exercise called the “Must List,” encouraging them to create a visual representation of their desires and dreams. This list helps individuals explore and understand their passions on a deeper level, providing clarity and direction for pursuing their Must.

Chapter 2 serves as a reminder that uncovering and embracing one’s Must is essential for a fulfilling and authentic life. It encourages readers to take the first steps toward self-discovery, urging them to listen to their inner voice and embark on the journey of pursuing their true passion and calling.

Chapter 3: Overcoming Fear and Resistance

Luna emphasizes that fear is a natural response whenever we venture into unfamiliar territory or pursue our true passions. However, she asserts that acknowledging and confronting this fear is crucial for personal growth and the alignment of one’s authentic self.

The chapter begins by highlighting the most common fears that individuals face on their journey towards their “Must.” Luna states that the fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough, and the fear of the unknown are frequent obstacles that hinder people from embracing their true calling. She encourages readers to identify their specific fears and recognize them as mere thoughts and perceptions rather than facts.

Next, Luna introduces the concept of resistance as an inner force that opposes change. She explains that resistance can take various forms, such as procrastination, self-doubt, or seeking validation from others. She emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and understanding resistance to overcome its influence on our pursuit of Must.

To combat fear and resistance, Luna outlines several strategies. Firstly, accepting that fear is an inherent aspect of growth and must be embraced rather than avoided. She advises readers to develop a supportive network of like-minded individuals who can provide encouragement and guidance. Additionally, Luna underscores the significance of self-compassion and self-care practices, as they help maintain mental and emotional well-being during challenging times.

In summary, Luna emphasizes the need to confront and overcome these obstacles by acknowledging them as subjective thoughts and perceptions. By implementing strategies such as accepting fear, seeking support, and practicing self-compassion, individuals can navigate through fear and resistance to align with their Must.

Chapter 4: Embracing Your Creative Journey

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Luna begins by emphasizing that action is a crucial aspect of following our must. She acknowledges that fear and uncertainty often hold us back from taking the necessary steps, but reassures readers that their musts are worth pursuing. She urges them to let go of any doubts and take that leap of faith.

The author highlights the transformative power of commitment. By making a clear decision to follow our must, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and opportunities. Luna advises readers to fully immerse themselves in their chosen path and to stay dedicated to their creative pursuits.

Luna also explores the concept of the “beginner’s mind” and the importance of embracing a learning mindset. She encourages readers to approach their creative journey with curiosity and openness, acknowledging that mistakes and failures are part of the process. This mindset allows for growth and innovation, enabling individuals to reach their creative potential.

Finally, Luna emphasizes the significance of the creative community. She emphasizes the importance of finding like-minded individuals who share similar passions and can provide support, feedback, and encouragement. Connecting with others who are also on their creative journey will help individuals navigate the challenges and boost their motivation.

By doing these things, individuals can unlock their creative potential and live a more fulfilling life aligned with their true passions.

Chapter 5: Navigating Challenges and Obstacles

The chapter starts by addressing the fear factor, emphasizing that fear is a natural and inevitable part of stepping out of our comfort zones. Luna encourages readers to embrace fear as a sign that they are on the right path towards their Must. She highlights the importance of acknowledging and facing our fears rather than avoiding or suppressing them.

Luna then delves into the concept of resistance, explaining how resistance can manifest in different forms such as procrastination, self-doubt, and distraction. She emphasizes the need to identify these resistance patterns and develop strategies to overcome them, including creating a supportive environment, setting clear boundaries, and establishing daily practices that foster discipline and focus.

Another key obstacle Luna explores is the influence of others’ expectations and opinions. She encourages readers to reflect on whose expectations they are living up to and to question the validity of these expectations. Luna emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say no in order to protect their precious time and energy.

Furthermore, Luna discusses the practical challenges that may arise, such as financial constraints, time limitations, and the fear of failure. She encourages readers to find creative solutions and to view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.

In summary, It provides practical strategies for overcoming fear, resistance, external expectations, and practical limitations, encouraging individuals to remain dedicated to their Must despite the difficulties they may face.

Chapter 6: Committing to Your Must: Persistence and Dedication

The chapter begins with Luna recounting the story of professional surfer Laird Hamilton, who embodies the virtues of persistence and dedication. Hamilton’s unwavering commitment to his craft, despite encountering constant obstacles and difficulties, serves as an inspiration and a reminder of the importance of perseverance in the pursuit of our own Musts.

Luna highlights that dedication to our Must often requires sacrifice, as we must make choices and prioritize our time and energy. She emphasizes the need to let go of fears and doubts, and to fully immerse ourselves in the process of manifesting our Must. This involves taking small steps, consistently showing up, and relentlessly pushing forward, even in the face of resistance.

The chapter also discusses the concept of “flow” and how it plays a vital role in our commitment to our Must. Flow is a state of complete absorption and focus, where time seems to disappear and we are completely immersed in our work. Luna encourages readers to cultivate this state of flow, as it contributes to both the joy and the execution of our Must.

