The image above is by Elle Luna, author of The Crossroads of Should and Must.
She says that every day we arrive at a crossroads.
There are two options: the path of SHOULD and the path of MUST.
SHOULD is all the expectations we, and others, put on ourselves.
MUST is who we deeply are. It’s our truest, most authentic selves.
Which path do we take?
The path of MUST beckons to us but it has no road maps and no guarantees. It’s a hard path to take.
Vincent van Gogh took it. He painted canvas after canvas, whilst his work went unrecognised. He expressed his feelings in letter to his brother…
“What am I in the eyes of most people – a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person – somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then – even if that were absolutely true, then I should like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart.”
John Grisham also took the path of MUST. Whilst working as a lawyer in his thirties, he woke at 5 am every day to write before going to work at the courthouse. After three years, he sent his finished novel to publishers. He was rejected repeatedly before receiving his first yes. Today, his books sell in their millions worldwide.
Whenever I struggle with choosing MUST over SHOULD, I take comfort from this great double-page spread from Elle Luna’s book: