Book Review: The Crossroads of Should and Must

Books about how to find your passion seem to be a dime a dozen these days. The Crossroads of Should and Must, Find and Follow your Passion by Elle Luna is worth picking out of the crowd. It’s a quick and easy read, and yet it contains enough depth to make us think and reconsider options and choices. It is also a fun book to look at. Luna is a designer and painter and incorporates many colorful illustrations in the text.

The Crossroads

The book is divided into four short parts. The first one “The Crossroads” describes her central theme: “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.”

She argues “should” is the conventional way — how other people or society tell us we should live. “Must” comes from inside us: it is who we are and what we like, our authentic self. Needless to say, Luna advocates for following our “must” and not the “should”, admitting that “must” is the much harder road to follow.

The Origin of Should

This part of the book explains how “should” is placed on us all the time. From childhood on, we grow up to conform to the standards of others. The “shoulds” we have internalized are often hard to decipher. Luna gives us pointers on how to recognize and overcome them.


This is the longest chapter of the book. Most people have no idea what their “must” is or what they were born to do. Luna describes exercises that the reader can use to discern their wishes and talents. None of the exercises are really new, but the way she describes and presents them are fresh and original.

This chapter also addresses the most common obstacles to people following their dreams or “musts.” These are, according to Luna, money, time, and space. Again, she outlines creative approaches to how to overcome those obstacles.

The Return

In the final part the author warns that the crossroads of “should” and “must” will be met over and over again. This is not a one- time occurrence. How to deal with the repeating pattern of decisions is addressed in this chapter. It is inspirational and encourages the reader to keep going.

Overall this book is worth reading because of Luna’s fresh and easy writing and presentation style as well as the practical and easy-to-use exercises and applications she presents. If you want a fresh, quick inspirational book that will make you think, this might just be the one.

Written by Anne Nowak.