At the end of 2015, I experienced extreme burnout from both work and life. It’s the Taiwanese soul in me, it sort of didn’t matter that I’ve been here for 20 plus years since I was a kid, I’ve followed my parents’ footsteps and beliefs in hard working and constantly pushing my limit, without stopping.
In my 10-year career, the possible tiresome or burnout have come and gone, it’s quite a common pattern for any designers. But at the end of last year, my physical and mental health kept acting up, I finally realized I just simply couldn’t push myself to work more than 14 hour a day, anything that was lingering and unfinished in my life and with my family all needed to be sorted out one by one. Being in New York, having excelled in the very competitive design industry for the past 10 years, reaching management level, was it REALLY time to let go? (lots of people thought I was absolutely insane)
I listened to a bunch of podcasts at that time, read a bunch of books, but at the end, one book pushed me to courageously stand up and face the road of must. It was Elle Luna’s The Crossroads of Should and Must.
I was very surprised to find out that this book has not been translated for the Chinese market. Since there is a large number of artworks by Elle in English writing in the book, that might be the sole reason for Taiwanese publishers to shy away from it. It would take quite a bit of investment to translate all the artwork, and maybe they shouldn’t even be translated in the respect of Elle. But I honestly believe this book would do so much good for the young people in Taiwan.
Now here is the reason. We’ve all been taught a lot of rules and shown a lot of paths , even given a list of the number of milestones (marriage, job, kids, purchasing a home) in our lives. Most of us believe what we’ve been told without ever questioning them. I’ve been abroad and living independently since I was a kid, but whatever that has been ingrained in me was so hard to shake, I followed them almost to a T. All of my family members are still back in Taiwan, it made me feel like I had to stay true to their ways of living for them. But at the end of last year, when I felt like a rubber band stretched to the limit and about to snap, I thoroughly examined my attitude towards life. What I saw was not shocking, I’ve always placed my own personal needs as the last thing to deal with, or just forget to deal with.
For the longest time, I’ve lived in the world of should. After reading Elle’s book, her interviews, listening to her podcast, I knew I had to move towards the path of must. And at the end of last year, it was to rest and reset. In her book, Elle talked about a similar situation I was in, when she herself was considering a career change. There are also tools in the book to help readers clarify what their passions are, to help people become more honest with themselves. This is not a scientific psychology book. It’s a book to for people who want to identify their paths. Her book pushed me towards the best form of self-love, I have been so thankful. Choosing must is not to negate all existing situations, but to find the most self-fulfilling way to deal with the present. I also finally understood that if I can’t take care of myself, caring for others is just not even achievable. This book is still in my favorite spot on my shelves.
It any publisher in Taiwan would like to invest in translating this book, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I’d be more than happy to help. If you found another translator and will still pushed this book to the international Chinese market, bravo, I’ll share it with as many people as I can. Here are some links to learn more about Elle Luna, and this concludes the day 3 of the 365 note project.