Religion, My Life Library & The 2 Popes

May 15, 2020 20 minute read #Marketing

This week I seem to have ended up learning a lot about religion. Not for any specific reason, other than pure happenstance. Religious or not, I hope there is something here that you find useful or interesting… and I also have a request for your help. Happy Friday!

What I’ve Been Reading

After a conversation in a pub one night, I bought the book ‘A Little History of Religion’ by Richard Holloway then never got around to listening to it. For whatever reason, on a bike ride last week, I decided now was the time, and have since almost finished it. What I have loved about it, is that it has massively broadened my knowledge on a subject upon which I previously felt undereducated.

Learning more about the different religions and their origins has given me a much better understanding of the people that we share this planet with. What I found particularly interesting was the commonalities between them; they really aren’t that different at all. Whatever your thoughts on organised religion (over the years it has caused a huge amount of bloodshed and a huge amount of good), this book has helped me understand the playing field a little better. You can read or listen to it here.

The Life Library

Reading ‘A Little History of Religion’ got me thinking - something I do a lot of when on the bike or running - what other subjects, whilst not being my core focus in life, should I expand my knowledge in? What books would be in a ‘Life Library’, if you like. What books should everyone have read to give them a more diverse knowledge of the world around us? Immediately springing to mind were books like Bill Bryson’s ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ which I read years ago, and ‘The Body: A Guide for Occupants’ which is currently on my reading list, ‘The E-Myth Revisited’ for business, ‘Man’s search for Meaning’ for purpose, ‘Born to Run’ and so many more.

On this basis, I decided I would like to put together ‘The Life Library’ to broaden my own knowledge, to share with others - in particular my team at Efficient Portfolio, and for the next generation entering the world of work.  So, I need your help. Please could you suggest any books you think should be in the Library of Life, and why? All recommendations gratefully received, and once complete, hopefully next week, I will share it with you, so you too can benefit from the same. Thanks in advance.

What I’ve Been Watching

By coincidence, Caryl and I watched the film ‘The 2 Popes’ last week, for no other reason that it was well promoted on Netflix, and it featured one of my favourite actors, Sir Anthony Hopkins. Knowing nothing of its story, I was surprised to find that I was watching the true story of how Pope Benedict XVI forms a friendship with the current Pope Francis, and then becomes only the second Pope in history to retire. A captivating film, that you can watch here.

Quote of the Week

“Live. Give. Forgive.”

  • Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering

Something that is often talked about in religion is the concept of tithing. It is said in the Bible you should give 1/10th of your income to your local church because sacrificing a portion of our income helps us look outside our selfishness and makes us more aware of the needs of others. Not only that, but by tithing, the giver will prosper with more than just money as a result of the mindset it creates.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, there are some important financial lessons here. It is easy to feel like you cannot afford to save; after all, you are spending everything you earn and sometimes more. I cannot overstate the change in mindset towards money when you know you are saving something for your future, regardless of how small an amount it is. You know you are earning more than you need, and I can personally speak of the power that brings to your mindset.

The same applies to giving money to charity regularly, whoever the benefactor. Giving money regularly to charity tells your subconscious that you do have more than you need, and the ironic thing is that mindset will lead you towards having more money. Crazy as it sounds, it is true - so make sure that unless you are retired, you are saving something (automatically is best) every month. Also make sure that something each month is going towards a charitable cause. It may just come back to bless you!