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The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,428 ratings  ·  333 reviews
This unique and fundamentally liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money—earning it, spending it, and giving it away—can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values, and the essence of prosperity.

Lynne Twist, a global activist and fundraiser, has raised more than $150 million for charitable causes. Through personal stories and practical advi
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 17th 2003 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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I'm on the board of the nonprofit Worldreader and this book was chosen for our bookclub.

Lynne Twist describers her work as fundraiser for The Hunger Project and how her philosophy about money has evolved through that process.

Told through a series of powerful anecdotes (Warning: one board member called this book very emotional --a little too emotional for him), nevertheless The Soul of Money has many interesting concepts worth sharing.

She presents several simple frameworks in which to think a
Jennifer Swapp
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My parents gave this book to their kids for Christmas several years ago, and I finally picked it up and read it. I can often be cynical of non-profits and organizations meant to assist others, even though my parents have been running one for 7-ish years, or perhaps because they have been running one. I think it's very difficult to have a system that does not make one party vulnerable to being taken advantage of another, especially when their is such discrepancy between haves and have nots.

Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
I'm not really the type of person that leaves reviews. I usually just mark the stars and leave it at that. But with "The Soul of Money:..." I just have to say WOW what a book. I've read many books on prosperity that teaches how to get money and get more money. Lynne Twist has written something completely different. She just doesn't talk about prosperity and how to get it. But she teaches how to be good stewards with what we have. And not just about money but our other resources that we all have ...more
Oct 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be perfectly honest, I expected to hate this book. I thought it would be flimsy and cliched and hapless.

To my great surprise, it isn't. What it is, is a moving book that challenges the reader to reexamine assumptions about money, wealth, and "enough."

I read this at about the same time I read The Fifth Discipline, and they were actually a great combination, giving rise to my thoughtful reflection on the mental model of scarcity that most of us (including me) operate in by habit, contrasted wi
Sherry Lee
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was recommended to me. As I often do, though consciously I am trying not to anymore, I read prepared to react, to judge, to criticize, to dismiss. The photo of the author on the book jacket gave me reason not to venture further (no need to explain), but I opened the book and read anyway.

However, someplace along the way, as I read THE SOUL OF MONEY, I just read, I just listened. I was most engaged with the stories, more off put by the didactic nature of the book. I will continue to pond
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I agree with the author's overall point that our use of and relationship with money can be used in more positive, values-affirming ways and that the first step in this is recognizing that we really do have all that we need right now. By the middle of the book, however, I started to wonder if delivering this particular message was all the author intended to do with the pages in front of me. The stories are personal which is nice but I would have also like to read some demonstrative examples of ho ...more
I feel this book has it's place. But I feel like the author at times is super unaware of her privilege. Her experiences are not the experiences of others. And I feel she has a real disconnect there.

She claims to walk in both worlds: those of the well off and the poor. But that just isn't true. A tourist to poverty maybe?

It's just difficult to listen to a very well off woman who is telling me that I have enough and money isn't everything. It's easy to say so if you have enough. If you aren't wo
Nov 30, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone not happy with their fanances (be they sparse or abundent)
I liked the anecdotes about people the author knows and her experiences traveling the world. The story about meeting Mother Teresa in India was great.

The thesis is that money is powerful and should be used to create good for you and the world. I can agree with that. Also, money flows like water and we are the conduit of our money. We can control the flow and need to learn how to direct the flow of money to create good, happy, balanced lives.

There are not concrete steps to follow. This is not re
Aug 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf-mn-book-club
I am very interested in this topic, but Lynne was a magical thinker.

One story was of a village in the desert that needed to find water. She knew that the women had the answer. How? The women said to keep digging. Why? They eventually found water, and they were saved! So .. we should just follow our intuition around and have faith that the right thing will happen? How many villages tried this and found only sand?

Another story was how Mother Teresa never had any savings. She trusted in god to prov
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Lynne Twist talks about money in a way that I've never experienced before. She delves deep into the idea of money as a means of expressing our greatest hopes for ourselves and our communities. The way she talks about money imbues it with a spiritual significance that I've realized is totally appropriate. Lynne's life is now dedicated to putting into the practice that helping people to help themselves - rather than just stopping at "helping people" - is the way to co-create a more compassionate a ...more
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will admit to some initial skepticism about this book; especially given the first few chapters, I expected it to be an offering of over-sentimentalized neo-liberal non-profit jargon. I'm glad to have been proven mostly wrong, and to see the critiques of American aid and charity that Twist offers up. I think she's right; we need solidarity, not charity.

Many of her ideas on sufficiency - that we will both experience fulfillment and bring about the change we need in the world when we think in a
Nov 04, 2009 rated it liked it
i liked the book because it made me think more about money and my life. it's a little too "chicken soup for the soul" for me at some parts. i think it is a better read for someone who doesn't already think a lot about their relationship for money and i'm always doing that. here's an excerpt of the type of thinking the book opens up.

"The myths of scarcity that drive popular culture and popular wisdom promote owning, holding, collecting and accumulating. In the context of sufficiency, accumulation
Felipe Bernardo
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lynne Twist tells stories about resilience, inner strength, sufficiency, love and true wealth in heartfelt, powerful ways. I got emotional many times listening to the book.

