Takeaways from Elle Luna’s “The Crossroads of Should and Must”

Aside from great food, quality time with the family, and reflection, there’s always leftover hours for reading good books during the holidays. And I think that Elle Luna’s “The Crossroads of Should and Must” should be in everybody’s reading list. It’s not specific to software testing, but it’s about work we must all do.

Here are some particularly lovely lines from the book:

  • If you want to live the fullness of your life – if you want to be free – you must understand, first, why you are not free, what keeps you from being free.
  • Thinking that your Must will appear, fully formed, is like believing you can write a book by wishing and thinking. But doing one small thing daily – pick up the pen, write a paragraph, make a list of words – that is how your Must will appear.
  • Every month, choose one new thing to do.
  • If doing what you love doesn’t pay the bills, then you must find another way to make money. Period. Being able to pay your bills can create the temporal and mental space to find your calling.
  • You might have a nine-to-five job while you pursue your calling on nights and weekends. Or you might focus on your calling full-time and make a living from it. There are many options to choose from, and there is dignity in all work. Just because you have a job to pay the bills does not make it dirty. And just because you want to find your calling does not mean you need to quit your job. You get to play with these types of work and decide what’s right for you and your life.
  • What you don’t want is to take a job that was intended to pay the bills and suddenly, you don’t have time to explore your passion, you’re too tired to step into that which you were put on this earth to do.
  • You make time for what you want. If you’re not prioritizing the things you say you care about, consider the possibility that you don’t actually care about those things.
  • Finding pockets of time for your Must is a daily effort. And once you have that pocket of time, move from thinking about your Must to doing something about it. Ten minutes can be found all over the place.
  • The most sustainable Musts happen slowly, thoughtfully, and quietly. They don’t happen impulsively but are built with a sober, calm intention.
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