How to Become an Effective CEO: Chief Emotions Officer

Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels

Chip Conley is the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which he began at age 26 and built to more than 30 properties in California alone. In 2010, Joie de Vivre was awarded the #1 customer service award in the U.S. by Market Metrix (Upper Upscale hotel category).

Conley has also been named the “Most Innovative CEO” in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times, and I’m proud to call him a friend.

We’ve shared many glasses of wine together. He doesn’t know what I’m about to tell you, but it’s true (Hi, Chip!). When we first met, and after reading his first book on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I wondered “Is this Chip dude for real? Implementing self-actualization in a company?!?” My curiosity drove me to visit a few of his hotels, including Hotel Vitale, where I eventually concluded: these are the happiest employees I’ve ever met.

He has figured out what makes people tick.

The following post is a guest post by Chip and based on his new book, Emotional Equations. Be sure to read to the end, as there is a chance to win an expense-paid trip to SF to spend an entire day training with him.

Deal-making? Empire building? Self-fulfillment? He’s your guy.


Enter Chip Conley

I graduated from Stanford Business School at age 23 with Seth Godin.

I remember talking with him and others about my aspirations as an entrepreneur and my desire to become a CEO some day. Back then, I thought in order to become a successful CEO, I would need to become superhuman, leaping tall buildings in a single bound. But, after 24 years of being a CEO (I founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality, what’s become the 2nd largest boutique hotelier in the world, and sold a majority interest to a billionaire in 2010), I’ve come to realize that the best business leaders aren’t superhuman, they’re simply super humans as they’ve learned how to become Chief Emotions Officers.

Chief Emotional Officer?

Leaders are the “emotional thermostats” of the groups they lead. If you want to dig into the support for this, read this compelling piece by Daniel Goleman, the man who popularized the idea of “emotional intelligence” in the 90s and proved that 2/3 of the effectiveness of business leaders comes from their EQ rather than their IQ or level of work experience.

There are multiple metaphors I use to describe how emotions work in our lives. One that feels very familiar to me is baggage. Our luggage in life is an apt metaphor for me – a guy who’s been a hotelier for a quarter century. Countless times I’ve seen people show up at our hotel front desks with all kinds of baggage, and only some of it the physical kind. Most of us have emotional baggage that may seem invisible to the untrained eye or invisible to the person carrying the baggage. But the results of lugging that baggage around for years is noticeable in how that person shows up at the metaphorical front desk of life. If you are a Chief Emotions Officer, you are more aware of all the bags you’re carrying and how to open your luggage up and make sense of what’s inside.

Opening up a bag, you may find a truly messy interior with things in complete disarray. But, these emotional equations create a certain logic to how you pack and unpack your bags and, in fact, being a little more conscious of what’s in your bag may allow you to discard a few heavy items that have been weighing you down. Creating your own internal logic regarding your emotional baggage will allow you to carry a lighter bag…one that’s eminently easier to unpack.

4 Emotions to Unpack

We’re going to focus on four emotions that you can start unpacking (i.e. mastering).

Think of emotions as existing on a color wheel. Isaac Newton created the color wheel long ago and helped us understand that red plus blue equals purple, for instance. I learned in my research for Emotional Equations – which allowed me to spend a couple of years with some of the world’s psychology luminaries – that there’s an emotional wheel with primary and secondary emotions: the Plutchik wheel. In my book, I evolve this wheel further so you can imagine that Disappointment + a Sense of Responsibility = Regret. And, once you understand the emotional building blocks of Regret, you can turn it from a downer into a lesson. Regret teaches. Fear protects. Sadness releases. Joy uplifts. Empathy unites. Think of your emotions as messages that give you the freedom, rather than the obligation, to respond. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Now, let’s unpack and master the emotions of Despair, Happiness, Anxiety, and Curiosity.


I am very proud of this equation.

It’s the one that started my exploration of emotions through the lens of equations. I took Viktor Frankl’s book and distilled it down to this useful mantra at a time in my life in 2008, when I had a series of friends commit suicide, had a flatline experience myself while giving a speech in St. Louis (literally: my heart stopped, and I dropped), and the rest of my life felt in disarray. If you consider the words “despair” and “meaning” to be abstract or off-putting, consider “sadness” as a tamer version of despair or “learning” as a more concrete version of meaning.

First off, in order for the math to work, “suffering” has to be a constant. This is the first Noble Truth of Buddhism, but it’s also true, and not just in a recession. You can always find the suffering if you want to look for it. I had no idea when I started writing this book that this decade would come to resemble the 1930s in that our near Depression-like economic conditions would persist as long as they have. But while the Depression was a very difficult time for so many people, interview-based research studies show that it indirectly prepared young women for losing their husbands later in life. These women learned self-reliance, independence, and courage early in life, which served them (and perhaps saved their families) when their husbands passed.

So, consider “meaning” in the following way: many of us go to the gym to exercise our physical muscles to ensure that our physical body doesn’t bloat or atrophy. If you’re going through a difficult time right now, maybe – unwittingly – you’ve signed up for emotional boot camp and you’re being asked to exercise emotional muscles that haven’t had this kind of workout for years. But, this isn’t meant to be just agony. It’s meant to prepare you for later in life. The emotions you may be mastering today – humility, resilience, persistence, a sense of humor – will serve you well at some later point in your life, maybe in the not too distant future.

For me, having my long-term relationship end in the midst of my train wreck of a life in 2009 was the last thing I was looking for. Suffering felt ever-present, like the fog during a San Francisco summer. The foghorn that cut through this opaque time was the question I asked myself on my most sad, self-pitying days, “How is this experience going to serve me in my next relationship? How is this going to make me a better partner when I find my true soul mate?”

These weren’t easy questions to ask when I felt radioactive and couldn’t imagine anyone loving me again. But I kept the exercise metaphor in mind. The fact that I could joke with friends about my emotional boot camp helped me realize that great rewards – or meaning – could arise as a result of this painful experience. So, just know that there are fruits to gather in the valley of Despair.


People often have a love-hate relationship with this equation. The proper definitions of the numerator and denominator are what create the magic. “Wanting what you have” can be translated into “practicing gratitude,” having a reverence for what is working in your life. The more tricky definition is in the bottom of this equation. To “have what you want” is an act of “pursuing gratification.” I want something and it’s my job to go out and pursue it or “have” it in order to satisfy that want.

Don’t get me wrong. The act of pursuing something can bring us a sense of accomplishment and take us into that focused “flow” state. But, the risk is that “chasing something with hostility” (some dictionaries’ definition of “pursuit”) or even with just focused attention can completely distract you from what’s in the numerator, what you already have. Socrates said it best, “He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

As a type-A guy who’s spent more than my share of time on the hedonic treadmill, I can tell you that it’s very difficult to simultaneously practice gratitude while also pursuing gratification. Some mystics are able to take the bottom of this equation down to zero, which may give them infinite happiness. But, for the rest of us mere mortals, the risk is not in lack of pursuit, as this is part of what modern society demands of us. The risk is that we completely diminish the power of gratitude.

So, the true power of this equation is in keeping your attention on the numerator.

Someone once said to me that feeling gratitude without sharing it with someone is like wrapping a present without giving it to the intended recipient. So, what are the ways you can show your gratitude in such a fashion that it becomes a habit or practice for you that’s ingrained in your everyday life? For me, I needed to start by having it on my conscious “to-do” list each day. I had a rule that I had to give two face-to-face expressions of gratitude each day at work, preferably to someone who found the thank you unexpected. In fact, I wrote about this in the Huffington Post after one of my recent trips to Bali. What if you thought of your expressions of gratitude like a devotional daily offering?

Let me give you a suggestion about a Gratitude Journal as well. They’re not for everyone, just like personal journals resonate with some while repelling others. The purpose of a Gratitude Journal is to help you be conscious about “wanting what you have.” An alternative means of accomplishing this purpose is to have a Gratitude Buddy. Make it a point to meet with your Buddy once a month (or more frequently if you wish) in a location where there are no distractions and ask each other, “What gifts do you have in your life that are easy to take for granted?” and “What was a recent gift that may have been wrapped up as a pain or punishment?”

For those of you who’d like to explore this equation a little further, I have two suggestions.

1. Check out a research article by Jeff T. Larsen and Amie R. McKibban where they literally put this equation to the test (with inconclusive results, but really interesting findings).

2. Watch my 2010 TED talk, in which I share my key learning from my trip to Bhutan to study their Gross National Happiness Index.


After reading more than a dozen books and 50 research studies on anxiety, I was struck by the fact that 95% of the causes of anxiety seemed to be distilled down to what we don’t know and what we can’t control. You may have heard of the study that demonstrated most people would prefer receiving an electric shock now that’s twice as painful as receiving some random shock in the next 24 hours. This is why, as leaders, we need to recognize that hiding the truth, especially when it’s going to come out at some point in the near future, is a futile mistake that can often just increase the amount of anxiety your employees are feeling.

If we know that the combustible product of uncertainty and powerlessness creates anxiety, we can create what I call an Anxiety Balance Sheet to turn this around. Take out a piece of paper and create four columns. Then, think of something that is currently making you anxious. Regarding that subject, the first column is “What Do I Know” about this issue. The second column is “What Don’t I Know.” The third column is “What Can I Influence.” The fourth column is “What Can’t I Influence.” Spend enough time doing this so that you have at least one item per column but you may find that you have a half-dozen items in some columns.

