This epic essay by Elle Luna was posted almost a year ago. I discovered it only today when Seth Godin linked to her new book that came from that essay.

The book looks beautiful. Purchased.

In this essay (and now in her book) Elle tells her story of finding her calling by resisting the path of Should and instead embracing the path of Must. Most of us are guided by what we think we should do while ignoring the call of our deepest desires and what we must do to be fully alive.

“What if who we are and what we do become one and the same? What if our work is so thoroughly autobiographical that we can’t parse the product from the person? What if our jobs are our careers and our callings?” –Elle Luna

I have struggled, though, with the notion that we have some innate passion we have to find and follow. Maybe it’s just semantics. What an authentic life needs is to be true to what you genuinely love and to make an art of it, to do it as well as you can.

Pick a path the excites you, that seems like fun, but that also will challenge you and will compel you to mastery. Course correct regularly. Change your mind. Try and fail, but stick with something long enough to know.

Elle Luna closes her essay with a strong call to choose Must over Should, to have the courage to live the life that is calling to you:

“If you believe that you have something special inside of you, and you feel it’s about time you gave it a shot, honor that calling in some small way — today.

If you feel a knot in your stomach because you can see the enormous distance between your dreams and your daily reality, do one thing to tighten your grip on what you want — today.

If you’ve been peering out over the edge of the cliff but can’t quite make the leap, dig a little deeper and find out what’s stopping you — today.

Because there is a recurring choice in life, and it occurs at the intersection of two roads. We arrive at this place again and again. And today, you get to choose.”