Anxiety Equation

I have 40 books on my to read list. Surely a list that big is fodder for the scatterbrain that I’m trying to overcome. Fear not, I’ve prioritized them and am comfortable with pacing myself (it took some convincing of myself to do just that). Part of my lack of focus at times can be traced back to me putting unstructured demands on myself. So while I have a huge list, I took a deep breath, prioritized them (which will probably change over time) and convinced myself that it’s ok not to cram. The learning should be part of an evolution, not overnight change.

One book on that list is Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success by Chip Conley.

I’m always in awe when someone takes something very complicated to describe and describes it in a concise and very easy way to understand.

I watched a video of Chip discussing the book and he talked about the “equation” of anxiety as Anxiety = Uncertainty x Powerlessness. Wow! That’s pretty profound and 100% describes times in my life when I felt burdened by anxiety.

Looking at it peeled back that way really uncovers the root cause and even gives it an important visual. I can look back and ask, why was there uncertainty? And was I really powerless? To me, it drives home the fact that I need to ACT at certain times. Perhaps I wasn’t always at the mercy of an unknown fate (which never seemed to turn out as bad as I imagined). I will certainly think of this equation if I encounter anxiety in the future.

Besides the 40 books in my current queue, I plan to list others I’ve read that have had positive influences (or none!). But I find it funny that a simple equation can jog the mind more than many 300+ page books can.