on June 1, 2007
My business coach assigned me to read "The Soul Of Money" and so my attitude going in was akin to when I was in nineth grade and TOLD to read "The Outsiders" by my English teacher.
By the time I had finished reading the introduction and chapter one I was hooked -I couldn't put it down!
When I got to chapter five I started having difficulty holding back the tears. It really touched moved and inpired me!
Lynne talks about how there is a "conversation" going on in the world called "scarcity" and how we have ALL bought into it. She says that scarcity has three mindsets: 1. There's not enough, 2. More is better, and 3. That's just the way it is. She discusses how these mindsets rip us off as human beings and how they take from us, how they produce suffering in our lives and effect -not just money- but every area of our lives.
The alternative conversation is one called "sufficiency" and has a mindset that says, "there's enough ALREADY for all that I NEED." Once you change the conversation into one of sufficiency then you start to become free from the power and hurtfulness of scarcity.
The significance of the mindset of scarcity hit me right after reading chapter five. I hardly made it to the end of the chapter when I started just weeping. My life will never be the same because of this book. I only hope that others will take Lynne's message as seriously as myself and apply it to their lives. This book has made it into my top five of all time!
on April 15, 2011
I was drawn to purchase this book based on the reviews given here. The stories about Ms. Lynne Twist in the book are fascinating and I truly appreciate the efforts she had put into solving world hunger crisis and the accomplishment she has achieved. It is also an eye opener for me to understand there is another to help the poor people in a poor country, i.e. don't just simply give them the money but to be careful with how your money is used to encourage the recipients to help themselves. Alleviate pain in the short term with the aids is ok but we can create a chronic beggar out of our aids in the long run. I will look closely at how my chosen charity utilize my donation to help people who are willing to help themselves.
The reason I gave 3 stars to the book is throughout my reading, the book appears an autobiography to me with not so linear timeline. I understand Ms. Twist pieced all her interesting stories to support her "soul of money" analysis but she failed to make a strong statement about what exactly is the soul of money. In addition, she also failed to provide an explicit guidance on how to actually live a fulfilled life with money as an ordinary person. I was expecting more actionable instructions for myself. I was drawn to her stories for the first half of the book but just skimmed through the 2nd half because to keep reading had become a bit boring.
Again, an interesting autobiography, absolutely. An enlightened spiritual perspective on money, not so much.
on November 10, 2003
Most of us think that we understand the facts of money: money is good, lack of money is bad; having more money is better than having less money; competition and scarcity are normal because it's a jungle out there; the way to cure economic depression and hunger is to throw more money at the problem; and so on. But these aren't "facts" in the sense of objective realities; rather, they stem from attitudes towards money that are so ingrained in our culture that they rarely intrude into our consciousness.
This book is an eye-opener: as a highly successful fund-raiser and representative for the Hunger Project, Lynne Twist has worked with everyone from Amazon tribal members to CEOs of multi-billion-dollar corporations. Her sensitivity and willingness to listen have given her insight into the real-life consequences of our attitudes towards money (and resources in general). The money consciousness that she propounds in this book is transformative, but it's based on a breadth of experience that makes her conclusions convincing -- for instance, she's worked in real jungles, and the "law of the jungle" is NOT the way they actually operate!
Despite the many well-chosen anecdotes, this book deals primarily in generalizations. But that's appropriate: the author's purpose is to make us aware of our attitudes towards money, and suggest how changing these attitudes can transform the way we go about solving some of the world's most vexing problems. This book deserves not only to be read, but taken to heart.
on October 3, 2003
Wow! This is like no book about money that I have ever read, and I've certainly read my share. From her vast experiences travelling around the world, from the ghettos of Calcutta and Mother Teresa to high-level fundraising with CEO's and "movers & shakers" in the West, Ms. Twist looks deeply into the human needs that are associated with money. Not just the needs of human beings in what she calls "resource poor" (developing) countries, but the needs of people like me who have resources, abundant resources, but who still struggle with our relationship with money and its meaning in our lives.
