I came across an excellent article called “The Crossroads of Should and Must”, written by Elle Luna.
This is a story about chasing dreams. Elle says that too many of us give up living our lives to other people’s expectations: I should become a person like that, I should do this, and I should do it in the correct way. But we should really live for ourselves: I must do this, and I must do it this way.
Elle followed her heart. She left IDEO and rented a small white room to paint. There were of course many struggles: money, time, fear of being a failure… She was in a situation in which she MUST choose between two things that are opposite and cannot be had at the same time. She chose painting. Not long ago, she held her first exhibition.
I went to a networking event, and the presenter happened to be her. She talked about her story. After the presentation, I went to thank her. She asked me one question, what is the one thing that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time but haven’t had a chance? I said, I really want to spend an entire afternoon lying under the sun without thinking much about my work and other things. She said, great, then do it next time when you have beautiful sunshine, don’t wait.
Months passed by. I remember this every time when I walked to the balcony. I ended up going back to my room and work, rather than spending an entire afternoon doing nothing under the sun. I felt it would be a waste of time, although I thought I would enjoy it. I finally decided to spend two hours lying down on the balcony because I was sick. I was having a really bad cold and can’t fall asleep. I felt great, warm and refreshed when I got up. I thought, huh, I probably needed to do this more?
I thought of Elle. She made the best decision she can at her crossroad of should and must: should she stay at work or paint? She must paint, so she went for it.
Life has priorities. It may not work if we want to follow our hearts all the time. But, once in a while, in the mist of all your life’s busy-ness and craziness, you have a strong desire to do something that is really important, and that is just for you. Then you’re at your crossroad of should and must. You don’t have to do it right away, but you should keep that in the back of your mind. Once you finally make time for your “must”, you’ll find your life even more fulfilling and beautiful.