Chip Conley: How To Make Sense of Your Emotions in Work and Life
One of our favorite Speakeasy Lectures of 2013 takes a subject that seems intangible and unquantifiable -- emotions -- and puts them into a mathematical framework to understand them better. Can you really take fleeting feelings and force them into algebraic relationships? Chip Conley shows us how in this Speakeasy talk from Whistler 2013.
He begins by referencing "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, laying the groundwork for his talk with the wisdom that "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is your power to choose your response, and in your response lies your growth and freedom." The equations Conley puts forth allow us that space, where we can see how our choices are contributing to our happiness or despair by amplifying the other part of the equation.
For instance, DESPAIR is equal to SUFFERING minus MEANING. How? Let's allow what the Buddhists say about suffering to be true, that it always exists, and thus is a constant. Which means that meaning is a variable, and if you can actually influence meaning, then therein lies your power — you can increase the meaning, and since suffering stays constant, then despair goes down. Make sense? Give each of those elements a numeric equivalent, and tinker with the variable, and you will see that the math does hold true: you can decrease your despair.
Conley continues to give us these amazing concrete tools to apply to our own psychology, working through the equations for joy, happiness (yes, those two are different), disappointment, anxiety and more. Moreover, he suggests that we as individuals will become better leaders when we're able to take these equations into consideration, because, "Part of your role as leaders is to understand the emotional thermostats of those we lead, and where you set your own emotional state has a lot to do with the emotional states of those around you." He notes that anxiety is the most contagious emotion in the workplace, which is key knowledge for anyone who tends to lead from a place of hurried tension.
This Speakeasy video is key viewing for anyone looking for very factual steps to gain more emotional insight and apply it to their workplace or relationships. You can pick up your own texbook to work through these amazing lessons by picking up Conley's NY Times best-selling book "Emotional Equations".
~ Chip Conley was the CEO of a boutique hotel company, Joie de Vivre, that he founded two decades earlier and in the most recent Great Recession had a series of bad years in work and life. At the bottom of this period, he spent time studying Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" and Chip created a series of Emotional Equations that helped him to better understand Despair, Anxiety, Happiness, Disappointment, Curiosity, and Joy (ironically, the name of his company). Then, started teaching emotional intelligence in his company of over 3,000 employees and this led to his New York Times best-selling book, Emotional Equations. In 2013, Chip launched Fest300 where he shares his passion for world festivals. You can follow his adventures on his Fest300 travel blog.