After you feel complete, what do you notice with respect to the four columns? About 80% of the people I’ve worked this through with are surprised that they have more items listed in columns one and three (the “good” columns) than they do in columns two and four. The reality is that when something is making us anxious, we tend to fixate on those elements of the problem that feel mysterious (what we don’t know) or uncontrollable (what we can’t influence). So, there’s some liberation in just outlining what’s making you crazy and realizing that there may be many balancing positives to those issues that are vexing you.

Now, spend some time reviewing the items in column two (what you don’t know). Is there someone you can ask – your boss, your boyfriend, your doctor – who can help you with some needed information that will move this item from column two to column one? Maybe it’s just doing a Google search? I know it’s scary to ask your boss whether your job is in jeopardy, but remember the electric shock example I mentioned earlier. Anxiety can be more painful and debilitating than bad news. Now look at column four and truly ask yourself, “Are you completely powerless about the items on this list?” I’ve found that having a smart friend sit with me can sometimes help me uncover ways to move items from column four to column three.

In sum, just the act of unpacking your anxiety bag and knowing what’s inside can have a profound effect on reducing your fear of the future.


We’ve had a subtraction, a division, and a multiplication equation so far. Now, we’ll finish with an addition equation around the experience of curiosity. Recent studies have shown that curiosity is one of the most valuable emotional qualities people can leverage during periods of crisis. Fear and most negative emotions train us to narrow our scope. “Fight or flight” reactions are evolution’s means of helping us avert danger. But, oftentimes, we need to move from narrowing our attention to the “broaden and build” way of thinking that Barbara Fredrickson talks about in her book on Positivity. Getting through your own emotional recession may require bigger thinking rather than narrow execution.

When you’re living in a place of fear, it is hard to be curious. But, I’ve found that so much of it comes back to defusing my natural tendency toward reactivity. In other words, it’s learning to pause. Curiosity is not a reactive emotion. It’s one that takes a certain amount of reflection and a willingness to admit what you don’t know. So, ask yourself, “What habitats allow me to be more curious?” I first had to make a list of which habitats made be less curious: the office, any conference room, investor meetings, and spending time with people who I wanted to impress.

So, I knew that these were not places that were going to help me stoke up bigger thinking. Ironically, when I made my list of curious habitats, I found my list to be longer than I expected: anywhere in nature but especially near a beach with crashing surf; hanging out with kids; museums or other experimental spaces with art; zoos; places with a big night sky and lots of stars; my backyard cottage; and any place where I felt comfortable laughing from my gut (it’s hard to be full of humor and full of fear at the same time).

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that seeking the sacred in life opens up my sense of awe and my ability to connect with curiosity.

I’ve recently made a decision to seek out a sacred festival somewhere in the world each quarter as a means of committing to finding habitats for curiosity. As Tim F. knows (he was a fellow citizen of my camp Maslowtopia), I’ve been an aficionado of Burning Man for many years and some of my best business ideas have come out of my time in the desert marveling at transcendent art and having non-linear conversations.

So, if you’re feeling “on empty” creatively, know that curiosity is the fuel you need to seek. In author Liz Gilbert’s 2009 TED talk (TED is another habitat for curiosity), she shares the fact that the genesis of the word “genius” comes from “genie” and that the most creative people in the world are able to become vessels for the genie to inhabit them. My experience is that these genies prefer inhabiting curious places in the world and that’s where they’re most likely to tap you on your shoulder and give you the gift of inspiration that may change your life.

In sum, the more the external world becomes chaotic, the more we rely upon internal logic. This was true in the 1930s when Nazism and political and religious fundamentalism rose. But, that decade also sprouted new thinking from people like Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Viktor Frankl, and Reinhold Niebuhr (who created the Serenity Prayer).

I hope that you find these emotional equations help you to think differently, live better, and truly become the Chief Emotions Officer of your own life. It’s worth the introspection.


Chip is offering an exclusive to readers of this blog: the chance to spend a full day with him in San Francisco.

He’ll cover economy airfare from anywhere in the US (if you’re international, you’ll need to get yourself to the US), and he’ll also cover two nights at Hotel Vitale on the water, or the best alternative if they’re sold out. The usual legal stuff applies: must be older than 18, void where prohibited, no purchase required to enter, etc.

No later than this Friday (1/20/12) at 5pm PST, leave a comment below and answer the following, in order, and in no more than 300 words:

1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?

3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

Only the first 100 entrants are eligible, so the earlier the better!


Odds and Ends: The Crunchies, Winners, and More

The Crunchies, something like the tech Oscars, are currently in the finals, and quite a few of my start-ups have made the cut (I’m honored to be involved with all of them). If you like these products or people, please click through to give them a vote! All of the candidates, many of them friends, are outstanding.

CEO of the YearPhil Libin (Evernote) and Dick Costolo (Twitter)

Angel of the Year – these folks are all incredible, but I have to vote for my man, Kevin Rose.

Founder of the YearLeah Busque (TaskRabbit) For the story of how Leah and I met, as well as how she got me to be an advisor, see this article: “How to Turn $750 into $1,000,000”

Best Tablet AppStumbleUpon

Best Mobile AppEvernote and Taskrabbit

Best Location AppUber (check out the San Francisco grid)

For all of the categories and finalists, go here.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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535 Replies to “How to Become an Effective CEO: Chief Emotions Officer”

  1. 1) Happiness is when what you say, what you think, and what you do are in harmony – Mahatma Gandhi.

    2) Anxiety = Uncertainty x powerlessness: I feel that anxiety is perhaps my largest piece of baggage. It weighs on me and, at times, I fee that it prevents me from doing both the things I need to do and the things i want to do. Understanding it and where it comes from then mastering doubt, I hope, will make me better able to achieve the harmony from my featured quote.

    3) A more sustainable world: Now that is a big topic. There is the environmental side, but there is also this feeling I get that the world is becoming more and more chaotic and is proceeding towards some breaking point. I guess the question I want to address is how can you show people that not only does curbing the blind pursuit of “growth” help the environment on which we rely, but also ourselves. In order to address that a deep understanding of human nature is needed. Something to begin exploring on a day in SF. Its a big topic, but hey I am only in college.

  2. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”-Howard Thurman

    anxiety=uncertainty x powerlessness. I have learned that you can always do what you can, with what you have from where you are. I have also learned that you have the power to vision your life, and if you take your eyes off that vision you will see things that seem out of your control. They are typically illusions. Even when bad things happen you don’t have to be anxious…ask better questions, i.e., “how does this serve me” because everything can serve you if you ask the question.

    After a day with Chip, I would hope to be better equipped to build Sarah Francis Wines into a brand that inspires people to pause, express gratitude, and gather to ask better questions.

  3. 1. “Live Slow” – not sure?

    2. Happiness = Wanting what you have / Having what you want – My life and my desires are totally out of balance. Being a professional, entrepreneur, new father, husband, and man constantly looking for more out of life, I find it is easy to both get lost in my dreams/creating my future, and stuck in the monotony of the everyday. The key to both of course is to get out of your head and live in the present… or Appreciate.

    3. I would love to throw around ideas about the future (or fall?) of organized religion as it pertains to community (non-virtual), happiness, and values. It used to be that Work, Religion, Family, and Health (not necessarily in that order) were common priorities. Seems now more are focusing on the Work (and the money it creates – Consumerism), and less on the other important aspects of a balanced life. Chip seems to be a scholar of both society and religion, incorporating a variety of teachings to his philosophies. Being spiritual but anti-organized religion, I feel there is a space to be filled in the lives of younger generations of critical thinkers. I would love to create some ideas of how to bring back community and non-monetary values to modern US society. In doing so, I think more life balance can be created and a space to enjoy and appreciate… and increase Happiness.

  4. 1. Favorite quote: MLK JR “Your life begins to end when you become silent about the things that matter.” A great leader, speaker, and words to live by!

    2. I can apply the addition equation to my life because every day I want to learn more about business, life, and our society and curiosity is what I need more of every day to take what I learn and read and apply it to my life and help make the world better every day!

    3. I would further build my brand of MarketingFunWithMike. I currently write a blog and it is personal brand that I have created and I want to expand into a series of E Books exploring our country and giving people a reason to laugh and make themselves stronger and more passionate about what they love every day.

    Thanks for the chance (open to more than first 100 please!) and great post!

  5. Powerful post here my favorite in a long time. Got me thinking about math in a whole new way and how it can be applied to help with all sorts of problems.

    Here is my equation for the new field:


  6. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    A favorite quote of mine is, “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho

    How could you apply one of the equations above to your life for maximum benefit?

    I work for a small start up company called Master Networks, and one of the passions of our business is supporting small business owners and independent contractors in their growth as professionals and individuals. That’s why the CURIOSITY = WONDER + AWE equation stood out to me. Just as in my own life I carve out time to explore in nature and discover new things by reading and learning from others, our networking chapters have a built in segment each week focused on personal and professional development. Our members value improving themselves and learning how to live up to their potential. We also provide other resources for their growth and development and encourage them to be curious about their work and life.

    What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    If I had the opportunity to spend a day with Chip in San Francisco, I would carry that experience back with me as I work to provide meaningful and rich content to the small business owners we reach. I would build an awareness of the emotional components found in quality leadership and networking and help to educate people to create strong local networks and really root for each other as fellow business owners.

  7. 1) Action is the enemy of thought.

    2) Curiousity = Wonder + Awe. I work in a creative field, and spend most of my time creating original content. Most of the time however, I’m too afraid to succeed, and stop halfway. This equation will help me be in awe and wonder for the things I come up with, and will help me finish them.

