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The growth equation NEWSLETTER

Weekly insights on the art and science of success from Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. Join over 20,000 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, along with tips for day-to-day application. Our goal is simple: to help you do better and be better, whatever your craft may be.


What Elementary School Teachers Can Teach You About Learning and High Performance


The education system in the US often gets a bad rap. We complain endlessly about how we’re falling behind, about how students aren’t taught the right things, or how students are stuck in a classroom that doesn’t look much different…

Go Slow to Go Fast


The day you launch a book feels like sprinting an all-out mile. The only thing is this: at the end of the all-out mile, you find yourself on the start-line of a 5K, which is launch week. So you keep…

A Better Way to Fuel Our Minds and Bodies


One of the biggest stories of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was mental health. From Simone Biles to Naomi Osaka, more and more athletes were speaking up about mental health. And for good reason. It is hard, if not impossible,…

Morality is Contagious


At the age of 21, an outfielder burst into the big leagues, drilling over 30 home runs in his rookie season. He wasn’t a sure-fire prospect, having been drafted in the 15th round. But by the age of 24, he’d…

The Cost of Caring—And Why It’s Worth It Anyways


One thing I remember about middle school gym class is that the cool kids never tried. Though I could sense the reason then, I did not have the vocabulary that I do now. The cool kids didn’t try because they…

A Simple Way to Evaluate Principles and Practices


Core to our work at the Growth Equation is looking for patterns across different areas of research, literature, history, and practice. We are interested in uncovering principles that are universal, or at least close to it: that is, they can…

What it Means to be a True Champion


Perfection. It’s a daunting task, to have everything line up, to go as planned. It was the final day of the NCAA championship and we were staring at a need for perfection. To get to this point, the stars had…

How to Create Space Between Stimulus and Response


The space between stimulus and response is an important one. Philosophers have said it is in this space that our freedom lies. When something unexpected happens—for example, an accident, a pandemic, a competitor acting unpredictably, and so on—people generally go down…

Competing With (Instead of Always Against)


“Can we have two golds?” After clearing every height on their first attempts all the way up to 7 feet, 9 and a quarter inches, 2020 Olympians Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi were tied for the lead in the high…

If You Think Simone Biles is “Weak,” You Are Wrong. Here’s Why.

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  When Simone Biles withdrew from the team gymnastics competition after one event, there were two reactions: empathy on the one hand and proclamations that she was “weak” and “letting down her teammates” on the other. The latter are wrong.…

A Brief Guide to Navigating Difficult Topics


Climate change, transgender athletes competing in various classes, immigration reform, police funding, critical race theory, whether or not Sha’Carri Richardson should be banned from the Olympics for breaking a rule and smoking pot, and so on… Chances are as you…

3 Lessons from NBA Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo on Humility and Peak Performance


In the midst of the NBA finals, following a string of awe-inspiring performances, 26-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo was asked during a press conference how he keeps his mind right. His three-part answer, in his own words: “Focusing on the past is…

What a Soccer Shoot Out Can Teach Us About Pressure and Life

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This past weekend, England fell short in capturing the European Championship with a heartbreaking loss against Italy. England has never won the European Championship. After 120 minutes of soccer, the game remained deadlocked at 1-1. That meant turning to the…

The Power of Constraints to Protect Against Existential Anxiety


I’ve written about constraints in the past (some links are below) but I think the concept is becoming increasingly important. Here’s why: In a world where technology is accelerating, you have access to what, for all intents and purposes, is infinity…

Countering the Incentive to Hate and Divide on Social Media

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Venture onto Facebook, Twitter, or any online forum, and you are littered with people taking firm stances on the latest controversial topic. They espouse their views—for this, against that—all the while condemning the other side. Such rants are increasingly filled…