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ISBN-10: 1451607261
ISBN-13: 978-1451607260


Fascinating analysis that I found particularly helpful to understand the complexity of emotions. As someone that has often felt my range of emotions is one of three states—good, okay or not good—this “mathematical” approach was really useful.

Chip explains emotions by combining several into a formula, so you can see that most of the time you’re experiencing a cocktail of emotions. Emotions also shift depending on the balance of the equation.

My Notes

The biological lifespan of a particular emotion is about 90 seconds. It’s the afterlife that emotion that we constantly revive and bathe in.


Disappointment is one of the emotions that has a higher level of intensity. You have two options to reduce your potential for disappointment: either reduce your expectations or influence reality.

Do your expectations fuel you or deflate you?

We downshift our definitions of reality relative to others, and over time.

People establish a perceived level of satisfaction based upon comparing three gaps: what you have versus what you want, but you have versus what you think other people have, and what you have been the best experience of what you had in the past. A fourth maybe between what you have and what you feel you deserve.

Over time, the shifting upward of expectations and downward of our appreciation what we have leads to larger gaps.

“Wealth is any income that is at least $100 more than the income of one’s wife’s sister’s husband.”

It’s not our expectations that we necessarily need to curb; it’s our sense of entitlement that leads us to be so bitterly disappointed when things don’t go our way. Can we shift perspective to tell a new, more empowering story?

Frustration = you feel you can still influence the situation. Disappointment = the event has passed and you didn’t get what you wanted. Frustration moves forward; disappointment retreats.


People regret 2 to 1 the actions they didn’t take in their lives versus the actions they took and then later regret it. Regret stems more from the opportunities you choose not to take versus the ones that you do that were a mistake.

Short-term pain is less significant than long-term angst. Ask 2 simple questions when determining whether to do something or not:

– Is it repeatable? (I.e. Will the opportunity come again) if not, beware of saying no.
– Can it be repaired? If it can’t be repaired (if something goes wrong), beware of saying yes.

Benjamin Franklin suggested making a list of pros and cons when making a decision. Over the course of 3 to 4 days, list out the pros and cons. Then, Crossout any pros and cons that are equal weight. If you have one pro that weighs the same as two cons, you cross them all out. If some reasons are 2 cons equal to three pros, you strike out all five. Then you can see where the balance lies at the end.

“20 years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


Jealousy involves three people: you, the other person, and the third-party that has what you want. : You and the person you are envious of.

Jealousy is the fear of losing something that one has to someone else, often in a romantic kind of way. Envy is frustration of witnessing someone else have what you want. Jealousy is the fear of loss; envy is the wish for gain.

People with a high degree of jealousy so three personality characteristics: one, they had a little opinion of themselves. Two, they saw a large discrepancy really are and what they would ideally like to be. Three, they valued such visible achievements as being wealthy, famous, well-liked, and especially physically attractive. Those who are less jealous have higher self-esteem, felt good about who they were for them bad about what they had become, and were less interested in the external trappings of success.

Can you use jealousy as a signal, an indicator that something is askew in you?

Key variable of jealousy in relationships is your level of confidence with respect to your partner: are you a good match or do you feel like you’re dating someone who has more romantic partners than you do to choose from? Your choice of partner and whether you were dating someone who need perceive as either above or below you can influence your feelings of stability.

Jealousy = mistrust / self-esteem.

Self-esteem is the solution to jealousy.


Resentment follows envy and schadenfreude, The pleasure derived from the misfortune of others, follows resentment.

Envy > Resentment > schadenfreude

Low self-esteem is a contributor to schadenfreude.

Envy = (pride + vanity) / kindness

Kindness is the solution to envy.


Walt Disney said that the secret to making dreams come true are summarized in 4 Cs: curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy.

Curiosity is like blood in our veins. It can also be the solution to both anxiety and depression. When you’re feeling either of those emotions, you also likely feel a dimness, narrowness, and declining interest. Being curious is being open: open to learning, open to loving, open to stumbling, open to life.

Curiosity surpasses creativity as the most essential trait of a successful business person in the 21st-century: A great manager finds the answers, while a great leader discovers the questions.

