Do you know what you “must” do for yourself and your life in order to be happy? How about what you “should” do? What’s the difference between the two, right? Well, there’s a huge difference and taking the time to figure out what your personal “should’s” and “must’s” are can be a huge game changer for you and your path.
I’m inspired to write about this topic based upon a book I read recently that was a fun, quick, Dr. Seuss like read, and the message was invaluable. It was called “The Crossroads of Should and Must- Find and Follow Your Passion” by Elle Luna.
For how I understood it, a “should” is what was or is still programmed into our thinking. A lot of us “should” all day long. It can keep us small. When our lives are dominated by our “should’s” we keep ourselves from what we actually want or must be doing. I should go to the gym. I should get a job. I should make X amount of money. I should be spending my time doing (fill in the blank.) I should be married. I should have kids. I should go to college. I should be doing better. I should be nice to everyone, even when i don’t want to be.
I can go on, but hopefully you get my drift. Often, our “should’s” are not even ours. They are expectations of others that we have taken on and feel responsible to live out.
Question: Why are we doing this?
How about a must? A must is something that everything in you: your soul, your gut, your being needs to act on in order to feel truly alive. If you don’t “do” your must’s, then you can’t possibly be fulfilled in your everyday experience. Doing your “must’s” pushes you to tap into your true authenticity. It’s where you feel centered and grounded because it’s a natural environment for you. A must comes from the core of who you are. In the book, Luna gives an example of “an artist must do art, a painter must paint, a writer must write.” It’s a must. These individuals would lose apart of who they are if they didn’t act on their must. I love this. I relate to this. Do you?
Getting clear on what you must do for your life will lead you toward discovering your truth and passion(s). In the same breath, dropping the “should’s” that were/are programmed into you and not valid for who you are is another step that can lead you toward your truth.
Another question that Luna asks to direct you toward your musts is : What were you like as a kid? I actually use this question in my own practice to guide clients back toward their true nature. Your personality as a kid can point you toward so many answers. What were your interests, habits, curiosities and obsessions? If you have no clue, find some old pictures of yourself and just notice what you see. Do you see a funny expression, serious face, perfectly matched outfit, your own sense of style, always with others, alone, loved the camera, hid from the camera, quiet, loud, energetic, clam......what do you see? What do you remember about yourself? Whatever it is, take note.
Should you go or must you go? Should you do it or must you do it? These questions are my new mantra.
I’m getting more clear on my must’s. Those things I need to do, stand up for and not negotiate on. I’m noticing that it’s strengthening the foundation of who I am. As this becomes stronger, less noise exists in my life. I can see what to put my energy into and what to ditch, much more clearly. Thinking about my must’s is helping me get more clear toward what I’m about and what I want to focus on.
Forget the should’s. What MUST you start doing?
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* I took this image when traveling in Bali Indonesia.