    3) I would love to build my own empire, one that is colourful, musical, philosophical and loving. One centered around people, not money.

  8. Chip,

    Your post shares incredible insight into the value and importance of being emotionally attuned and self-aware. You are truly wise and have intentionally searched and developed a courageous and admirable self-awareness. It’s inspiring.

    I very much identify with your metaphors for understanding our emotional selves – baggage and exercise. In my own quest for understanding my emotional self I’ve used the idea of unpacking a really messy suitcase, understanding (in my own way) every piece in there and re-packing in a way that nourishes my strengths, dreams and desires. Much like our physical selves, our emotional muscles may be weak in some areas and strong in others. Knowing the weak points and understanding the value in strengthening them, can set us in the direction of our hopes and desires. Thanks for echoing these ideas, it’s nice to be in good company.

    A good friend and I are working on a blog that helps people find their truth and reach their dreams through improved communication and interpersonal relationships. Please visit us and share your thoughts We’re trying to provide content that helps people become more self-aware.

    My entry might be beyond the 100 limit, but here goes:

    1) ?“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    2) ?The curiosity equation is important to keep in mind and apply on a daily basis. Much like our bodies need nourishment from food to thrive, our minds can reach their potential with care and nurturance. The idea of deliberately making time to stimulate one’s creativity is useful and can be key to nearly all of the emotional equations presented in this blog. Taking time to consider the wonder, awe, and resulting curiosity that comes up for us can help me become more understanding and aware of my despair, anxieties and happiness.

    3) After a day with Chip, I would hope to glean knowledge about what’s worked and what hasn’t for him professionally and personally. Learning about him, his business and what keeps him going will provide inspiration, insight and information to help me continue to work on my goals. My friend and I just endeavored on the blog and want to develop it to be something useful to people. The experience of a day with Chip will enhance my ability to continue to improve the blog and motivate me to persevere my inner truth.

  9. Likely very much too late but…I’d pay for my own ticket Chip…would love to learn

    1; The future is now, make sure to parent it.

    2; I would need to learn to apply all – to myself and to the people around me. always on the look out for great colleague motivation.

    3; Change my frame of reference to become a true CEO

    All the best and great article!

  10. 1. “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

    This was the quote I used for my senior year of highschool. Six years later, it’s something that has stuck with me, and I see real life examples every day. Chip seems like the embodiment of this. He built the one of the most successful businesses in one of the most competitive industries, and the crux of his success is caring about his people. This is the kind of leader I want to be – someone who really knows their stuff, but puts their people first.

    2. Curiosity = Wonder + Awe

    I loved that Chip pointed out that Curiosity is a habit we have to cultivate as we get older. I never thought of it as something you could actively work at, but it makes so much sense now! As a child, I was naturally curious, naturally filled with awe and glee when I experienced new things. I have noticed that as I get older, I’m losing that, and it makes me sad. Most of the older people I’m surrounded by have lost that sense of wonder, and so I took losing Curiousity as a natural part of getting older. No more! I will hereafter be evergreen!

    3. A Day With Chip

    I’m starting a business that offers psychological therapy online. I want to help people that are clinically diagnosed, but my dream, however, is for this service to be accessible and appealing to every day people, with every day fears, anxieties, and suffering. I would use my day with Chip to learn how best to build a company like that, how to foster self-actualization and happiness within my own team. If that’s what I’m offering to the world, I figure it should start at home.

    If I don’t get to meet you, thank you for your story. I hope I become a great Chief Emotional Officer some day!



  11. Inspirational! Thank you.

    1) My favorite quote comes from Richard Back in “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”

    “You teach best what you most need to learn.” So true. And so hard to get the lesson for myself.

    2) Happiness equation: Love the notion of wanting what you have. Making it all about appreciation, gratitude and acceptance. We have more than enough. We live like kings and queens, yet we strive like paupers.

    As the Bee Gees so eloquently put it:

    Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe

    And to love you

    3) I’d like to build a web-based portal for doing great things online and create it specifically for kids and teens, their parents and teachers. Allow them a space to build on some positive messaging, video, games and then allow them to mash it up and send it out – making good viral.

    I’d like to raise awareness that social networking and the web has created a new kind of possibility for empathy, compassion and wellness. I want to incorporate the new neuroscience and the findings that being online can be healing and restorative. And, above all else, using forgiveness as a secret weapon.

  12. Hi, I’m Samuel.

    1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    “Lucrative opportunities always come my way.”

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?

    I will definitely apply the curiosity equation to my life. The goal is to discover those places where I am the most curious and creative, which in turn will increase my productivity and output, creating a fluid and pleasurable environment at work.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    I will build a fashion empire.

  13. 1. “Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?” – Sun Tzu

    2. Curiosity = Wonder + Awe

    To me, this equation holds the key to creativity. In the past, it has been rare for philosophy and creativity to make an appearance in the business world, however it’s success in this period of rapid change has shown how powerful it can be. Entrepreneurship has provided me with a balance between my ambitions and drive, and my deep interest in philosophy and personal fulfillment. What comes from this harmony is the ability to enact meaningful change. The ability to stay curious is what will help me to maximize my impact and become the best version of myself.

    3. I want to build something that helps people to redefine success from financial gain to their impact on the world. Social entrepreneurship has begun to do this, and its rise shows how powerful our ideas can be. By engraining this idea of success into everyday life and inspiring people to be soulfully ambitious, we can harness the whirlwind of change in this period of history to accomplish things that will leave the world a better place. Chip’s expertise and wisdom in the areas of happiness and motivation could have an enormous influence on this project and it’s benefit to the world.

  14. 1. “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.” ~ Richard Bach

    2. Applying: “Curiosity = Wonder + Ave”: When I am feeling curios or want to avoid fear, anxiety or anything negative; being in the woods hiking or fishing brings that out in me. That’s where life lessons from Nature reveal themselves! That’s where ideas happen and we can step outside our, often, greedy selves. I would apply the above equation by consciously find the wonder and awe moments in everything upon waking and learning to share with others for a shared experience and atmosphere at home and work!

    3. I’ve always had a desire to build/consult/coordinate an eco-community within our cities. To bring natural lifestyles and environmental awareness to our ever-growing cities. Most kids today are completely cut off from Nature and are unaware of consumptive and throw-away-lifestyles. When you know Nature you know better. I often think of this quote when my curiosity has peaked and I feel most alive: “Ideas are very important to the shaping of society…they’re more powerful than bombings or armies or guns…They are behind all the choices we make…They can transform the world in a way that governments and armies cannot…With ideas, we can make real change that lasts.” ~ Ron Paul

    Thank you Tim F. for the Blog and Thank You Chip for the article your highlighted resources. I appreciate you both.

    Dan Cronin, OR, USA

  15. 1)

    We try to change something other than ourselves; we try to order things outside us. But it is impossible to organize things if you yourself are not in order. When you do things in the right way, at the right time, everything else will be organized.

    -Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.


    Like a lot of people, I worry. I’m the guy that checks his backpack two minutes after he walks out the door to make sure he has everything, the one with insomnia over insomnia.

    I’ll apply rule #2 (anxiety=uncertainty x powerlessness) to hash out what I can control and can’t control. I’m graduating college this year, and want to start my own business à la Tim Ferriss. But I’m worried—I’ve never done it before, and there are so many failed businesses. Equation in hand, I’ll decide what I can influence and what I can’t. My friends and I have had ideas, but I’ve been scared to execute. By focusing on what I can influence, I can expand the scope of my influence and take the leap.


    After meeting with Chip, I’d like to build a product that helps others harness their own depths of power. I’ve been depressed, I’ve felt friendless, and I’ve felt like my life is going nowhere. I’ve felt this despite being on the cusp of graduating from MIT. A lot of what I practice now centers on this: I practice aikido, read Zen/Taoist books, do The Sedona Method, take Literature classes—trying to access my intuitive knowingness. Yet my major is Math with Computer Science: logical subjects. At the intersection of logic and intuition, I think I can reach people on both sides.

  16. 1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

  17. 1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    – “An entrepreneur is someone who has the soul of an artist and their expression is business…” – Bernie Goldhirsh, Founder of Inc. magazine

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?

    – HAPPINESS = WANTING WHAT YOU HAVE / HAVING WHAT YOU WANT. I’m working on this one every day. I work to be grateful for what I do have and not spend as much time thinking about what I don’t have. I am working hard to allow the universe to feed me instead of chasing down prey and killing it.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF? I am a long time CEO and business owner and I’d like to come and feed off the brain of the smartest guy in the room for a day. I believe that only way you grow is to work with people who are better faster smarter or all three and challenge yourself to try things that you’re really not sure you can do. I have accomplished a lot but this would be a great way to stretch myself and develop my cEo aptitude..



    P.S. please remove that earlier accidental comment…

  18. [I submitted minutes ago, but I had to edit #3. Sorry!]


    We try to change something other than ourselves; we try to order things outside us. But it is impossible to organize things if you yourself are not in order. When you do things in the right way, at the right time, everything else will be organized.

    -Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.


    Like a lot of people, I worry. I’m the guy that checks his backpack two minutes after he walks out the door to make sure he has everything, the one with insomnia over insomnia.

    I’ll apply rule #2 (anxiety=uncertainty x powerlessness) to hash out what I can control and can’t control. I’m graduating college this year, and want to start my own business à la Tim Ferriss. But I’m worried—I’ve never done it before, and there are so many failed businesses. Equation in hand, I’ll decide what I can influence and what I can’t. My friends and I have had ideas, but I’ve been scared to execute. By focusing on what I can influence, I can expand the scope of my influence and take the leap.


