Book Review: The Crossroads of Should and Must

Find and Follow Your Passion

Author: Elle Luna
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Book Publication: 2015

Bloggers – and lovers of blogs – may be surprised, even inspired, to learn that The Crossroads of Should and Must – Find and Follow Your Passion had its humble beginnings as just another essay posted by author Elle Luna. Within a few weeks of clicking ‘publish’, her article had been tweeted to more than five million people, and read by more than a quarter of a million others.

Why did this piece generate such immediate and widespread response? Why did one woman post: “Drop everything you’re doing and read this right now.”? Another, a CEO, wrote: “I was about to send it to all of my employees, but I assume that a third of them would quit if they read it. But you know what? If they don’t want to be here, I want them to quit – so I sent it.”

These are powerful accolades indeed, and the praise that the article has received cuts across gender, age, and location. Elle Luna must have hit some powerful hot button in this offering – so what is it? The author asserts: “All too often, we feel that we are not living the fullness of our lives because we are not expressing the fullness of our gifts.” She says that she heard from all sorts of people who were keen to create a more satisfactory life; the problem was they didn’t know how to do it, or where to start. The Crossroads of Should and Must is Luna’s response to that problem. She was compelled to write the book and, in it, she shares the tools that have helped her to navigate her own journey toward a more fulfilling and authentic life.

Luna cautions that this is not a book of answers “because only you have those”; what this book contains instead is a collection of the questions that she found most effective along the way of her own discovering. The author explains: “There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again. And every day, we get to choose. Should is how other people want us to live our lives. It’s all of the expectations that others layer upon us.

Must is different. It’s who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self… It’s when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own. Choosing Must is the greatest thing we can do with our lives.”

The Crossroads of Should and Must is delightfully original in its presentation. The manner in which Luna combines her compelling personal story with witty artwork and inspirational ‘Calls to Action’ makes it easy to understand how she has already managed to motivate thousands of readers. Author Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “I love this so much, I can’t bear it. So much greatness …”

I have to agree; more than once, I found myself stopping to contemplate some simple but profound bit of advice whimsically displayed as art on the page. The Crossroads of Should and Must delivers a powerful message in the most delightful, frothy way – a luxurious confection to both enjoy and be inspired by.


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Bonnie Black is a former editor, and current contributor, to Vitality magazine.

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