By embracing persistence and summoning the courage to face challenges head-on, we can truly commit to our Must and find fulfillment in the pursuit of our passions.

Chapter 7: Expressing Your Authentic Self

Luna emphasizes that our authenticity lies within us all, often buried beneath the expectations and constraints influenced by society’s “shoulds.” This chapter serves as a guide for reconnecting with our genuine essence and finding the courage to express it.

Luna begins by encouraging readers to acknowledge the fears and doubts that come with unveiling their true selves. She emphasizes that being authentic requires vulnerability, as one must confront the parts of themselves they may have been suppressing. By acknowledging and accepting these fears, Luna believes that individuals can move past them and freely express themselves.

The author introduces the concept of self-expression as a personal revolution. She challenges readers to be conscious of the ways in which they can bring their authentic selves into various areas of their lives, such as relationships, work, and creativity. Luna emphasizes the importance of understanding that self-expression is not selfish, but rather an essential act of embracing one’s own truth and living a meaningful life.

Throughout the chapter, Luna shares real-life examples and stories from individuals who have found the courage to express their authentic selves. These stories serve as inspiration and evidence that embracing our true selves can lead to personal growth, fulfillment, and positive impact on others.

In conclusion, Chapter 7 explores the significance of expressing one’s authentic self. Luna urges readers to acknowledge and overcome their fears and doubts, encouraging them to be vulnerable while living a life that reflects their true nature. By sharing relatable stories and examples, the author inspires individuals to embark on the journey of self-expression, unlocking a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Chapter 8: Living a Life Aligned with Your Must

The chapter emphasizes that embracing our Must, the deep inner calling within us, is essential for living a meaningful and purposeful life. Luna encourages readers to take the necessary steps to align their actions with their Must, rather than settling for the comfortable but unfulfilling path of Should. She highlights that living a life aligned with our Must requires courage, patience, and perseverance.

Luna introduces different tools and practices to help individuals uncover their Must, including journaling, meditation, and seeking inspiration from others who have pursued their true calling. She stresses the importance of being patient with the process and understanding that the journey may not be linear.

The author also emphasizes the significance of self-care and self-compassion in living a life aligned with one’s Must. Luna encourages readers to make time for solitude and reflection, to prioritize their well-being, and to stay connected to their own desires and passions.

Furthermore, Luna explores the idea of fear and how it often holds us back from pursuing our Must. She explains that fear is a natural part of the journey but encourages readers not to let it stop them. Instead, she suggests reframing fear as excitement and using it as a catalyst for growth and transformation.

In summary, Chapter 8 focuses on embracing our Must and living a life aligned with our true calling. By providing practical tools and insights, the chapter empowers readers to overcome fear, cultivate self-compassion, and actively pursue their passions, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling and authentic life.

After Reading

In conclusion, Elle Luna’s book “The Crossroads of Should and Must” offers a powerful exploration of the choices we make in our lives. Luna encourages readers to challenge societal expectations and embrace their true calling, or their “Must.” Through personal anecdotes, practical exercises, and beautifully illustrated artwork, she inspires individuals to follow their passion and create a life that aligns with their deepest desires and values. Luna reminds us that the path of Must may require courage and sacrifice, but it ultimately leads to fulfillment and self-expression. Her book serves as a guide for anyone seeking to navigate the crossroads between obligation and personal fulfillment, reminding us to choose the path that truly resonates with our hearts and souls.

1. Deep Work” by Cal Newport: This book is a must-read for anyone looking to enhance their productivity and achieve peak performance in a distracted world. Newport explores the idea of deep work, the ability to focus without distraction on cognitively demanding tasks, and provides actionable strategies to cultivate deep work habits in our lives.

2. Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill: A timeless classic in personal development, “Think and Grow Rich” delves into the power of thoughts and desires in achieving success. Napoleon Hill shares insights from interviewing successful individuals and outlines practical steps to harness our thoughts, overcome challenges, and achieve our goals.

3. Think Again” by Adam M. Grant: Building upon the idea of introspection and self-reflection explored in “The Crossroads of Should and Must,” Adam M. Grant challenges readers to question deeply-held beliefs, rethink assumptions, and develop a flexible mindset. Through engaging stories and research, Grant highlights the importance of constantly reevaluating our perspectives to make better decisions and adapt to a rapidly changing world.

4. Atomic Habits” by James Clear: If you are looking to make lasting positive changes in your life, “Atomic Habits” provides a comprehensive framework to understand the power of small habits. Clear introduces practical strategies to build and break habits effectively, enabling readers to create a system for continuous improvement and personal growth.

5. The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle: After exploring the concept of finding purpose in “The Crossroads of Should and Must,” “The Power of Now” offers readers a spiritual perspective on living in the present moment. Tolle presents profound ideas to overcome past regrets and future anxieties, allowing readers to tap into the transformative power of being fully present and embracing life with a greater sense of peace and fulfillment.

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