    After meeting with Chip, I’d like to build a product that helps others harness their own depths of power. I’ve been depressed, I’ve felt friendless, and I’ve felt like my life is going nowhere. I’ve felt this despite being on the cusp of graduating from MIT. But in pain I’ve learned to access great strength. Much of what I do centers on this: I practice aikido, read Zen/Taoist books, follow Pavel’s Power to the People Program, do The Sedona Method. I try to access my intuitive knowingness. Yet my major is Math with Computer Science—logical subjects. I’d like to help people with a combination approach.

  19. I have 1 favorite quote and 2 personal mottoes that I live by. The 1st, “Please have the goodness not to throw reason and logic in the path of a visionary.” is from an old English movie, The mottoes are from painful experience: The price of evolution is fear. I do know now what I wish I had known then. They have helped me move through a lot of hard times.

    The equation that means the most to me right now is Anxiety=Uncertainty X Powerlessness. It reminds me to focus on what I can do, and the certainty that if I take action the results will be more beneficial than the fear in my brain allows. I need to learn how to use his Anxiety equation to get out of my own way. I would love to spend a day with Chip working on just that: Anxiety over what I don’t know has kept me form launching a new business even though I know the product works. It is time to turn ,this roadblock into a cornerstone.

  20. The inside cover of my journal reminds me daily that “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.” George Washington Carver’s statement applies to the fruits of persistent inquiry in the field, laboratory, or library and to the people with whom we live. Including ourselves.

    Respectful questioning and listening underlie successful life-coaching, an integral part of my life’s work as an academic, a university administrator, a scholarship director in the philanthropic world. As I begin my career as an independent consultant, I want to help others identify their most audacious aspirations, the tools and strategies needed to realize them, and the sources of inner courage to act on and realize them.

    A productive coaching/mentoring relationship suggests that both parties possess significant interest in discovery, both of the client’s self and the larger universe which s/he shapes and is shaped by. Similarly, both benefit from the capacity for surprise (“I would not have thought that…” or “I never realized…”). And with surprise, the acknowledgement of how much remains to be known, how much more vast is the created and creative universe. Seeking and inquiry of any time are driven by a foundational curiosity, sustained by wonder, and find expression in an acknowledgement of the vastness of what still remains to explore and that will likely remain known only incompletely: Awe.

    What I do not know is measureless. A day with Chip offers a chance to impose some dimensions on that expanse: how to create creative environments with and on behalf of other persons (my coaching clients), how to induce them in an uncertain (even unstable) world to take risks both personal and professional, how to determine their own standards of success. And to share these gifts with clients in a spirit of authentic respect and yes, even love.

  21. I know I’m definitely not in the 100 entrants, but I like this exercise 🙂

    1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    My dad always says, “You don’t have to like anyone, but you must be nice to everyone, because you’ll never know when you’ll need their help.”

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit? ANXIETY = UNCERTAINTY x POWERLESSNESS I already feel better applying this one to my current project. The four columns ideas is a stroke of sheer genius. I wish I would have thought of that. I’ll be handing it out to my clients when they have anxiety issues.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF? I’d like to create a platform to encourage teenage girls to choose a career in sciences. As a woman in science myself (BSc Chem), I would like have a website where girls can experiment making cosmetics for themselves at home, such as lip balm and mud masks. Since I am nerd, I would want to go through the science of why these cosmetics in hopes I’ll see some of the ideas when I judge the local science fair.

  22. 1) Solon the Greek Legislator was said to say, “the observation of the numerous misfortunes that attend all conditions forbids us to grow insolent upon our present enjoyments, or to admire a man’s happiness that may yet, in course of time, suffer change. For the uncertain future has yet to come, with all variety of future; and him only to whom the divinity has [guaranteed] continued happiness until the end we may call happy.”

    Or, in more plain terms, as Yogi Berra put it: “it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”


    Having recently re-read the Power of Now (Ekert Tolle), we believe that while most of the world is asleep, or burdened by their past or anxious of their future, we strive to live in the moment, awake, and in a state of constant amazement.

    3) What would we like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    What we hope to build from this is a launching, or momentum, of our non-profit business that promotes animal welfare by encouraging empathy through children.

  23. 1. One quote, just one? Inspiration is the most important moment of the day. For some, it helps them get out of bed and start their day. For others, it is what gives them closure and see possibility in the future. And for many, like me, it fills our appetite to obtain that special knowledge that will help us achieve our purpose. With that said, every day is about living in the moment and being the best you can be now. So, I always carry a piece of Ralph Waldo Emerson with me: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matter compare to what lies within us.”

    2. Curiosity = Wonder + Awe. In my life, this equation is 100 percent required to have the ability to experience any of the others. It truly is what allows me to grow, which affords so many additional opportunities. I am able to see things (I know, general term but all-inclusive none the less) in a new way. Understand failure. Value respect. Deliver gratitude. Enjoy fun. Appreciate appreciation. Offer love. Give hope. This equation is a place that we can all go for just a moment or for a lifetime.

    3. Create more meaningful and powerful human connections that spread positivity and knowledge throughout the nation and ultimately the world.

    …just before 5 p.m. (PST)

  24. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”


    I am a very curious person by nature, and I’ve developed a guilt about it; I feel that reflecting my innate curiosity portrays me as immature, inexperienced, and vulnerable. I’m insipred and re-assured by CURIOSITY = WONDER + AWE. I feel that I should rather take my curiosity and market it 😀

    I would love to talk business with Chip. I think he sounds like an innovative man, and I’d love a taste of where he draws inspiration. I would like to brainstorm with him; listen to his ideas, draw upon them, etc.

    This entry is too late, and I’ve probably misunderstood the article.

    Que Sera!

  25. “Bad habits are like chains that are too light to feel until they are too heavy to carry.” -Warren Buffet

    That bit about Uncertainty really gave me a good sense about understanding others. I’m interested in seeing this work on other men and women. That moment when the bulb clicks. That from then on they’ll be able to empathize better with others they know.

    I’d like to be his competition. I just took a bootcamp in December. Some of it resonated with me and some things sounded kind of sleazy. Offering discount motels to be recession proof while serving an underprivileged or challenged customer, yet charging exorbitant fees for certain services and Disney world markups for other essential simple things.

    After reading Chip’s Bio I ordered his books and am going to try to get in touch with him regardless because a lot of what he said hit home because of my psych background. I’d like to build a Hotel that delivers needs as well as wants. Seeing someone who fuses compassion with business successfully is such a rare thing. More is in fact more here so I’m going to do my best work on it.

    Thanks Timmy for giving me the opportunity to be a student of yet another excellent person. You’ve got me on Ramit’s stuff and through him MMMoustache. Together that’s made me about 30% on my already low expenses. I can’t thank you enough for those 20lbs lost 10lbs gained last January.

    A trip out to Cali would mean a whole lot to me personally, I’ve got family out there who I haven’t seen in over a decade. It would be an excellent chance at growth for me. I don’t just listen, I do the work too.

  26. 1. Be yourself; everyone else is already taken – Oscar Wilde.

    2. You say, ‘curiosity is one of the most valuable emotional qualities people can leverage during periods of crisis.” The curiosity = wonder + awe formula resonates so clearly with what I am spending every minute thinking about. In times of transition, crisis, reflection, and deliberate growth, connecting with oneself is the foundation of radical shifts and progress. From here, we know who we are and can outline our direction and pursue it. I’m 32, recently shifting gears from a career helping entrepreneurs in developing countries to trying to figure out my own path as an entrepreneur. A profound sense of gratitude, finding fearlessness, and taking time to remember who I was before/after a decade of 90 hour workweeks is my main concern. An open heart and finding a way to connect with wonder and awe, to fuel the curiousity needed to ask hard questions and explore…..that’s where I am at.

    3. In one day with Chip I would focus on one outcome: how can these concepts be used to help people become the best possible version of their authentic self, and how can they be applied to and shared with entrepreneurs in developing nations around the globe. Access to this kind of knowledge can literally transform entire economies, not just lives.

  27. 1. ” If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of” “Knowing is not enough, you must apply; willing is not enough, you must do.”

    2. I’ve applied Curiosity to my life before I even could articulate that equation. your article and TED talk put into words what I have been living, and i’m grateful for learning a few of the other equations.

    I decided recently instead of digging in and entrenching myself, to literally go all out in my life and explore my mind through art. Every business person I know, family, friends, etc… think i’m crazy, but the effects in my life have been profound instead of letting fear work.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    I would like to help others change their perception globally and apply, like you have with business, to their own lives these ideas of EQ. Fundamentally, I believe that if that occurs, and you can see traces of it happening already, the earth would be unstoppable and things would be in alignment to solve real problems and not just tangible silly problems.

  28. Namaste!

    Tim and Chip from Nepal.

    I had watched Chip’s TED talk few months back and it is still one of my personal TED talk show i have watched so far. Let’s get back to the question:

    1. Quote: Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day’s work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambition.- Sorry i don’t remember you quoted it.

    2. Curiosity = Wonder+ Awe

    My curiosity level has raised after reading few blogs like Tims and Ramit. I feel i need to get more curios about the thing people share and want me to hear than the only thing i want to hear all about.

    I shall apply this equation to provide WOW moment to myself and to people with whom i shall meet more often. I want to WOW them with my curiosity on their conversation.

