The Chimp Paradox – review

A friend recently recommended this book. It captivated me because it takes an interesting approach to mind management. Even though this book does not specifically target trading psychology, I think that it is very useful for traders because it gives you tools to control your emotions and mindset.

Essentially, Peters decomplicates psychology by dividing the personality into the emotionally driven chimp and the rational human. This allows you to tackle those different aspects of your personality separately. The book also provides relatable example situations and suggests exercises at the end of each chapter to apply the discussed content.

For me the biggest take-away was the distinction between human and chimp. Other approaches of self-management that I have come across often deal with the personality as this complex thing that you have to treat as a single entity. By taking things apart and giving them names, even their own characters, Peters provides a simpler way of improving weaknesses and fuelling strengths.

psychological universe

There is some weird stuff as well. Peters talks about the Psychological Universe which consists of 7 planets and their moons. These are basically 7 aspects of life, such as communication, health and happiness, and factors that influence them. The planet analogy is a bit too creative for me. However, the content and advice in those chapters is very useful.

Looking back, the first half or so of the book had most value for me, especially the basic principle of human vs chimp. My friend, on the other hand, preferred the second half of the book, which works more on building a healthy mindset geared up for success and happiness.