At some point in our lives each of us starts to feel that doesn’t live to the full, doesn’t use all the abilities, doesn’t do what loves. This phenomenon is familiar to all of us, or at least to those who are not afraid to admit it.
If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to read the book “The Crossroads of Should and Must. Find and Follow Your Passion” by writer, artist and designer Elle Luna.
Though it’s a small book, each of its 176 pages is full of life stories, colourful illustrations and the author’s advices how to understand your inner essence and make your life in the way you want.
This book is not a collection of ready-made answers on the questions “What should I do? How to start? What’s next?” etc. , answers on these questions you have to seek by yourself. In such serious process this book will help you: it provides you better understanding about what you love to do, what you want to do and what is your calling.
Calling – is what naturally lay inside us, this is our desire for a particular activity or creativity. This is what satisfies us morally, enriches spiritually and makes us happy.
In search of our calling, we find ourselves at a crossroads between “should” and “must”. These are two key words, between which we must choose every day.
Should – it’s all those opinions and expectations of the people around us, it’s all those instruction how to live and what to do. Some Shoulds seem small and innocent, like “you should eat this porridge to be strong,” “put on a hat to not catch a cold”, “learn this poem”, “listen to this song” and so on. Other ones are too large, influential, which put pressure on us and forced to live life despite of our own desires and dreams.
We have some special feature: when we grew up, we can look at life more consciously, we can clearly identify which Should are important and which of them we can be ignored. Important will be those ones which based on the concept of Must, our desires, our potential. Therefore it is necessary to grasp what is a Must.
Must – is that who we really are, what we believe in and what we do. This is something that speaks to us from the depths of the soul. It is our beliefs, passion, deeply hidden calling and desires – inevitable, undeniable and incomprehensible.
As opposed to Should, Must does not agree to compromise and appears just when we cease to meet someone else’s ideals and strive for meeting own ones. This is what allows us to unleash the potential.
The path to our Must we create ourselves. There is no map, and it starts from nothing, from pure space. This is similar to the concept of «tabula rasa», which introduced by Aristotle to describe the phenomenon of something created under the influence of person’s own nature. We can create own Must in the way we see it now or want to see it in the future.
And so the next question arises: “What if I do not know what I want to do?” Understanding of that you have a calling, can be a little scary. But do not be frightened. Everyone has calling and everyone finds it by him/herself: someone quickly and easily, while others long and carefully. The author of the book insist on that our calling is most clearly shaped up in our childhood. That is why she proposes to take a moment and remember what we loved to do, whether we’re like to be a lone-person or a soul of the company, whether we liked to organize something or perhaps we’re dreamers? If it is difficult to remember, ask your relatives, especially parents, because who know us better than our parents. Analyse the received information, because it is likely that you will find the seed of your future calling.
Another way how to find our hidden talent – is to learn something new, both large and small. Gain some new skills every month, and it’s not necessarily that they should be similar or even related. Learning something new and getting new skills help us to confide, find hidden talents, and better understand our desires and dreams.
When we finally realize what our calling is, open our hidden talents, understand the nature of our Must, we are faced with another question: “what is next?”. And then it is worth to turn Must into action – a deliberate, systematic, consistent. Thus we return again to the concept of Should, but it will be a new concept, which will consist in the fact that we will make the necessary and important steps to reveal our potential, achieve our goals.
Life is not so easy. And in the process of realization of our calling , we cannot avoid difficulties. In her book Elle Luna said that in the process of realization of our calling we are faced with four challenges.
The first one is money. To survive in this world we need money. Especially, if you have a family, children and many other obligations. It’s really cool when what you love to do brings you money. But let’s practical practical – if the favourite thing doesn’t produce a profit, you should find another way to make money. Searching of calling does not mean that you should throw your work and everything else away to do only your favourite thing. We must find a balance between what to do to have the money and what to do to be happy.
The second problem is time. We should have a time to develop our ideas and work on achieving our dreams. Do not look for excuses that you have no time. You can find the time to do your favourite things that brings you pleasure.
The third problem is space. To create or do a hobby, it is not necessarily to have own studio, we can do our hobby even on a bench in the park. The main thing is the desire, and the corresponding space can be found.
The fourth problem, and the most important, but isn’t much spoken, is vulnerability. It is caused by fear of something new, by fear that we will not succeed, or that it’s not be appreciated by our relatives or loved ones. Everyone experiences fright; just not all allow it to seize their minds.
Elle Luna recommends to do this exercise: on a sheet of paper put in column the numbers from 1 to 10, and write your fears. If 3-5 items are enough – it’s even better, but try not to cheat yourself. When your list is done, it’s time for consideration. Consider whether fear is real, how it can affect our life, how we can overcome it. When we reviewed our fears and how to overcome them, we’ll see that we focused too much attention on them, thus slowing ourselves. Don’t be afraid, brace yourself and start the way to realize your own Must.
As Lao Tzu said, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step“, so do not be afraid to make the first step towards your interesting, joyful and happy future in which you will do what you want. After all, as Elle Luna said:
“We each have unique potential that was given to us at birth, but whether or not we cultivate it is entirely up to us. In its purest sense, Must is why we are here to begin with, and choosing it is the journey of our lives.”