Saturday, 20 March 2021

Book Review: To God through money, by Mohamed Geraldez

I completed reading this book today, within a week of purchasing it. It's been a long time since I've read a book this fast, given my time constraints, so that alone should say something! 

Sharing my review on Goodreads and keeping the reflection notes from each chapter in this post for reference.

I was also smiling as I read Mohamed's views on value systems, knowing one's self, self-reflections and goals of living debt-free. These anecdotes tie in quite nicely with my RAGE framework I've been developing for the last 6 years now.

Goodreads Review

The title "To God through money" is what immediately caught my attention as I browsed niche book collection at my local coffee shop. That, and the author's name "Mohamed Geraldez". Who is this guy? How come I've never heard of him before? Is this yet another one of those self-made autobiography books I doubt?? Intrigued, I bought the book with mild curiosity. 

It turns out the purchase was a good call! 

I'm so glad to have learnt about Mohamed Geraldez. It's a book of hope, admiration, motivation and respect. It is also humbling. Why? Mohamed is an American, who found Islam (almost by accident?) and became a seeker of Truth that took him to far places on Earth, the deserts in North Africa, no less! For me, as someone born into Islam "it's what my forefathers always did", I am always humbled by stories from new Muslims. 

Whilst Mohamed writes his memoirs as an aid for his progeny and generations to come, being the first Muslim - this book should be read by anyone, religious and non-religious alike. Get a glimpse of Islam and how it attracted someone from the outside. Muslims can get a taste for balancing business and life. 

Learn about business and entrepreneurship. Reflection points are shared to trigger "discover yourself" moments. 

Mohamed Geraldez - thank you for courageously putting yourself out there by sharing your story! Well written and suitable for anyone looking to improve their life, seeking answers or anyone looking for inspiration from diverse perspectives. Highly recommended.

Useful Self Reflection Points for Life/Story Mapping

  • According to your parents, what was a particular characteristic you had as a child?
  • What did you accomplish as a kid that made you proud of yourself?
  • Did your parents' love story have an effect on your upbringing?
  • What trait from your childhood has stayed with you until now?
  • Do you think your early years had a massive effect on your current relationship with money?
  • What events from your youth indicated the type of person you would become?
  • Who were the major figures in your child rearing?
  • Did you grow up in an environment where you felt like you belonged, or did you feel like an outsider?
  • Has any death in your life affected you so much that you made a permanent change?
  • What are some of the biggest adjustments your parents had to make because of your birth? If they did not have to, why not?
  • Were you a bully or were you bullied as a child? If either, does this still bother you?
  • Is there something you regretfully did during your youth that you are embarrassed to think about now?
  • Were you exposed to an assortment of cultures growing up?
  • Did you yearn to belong to a group or were you content with those around you?
  • Did you grow up in a religious home?
  • How would you describe yourself in regard to religion? Atheist? Spiritual? Literal? Other?
  • What period in your life did you start questioning long-standing beliefs? How do you resolve them?
  • Are you still close to your best friend from childhood / high school?
  • Is there one person in your life who totally altered your life's trajectory?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your parents?
  • What is one thing you have done in your entire life that you wish you could take back? How have you dealt with it?
  • Are there people other than family members who helped raise you? If possible, give them a call to say, 'Thank You.'
  • Have you ever failed in starting a company? What were the lessons you learned?
  • Have you ever met a person or people that truly amazed you? What was it about them?
  • Have you ever conquered a great fear? What did you learn about yourself in the process?
  • Have you ever been culture-shocked? Where did this occur and why?
  • What has been the most transformative phase in your life?
  • Have you ever had a 'happiest day in my life'? If so, what caused it?
  • Have you ever had someone like 'Brother, Sisyer, Father, etc. I never had'? What made that person special to you?
  • What is one thing or event that if you did it, your life would be complete? What is preventing you?
  • Do you work well under stressful conditions? What helps you?
  • What are the different periods in your life that you learned a lot about yourself and the world?
  • Is there a dream or something of significance that you passed on in life because of barriers or difficulties?
  • Have you ever worked so hard at a job that you became sick? What kept you going?
  • What was one of the lowest points in your life? How were you able to bounce back?
  • What was the most fulfilling job you have ever had? What did you learn from the experience?
  • Have you ever been laid off or fired from your job? How did you deal with it?
  • What is the most expensive mistake you have made in your life?
  • Have you ever taken a risk, and it paid off? When did it not work out?
  • Has there ever been an instance where you went against your gut and regretted it? What about a time that you went with it and worked out?
  • Have you ever had mentors in your life? What did they assist you with?
  • Why is your best friend, your best friend?
  • Do you have any personal finance rules you live by? What are they?
  • From the list of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, which one(s) resonates with you the most? Why?
  • What are your "happy moments" in life?
  • Have you ever given any though about your legacy? If so, what you you want it to say about you?
  • What is your Happy Money monthly amount?
  • Has there ever been a time when you refused someone's advice, but later acted upon it? What changed your mind?
  • What helps you in making important decisions?
  • What habits or practices do you have for continuous self-improvement?
  • What events or decisions were not in your favour, but with time, you were actually glad they were not? Why?
  • When you think about the fisherman and the banker story, what things come to your mind about your own life?
  • What blameworthy personality traits do you have that you would like to rid yourself of?
  • Is there a particular friendship you no longer have, but wish it would return? What is holding you back?
  • What is your love language? If you are still blessed with one or both of them, what are your parents' love languages?
  • Who has had the greatest impact on your life?
  • Have you ever felt that pursuing success in this world meant jeopardising your success in the next world? If so, why?
  • Was it ever in your spiritual practice to think about your death? If not, do you think you will now incorporate it?
  • What spiritual program do you have in place to reconnect with your Lord and regain perspective in life?
  • What charity is dear to your heart? When was the last time you donated to it?
  • Are you debt-free? If not, is it your top financial goal?

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