On Emotional Equations
Reducing emotional truths to simple equations.
I’ve long appreciated the book “Emotional Equations” by Chip Conley, the premise of which is that certain emotional truths can be reduced to simple equations.
For instance, Conley suggests that Joy = Love - Fear.
Here’s another: Anxiety = Uncertainty x Powerlessness.
It’s a pretty cool concept, one that appeals to both my emotional and logical sides.
A few years ago there was a contest in which the winner was flown to San Francisco to have dinner with Conley. Having come up with an equation years earlier that I used with my high school students when I was in charge of the Puget Sound Community School in Seattle, I entered.
Here’s my equation and entry explanation (spoiler alert — I didn’t win):
Me/Me = You/You
As the director of an innovative middle & high school, I often try to help my students not compare themselves to others but to themselves. For instance, I see a student interested in learning the guitar get disillusioned when he compares himself to a friend who has played for years. As a result, he gives up. But if he saw his ability compared to his ability is the same as his friend’s ability compared to his friend’s ability, he may have the motivation to practice.
Here’s one more of Conley’s: Curiosity = Wonder + Awe.
How about you? Do you have an emotional equation?
Kind Action : Engage your curiosity by combining wonder and awe.
Book Recommendation : Emotional Equations
(I work to promote ordinary acts of kindness at kindliving.net. Note, this article includes an affiliate link. It’s also part of my Medium Series called “One Minute Reads,” short, unlocked articles that include a kind action recommendation.)