This is not a book about quick fixes and money strategies, it goes way beyond, way deeper into our true relationship with the art of creation in our lives, the art of appreciation, giving and intentional support to what we truly believe. All of that being also expressed through the current of money in our lives. Money is a po
Jon-david Mafia Hairdresser
This book is about the intention of how you spend and receive money. It clears your mind of the simple thoughts of have and have-nots, of wealth verses poor, and how we might hold ourselves back from seeing that the flow of money is natural; it's just how you look at it. I love self help books but this is way beyond. Please read it.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Critical analysis of how a scarcity mindset around money (we don't have enough, more is better, this is a zero sum game) influences our life decisions.
Rachel N
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will hold a special place in my life forever; many lessons learned that I will want to keep coming back to!
There were definitely some more “meaty” parts that made me have to set the book down to really absorb the lessons so it took me a while to read.
But, overall, the lessons of how money is the reflection of what is in our heart, what our true values are, and that there is enough to go around in this world were very impactful on three main levels for me:
1) personal financial habits an
Asma Amran
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to its audio version on YouTube.
The duration is 9 hours plus plus.
But I only managed to go quarterway.

I'm sorry I didn't appreciate it enough.

How does someone rate a book she doesn't finish?
It wouldn't be fair to judge a book by only some part of it right?
As it is not right to judge a person only by its .... legs,
or a snake by only its ... skin, or anything.

But the part that I managed to listen to was very enlightening.
It opened my mind to think critically about the
things and bel
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A moving, powerful, empowering, inspiring book Yes. I kid you not. Buy this. Then think about what you buy. Give a copy to someone. Then think about what you give. Find yourself wanting to read more when you come to the end of the book. Then consider what "enough" looks like. Begin to worry if you can meet the challenges laid out in the book. Then remember you have what you need.
Jennifer Stringer
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business-money
Heard an interview with the author and was curious. While I understand how some might find this book somewhat esoteric and veering off into the land of magic thinking, I thought it had quite a few insights that you don't find in most finance books. One basic one is how your bank account best represents your values -no judgement involved- it just is. So we may tell ourselves we value x and y, but our bank accounts may show that we value paying the bills and entertaining ourselves. You spend $ on ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting book about a life spent fund-raising for non-profit organizations.
Not surprising, but enlightening, and so well communicated. One to recommend for sure. Glad Leigh recommended it to me!

Designated as Advanced Reading Prompt: 10. A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
Engel Jones
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this book

It was necessary to read this book in small bits. The content was very rich. Emotionally, one has to process the truth of what Lynne describes in their own lives then visualize how to make changes that transforms.bThe concept of the butterfly made me realize the HOPE of life on a hold.

Thanks for living a life in purpose and sharing with us.
Lisa Kentgen
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
While 4 stars, this book has 5 star gems in it.
I often recommend this book to clients who have difficultly aligning their understanding of money to their values, or when couples argue about money matters.
This book would likely benefit all who read it, helping you reflect on aligning your relationship with money to better reflect what matters most to you.
Liane Wakabayashi
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before reading "The Soul of Money" I was vaguely familiar with Buckminister Fuller, a name that sparked an image of a magically energy-saving Geodesic dome at the Montreal World's Fair back in the 1960s. Lynne salutes her friend "Bucky" in this fascinating part-autobiography, part-money-management manual extraordinaire, recalling his convictions that world hunger is an artificial construct of man--that there is enough to go around when we all live with "sufficiency." Taking this idea forward, Ly ...more
Liz Stiverson
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Everything I'm about to say sounds a little hippy-dippy - I think that's because this book calls on readers to carefully examine beliefs and the power of conception, and to prioritize core values like equality and connection to others. It's not written to read like a call to kumbaya, and I think the ideas are actually important, actionable, and potentially transformative.

Twist makes its thesis - that an overwhelming share of decisions in every life are driven by the pursuit and protection of mo
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an important book. I was struck by so many of the stories of the people Lynne Twist encountered. There are many parts I'd like to quote on Facebook, but the one that struck me as most salient for the decisions before us as we enter the presidential election this fall was:

"The fear that won't have enough oil drives much of our national policy and military strategy in the Middle East. As a nation, we appear more ready and willing to wage war over oil interest, even to the point of sacrific
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Simply written yet with profound truths which makes one reflect deeply... and want to transform for the better. I'd need to go back to this book again and again until I fully incorporate the soul of money in my own life!

The way this book was written, though, is most apt for those who are already well on their way in the spiritual journey, and are thus, contextualized into the principles. For someone still deeply entrenched in this "money culture", though, there would need to be more documented a
Lizzie Jones
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
While there are some good thoughts in here, I think you could easily read either the first or last chapter (or even less) and get the general gist. It became repetitive and stale after a while for me. I suppose that this topic isn't especially interesting to me, though, and someone else might find this really helpful. The premise is how to stop letting money control you, and to stop thinking that having money will make you happy, or that the lack of money is what is making you sad. Money is a to ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For me, this book was ultimately about sufficiency and sustainability. Although it was not religious, it felt spiritual. It is one of the most important books I have read in a long time. Everyone could benefit from reading it! I treasured the examples from her travels and interactions with people from all walks of life and cultures. The stories from the Beijing Women's Conference brought tears. This book was life changing. I hope I always think about money differently. My favorite sentence from ...more
John Hibbs
Mar 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Overpromises and underdelivers. Some good parts....but otherwise disappointing. After the first 30 pages, which was the best part of the book, I started skimming quickly.

If you're playing the great gain game, not a bad book to start changing your philosophy. Must be followed up by Approaching Zion by Hugh Nibley which is the best modern book on man's relationship to money.
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20 likes · 15 comments
“For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is "I didnt get enough sleep." The next one is "I don't have enough time." Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of... Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack... This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life” 51 likes
“When we believe there is not enough, that resources are scarce, then we accept that some will have what they need and some will not. We rationalize that someone is destined to end up with the short end of the stick.” 6 likes
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