    3. I would love to learn from him and also meet Tony Hesigh from Zappos so that i could stand as a role model to people who hate HR.

    God bless people like them who have taken simple approach but worked to change the world to some extend. Thanks Tim for providing a great opportunity to know about Chip.

  29. Favorite Inspirational Saying: “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”

    Favorite Formula: “Anxiety = Uncertainty x Powerlessness

    Reason to Win despite missing deadline = Chip’s honesty and willingness to share his concepts and Tim’s endorsement are compelling. I founded a company with three partners two years ago. We have 29 employees and growing. Yet, the greatest challenge we have faced is the emotional strength of our partners and employees. Over the holiday break I analyzed our lessons learned from the last business year and overwhelmingly, it was the personal demons and opinions and anxieties of ourselves and our staff that held us back. Externally, we had a fantastic year. But on Thursday we had a company meeting. When I looked at the faces of our employees as we presented our 2012 plan, I thought, “how do we get through to them? How do we help them feel powerful and freely contributing to our success and the success of our customers?” Over the last 25 years I have founded 4 companies. Each one had its own success. Yet Chip and Tim are profoundly correct–it is the personal opinions and beliefs of our colleagues that drive their actions. I am hungry to learn more.

  30. I was told by Amazon that you and/or your agent requested to REMOVE books with title of “four hour”. They have refused to respond, and obviously they want to do anything to please you whether there was actual violation of trademark.

    I’d like to ask you and/or your agent’s comments.

    1. Trademark/copyright laws allow fair use exceptions, e.g. Commentary and Criticism.

    2. Did you register “four hour body” as a trademark as well as “4-hour body” because trademark should be specific?

    3. Trademark infringement does not occur unless there is likelihood of confusion.

    4. Given these facts, why do you consider there was trademark violation, and books have to be REMOVED without any opportunities for us to defend/communicate?

  31. A great article Tim, I really like how there are so many ways to continue researching from the reference links within as well. I only have one particular point I have to contribute. With 10yrs experience as a personal trainer, I have dealt with many very busy, successful people and also so many different conditions and ailments. Being raised in a relaxed country home/food environment and then moving to the city. The most predominant thing I see across the masses is the lack of attention to balanced nutrition as the first step in stopping


    Balancing blood sugar, by food type, portion size and then timing, is the number 1 mistake I see. Not following this, leads to anxiety, depression, wine(sugar) drinking every night etc…Seek out a nutritionist people, a good trainer, learn about “The Zone” by Dr.Barry Sears and become aware of what the glycemic index is. This is law inside the human body, most people spend more time researching what TV they’re going to buy, rather than learning about food they eat everyday and how it controls how they feel.

  32. Congratuations on Tim Ferriss’ signing with Amazon Publishing.

    4-hour chef is soon to be ready, and Amazon is preparing by REMOVING book with execuse of trademark violation. They even supressed a book titled “Slow Carb Diet Recipes”!!!!

    Tim Ferriss does not and cannot own a trademark of “slow carb diet”.

    It is not a big deal in monetary terms. However there are LAWS concerning trademarks, and I do not want to be discriminated/retaliated/defamed of trademark violations. I do not think this is what Tim Ferriss wants, at least on public eyes.

    Please correct me if I am wrong: Tim Ferris owns a trademark of “4-hour body” “4-hour work”, not “four hour” or “slow carb”. Review of his books can have titles of “4-hour work”, “4-hour body” “four hour work” “four hour body” or “slow carb.”



    I’d like to ask you and/or your agent’s comments.

    1. Trademark/copyright laws allow fair use exceptions, e.g. Commentary and Criticism.

    2. Did you register “four hour body” as a trademark as well as “4-hour body” because trademark should be specific?

    3. Trademark infringement does not occur unless there is likelihood of confusion.

    4. Given these facts, why do you consider there was trademark violation, and books have to be REMOVED without any opportunities for us to defend/communicate?

  33. Chip,

    This is a well, put together article with great info (it’s obvious that you’ve been through the book proposal/writing process.)

    Gratitude has done magical wonders for me as well.

    In reference to your anxiety balance sheet, I’m intrigued by the idea that we are drawn to the “mysterious” or anxious void. It’s as if we take the known for granted “I’ve got that handled”, and urgently search for the one thing that could really jack us up.

    I wonder if it’s an issue of buffer–that is to say that few people have the kind of buffers in time, relationship, money, that will allow us, for example, to be 1/2 hour late for work “if something bad happens” or to pay for major damage to the car, or to have enough positive “equity” in a relationship, so that we don’t freak out that they might have “misunderstood me”. When all the margins are close, there is some urgency to knowing the “unknown”.

  34. My Team Leader sent this to me and I had to respond even though the deadline was missed.

    1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    Harvey Mackay: Overcoming Obstacles (great inspirational video on not letting failure define you. YOU define yourself).

    “Believe in yourself, even when no one else does.”

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?


    How I love this because it speaks to the truth to finding your happiness in your life and it is about doing the math (your personal math). You have to focus on being honest with yourself, the math doesn’t lie.

    I’ve come to realize I have everything I need all within myself to be happy.

    It took years to realize this. It took participating in chasing games our cultures wants us to participate in to help keep the economy going. For example, you’ll be happy when you have that sports car, that house with picket fence, with that trip to Disney Land. .

    However “our cultures” math only made me come up short changed (literally and figuratively), unsatisfied and empty.

    Now I realize all the wonderful “haves” in my life!

    Applying this equation when evaluating “wants vs need” really reveals the truth of my personal math on an emotional and material level. This equation makes decision making much easier now and am personally more happier.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    Being happy is contagious, each day I put my best foot forward and ensure the people around me know they matter and they are heard. If the opportunity were to be made available to me to meet with Chip I know I would learn from the experience and pay it forward so others can benefit from my experience. The More You Know 🙂

  35. It’s funny, tonight I was watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine on FX (I’m obviously super busy on saturday nights) and the hosts (mainly Jennifer Lothrop) mentioned during the break that Hugh Jackman would regularly take ice baths in preparation for his role in this movie. Apparently, he wanted to “know how wolverine felt in the scene where he comes bursting out of the water”. ok. And then I remembered that you had mentioned in a previous interview that he (Hugh Jackman) had read the 4-Hour body. Then it all made sense 🙂

  36. My favorite inspirational quote is one by Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, “Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.” This quote means so much to me, not only because I’m a Penn State student, but also because of its personal meaning. To me this quote says do not worry about all of the set backs along the way, some day you will be wildly successful and all the bumps in the road in the past will be looked at with a smile. Thinking of this quote helps me move through the rough times and know success is right up ahead.

    I would like to implement curiosity= wonder + awe. As an engineering student, a majority of my coursework is a very set and linear in its nature. Although I am curious about how this all works, the classroom environment isn’t always the best place to display new and innovative solutions. I’m going to make an effort to find places that pique my interest and take more classes that stretch my mind.

    After a day with Chip, I would like to stretch myself outside the box of college coursework. I would like to get involved with some local entrepreneurship groups and interact with more people who are actually creating value. Meeting with Chip would give me more insight into how I can help and lead in these groups.

  37. As a 19 year-old who is returning to high school for his diploma, where should I even start? What I mean by this is, since I spent most of childhood and teenage years goofing off and never taking school seriously, how can I turn the direction of my life around and start working towards “success.” Focusing on finishing school seems like the obvious decision. But then what?

    I come from a poor family, so I never had any hopes of ever making it to an expensive college. I only just recently started to understand the importance of a good education. Am I too late? Is my bad high school career going to follow me for the rest of my life?

    I know I have the brains that I can make something of myself, given the right resources (maybe the key is to come up with my own resources….) When I talked to my school counselor just recently about what I would need for my diploma, she was almost dumbfounded that I never finished, even referring to me as part of the “elite” in my grade class. So my problem has never been having smarts. It’s using them in the right way.

    This might come off as long or too broad, but I’m hoping I can still find some advice on here.

  38. 1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    Live as though this were your last day, learn as though you would live forever.-Mahatma Gandhi.

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?HAPPINESS = WANTING WHAT YOU HAVE / HAVING WHAT YOU WANT

    This as you say has two sides, although I’m not sure they’re love & hate. This is very thought provoking, and requires thought and analysis. We need to learn to be satisfied. As Socrates asked is it better to scratch and itch, or to have never had the itch to begin with? I think that as humans, we still need/want some itching and scratching…

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    Take a leap of faith and free myself career and otherwise.

    Inspiring, Thank you Chip and Tim

  39. Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

    I liken the Crunchies to more of a tech version of the People’s Choice Awards more than the Oscars.

  40. After a few days of consideration, I think that if I could have a day with Chip in SFO, I’d like to either work at a school or community garden, or go do some art somewhere, by volunteering or heck, just paying. My friends’ at Smoky’s Tangle in Oakland do weird stuff all the time, there are plenty of middle schools that don’t even have an arts program… I think that the most benefit can come not so much from picking someone’s brain but seeing how they approach work and a challenge. I learn the most from people when we try to create something together or when we’re both working towards a shared goal. Also, talking can be boring and doing is pretty darn fun.

  41. 1. “As long as you live, keep learning how to live. – Seneca”

    2. The Anxiety equation resonates with me because I sometimes doubt my own ability. I know I’m not powerless, but being uncertain about how it should be used and to what degree, makes me doubt how much power I have so I flounder. Many “problems” are often a case of unclear vision. I’ll try to use the column approach to see my problems in truth rather than the monster my imagination makes of it.