Curiosity mixes the sense of a child seeing the world for the first time with that otherwise elder who realizes that the more she knows the more she doesn’t know… And she’s delighted and maybe even a little humbled by that realization.

Curiosity = wonder + awe

Wonder combines the sense of joyful, innocent surprise with the desire to know more.

Awe leads to metaphysical or spiritual insights. We feel awe when we are humbled by something bigger than we are. It contains an element of humility and sometimes fear, since it truly makes us realize how small we are in the context of the miraculous, untamed world.

As an adult, we need to retrain ourselves on how to be curious. Think about it kidd: think about how many questions a kid asks one day, and see if you can match that. Ask questions such as, “Why does this thing do that?”

Notice that the two things adults are most curious about are other peoples lives and how they make themselves tick. There are six simple starting point for your questions: who, what, where, why, when, and how.

All is defined in dictionaries as “a profound reverence in the presence of supreme authority, moral greatness or sublimity, or mysterious sacredness.”

Every year, choose a new subject to learn; become so expert in it that you can teach it to others.


Authenticity = self-awareness x courage

4 questions to develop objectivity towards oneself:

1. Who knows you best? Would they describe you more accurately than how the rest of the world sees you? What are a couple emotions you feel their presents, and what’s the source of those emotions?

2. What’s the biggest masquerade in your life today? When do you feel the largest disconnect between who you are and what you are doing?

3. How are you most frequently misperceived in the workplace or at home, and why?

4. If someone who doesn’t know you watched you 24 hours a day for a month, what do you think you’re she would list as your three greatest strengths? Your three greatest weaknesses?


“Happiness is a solid, Joy is a liquid.”- JD Salinger

Happiness is something that comes and goes, but joy is something that lingers. It’s a spontaneous yet enduring emotion.

There are two motivating forces in the world: love and fear. Gregg Braden says, “Love or fear is the driving force that propels us to the walls of resistance and catapults us beyond the barriers to keep us from our goals, dreams, and desires.”

Maslow suggested that in any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.

If you imagine some issue in your life, one that requires you to make a choice, what would it feel like to make this choice from a place of love versus a place of fear? What happens to your body when you imagine each path?

Whenever you feel like clenching up or some kind of armor arising, you are in a state of defensiveness called fear. It’s where most people spend their lives. No wonder our bodies become more fragile and inflexible over time.

From an evolutionary perspective we are always faced with two choices: growth or protection.

Fear triggers more than 1400 known physical and chemical responses and activate more than 30 different hormones and neurotransmitters in our bodies.

Innovation = creativity – cynicism

Innovation is joy. Creativity is love. Cynicism is fear.

Joy = love – fear

Falling in love with someone can be a tasty and terrifying blend of joy and fear. There are countless examples of married couples who met during the most vulnerable times of their lives – the perfect condition for a combination of love and fear.

Whenever our emotions are heightened – wherher due to love or fear – we can often confuse what’s at play. Our nervous system registers a physiological response – a faster heartbeat, a jump and adrenaline, a sense of heightened awareness, breaking a little sweat, and maybe queasiness in the stomach – and chalks it up to love when we actually could be in a state of fear.

Searching for love can be futile, but finding joy could be your doorway to love.


Wisdom is the square root of experience.

Wisdom is being able to see that the complex in our lives – the sum of our experiences – is actually due to something that is central to our existence and the way we approach our experiences.

Example: if a CEO of a company cuts back on the investment in service training, it can lead to unhappy customers and less revenue, which brings the company down over time as a whole. At the square root of that was what caused the CEO’s decision and the resulting outcomes from it.

Example: you don’t gain weight from one morning eating a dozen donuts. You gain weight over time due to many little micro decisions you make every day for months and years. At the square root of the weight gain is your feeling about yourself that is causing you to repeatedly make those decisions.

It’s being able to see through The Matrix and grasp the root of what makes us and everything around us tick.

Most of us often feel that when faced with a series of challenges, we just have to work harder. Our equation for life is this one long series of additions. But the wisdom equation suggests quite the opposite: when we are faced with the greatest odds against us, we usually need to edit rather than add.