Show Notes-Eps 123, Dr David DeSteno, Emotional Success

Eps 123: The Three Emotions that Build Grit and Grace for Lasting Success, guest Dr. David DeSteno

• To hear this episode click HERE 

Book INFO and link 


MIN 1:30

Why willpower is NOT sustainable.

( So hard to maintain and very effortful seeming to the brain.)

We (always) fall prey to temptation!

We must ask: Why do we ever value future goals in the first place?

MIN 3:30

Being future-thinking through emotions

• These are necessary skills not luxury emotions.

Understanding Moral Emotions.

MIN 5:30

Reducing stress with these emotions to reach goals.

MIN 6:00

Feed forward states - make us value the future more

inter temporal choice

Book info and link 

MIN 8:30


• Meditation impacting Compassion and ethical behavior in the waiting room

RESULTS: 15% control group vs. 50% meditation group

Emotion sets your expectations and influences how you should behave in the next moment.

MIN 14:30

3 Week - gratitude measurement: money and self control


Emotions are shortcuts for adaptive behavior for our social landscape.

MIN 17:30

a reading from page 100

on punishment and cheating

Martin Novak - Harvard - evolutionary biologist 

Should you be a nice guy or a jerk?
(It depends what is at stake the long run or the short run.)

With aggregated gains, we all do better through cooperation.

Forgiveness for mistakes is (routinely) rewarded down the line. 

MIN 21:00

Pride this means-- "taking pride in something" -- like a skill one has or something one has earned.

Having the emotion of Pride can cause people to persist on a difficult task up to 40% longer.

A person feeling pride seems like a better leader and they seem more likable and attractive to others.

But, these benefits go away if the claims don’t match the reality.

On developing an ability that other people care about.


 by Angela Duckworth

Book link and info 

MIN 26:00

One’s feeling of pride works for increasing persistence if the group appreciates that person and the extra work she is doing. 


Peer Pressure to succeed (is valuable.) 

MIN 28:00

a reading from page 143

on Loneliness (and isolation)

Grit means to persevere in the face of challenges.

You can (also) be a gritty evil genius but that will make you lonely.

Well being decreases as people with grit near their goals and even more so when they fail.

Be GRATEFUL, COMPASSIONATE, and have PRIDE in ways that build social relationships well and these are contagious, network outward and build support.

grit AND grace – these are BOTH Resume AND Eulogy virtues.

MIN 34:00

These are First steps to developing the 3 emotions

(What works)

• Gratitude: journaling, reflecting 

BUT remember the little things and the new things and help other people.

• Compassion: 

Practicing mindfulness for empathy.

practice self compassion to avoid self-criticism loops that cause setbacks.

• Pride: Celebrate accomplishing small goals and baby steps

Share acclaim, recognition, and encouragement 

MIN 37:00

Using the Headspace App (a mindfulness app) for 15-30 min per day.

MIN 39:00

The trick is making the emotions [into] habits so they can generalize into all sorts of behaviors.

 MIN 40:00

 Final words of wisdom from David:

These 3 crucial emotional states have been in decline since the 1970s, but they help us build connections and maintain success.

Visit his website:  

Find him on Twitter:



To enhance the benefits of this audio in your life, you can reflect on these questions and share your answers below. Feel free to use them in a discussion with a friend as well.

1. Have you ever failed at something using willpower? Give an example.

2. Does the idea of social and moral emotions seem like a new concept to you, especially as they related to being successful in the long term? Expand on your thoughts.

3. Of the three emotions Gratitude, Compassion, and Pride, which is the most challenging for you and how might you work on strengthening that emotion in your life?

4. Explain the relationship between grit, emotions, and loneliness as you understood it from the episode and how it might relate to your context.

5. Which experiment surprised you the most, OR what was the most notable past of this episode for you?


Thank you for your interest in Spark My Muse and for supporting the show. 

Many exciting and inspiring things are on the horizon. The more you support the more you can get in on these special and extra features. 

Please pass along this episode to benefit others and stayed tuned each Wednesday for another audio release. YAY!

With gratitude,

Lisa delay released this post 21 days early for patrons.   Become a patron