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The Three Toxic Myths of Scarcity

The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist {a global activist and fundraiser} is an inspiring exploration of the connection between money and leading a fulfilling life. She asserts that by examining our attitudes toward money—how we earn it, spend it, invest it, and give it away—we can gain illuminating and empowering insight into our lives, our values, and the very essence of prosperity.

She shares the Three Toxic Myths of Scarcity, which provide the bedrock for most of our interactions with money:

1. There’s not enough. Lynne writes, “No matter who we are or what our circumstances, we swim in conversations about what there isn’t enough of.” Maybe we are sharing with others how we didn’t get enough sleep, or we struggle with an internal chorus of being “not thin enough,” “not smart enough,” etc. This scarcity assumption is deeply embedded in us and our culture and she begs us to see its impact and question it. She states,

“Scarcity is a lie. Independent of any actual amount of resources, it is an unexamined and false system of assumptions, opinions, and beliefs from which we view the world as a place where we are in constant danger of having our needs unmet.”

2. More is better. Lynne talks about how in our rush for more we loose the ability to experience the deeper value of what we acquire or already have. It renders us less mindful and literally robs of us our true riches. She writes, “In the mind-set of scarcity, even too much is not enough.”

3. That’s just the way it is. Lynne notes that there is a resignation, a perceived powerlessness, regarding change and our ability to truly confront the root of these scarcity the assumptions, which perpetuates a sense of helplessness.

She implores us to question these toxic myths and provides many examples in her book of people—of all economic circumstances—living from a place of enoughness and sufficiency … where they truly treasure and steward what they already have. She defines sufficiency as “an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.”

“Appreciation is the beating heart of sufficiency.”

I’m sure that many of us can relate to her assertion that “… we mostly breeze right past the point of enough as if it’s not even there.” The key to letting in this experience of “enough” is the willingness to relinquish these three toxic myths. Personally, I have found this to be a book that champions you to be a better version of yourself.

Financially Smitten Call to Action for You Today:

Take some time to think about how these three toxic myths are influencing your behaviors and feelings about money. Contemplate these questions:

Are there any places in my life where I feel enoughness? Are there places that I don’t and I’d like to? What can I do to add more appreciation to those particular pockets of my existence?