“How Am I Using the Financial Resources That I Have?”: A Conversation About Money and Purpose with Lynne Twist

"How Am I Using the Financial Resources That I Have?": A Conversation About Money and Purpose with Lynne Twist

Lynne Twist is the author of the best-selling The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life and founder of the Soul of Money Institute.

She has worked with over 100,000 people in 50 countries for more than 40 years, as a global visionary committed to alleviating poverty, ending world hunger, and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. Co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance, Lynne has worked with some of the most resource-poor and resource-wealthy individuals in the world and has gained a profound understanding of humanity’s relationship with money. Seeing the dysfunction and suffering that is so often attached to money, Lynne is committed to bringing a new level of consciousness to the way that money impacts our life and society.

Recently, Lynne sat down with Kate Green Tripp, one of our partners at 1440 Multiversity, for a conversation around personal purpose and our relationship with money:

1440: You often say we can learn a great deal about ourselves by looking at our checkbooks. How do we do that? Do you think we see with clear eyes when we look at our bills and accounts and spending patterns?

Lynne Twist: I think we first need to come to a level of consciousness that it is a useful exercise to look at our credit card bill or our checkbook and then ask the question: How am I using the financial resources that I have? Am I using those resources with a mind-set of scarcity, where I’m frightened and accumulating out of some sort of fear that I’m not enough—I don’t look well enough, I’m not thin enough, I need another pair of black pants that make me look even thinner—so that we have a frame of reference for seeing how we use our financial resources.

It’s an amazing thing when you really sit down and look at how you’re spending money.

Obviously, we spend money on really important things like the education of our children, our rent or our mortgage, making sure that we have a safe place to live and be, and food. And yet we also suffer from extraordinary impetuousness and a consumer culture that has us triggered into buying stuff that we don’t need, over and over and over again.

Look at our huge industry of storage units—it’s the weirdest thing.

Not only do we not have enough room in our houses, we have to rent or buy space in an alternative place to put the stuff that we’re not using in our houses when, in fact, we have millions of homeless people. And we’re not building houses for them—we’re building houses for our stuff. That is a symbol of fear-based spending.

When you look at your checkbook and your credit card bill through the lens of Am I spending some of my money out of fear, out of a deficit relationship with myself and the world?, it will stun you and reveal where you go overboard, where you purchase or use to excess things that you really don’t need. It is a very powerful exercise.