Day 1: Intro and the Crossroads of Should and Must

Hello! I’m going to try to write every single day for 49 days. If that works out, I’ll keep writing for 100 days as a part of #the100DayProject that seems to be so popular right now, since I recently read Elle Luna’s book The Crossroads Between Should and Must. It really is a beautiful book with an awesome message. If you wanna get the idea without dropping 12ish bucks, check out the Medium article she wrote that was extended into the book.

Essentially, the main idea of the book and the article is that we constantly reach a point where we can decide if we do what we should and if we do what we must. Should refers to the common actions that we do, following what society tells us to do, like go to our day to day job and make ends meet in order to please others and generally do what we are told we “should” do. The other option is what we must do, what that gnawing desire within us tells us to do. For Luna, her “should” was working as a designer at the software startup Mailbox and her “must” was painting, something she had done in her youth and all but abandoned as she grew older. Based on this premise, the book delves into the intricacies of how the “must” can be uncovered and how it may be the only way for some people to be truly fulfilled, as their “must” begins to parallel their lives and more or less provide meaning to it. The ultimate goal is that this “must” fulfills a person, regardless of what others thing, and becomes their career and job as well as their calling (terminology taken from the TED talk by Stefan Sagmeister).

I could go on, but you would probably be better off reading the article and/or the book. I really am intrigued by the idea of how a creative outlet could be so important that it is more than just a creative outlet. Instead, Luna describes it as a “MUST,” something that we cannot live without. This reminds me of the idea of a flow state, which psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls the secret to happiness. A flow state is a state of hyper-focus that occurs when someone is highly intent on something that they are working due to a deep interest. For people experienced in a particular area, such as renowned composers or physicists who can ponder a problem for hours upon end, they enter a flow state when working on their area of expertise. In this flow state, there is a feeling sometimes described as ecstasy, as the real world disappears in lieu of the work that they love, ultimately bringing a sense of satisfaction. To me, the idea of finding some area that allows me to enter a flow state sounds like finding my must. If a flow state is a key to happiness, then it must be my must.

Therefore, I come back to #the100DayProject, aimed at finding one’s must by dedicating oneself to a creative activity for 100 days. Sometimes you have to work a certain amount at something with certain factors before you realize whether or not it is for you. With that, I hope that I will be able to find my must. Maybe it will be writing, maybe not. If not, then it’s onto the next 100 day project.

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4 thoughts on “Day 1: Intro and the Crossroads of Should and Must

  1. Reminds me of what a friend of mine told me a while ago on the difference between should and must! Interesting and helpful perspective to take

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