The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist

Big Idea:

Prosperity flows from sufficiency – the recognition of enough. When you engage from a sense of your wholeness – rather than a desperate longing to be complete – you feel naturally called to share the resources that flow through your life to serve your highest commitments.

Context:

Lynne Twist has spent five decades working in philanthropy, raising hundreds of millions of dollars to end world hunger. In The Soul of Money, she shares her experiences working with the world’s wealthiest and poorest people, and how to live fulfilling lives, both rich and poor must overcome the 3 myths of today’s toxic money culture: “there is not enough, “more is better,” and “that’s just the way it is.”

My Personal Story:

As a Princeton graduate, I have never made more than 6 figures, a source of deep insecurity.  Most of my classmates make 10 times my income. I’ve always chased money as I’ve felt like I’ve never “made it.” I read this book to overcome this scarcity mindset. As Lynn says, “When we buy into the premise that more is better, we can never arrive.”

Exercise 1

A core message of the book is you are enough.

Lynn repeatedly stresses: what you appreciate appreciates.

“When we let go of trying to get more of what we don’t really need, we free up an enormous amount of energy that has been tied up in the chase. We can refocus and reallocate that energy and attention toward appreciating what we already have, what’s already there, and making a difference with that. Not just noticing it, but making a difference with what we already have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.”

Pick one of your highest commitments. What can you do right now, with what you have, to serve that commitment? 

“In that new way of seeing, the flow of resources in our lives, rather than being something that is constantly escaping our grasp or diminishing, instead becomes a flood of nourishment and something we have the privilege of being trustees of for the moment. Our relationship with money ceases to be an expression of fear and becomes an expression of exciting possibility.”

Exercise 2

“If you want a clear picture of your priorities in life, who you are and what you care about, look at your checkbook, your credit-card bills, and bank statement.”

What values does your monthly budget express? Does your money flow to your highest values and commitments?  If not, what 1 expenditure can you subtract, add to, or replace?

“Once we began to align our money decisions with these deeper core values and our highest commitments, we experienced a dramatic shift, not only in what we did with our money but also in how we felt about money, about our life, and about ourselves. Eventually, we came to know ourselves not for what we had or owned, but for what we gave; not for what we accumulated, but for what we allocated.”

Quote:

“I suggest that if you are willing to let go, let go of the chase to acquire or accumulate always more and let go of that way of perceiving the world, then you can take all that energy and attention and invest it in what you have. When you do that you will find unimagined treasures, and heath of surprising and even stunning depth and diversity.”

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