Money and life purpose seem to be sometimes circular topics that spiral in opposite directions, at least they seem to have always been for me. What I wanted to do for work was not what I found I must do to make money. Or, when I finally had a little more money, suddenly I’d have a lot more expenses, many of them seeming out of my control. Or I’d be making plenty of money doing something, but that occupation caused me to have to shift outside myself into what seemed a false persona, or I simply found it incredibly stressful, or both. When I had a job I felt comfortable in and which suited my strengths and skills, it didn’t pay enough. So yes, for most of my adult life I’ve had some discomfort around money. I don’t think I’m alone in this.
The Illusion of Money by Kyle Cease
The Illusion of Money is a book not so much about money or finances as about our emotions and thoughts around money, and how we can get in our own way because we think we’re always supposed to be chasing money in today’s world. It’s kind of an anti-hustle-culture book that coaches the reader to get back in touch with their inner self and their true direction in life. I categorize it as spiritual and as psychological, but it’s not pointedly spiritual, though it does recommend meditation and spending some time in nature to decompress. I found that it jogs my thinking just enough to get me out of some mental ruts and realize that I am not my relationship to money, that whatever is going on with me financially is simply something I’m doing or something I’m passing through, not a part of me. I got a lot out of reading it at this particular time in my life. I started out with a library copy, but was able to get the ebook for a fairly low price and decided I need to keep this book in my life and read it again, maybe several times. But your mileage may vary.
The author is a comedian turned personal transformation coach, with ideals paralleling those of my own spiritual path, so this book feels like a good fit for me, and the gentle humor provides light relief while reading it. I’ve shelved this under psychology as well, though the author is not a mental health pro, because a lot of his guidance leads to personal inner work. (He has some helpful videos as well: Kyle Cease – YouTube . Some of his videos hit the mark for me and some don’t, but most that I’ve seen so far help me think a little differently about things.) This book won’t be for everyone, but I still recommend anyone who has an uncomfortable or unhealthy history with money trying this perspective to see if it fits your needs. If you’re not sure, check it out of the library and give it a try before purchasing. I do that a lot, myself, and this is one I decided I wanted to buy. But that’s a great way to try a book, see if it’s for you, and only be out a little time in finding out.