    3. I work with students who are tasked with getting their peers involved. To quote our mission statement to, “promotes the holistic Growth of student(s) and the value of Generosity.” I see this dynamic playing out on an emotional level. I want to be able to equip my students with the ability to see this charge as creating an experience rather than a series of tasks. To help them connect with their peers on a level that will work to build community.

  42. As an entrepreneur with a mathematics degree, I must say that I just love your equations. Great stuff. We are three part beings, mind-body-spirit. Emotions play a huge role in making anything happen. Our emotions are what get us over dealing with illogical situations!

    Great stuff. Thanks for posting.

  43. “submitted January 19th 2012 :)”

    1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    An unhealthy soul whether deliberate or from external forces requires a healthy body. How we treat this bit of flesh we’ve been given says a lot about what we will become on the inside.

    -Haruki Murakami

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?


    I need this more than anything in this phase of my life. I feel like a sponge and I need to get out into the world to find more inspiration and creativity. Only time will tell how I will harness the power of my curiosity in months to come. I’m looking for that magical moment when I KNOW my work will make a difference in people lives.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    Nothing immediately. I want to spend the day with Chip and try to get to vibe with him. Maybe convince him to party with me at burning man! I’d like to chat about the relationship that changed him. I’ve lost some pretty important relationships in the past. I just want to soak up as my knowledge as I can, and then figure out what I will do with all those golden nuggets!

  44. Tim Ferriss,

    I adore thee.

    Everything I like/want/look into, you have SOMETHING for my curious soul.

    I think I desire to meet you one day.

    Ciao guaptio! And godspeed!

  45. Yep. Read the book. It is funny how Goleman says that the only human trait positively related to success is self-restraint. Tame the beast and the rest will follow.. but, but… beasty is so much fun!!

  46. Thank you for post. Recent inspire quote: “The purpose of souls is to assist others.” – Shah.

    Happiness = wanting what you have / having what you want

    Thank for this equation to keep me thankful for everyday that people and things I have. Build a meditating center in OC.

  47. Every now and then all the people around me start getting into my mind and I start doubting on my path, most of the people in this country are very negative, but when I see something like this I remember:

    who am I going to listen? the ones with a mediocre lifestyle or the ones that are having an incredible life?

    and then the answer becomes very obvious 🙂

    thanks to posts like this I find the strength to keep going towards my dreams 😀

  48. Hi Tim,

    You are my business/ life style guru.

    I am about to embark on the adventure of expanding my business in to a national/global restaurant chain, despite your sage advice not to do so.

    Creating business concepts and food are two of my greatest passions. When we get the 1.5M capital investment we are seeking I may need your advice on getting out from under my self-created love/hate relationship at some point, and your insights regarding business in the Asian marketplace could prove very helpful.

    Once we are automated I will then focus my time on becoming a sport fishing expert, a world renowned sharp shooter and starting new concepts.

    I am hoping you’ll allow your PA’s to forward my email so we may develop a mentor relationship. Heck, maybe you’ll find me and my business challenge interesting, if not at the very least, amusing.

    I am not creepy, people think I am actually quite fun and a great cook. This is my first attempt to get in touch with you. I will keep trying. You’ve brought this upon yourself. 🙂



  49. Happiness=Wanting what you have/having what you want is my favorite!

    Quick question for anyone who has shipped/imported goods from China before:

    I want to buy 100 frisbees, about 39lbs, and ship them from China to FL, USA. So far, the cheapest shipping that I’ve found is $400… which is almost as much as the entire order of frisbees. Is there a better way to ship?

    If anyone knows any companies/resources to get cheap shipping, please fill me in and feel free to email me!

    Muchas Gracias,


    1. @Chase. Use a freight forwarder and have the shipment be sent to the US via vessel rather than airfreight.The shipment should be a minimum charge (not per ton/m3). Maybe about USD 100 or up to USD 200… Check Kuehne + Nagel, Danzas, Panalpina, DHL. Again, use an ocean freight consolidator rather than an airfreight service. The downside is that the shipment will take about 1 month to get to you. But other than that, there is no “free lunch”. What you have been quoted is probably an airfreight shipment from China.

  50. These emotional equations are a good thing to know, but I wouldn’t rely on them for a cure to suffering. Biology teaches that emotional problems are created from a belief and a series of emotional associations to that belief. Then from there a person can develop phobias or intense amplified uncontrollable emotional reactions that react more like a reflex to certain triggers. And these bad reactions become more sensitive over time. More awareness or meditation does not neutralize these problems but helps calm them. To cure the problem you can try something called EFT by robert smith on youtube for free or 3D mind by Tom Vizzini from Essential skills . Google them as well. Enjoy

  51. Gents: I wrote this on January 23rd:

    1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    Live as though this were your last day, learn as though you would live forever.-Mahatma Gandhi.

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?HAPPINESS = WANTING WHAT YOU HAVE / HAVING WHAT YOU WANT

    This as you say has two sides, although I’m not sure they’re love & hate. This is very thought provoking, and requires thought and analysis. We need to learn to be satisfied. As Socrates asked is it better to scratch and itch, or to have never had the itch to begin with? I think that as humans, we still need/want some itching and scratching…

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    Take a leap of faith and free myself career and otherwise.

    Inspiring, Thank you Chip and Tim

    I also want to add that I live in Tokyo. I would drop the cash to fly and meet with yourselves in a heartbeat. Thank you.


  52. I know I’m late…

    “That which you are afraid of the MOST,

    is what you MOST need to do.”

    Ever since I heard this, it completely changed me. The quote first allowed me quit my regular job to join a friend on his business for the both of us to achieve a freedom which wouldn’t have been possible had we stayed stagnant.

    Since then, I’ve paraglided (in spite of my vertigo), been 15 under 48 degree water (I needed to see if I could do it), and I build up the courage to tell my now girlfriend that I loved her (very hard for me).

    I would use the experience to meet with Chip for the sole purpose of understand the reasons for which I own a business besides making money. I feel like I have a greater purpose in this life which I haven’t fulfilled.

    Have fun brother.

  53. 1. Favorite inspirational quote: Nobody looks good in brown lipstick — Frank Zappa. My favorite quote because it’s succinct, hilarious and puts personal truth at the forefront.

    2. I think the anxiety equation and the exercise that follows is most useful for me — I have a tendency to make myself miserable by focusing on what I don’t know and what I can’t control.

    3. I would like to become a better therapist and better at helping others to realize their dreams.

  54. 1. “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” ~ Albert Einstein

    Knowing oneself is the most important achievement in our live. Without knowing yourself, you can never make honest decisions that guide you towards happiness. After gaining awareness of oneself, it is just as important to use that understanding to direct your desire to improve.

    2. “CURIOSITY = WONDER + AWE.” As we go through life, we are constantly changing (improving?) our paradigms through which we view the world. The difficulty involved to think back to your view with an older paradigm is known as “the curse of knowledge.” Allowing myself to feel more wonder and awe, even in things that I feel I understand, motivates me to appreciate the world and develop my worldview in more interesting directions.

    3. I would use the lessons learned with Chip to guide my research on the combination of rigorous engineering and emotive design in the direction that can have the largest transformative effect.

  55. Being a Ceo without a doubt is all about emotions and most importantly people. You need to know how to communicate with people in an effective way. Empathy is a key emotion that is crucial for communicating because that hits the core of the people you are leading. Emotions are what make the world go around and you have to be able to speak right to them and handle them or nothing will happen.

  56. Would love to be in San Francisco but that may be another time Tim. With that said, I must say you laid down some challenging facts here. Being on top of your emotions is not that easy. In the BIBLE, it is clearly stated that if you have control over your emotions, you are more powerful than the NAVY SEAL 😀 (Martin’s translation)

  57. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for publishing this. I’ve just been blindsided by my spouse asking for a divorce and this came at the perfect time for reflection.

  58. “Recent studies have shown that curiosity is one of the most valuable emotional qualities people can leverage during periods of crisis.”

    Where can I find these studies? Anyone?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  59. 1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    Right now, it’s: “‘Hell is other people.’ But so is heaven.” – Jonathan Haidt and Jean-Paul Sartre, The Happiness Hypothesis

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?

    Oh man. CURIOSITY = WONDER + AWE really struck me. I used to work with kids and adults on this very equation on a regular basis. As part of a citizen science program to identify the corridors that mountain lions were using in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. I was teaching them to access wonder and awe in nature, which we observed unlocked curiosity. Fully activated curiosity plus the wildlife inventory skills and technologies we were training them in resulted in amazing, community-driven insights into the lives and habits of lions, coyotes, bobcats, golden eagles, even salmon, seals, and sharks.

    When I made the transition to entrepreneurship (I owned and operated an ecological design business for years), I could sense that there was a need for many of those “emotionally intelligent” skills and tools, but it took me a while to begin to understand how to transfer it.

    Now, I’m working in the family business (sold to Mitsubishi Materials Corp about 15 years ago), and a huge part of my job is culture and sustainability. We are working in the manufacturing industry in the shadows of Detroit. Where others see an uphill, or even losing, battle for Michigan manufacturing, I see a great opportunity for business/social leaders who know how to access curiosity. In fact, this article helped me see that the emotion of curiosity can actually transform the basic motivations behind business. In my personal experience, short term thinking in life and in business is usually driven by fear.

    The big wins in social entrepreneurship, creativity, organizational learning, and sustainability are going to come through activating both personal and organizational curiosity. And we have to do this on a massive scale, as soon as possible. (Of course, starting with ourselves!)

