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The Growth Equation Newsletter

Receive weekly insights on the art and science of success from Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. Join over 40,000 subscribers and unlock your full potential with our weekly newsletter. Every Thursday, we share original articles and links on cultivating a more enduring and fulfilling kind of success and excellence, along with practical tips for day-to-day application.


The 15 Best Books of 2023 for Sustainable Excellence and Well-Being


Welcome to our annual reading list. If you are familiar with our work, you’ll know that it integrates ideas, research, and practices from diverse domains. (See our latest book, for example.) People often ask us how we come up with…

To Perform Better, Be Joyfully Deliberate.


What does a high-performance environment look like? Depending on where you go to answer this question, you might be met with descriptions such as obsessive and relentless work ethic, high expectations and standards, excellence, optimizing everything, and accountability. The picture…

Thinking Your Own Thoughts in an Algorithmic Age of Mass Distraction


The past few years have come with plenty of disorder: Climate change. Political dysfunction. Pandemic. War. Artificial intelligence. The list goes on. It’s hard to know what to think, let alone do, amidst so much uncertainty. It’s even harder in…

Make the Overwhelming Feel Routine


“It’s 10pm, I’m going to bed,” is what I told the group of friends, teammates, and strangers who were gathered in our house for a get together during college. It was a Friday night and I had a long run…

The Key to a Strong Identity: Diversify Your Sense of Self


The more you define yourself by any one activity the more fragile you become. If that activity doesn’t go well—or when there is inevitable chaos or change—you lose a sense of who you are, which is a stressful and discombobulating…

Stop Hovering and Let Kids Play—Their Mental Health Depends On It


Growing up in the nineties, there was one constant in both our lives: neighborhood sports. Just about every day following school, you could find us amidst a dozen friends playing basketball, baseball, football, or rollerblade hockey. Steve would make the…

Treat Progress like a Path, Not a Road


When people think about progress they often use the metaphor of a road. It’s why “the road to progress” is such a common aphorism. You could certainly do a lot worse, but you could also do a lot better. The…

Factors of Resilience


I recently heard someone say that that inherent unpredictability and uncertainty of life can feel like “looking both ways before crossing the street, and then getting hit by an airplane.” For better or worse, we often live under the illusion…

Do Animals Choke Under Pressure?

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Pressure can be insidious to performance. It can alter the link between perception and action, making us feel like foreigners in our own body. It can push us to panic, freak out, and catastrophize; where all we see and can…

The Attention Game vs. The Recognition Game


If you value basketball, find it very fulfilling, and want to craft a life around it, would you spend the majority of your time watching, playing, and practicing football? Probably not. It’d be simple to see that you are playing…

A Simple Formula for Responding Not Reacting


When you react to a situation you fuse with it and become it. Going from one reaction to the next is an emotional roller-coaster.

What Makes Criticism So Sticky?


Can you recall a time when your parents criticized you? It could be about your motivation for school or work, or a time you messed up on the soccer field. Chances are there’s a vivid memory that pops into your…

The Best Books This Fall for Sustainable Excellence


Welcome our Fall 2023 reading list. If you are familiar with our work, you’ll know that it integrates ideas, research, and practices from diverse domains. (See our latest book, for example.) People always ask us how we come up with…

Tragic Optimism and Non-Dual Thinking


Is it better to focus only on the positive…or expect life to be hard? Research suggests the idea of “tragic optimism” — holding space for both pain and joy — can help you to bounce back better from tough times,…

How to Balance Pacing With Really Going For It


The day you launch a book feels like sprinting an all-out mile; it’s a full on push—emails, social media posts, podcasts, columns, radio shows, responding to early readers, and more. The only thing is this: at the end of the…