The venerable Lynne Twist has traversed the world speaking about finances, leadership, and social justice. She has inspired thousands to rethink their relationship with money and will be one of the many brilliant speakers featured at the Success 3.0 Summit this October 31st.
You have talked to over 100,000 people all over the world about creating a healthy relationship around money. What common obstacles do we all share?
People are caught in what I call the lie of scarcity. By that, I mean an unconscious unexamined set of assumptions that come even before beliefs, that there’s not enough to go around and that all resources are scarce. This perception of the world stops people from seeing what I call the radical surprising truth: which is that there is enough, they have enough, and they are enough.
How can we align our values with finances when many of us are struggling to make ends meet?
Aligning our values with finances or aligning our finances with our values, if truly exercised and practiced, leads people to the experience of their own blessing, bounty, and gratitude no matter what the circumstances. To have peace and freedom with money is what everyone wants, including our global billionaires. Having more money does not necessarily lead to peace and freedom. Having more money often leads to distorting our values rather than upholding them. It takes courage, commitment, and depth to truly center yourself in your highest commitments and values in your relationship with spending, earning, saving, investing, and contributing. When you do that, the experience of sufficiency and true prosperity is available and natural.
What does changing our relationship with money have to do with our spirituality?
Most people have no connection with their spiritual self or their soul and their money. This disconnect is part of the culture and condition of scarcity, as well as the commercialized culture of materialism, consumerism, and “more of anything and everything is better.”
Because of this manic relationship with money, that is fostered and driven by our consumer culture, there is a hunger, experience of impoverishment, and almost starvation in our relationship with money, even if we have floods of money in our life. More “stuff” will never fill the hole in the human heart. When we realize that we can use money as the currency or current that it is – just like water flowing through our lives – we can empower and imbue it with the highest commitments of our spirituality and our soul. This is the source of real prosperity and true wealth.
What are the myths around our money that keep us from feeling satisfied?
The primary myth I’ve already referenced is what I call the lie or myth of scarcity. Within the lie of scarcity, there are three “toxic” myths. First, the belief that “there’s not enough.” Second, the myth that “more is better.” And third, “that’s just the way that it is.” These three toxic myths govern, dominate, and brainwash all of us such that we suffer in our relationship with money and are constantly driven to think that we must have more and more and more and more. There is no end to more and it never ultimately produces satisfaction, fulfillment, or prosperity.
One of your talks focuses on "the power of talking a stand." How can this transform our lives?
The power of taking a stand centers us in something larger than our own life starring us. We start to realize that we have been “given” life and that it’s a gift. When we use our life as an instrument or vehicle to accomplish something greater and more noble than our own wants and needs, we find a place to stand that ennobles every action we take, liberates us from the prison of our identity, and turns our life energy over to service and contribution. For example, a stand for ending world hunger becomes a whole way of living life. A stand for justice and fairness for all gives you a way to see, be, and walk in the world. Your identity, your petty concerns about yourself, move in the background, and the opportunity to have your life make a difference and be used by your highest commitment becomes a source of liberation, joy, productivity, and spiritual power. This is what I call living a “committed life.” It is a privilege to live this way and to be of genuine consequence and service to the world and to future generations.