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    As I said, I am working at the family run special machining business (a subsdiary of Mitsubishi Materials Corp) as the Special Projects and Sustainability Coordinator. I am working with an design strategy team to design and execute a collaborative program (bottom-up) “to tie production goals to goals for constant improvement, sustainability, happiness, and community contribution”. Ummm… needless to say, time with Chip would help me to do this even better.

    My next goal will be to move this project to a broader scale – to train a team that will advise other subsidiaries like ourselves, and possibly Mitsubishi itself, to do the same. I see moving out into the manufacturing industry as a whole from there. And other industries from there. During this phase, I will most likely focus on speaking and strategic advising in exchange for equity, I think.

    At the same time, I am working to develop two other businesses: 1) a real estate development business that will focus on “regenerative land use planning” on the suburban scale (ie, beyond sustainable – adding value rather than value neutral) and 2) a product-driven social venture of some sort [I want to be the next Tom’s Shoes in my own category!].

    So, yeah. I need all the help I can get. 🙂

  60. 1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    You carry all the ingredients to turn your life into a nightmare–don’t mix them! (Hafiz, from the poem “To Build A Swing.”)

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit? ANXIETY = UNCERTAINTY x POWERLESSNESS

    This was one of the best exercises I had done in a long time and it reaffirms that sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and keep moving forward.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    After reading the 4-Hour WorkWeek and having some major life shifts, (the death of my mother from pancreatic cancer), I started a non-fiction indie publishing business in the hopes of one day quitting my day job and having the income to engage in public service on a global scale. After a day with Chip I would scale up my business by expanding and accelerating my vision and goals; book a plane ticket to another continent and write my resignation letter with a fixed departure date.

  61. “I do not know what anything means, including this, and so I do not know how to respond. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now.” ACIM ch14.

    Loved the Happiness formula. I suffer from forgetfullness most of the time and need to remember what I have, all of which I am truely grateful……as long as I don’t forget!.

    Would like to learn how to remember my happiness automatically.

  62. Missed the deadline, I was busy reading 4HWW while unplugged in Mexico. Came home with a whole new plan. Actually the day I got back I was invited to a conference in SF. Don’t know details yet but if we’re not in one of Chip’s hotels I plan to bookend my trip with one or two of them. Thought I’d do the exercise anyway:

    1. Quote: “Life is just what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans” -John Lennon, Beautiful Boy(Darling Boy).

    2. Equation: “Disappointment + Sense of Responsibility = Regret”. I did media, marketing and advertising for about 25 years because I was good at it and it paid the bills. A few years ago I began to realize that the things I used to accomplish things in my business life could be applied with higher levels of satisfaction to my personal life. So I put together a kickass rock band with some of the best musicians around that enabled me to develop contacts with musicians that could work with me in the studio I built in my new house. I only do marketing now for my own businesses, made that decision about 2 years ago and cannot believe what a load that lifted off my shoulders and how much fun it can be, again.

    So if the plans you are making don’t get planned into your day you will be left with regret. Conceive your reality, go about your work and enjoy the moment when what you conceived comes together.

    3. I have a day planned at the end of my week in SF to meet with someone who will be part of a relationship that will be beneficial to both of us, and others. As I read through everyone’s comments about what they would like to change or build after meeting with Chip it occured to me that so many have already conceived what they want with this exercise they may be too busy to make the trip. Great stuff!

    Tim-thanks for your work, I picked up 3 copies of 4HWW yesterday for close friends and associates.


  63. But what minutes!  Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day.  ~Benjamin Disraeli


    The purpose of life is a life of purpose. Finding this purpose can be a difficult journey fraught with much suffering. Loss of love, loss of friendship, physical ailments, and daily disappointments can make us give up and lose our way. Feeling stripped of connections to the outer world we can end up consumed by despair.

    Luckily, life is bursting with a myriad of opportunities to find deep meaning and alleviate despair. Religion was created in part to explain suffering and give us a key to seeing order in a chaotic world. Raising children allows us to imprint our values onto the future . Building a company spawns a legacy of personal spirit and determination. Philanthropy allows us to focus on others suffering and by alleviating it forge deep connections with our community.

    The reality is that we will probably never know the true meaning of why we are here; so we must seize the short moments we have and infuse them with purpose. Filling our lives with layer upon layer of connections can ensure that when one connection grows thin, the others will sustain us.

    I find that disparate experiences can become highly connected when you are open to them and I get the sense that this experience would fall in that category. I ran a not for profit organization for twelve years before starting my company. While I am currently creating an awesome company and have accomplished the elusive four hour work week for myself I need to reconnect with my community and find a truly effective way to give back. This would be my path to generate intense meaning in my life.

  64. Regarding the above submission: I know I missed the deadline, but I wanted to participate in sprite of this. Just writing things down, helps things become clearer for me. Thanks for the opportunity to do so!

  65. emotions tell us a lot about ourselves. but sometimes our surface emotions might not be what it is we really feel. e.g anger – beneath is is actually hurt, sadness, frustration…? dealing with whats inside at the core is most important

    Noch Noch

  66. emotions are a sign of the home where we came from. I say this from experince where a mother to give your home father tenderly love pocitivismo Rest assured that we at home when we started nuetra the same samples of tender love joys. of course they’re coming at some point some reason to feel sad disagreements or for any reason but love makes miracles. when those motives become a continuous and bitter comiensas and your partner does not cooperate it’s time to say goodbye to not bitter or upset others. to life must be healthy and beautiful emotions is so short little life and so nice that you have to discard all negative.

    thanks for the input

  67. Great article!

    Here are my answers.

    I’ll keep it short and easy to read.

    1 – What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    “It’s a beautiful day to be alive, my friend. Be grateful to be still in the game.”


    2 – How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?

    Being genuinely grateful for my life should yield great improvement in my baseline level of happiness.

    So I’ve devised a routine that I do right upon waking up and before going to bed:

    – I go in front of a mirror

    – I look deep into my eyes, exhale all the way and hold my breathe

    – Now I say to myself “It’s a beautiful day to be alive, my friends. I am grateful to be still in the game.” and then I keep on saying “Thank you” until I really, powerfully and genuinely mean it. The last occurence usually feels very intense, especially when I look deeply into my eyes. Then I allow myself to breathe.

    I do that three times in a row.

    This probably sounds scary and extreme, but it’s incredibly effective, fast and it’s free!

    Talk about a good ROI.

    3 – What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    As a part-time philanthropic startup advisor and considering myself a fire-starter, I will spread and apply Chip’s best practices for well-being in the startup context.

    Also, I’d like to take this as on opportunity to build a lasting, trusted and value-giving relationship with Chip.

    Thanks everyone!

  68. I know it’s over but I still would like to share.

    1. “Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.” Og Mandino


    I think this equation puts it perfectly by balancing gratitude with ambition. I’ve been in a constant internal battle between wanting to achieve vs. being happy with what I have. This equation clearly laid out that working towards achieving your goals is perfectly fine, AS LONG as you remain grateful with your current situation. At the end of the day, it’s about enjoying the path that’s getting you towards your goal.

    3. I’d like to learn how you start building real estate wealth at a large scale without currently having the capital to invest.

  69. Mr. Ferriss and Mr. Conley, Thank you for this article! Perhaps I may suggest you have a look at a book called ‘the Ethics’ by Spinoza, who was a philospher in the 17th century influenced by stoic thought. Spinoza gives a very detailed analysis of our emotions. I’ve made a summary of his ’emotional equations’ and I could send it to you if you’re interested. (It’s too big for this blog or the facebook contest.) Kind regards from Switzerland. CR

  70. If you want “life” quotes, you can’t go past Michel de Montagne, a French philosopher in the 1500s. Here’s a small sample:

    “A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. “

    “A straight oar looks bent in the water. What matters is not merely that we see things but how we see them. “

    “Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face. “

    “He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak. “

    “There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.”

    “How many condemnations I have witnessed more criminal than the crime! “

    “How many things we held yesterday as articles of faith which today we tell as fables. “

    “I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”

    “I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind – and to work some of those contradictions out for myself.”

    “If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love.”

  71. Hi,

    Your words bring out the untermed emotions in me.I am a very emotional entrepreneur. I mix up emotions with business. I always thought that emotions is not good for business. Maybe its true. But your words give a completely different perspective to CEO. Its truly the baggage we carry with us that shows up on the front desk of life. And being the leader of my organization, a lot of discretion is expected from me.I realize, emotions are not bad but to take time and judge how to react between the gap of stimulus and reaction gives the edge.

    Your words do guide me to a better individual. If you have a book which talks about this same concepts, do let me know.



  72. I love this quote Leaders are the “emotional thermostats” of the groups they lead. I believe that emotional responses will be the basis of your success. On how you respond to a certain issues in life. Therefore, we must not be ruled by our emotions. Emotions should not be our master.

  73. Such a very sensible thing to say, and I bet, a lot, if not all, would agree to those equations. Despair= Suffering – Meaning, for one, holds true. Life has its ups and downs, and to those who are getting much of the latter without figuring out what is the sense in every sacrifice, then it’s gonna be unproductive life they are leading to. Well, emotion really is just very strong that it could kill the weak. If anyone surrenders at a few attempts to victory, then one foot might be joining the other into the grave.

  74. I know that I’m late on this but I’m going to say “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

    I posted this around my house. It’s a reminder that when I procrastinate in my business, I also procrastinate in working out. When I don’t practice discipline in my morning routine, I am less disciplined throughout my day. When I give gratitude for one thing I have in my life, it carries to many other things.

