Deb's Reviews > Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success

Emotional Equations by Chip Conley
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's review
Jul 08, 2012

it was amazing
Read in July, 2012

**There’s an equation for that**

At first impression, the title “Emotional Equations” may seem to be a bit of an oxymoron.
How could something as intangible and unquantifiable as an emotion possibly be captured in an equation? And, if an emotion could be explained by an equation, wouldn’t it take the emotionality of it anyway?

It turns out that emotions really can be represented by equations. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to be any kind of math whiz to understand them. In _Emotional Equations_, author Chip Conley (who admits that he’s no math wizard himself) does a masterful job in presenting a series of equations that can help you make sense of your emotions, life, and more. In Chip’s own words:
“Emotional Equations aren’t just a way to make sense of our lives; they are part of a bigger movement toward creating insight as we take off our psychological blindfolds.” (p. 248)

Emotional Equations can serve as a “psychological GPS” that can help “to navigate
difficult or unknown terrain. They help to detect and translate, harness and channel emotions productively so they become rational and purposeful, rather than scattered and chaotic. Anger can become courage, and envy can fuel resilience.” (pp. 21-22) Chip expresses his hope that:
“Emotional Equations will stretch you and create a better life for you and those around you. After using Emotional Equations, you will find that your emotions will no longer get the best of you. Instead, your emotions can *represent* the best in you.” (p. 13)

Whether you need to help in getting through a difficult time, you want to optimize your work life, you want to better define who you are, or you are seeking more contentment in your life (or all of the above!), these equations offer a unique and effective way of conceptualizing and understanding your emotions—and taking charge of your life. You’ll have to read the whole book to really get it, but for now, here’s a sampling of the equations that are presented and explored in the book:

→Dealing with Difficult Times:
***Despair = Suffering – Meaning
***Disappointment = Expectations – Reality
***Regret = Disappointment + Responsibility
***Jealousy = Mistrust/Self-Esteem and Envy = (Pride + Vanity)/Kindness
***Anxiety = Uncertainty x Powerlessness

→Getting the Most Out of Your Work Life
***Calling = Pleasure/Pain
***Workaholism = What Are You Running From?/What Are You Living For?
***Flow = Skill/Challenge
***Curiosity = Wonder + Awe

→Defining Who You Are:
***Authenticity = Self-Awareness x Courage
***Narcissism = (Self-Esteem)2 x Entitlement
***Integrity = Authenticity x Invisibility x Reliability

→ Finding Contentment
***Happiness = Wanting What You Have/Having What You Want
***Joy = Love – Fear
***Thriving = Frequency of Positive/Frequency of Negative
***Faith = Belief/Intellect
***Wisdom = (Square root of Experience)

In addition to presenting these equations, the book also offers a DIY guide for creating your own Emotional Equations. This final section of the book can help you understand the components of your own emotions and start developing a game plan to help you shift a debilitating emotion into something you can work with to reshape your life.

Although the title of the book might be a hard sell, the book sells itself. It’s well-written, well-researched, and appropriately and effectively supported by the author’s own psychological journey. (Finding meaning in his own suffering by writing this book would likely make Chip’s hero Viktor Frankl proud!)

Ever since I’ve finished this book, I’ve been coming up with my own equations. (It really does work!) So, of course, I’ve got to end this review with one:
Increased Peace of Mind = (Pages Read in This Book) x (Time Spent Applying Emotional Equations to Your Own Life)

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07/10/2016 marked as: read

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