What I think impressed me most was that this book was fun to read, as well as informative and (dare I say) profoundly philosophical. Unlike many of the other books I've read about money, this one was much more experiential. Others take on the philosophy of money, while Twist seems to be sharing her experiences, truly remarkable experiences, with people all over the world, and then boiling them down to the lessons that she has learned in the decades of work that she's done working to end world hunger, empower women, save the rainforest, etc.
This book is truly an amazing adventure because of the scope of her life's work. I think there's a depth because her message is authentically based on her experiences, not just of her ideas or thinking about the subject. As a result, I think that this book hits home. It speaks to us where we live, in terms of our relationship with money and the difference we can make. If you are interested in (as the sub-title says) "transforming your relationship with money and life," then this book is an opportunity not to be missed. I'm sure that I'm going to want to re-read it. Very highly recommended.
on September 29, 2003
What a privilege to read such a work of art in a time when the healing of relationships is so vital. Lynne so beautifully expresses the deep interconnectedness we all share, not only with one another, but with money, and with the natural resources of our earth and within each one of us. Her passion to call each of us to an awareness that everything we do affects one another, and that the conscious choices we make each day greatly influence all people of the earth, not just our own personal lives, is so integral to the book's theme in understanding our relationship with money. Lynne eloquently uncovers some underlying assumptions we often make about competition, more is better, and that that's just the way it is. She shifts and dispells these myths creating a sense of hope for humanity through the lens of compassion, collaboration, sufficiency and community. Our reliance on one another and the acknowledgement of the gifts we each bring to our human community will reduce the chasm between the resourse wealthiest and poorest. The bridge to this healing will be found in spiritual wealth, through the development of human beings and each person's potential which will allow individuals to act as agents of change and authors of their own lives, rather than being dependent on the handouts of others. What a refreshing, empowering perspective on how each of us has the capacity to make global changes simply by changing our relationship with money. The Soul of Money will encourage readers to explore their relationship with money, and to discover how money can be a source of joy as one gets into the flow of money, rather than feeling the need to acquire and hoard it. The Soul of Money will impact readers on a very profound level.
on September 23, 2003
Rusty Schweikart was the first man to walk in space. He had been tightly scheduled with activities each moment he was floating outside the command module in the late 60's. But at one point his camera jammed, and he was able to experience just being in space and circling the earth. Many of you may have seen the video he made from this remarkable experience called "No Frames No Boundaries."
It took Rusty many years to digest and integrate this planetary experience and to realize the responsibilities he felt to mankind for the privilege he had been given. He came to call himself "a sensing element for mankind" (to know more about Rusty, his life and work [...] ).
When I read "The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship to Money and Life," I found that Lynne herself is also such a sensing element for mankind.
She worked for several decades as the chief fundraiser (she's raised $150 million from individuals) for the Hunger Project, which has been a revolutionary effort far beyond what some of us may remember it for in its beginnings. In that role her travels have taken her all over the world--from Bangladesh to Ethiopia, from the Women's Conference in Bejing (where she reports some of the most poignant and heartbreaking stories you'll ever read) to South Africa and the installation of Nelson Mandela, although that story is not included.
Lynne has been with the rich and famous. One of her great stories is her returning a $50,000 check from a corporate CEO because she realized it was guilt money. Read the book to find out what happened next! And, of course, she has been with the poor and apparently downtrodden. They have been her great teachers and inspiration for this book. They taught her how money can be blessed, how when it comes from love, appreciation, and intention--from the soul--it has power, it flows and it can transform lives.
Where she has been on this planet, what she has seen, and how she has thought about it and integrated it into the soul of her being is the gift she gives back to us, her readers. Very few of us have had the opportunity to go where she has gone, to meet whom she has met, and to have contributed as much as she and her colleagues have to helping to end hunger and poverty on our fragile, blue orb, as Rusty first saw it.
