For a while now I've been meaning to sit down and write a review on a book I received in the mail called “Does Your Bag Have Holes?“.
The author of the book, Cameron C. Taylor, had inquired if I was interested in reviewing his book on my blog, and I responded that I was.
I read the book pretty quickly after receiving it, but things kept getting in the way of me sitting down and actually doing the review. First, I was just too busy. Then my wife got a blood clot in her leg and was in the hospital for 3 weeks. Then as you can imagine, life just got busy again. So this week I figured I better just sit down and write the review or it would never get done.
The full title of the book I'm reviewing is “Does Your Bag Have Holes? 24 Truths That Lead to Financial and Spiritual Freedom“, by Cameron C. Taylor. According to Taylor's website the book has been endorsed by Dr. William Danko, co-author of The Millionaire Next Door, legendary football coach Lou Holtz, bestselling author Brian Tracy, billionaire Rich DeVos, Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and many others. So right off the bat he's got some important and powerful people giving his book a boost.
When I first received an email from the author asking if I'd like a review copy of the book, I wasn't expecting much. But hey, it's a free book right? I got the book a few days later along with a nice note from the author. Because he was so gracious I felt like I should read the book right away, and I did. I wasn't disappointed.
Right from the start, I should warn some of you that this book is geared towards a specific audience. This book is tailored for a Christian audience, and as such it talks in such a way that some non-Christians might not understand or appreciate. With that being said, I think the book has a lot of valuable insight for Christians and non-Christians alike.
The 4 Principles Of Prosperity
So where to start? How about the premise of the book?
The book revolves around what Taylor calls the “Prosperity Model“. The “Prosperity Model” is based on 4 principles of prosperity which when followed, can lead you to prosperity. Think of the principles as a road map of sorts. The 4 basic principles of prosperity include:
- Our creator gives us all good things: God is supreme creator of the earth and the father of mankind. All we have and are is a gift from him. We should be thankful to him.
- Liberty is given to all men by our creator: God has given us all liberty, the freedom to make our own choices. With those choices we have the power to make good, and bad decisions.
- Consequences are the result of our choices: Every time we make a choice we're either moving towards freedom and prosperity or bondage and misery. Our choices have real consequences – and we can't choose the consequences.
- Government is created by the people to protect our God-given rights: Government is the protector, not the granter, of our rights. It should protect our right to pursue prosperity, but not just give us prosperity.
Because people are imperfect they don't live their lives in accordance with those principles, or don't even realize they exist to some extent, they end up not being successful or happy.
The Choices Of Prosperity
- Blame or responsibility: You can blame others and make excuses or be responsible and take control of your fate. Being responsible will give a great sense of freedom.
- Pride or humility: C.S. Lewis – “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it that the next man”. Things mean social status when pride enters our lives. Humility means that we realize our dependence on God, and that all we have is a gift from him.
- Hypocrisy or Integrity: You have the choice between having your outward and inward appearance not coinciding, or having integrity and having your actions align with your beliefs.
- Idleness or industry: You have a choice between working little or doing the wrong kind of work, and working hard and on things that matter.
- Debt or ownership: When you have debt, it is like putting your money into a bag with holes. (thus the name of the book). The debtor is the slave to the lender! Ownership brings freedom and prosperity.
- Greed or charity: Greed is unsatisfiable desire for money or things. Charity is the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love. It will motivate us to care for the needs of our fellow man. If we share what we have, people's lives can be blessed.
According to the book the choices you make in these 6 areas end up leading you down a certain path – either towards “freedom and prosperity, or bondage and misery”.
24 Truths That Lead To Freedom And Prosperity
Throughout the book Taylor illustrates his points through talking about myths that many people believe. They choose to believe these myths because it's easier, or because they don't realize the truth. Belief in those myths causes them to stray from the principles of prosperity, and aids them in making the wrong choices along the road. For example Taylor's myth number 12 states:
Everyone is entitled to a high standard of living.
People choose to believe that they are entitled to everything they want or need, no matter what the cost. They think they should have that new car, a big beautiful house, a vacation house and all the latest electronics. But when they have to borrow money to buy all those things they become a slave to all those things. Their “high standard of living” has made them miserable, and prosperity slips through their fingers. If they were to realize the truth that true freedom and prosperity comes from ownership, hard work and initiative, they'd be a lot happier.
Another myth Taylor says a lot of people believe is in the area of greed and charity. The myth is:
That's their business, not mine.
In other words, suffering and problems in the world don't mean anything to me – they are someone else's problem. Taylor talks about how we need to think of the world's population as just 2 people – Christ and you. When we help the poor and downtrodden, it is as if we are helping Christ. We are commanded to help others in need, and we need to make giving a priority in our lives.
Taylor lays out 23 more myths, and their corresponding truths throughout the book to great effect. There were a multitude of times when I would read one of his myths, only to realize that at some point or another I had bought into that particular myth. You may not agree with every one of his myths, but I think that a majority of them are very valid.
Overall the book was a good read. Taylor makes good use of storytelling in the book to illustrate his points, and the writing style is engaging. His prosperity model really makes you realize how important personal responsibility and the choices you make in your daily life are to your success.
The book isn't long on practical step by step ways to become prosperous, but it does give a good 50,000 foot view of the principles Taylor believes you need to guide you on the road to becoming free, happy and prosperous. The book is less of a how-to, and more of an inspirational read to get you fired up about being responsible and becoming part of the ownership society.
I give this book a thumbs up, and would recommend it to anyone.
Stay tuned because in the coming days I'll be posting an email interview with Cameron Taylor!