    I have been going on an all out assault on my undisciplined tendencies and this quote has helped me focus. I see it and I have to stop procrastinating.

  75. 1. “Don’t Curse the Darkness -Light a Candle”!

    2. Despair = Suffering – Meaning – I work with the Prison Fellowship helping families of inmates

    3. I want to work with baby boomers as the get into “new middle age” and show them the possibilities before them, just like Tim Ferris does with younger folks.

  76. I was hoping Chip would read this.. No need for a prize.

    1. You don’t change reality by fighting the existing model, you create a new model that makes the old one obsolete– Bucky

    2. Despair= Suffering-meaning.

    Life is suffering, is a poor translation of what Buddha says. I liked this one the most.. These are desperate trying times and for some they always will be. I am going to suffer to define my meaning. Thanks Chip.

    3. One day with Chip. I would like to create an organization that facilitates the reconciliation of artifical constructs with the actual capability of Human beings. We can do better, we have to.. We just need the socioeconomic incentive. To sum it up, I am building a better model.

  77. 1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    The year is ending:

    I have not left my heart



    Written on the author’s death bed. Tears came to my eyes when I first read this. It sits on a photo of my fiancee at my desk. Never enough time.

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?


    I’m a musician that also runs a small record label. Lately, I’ve been struggling with the needs of the organization (packing orders, running the website, promoting releases) and maintaining my creative drive. Ironic, since creativity is what brought me what success I’ve had.

    I think the grind of business has, in some ways, killed my sense of wonder; I need to disconnect a bit, change my environment and learn what drives my sense of curiosity about the world.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    I currently run a struggling after-school program. With 100 kids and 20 staff members, constant interruptions, problems, and chaos overwhelm much of my ability to do long-term planning or thinking. Looming over my head is the threat that we could lose our funding if the program doesn’t improve.

    I’m not a CEO. I want to learn to really instill in my staff a desire to help kids, a desire to excel; I need to improve the program and boost attendance, but I’m not sure how. At the same time, I need to solve a fundamental divide within myself: how can I pursue what I love (helping kids, music) without being completely overwhelmed?


  78. Lots to think about. I try to post things relevant to those who are on our Fan but not actually promote our competitors. It’s a tough balance. I decided to jump into Social Media for our business because I could see there were casual conversations occurring on Facebook and the community was often working together to answer questions. I try to provide what the other groups aren’t providing. I am not sure I am going about it the right way with both a FanPage and a Group but we shall see. We’ll also see if Twitter becomes an effective way to connect. Some of our customers do not use the Internet. Many are online but are not using Facebook or Twitter just yet. I don’t know if I am a little ahead of the curve or heading down the wrong road….

    1. All CEOs are responsible for determining the overall strategy of a company. For example, the CEO of a car company would have to decide …

  79. Hi, I remembered reading this article from Chip while I was looking for a hotel in West L.A. and found Hotel Angeleno. Any specials for Tim/Chip fans to stay there for two nights this weekend? – I’m sorry for the bluntness.

  80. Hi Jorge,

    It may be a little too late to get you a discount this weekend since it’s now 3 am PST on Saturday morning (would need to work through some of the staff that’s there on weekdays). Feel free to call the hotel directly and say you’re a friend of Chip and see if that helps… will really depend upon how full the hotel is this weekend….not sure about that.



    1. Hi Chip, I apologize for not responding earlier. My family and I REALLY enjoyed our stay at Hotel Angeleno despite bleak weekend weather. I didn’t feel the need to use the “friend” chip (pun intended) but thank you so much for responding at 3AM !!

      I’ll take this opportunity to share a simple equation (not sure if it qualifies as an emotional one): Being alive = happiness OR sadness. The point is to draw attention to what’s behind the emotions of happiness or sadness (or others). I think this attention realizes a feeling of gratitude and grace irrespective of the situation one is in.

      Best regards,


  81. Great article, I love reading these success stories and the fact that this story is about a very old industry that has been improved.

    Too many people are looking for the next best thing, when we have a significant amount of opportunities to improve what is already out there.

    This can be done in so many industries and a major profit can be made. Forget about India, China & Mexico competition. Think about how the client purchases and what they and you purchase and walk back from there and improve along the way.

    Take the car dealership, you bring your car in at 6:00 am and you wait for your car (if you don’t take a shuttle to your office) while you wait you walk around the show room and not a single person is in to talk with you about your car or the cars on the floor.

    Further your sales guy does not even know that you are going to be in for service as the operations between the shop floor and the sales floor are not linked.

    One simple process to improve and billions of processes out there.

    Great blog, keep up the good work.

    Gregory O’Donnell

  82. Hey Tim

    I love your information you spread to the world. One of my mentors models alot of his stuff on your teachings. I outsource 60% of my work that is done 120% better than doing it myself and about 300% quicker at the moment increasing my income further and increasing my home time as well.

    Keep up the great information.

  83. I know the contest is over. I want to share a qoute thats helped me get through some tough times. I heard the saying based on a story. There was a king who asked all his subjects to make for him an item that when hes sad and looks at it he will be happy and when hes happy and looks at it he will be sad. no one could come up with anything that fit the parameters till finally a tinsmith made the king a ring. on the ring he wrote “this too shall pass”. the concept has helped me place many challenges into perspective.

  84. Hi guys,

    As I said I would, I wanted to share my experience and what I learned from hanging out with Chip for a day. You can read about it here:

    Tim, thank you so much for your blog and constantly providing excellent material for us readers. And a big ‘Thank You’ to Chip for taking me under his wing and letting me peer into the life of a successful Chief Emotions Officer.

    All the best,


  85. 1. – You are the average of the 5 people you associate with the most.

    This is the only quote one needs. It’s about being with people you admire and helping them in worthy causes. It’s backed up by so much science you could write a whole book on it. It’s about human nature. It’s been such a simple solution to all my anxieties and existential questions. Change your social environment, and you’ll change. Be around the right people, and options and new goals will present themselves.

    Nothing else to add, as the competition has ended.

  86. Whereas I found this article 3.5 years after its publication, I still find answering the question valid, regardless of a prize:

    1. What is your favorite inspirational or philosophical quote?

    “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” -The late, great, Wayne Dyer

    2. How could you apply one of the equations in this post to your life for maximum benefit?

    Curiosity = wonder + awe. In social scenarios, not to grow rapidly in prowess or social regard, but to genuinely cultivate a deeper, reacher connection with humanity, applying the aforementioned principles in my re-spect-ing of those, any and all, around me.

    3. What would you like to change or build after a day with Chip in SF?

    Chip seems to radiate a frequency of passion, self-analysis, and progress that is mighty, yet humble. I believe imbibing some of his bravado, and sense of empathy into my music, and the business team around me, could create phenomenal results.

  87. 1.”There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” Marshall McLuhan

    2. HAPPINESS = WANTING WHAT YOU HAVE / HAVING WHAT YOU WANT. This quote resonates with me as the more I reduce the gap between what I think I want and need in order to be happy and what I have, the more I have and the happier I am. Teaching others how to shift their perception is a passion of mine that I do with my podcast The Successful Pitch. Showing others how to become storytellers to inspire others to invest in their startup or join their team brings me much happiness.

    3. After spending a day with Chip, I would like to build a model to help his sales staff get off the self esteem roller coaster of only feeling good about themselves if they hit their sales goal. If we could build this for his hotel, I think we could make a tool for people in all areas of service to focus on how to help others achieve their goals as the key to a win/win way to do business. Empathy and storytelling can be at the heart of success in business with Chip’s “emotional thermostat.”

  88. 1) “Fuck the system”

    2) Regarding curiosity, put oneself in new environments (example: used tri-rail for first time today).

    3) This seems to require some back and forth conversation to figure out what would be best. Im down for whatever.

  89. One of my favorite quotes is the very simple Leo Buscaglia statement: Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God. This frames me daily to acknowledge, be grateful and to serve.

    For me, the Anxiety formula provides the greatest opportunity for a deeper dive. Personally, it is always that challenge to use that space between stimulus and response effectively. Journaling about daily experiences with this formula help establish new rewiring inside myself so the “old Steve” doesn’t act on the path of anxiety.

    As a current startup CEO, former 1000+ employee COO and business coach I know that our greatest hurdle to solving socioeconomic opportunities is not technological or even capital; it is effectively unleashing talent to operate and leaders (for the most part) are crippling themselves by not addressing Emotional Management in their leadership. I would love this time with Chip to learn how to be more effective for those C-leaders and organizations that I have the honor to coach in becoming much greater, much faster.


  90. 1. “Neither good nor bad; they’re all just tools for your freedom.” ~ My own head

    2. I teach a course called Living Yoga, and one of the most fascinating and most difficult concepts to explain is ‘santosa’ – contentment. Chip’s happiness equation is my new favourite method for differentiating contentment and complacency.

    3. I train yoga teachers, technically; what really happens in my courses, though, is change management. I want to take this training and make it as big as it should be, so the Magic that happens in it can happen 100-fold.

  91. Hi There, thanks for the post, very interesting to see emotions broken down into formulas. I would just like to ask for clarification on the happiness formula. I do not understand why is it a division and not a multiplication. If it is division than you would want to minimize the denominator and maximize the nominator in order to maximize the value. However, that would mean in this case that you would want to minimize having what you want which i dont see how maximizes my happiness. Sorry about the confusing sentence. Let me know if it makes sense what i am writing.

    Kind regards,