Lynne offers great guidance about how we can each be and be better philanthropists (the amount doesn't matter, but the intention and commitment surely do). But the core of the book (which many of us may already know) is a transformation from a "you or me" world to a "you and me." one. Buckminster Fuller first articulated that as the necessary condition we are challenged to make on spaceship Earth (also his articulation). He was someone who profoundly influenced Lynne.
She leads us through the belief systems around scarcity (fear of not enough, push to always get more, resignation that it's just the way it is) to belief systems around sufficiency (there is always enough; turn our attention and appreciation to what we already have). Sufficiency becomes a more useful word than abundance. Creating a world of sufficiency (includes sustainability) is where we are headed together.
The most compelling parts of the book are the stories she tells from around the planet about actually ending hunger and poverty. She shows that this change of belief systems (we actually do have enough most of the time; we can focus on and appreciate what we already have to get to where we want to go) along with love, understanding, and effective facilitation can get the job done. "The Soul of Money" adds the interior dimensions as a vital and necessary component to solutions to hunger and poverty.
Lynne is herself a gifted and expert facilitator, and at the personal level the stories she shares of people who pull themselves out of poverty and lack are equally riveting. She concludes with a remarkable narrative about the last months of life of her mother, her first role model as a fundraiser and philanthropist. How Lynne assists her mother to fully complete her life is a wonderful offering to all of us with aging parents.
"The Soul of Money" is about far more than just the soul of money. Lynne reveals her own soul, the souls of the rich and the poor, and the collective soul of which we all partake that holds the promise of a sufficient, just, and more peaceful planet. Just as Rusty Scheweikart took us around the whole earth from the outside, Lynne, gives us many inside views of the beauty and commonality which we share. She provides an outstanding, authentic, and worthy ride!
on September 23, 2003
Lynne Twist has written a powerful, potentially transforming book about our relationship with money. You cannot read it without being deeply moved by her experiences as a fundraiser working with the poorest of the poor and the wealthiest of the wealthy -- an extraordinary and deeply human journey into how money can flow through everyone's life in ways that empower them to stand for positive change in their lives and in our world. Reflecting on her own life journey, Lynne makes it clear that you don't have to be perfect to grow and change, that living into exalted visions imperfectly is, after all, the path of transformation.
Read this book if you want to be inspired. Read this book if you want to be challenged. Read this book if you believe you can help change the world.
on September 27, 2003
"The Soul of Money" is profound and magical. It not only provides a wealth of information about fund-raising and the incredible adventures Lynne Twist has experienced in her pursuit of making the world a better place, it also offers a road map for each of us to use to change our lives and transform the world. Read it and your relationship with money will change. You will be stunned by what you did not know about yourself and your attitides toward prosperty. You will be inspired and empowered to focus the rays of money's transformational energy in ways that will bring you prosperty on many levels.
John Perkins, author of "The World Is As You Dream It" and "Shapeshifting"
on September 23, 2003
In this book, Lynne Twist explores the relationship that people - rich, poor and in between - have with money. For many of us, it is a relationship fraught with anxiety and the sense of scarcity. No matter how much we have, or how many things we've bought with it, there's not enough.
But through her globe-spanning experiences, Ms. Twist has found ways to replace a sense of scarcity with a more-positive understanding of sufficiency and the freedom that awareness provides.
No matter what your personal financial situation, this book will be meaningful, helpful and perhaps even inspiring. Well-written and fascinating, beginning to end.
on March 15, 2011
This is my first review I ever have written and I have to write it because I think the message Lynn is giving us in her book should spread fast and reach as many people as possible. I am a German and my language skills are not good enough to praise the book as I would like. One of Lynn's mayor topics is the shift from a culture and mindset of insufficiency to one of sufficiency. This message has reached my soul and I highly recommend to read this book if you want to understand the world of money and want to tranform your own relationship with money.